Eli Pousson started as a Field Officer at Baltimore Heritage in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in October 2009. Prior to moving to Baltimore, Eli worked for the DC Office of Historic Preservation and completed graduate work in anthropology and historic preservation at the University of Maryland College Park. Eli continues to work with the Lakeland Community Heritage Project and other heritage organizations in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
When most people think about archaeology, they think a project is over when the digging is done. In reality, every hour spent on archaeological fieldwork requires as many as twenty hours back in the lab cleaning and processing artifacts. Herring Run Park project archaeologists Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer are headed to the lab in August and September to clean and process the artifacts recovered during our archaeological dig this past spring. Please come out to join us as a volunteer!
No prior experience is required to participate. Working in the lab is a great way to learn more about how archaeologists identify and analyze artifacts whether they are broken pieces of brick or delicate shards of pottery. The lab work will take place on Saturday afternoons, 12:00pm to 3:00pm, between August 22 and September 26 at the Natural History Society of Maryland at 6908 Belair Road, Baltimore, MD 21206.
Space for volunteers is currently limited to five people on each date so sign up soon with your interest. If we are not able to match you with a volunteer opportunity this fall, please stay in touch—we hope to offer additional dates later in the year. You can also learn more about the project from our series of “Field Notes from Herring Run” shared by Lisa and Jason during the dig.
Bmore Historic — Baltimore’s annual unconference on preservation, public history and cultural heritage—is returning to the Maryland Historical Society this fall on Friday, September 25.
Bmore Historic isn’t like most historic preservation workshops or trainings. Bmore Historic is an unconference—a gathering that emphasizes the important contributions that each and every participant brings into a full day of discussion sessions, workshops and conversations. We invite neighborhood activists, history teachers, graduate students, museum professionals and preservationists to share their knowledge about how preservation and public history can make Baltimore a better place to live, work and learn.
Each year we love to bring together a diverse community of history nerds who want to network with neighbors and improve our shared efforts to turn historic places and cultural heritage into a vital resource for our community. Over the past four years, hundreds of participants have led or participated in sessions on everything from modernist architecture to records management to deindustrialization and historic preservation to finding an 21st century audience for historic sites!
We are continuing to pay close attention to the Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel project where the possible replacement of an existing railroad tunnel threatens to blocks of historic rowhouses and industrial buildings in West Baltimore. An open house meeting next week provides the latest opportunity to learn more about the project including new details on the project engineering and the environmental impact on Baltimore.
The grand Captain Isaac Edward Emerson at 2500 Eutaw Place is up for auction by One House at a Time this on June 23—an exciting opportunity for a new owner to step in and save this important Reservoir Hill landmark from over a decade of neglect.
Lisa and Jason are taking a well-deserved break from writing up their field notes so I’m stepping in to share a quick reflection on the first day of our weekend open house and the tremendous response we’ve encountered from visitors of all ages. With three tours around the site, we took nearly 100 people on a walk from the site of Eutaw Manor to visit the remains of the Eutaw farm mill race and an overgrown wagon road – features that are provided important clues to help us understand the historic landscape that survives in Herring Run Park.
Historic maps and images helped visitors to imagine what the site looked like 200 years ago and try to think about the lives of the people who lived and worked on the property. Eutaw wasn’t just home to William Smith. Around 1850, Venus and Jeremiah Tilghman were two of the fifteen people held in slavery on the property – and thanks to the Maryland Historical Society – we were able to share a daguerreotype of the couple with today’s visitors. Many who stopped shared their curiosity about what will happen to the artifacts after the dig is done. We encouraged everyone to sign up for project updates to find out about more opportunities to participate in the cleaning and processing of the artifacts from the dig later this year.
We also really appreciated Pamela Wood from the Baltimore Sun stopping by the dig to report on archaeology in Herring Run. It is wonderful to see the volunteers who made this project possible recognized for their important contributions:
Friends Jeanne Marsh and Ron Roski and 10-year-old neighborhood resident Sophia Manni bent over a mesh screen Saturday afternoon, shaking it in hopes that piles of dirt would reveal tiny fragments of artifacts. They found bits of ceramic, glass, charcoal and brick, as well as hand-made nails. Marsh, a member of the Archaeological Society of Maryland, was thrilled to participate in a project within the city. Many archaeological digs are out in the suburbs, she said, because much of the city has been paved over, making urban digs a rarity.
Sophia got a kick out of getting a firsthand look at history. She recently read about the Civil War and the evolution of women’s rights. “I love figuring out how people lived back then,” she said.
We do too, Sophia! Please come out to visit the site tomorrow – Sunday, May 17 – for a tour at 10:00 am, 11:30 am or 1:00 pm.