Sumnerville in Cass County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Sumnerville Mounds / Sumnerville Cemetery
Between the first and fourth centuries A.D. Hopewell Indians built nine burial mounds near here. The six remaining earthen mounds reflect the Hopewellian culture, which flourished in the Eastern Woodlands of North America, primarily in Illinois and Ohio. Sumnerville is one of the few places in Michigan where Hopewellian mounds have survived into the twentieth century. While most mounds have been destroyed by plowing or construction, the Sumnerville mounds were preserved by the landowners. Some of the artifacts removed from the mounds during the late nineteenth century were acquired by the Public Museum of Grand Rapids. Archaeologists named "Sumnerville Incised," a type of Hopewellian pottery, for its association with this site.
The earliest marked grave in Sumnerville Cemetery dates from 1830 and bears the name "Emily Markham." Many Pokagon pioneers are buried there, including the prominent African American families of Ash, Gault, Mitchem, and Mitchell. The remains of Cass County's first white settlers, Uzziel and Anna Putnam are interred in the cemetery. The Putnams came to Pokagon Prairie in 1825. Charity Thompson, the widow of Berrien County's first white settler, Squire Isaac Thompson, and two of their
Erected 2000 by Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number S666/L667.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 41° 54.736′ N, 86° 12.292′ W. Marker is in Sumnerville, Michigan, in Cass County. Marker is at the intersection of Pokagon Highway and Wood Road, on the right when traveling west on Pokagon Highway. Touch for map. Marker is located at northwest corner of intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Niles MI 49120, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Methodist Episcopal Church / The Old Rugged Cross (approx. 1.6 miles away); Morris Chapel Church (approx. 2.2 miles away); Union Church and Cemetery (approx. 3.7 miles away); Howard Township Hall (approx. 4.2 miles away); Johnson Cemetery (approx. 5 miles away); John and Horace Dodge / The Dodge Brothers (approx. 5.3 miles away); Michigan Central Railroad Depot / Michigan Central Railroad Company (approx. 5.7 miles away); Michigan Central Railroad Niles Depot (approx. 5.8 miles away).
Also see . . . Sumnerville earthen mounds speak of early culture. A Leader Publications article on the Sumnerville Mounds dated August 19, 2012. (Submitted on April 23, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 23, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 526 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 23, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.