Heritage Junior High School earned this name because of its archaeological significance. The school's site, known as Holcombe Beach, contained the earliest recorded evidence of human civilization in Michigan. There, archaeologists gained great insight into the Paleo-Indians and their life 12,000 years ago, a part of our heritage.
Inscription of the Marker
Near this site in 1961 archaeologists from the Aboriginal Research Club and the University of Michigan uncovered evidence of an early Paleo-Indian settlement. Here about 11,000 years ago these first prehistoric dwellers in the Great Lakes region inhabited a lake shore. Excavations of artifacts and bones reveal that for food the Paleo-Indians hunted Barren Ground caribou, a species suited to the tundra-like terrain of that era. As their environment changed, these Indians were forced to adapt to new ways of living. Different climate and sources of food required modified tools and methods of subsistence and the Paleo-Indian pattern of life developed into the culture of the Early Archaic people. The site known as Holcombe Beach is a reminder of basic changes in Michigan's physical and biological environment over the ages.