Brooklyn, Illinois has two things going for it: History and strip clubs. Even with a population of just 650, the village is arguably the Sin City of the Metro East.
Danny Wicentowski Joseph Galloy and a team of archaeologists are digging into Brooklyn, Illinois this week.
Yet, just a few blocks away from the neon fleshpots on South 3rd Street, the other side of Brooklyn is coming to life. On the corner of Madison and South 6th streets, a team of state archaeologists are digging for evidence of the home owned by Priscilla "Mother" Baltimore, a former slave who founded the settlement in 1829. Not only did Baltimore become a well-known abolitionist who sheltered runaway slaves in the home that the archaeologists are searching for, the town she founded ended up becoming the first in the nation to be incorporated with a black-majority population.
"People still venerate her, they see her as the founding mother of the town," says Miranda Yancey-Bailey, a research archaeologist with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey.