During Fall 1990, W.M. Cremin Consulting, under contract to the City of Benton Harbor, Michigan and the Troyer Group of Mishawaka, Indiana, conducted a Phase I archaeological assessment of Jean Klock Park. The study area occupies some 90 acres (36.4 ha) in the NW 1/4 of Section 13, Benton Township (West Part) and extends from the lake shoreline on the west to the interchange of Red Arrow Highway on the east (Fig. 1).
In the late 1950's, the channel of the Paw Paw River was filled to permit construction of this interchange, and the river was diverted to its present course which lies to the east and parallels the highway as it flows toward its confluence with the St. Joseph River to the south.
The northern limits of our study area conform to the base of the steep bluff on which the residential neighborhood of Highman Park is now situated. And on the south the project is bounded by a paved road providing access to the beach area immediately south of the park limits.
It was immediately apparent to the survey team that much landscape alteration had occurred in the project area over the years, both in and about the large expanse of marshland occupying the eastern portion where the Paw Paw River had formerly flowed and on the dunes that today separate the strip of beachfront on the west from the remainder of the study area. Disturbance took the form of bladed areas near the dunes where parking lots had been established for those people seeking to access the beach area.