People Mover 

Site Name:

People Mover (AKA Michigan Station and Broadway Station, Central Automated Transit System, FC UTDC)

Accession No.:


Site No.:

Excavated By:

Stephen Demeter, Gilbert/Commonwealth, Jackson, MI 

Excavation Year:


Site Description:

The construction of the People Mover project in Detroit took place in the early 1980s. Before and during the initial construction, Stephan Demeter led a salvage archaeological recovery operation on the planned construction sites. Although there were no officially designated historic sites within the planned construction area, steps were taken to save whatever could be salvaged from the affected areas.

The history of the People Mover "site" is not applicable here, because its construction necessarily included many different "sites" as it is a transit system. Therefore, the history of the "sites" is in reality that of Detroit as a whole. Various residential and commercial activities took place on the areas to be affected from the period of about 1886-1918.


  • Faunal remains:

    • Includes representatives from the following species:
      • Bos taurus
      • Odocoileus virginianus
      • Sus scrofa
      • Felis catus
      • Crassostrea virginica
      • Sciurus carolinensis
      • Ursus americanus
      • Coregonusclupeiformis
      • Morone chrysops
      • Crassostrea virginica
      • Gallus gallus
      • Esox lucius
      • Anserinae
  • Ceramics:

    • 156 fragments of common yellow
    • 105 fragments of edge ware including scalloped, wheat, and rope - all blue; red wheat, green comb, blue comb, blue shell, straight blue wheat and lined, neutral swag, blue wheat and flower embossed, green embossed, grape, flower and blue grass
    • 58 fragments of annular mocha
    • 7 fragments of gold burnished lusterware
    • 231 fragments of Early and Middle Handpainted Pearlware, Sprig, Leeds and palette
    • 453 stoneware sherds mostly undecorated utilitarian
    • 92 fragments of porcelain - white, purple print, blue-gray, blue painted, undecorated, blue print, gold lined and yellow
    • 21 fragments of sponge and spatter - blue, red, green, polychrome, red-yellow, green and blue-red
  • Glass:

    • Approximately 352 vessel fragments
  • Leather:

    • Most of this smoking material consists of shoes and boots
  • Clay pipe and bowls:

    • (unspecified number of fragments)
  • Buttons:

    • bone
    • shell
    • wood
    • porcelain
    • glass
    • (28 fragments)
  • Marbles:

    • 10
  • Worked bone:

    • part of a domino,
    • toothbrush handles
  • Wood Nails:

    • square cut
    • wire
    • hand wrought
    • (464)
  • Brick and brick fragments:

    • 8

Cat. Nos.:


  • Cleland, Charles E. and Julie M. Durkin (1982) An Archival Assessment of the Archaeological Resources that may be Impacted by the Detroit People Mover Project. Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [# 11W721]
    • This document was submitted to the Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority. Is it about 100 pages in length, with half of those being dedicated to archival overview and history of the area from pre-1700 to 1921-22. There is a short section on geology and soils, and there is an extensive bibliography.
  • (January, 1975), Detroit CBD People Mover Summary Report. Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology. [ # 11W1612]
    • This is basically the proposal for the construction of the People Mover. The document includes a map, reasons for construction and a benefits and costs section.
  • Demeter, C. S. (1982) People Mover Final Report - "A Phase I Archaeological Evaluation of the Central Automated Transit System" and "An Archaeological Monitoring Assessment of the Abbott and Third Street Soils Test Sites." Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology.
    • This document gives a brief history of the areas to be destroyed or affected by the construction of the People Mover and an assessment of the impact.
  • Durkin, Julie M. (1982) Archival Survey and Archaeological Assessment of the Central Automated Transit System, Phase I Supplemental Report. Aurora Associates, Williamston , MI . Unpublished manuscript on file at WSU Museum of Anthropology.


 ↑ back to top