Students conduct an archeological dig at McCree Cemetery. (Photo by Tim Sullivan)

Students conduct an archeological dig at McCree Cemetery. (Photo by Tim Sullivan)

The story of two Richland College professors and their students uncovering a lost Lake Highlands neighborhood known as Little Egypt, where black families lived sans running water, sewage systems or paved roads even as contemporary middle-class subdivisions sprouted around them, ran in the Advocate’s print magazine several months ago.

Read that here.

Richland College anthropology professor Tim Sullivan, and history professor Clive Sielge pose for a portrait at the Shoreview Road and Thurgood Lane intersection in Lake Highlands. The pair collaborated in teaching their respective courses surrounding Little Egypt, a post-Civil War community that existed on the boundaries of where they sit. (Photo by Rasy Ran)

Richland College professors Tim Sullivan and Clive Siegle at the Shoreview-Thurgood intersection in Lake Highlands, formerly the border of the Little Egypt community, which they are studying. (Photo by Rasy Ran)

Now a new crop of Richland students are expanding on last semester’s accumulated knowledge, says anthropology professor Tim Sullivan, who’s working alongside colleague Clive Siegle, a history professor. (The project is a collaboration between Richland’s History 1302 and Anthropology 2346.)

“We have now carried out three sets of interviews with folks who lived in, or in the immediate vicinity of [Little Egypt],” Sullivan tells us.

Students work at the McCree Cemetery in Lake Highlands. (Photo by Tim Sullivan)

Students work at the McCree Cemetery in Lake Highlands. (Photo by Tim Sullivan)

And they have expanded studies to include McCree Cemetery, wherein lies the remains of some Little Egypt residents past.

“This semester, as part of the Anthropology class, we are carrying out some genealogical research and including archaeology as part of our work as we investigate McCree Cemetery. While the cemetery is not located within the Little Egypt community, there were some direct links. For instance we know the original founder, ‘Father’ Jeff Hill and one of his sons, another Jeff Hill, a veteran of WWI, are both buried in the African American section of the cemetery.”

Their primary focus for now is rediscovering remains of a church that was located next to McCree Cemetery.

“When the congregation moved away, the church was vandalized and burned down around 1945,” the professor explains. “We are currently surface collecting, but we might end up doing small scale excavations later on.”

The professors promise to keep us apprised of finds and developments.