Since the Last Ice Age: Original People In and Around Guelph, and the Proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park

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Dana Poulton is an archaeologist based in London, Ontario. He was commissioned to do an archaeological assessment of the proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park, based on the south end of Guelph. It turns out that humans have been using this particular land for as long as 11,000 years ago, since the land shifted from a colder tundra to a fertile garden of eden, that lasted up until European immigrants clearcut the land to create an agricultural colony, now called Guelph.

Dana and his crew found things like spear tips, arrowheads, and other stone tools for preparing animal hides and cutting animal bones. Other things that would have been there, things made out of wood, sinew, and hide, have long since decayed.

Dana talks about some of the history of the Neutral nation, the original people who lived around the Guelph area, but who mainly settled around the western shore of Lake Ontario, the headwaters of the Niagara river, and to a lesser extent around the Grand river, near present-day settlements of Fergus and Elora.

The Neutrals lived in between the Huron nation and the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations/Iroquios), until they were wiped out and displaced by the Haudenosaunee in 1651.

Also on this particular piece of land is a spectacular old growth forest, situated right in the center of the proposed industrial development. The old growth forest and the surrounding land contains more than 100 old growth trees, including 200-300 year old hemlock, beech, yellow birch, blue beech, shagbark hickory, and sugar maple trees, a 400 year old black cherry tree, and a 500 year old hop hornbeam tree.

The proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park is a sprawling 675-acre corporate and industrial development that the city wants to surround this old growth forest with. Besides the old growth forest, it is also home to deer, coyote, fox, salamanders, turtles, snakes, five different species of hawk, and many, many more special creatures. Also, it is a provincially significant wetland and the recharge zone for the Hanlon creek, which supplies 20% of Guelph's drinking water.

A newly-formed group of Guelph locals has formed to oppose the HCBP as it nears it's date of destruction. You can learn more here: http://royalcityrag.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/land-is-more-important-than-sprawl-january-12/

You can also read the mainstream news article about Dana's findings here: http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/410075

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