2016 April 27

Field Notes from Herring Run: Uncovering a flagstone floor and a bunch of buttons

Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this update from day 5 of the Herring Run Archaeology Project. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the project email list to read these posts in your inbox.

2016 April 27
2016 April 27

Today we passed the halfway point of the 2016 field season, and the amazing discoveries continue. Building on the success from yesterday, we continued to explore the location of the earliest European occupation of the site.

2016 April 27
2016 April 27

We opened several more test units and, while we have not yet discovered any foundations or structural remains of the circa 1690 home of the Broad family, we continue to find the traces of their presence through the artifacts they left behind. The amazing find from that portion of the site was a beautiful french gunflint discovered by volunteers Ilka and Rosa.

2016 April 27
2016 April 27

Back at Eutaw House, we continue to complete excavating several unfinished units with the house’s cellar. Today we completed a unit near the northeast corner of the house where we discovered a large collection of bricks on Saturday. During the excavation today, we recovered a large collection of clothing and other personal items including beads, jewelry, and buttons of every make and type: bone, shell, glass, copper and iron. We also found a Belgian one cent piece that dates to 1845 and a pipe stem manufactured by Jan Prince the Netherlands from around the same time period.

2016 April 27
2016 April 27

At the bottom of the unit, we made yet another interesting discovery, a flagstone floor! This is the only section of the house to have a built floor. All other areas of the cellar contained only a dirt and bedrock bottom. The presence of the abundant brick, stone floor and variety of buttons leads us to think that this portion of the house may have served as the Eutaw house’s laundry and the workplace of several of the family’s enslaved men and women including Venus Tilghman.

2016 April 27
2016 April 27
2016 April 26

Field Notes from Herring Run: Traces of the earliest history of Eutaw Manor

Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this update from day 4 of the Herring Run Archaeology Project. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the project email list to read these posts in your inbox.

2016 April 26
Jason Shellenhamer. 2016 April 26

Today was a very exciting day! Up at the manor house, we identified a new architectural feature—a possible gravel pathway—which may help us answer one of our more pressing questions: which way did the house face? In the Peale painting of William Smith and his grandson, the house appears to face west, but it is difficult to tell. With this new feature and other clues, we hope to piece together a more complete picture of the house and grounds.

2016 April 26
2016 April 26

In other news: from the very beginning, we’ve found traces of an earlier occupation at the site, and we know that John Broad and his family occupied from 1690 (and likely earlier) through the 1740s. Today, we’ve finally found intact deposits associated only with this earlier occupation!

2016 April 26
2016 April 26

We know very, very little about life in this region at that time, so this is a tremendous discovery—and this makes Eutaw the earliest historical archaeological site in Baltimore City to date!

2016 April 26
2016 April 26
Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.

Field Notes from Herring Run: Reconstructing the rooms in the farm house

Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this update from day 3 of the Herring Run Archaeology Project dig. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the project email list to read these posts in your inbox.

Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.
Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.

The work at Eutaw continues on Day 3 of our second field season. By the end of the day we completed excavation in three new areas on the perimeter and interior of the former plantation dwelling. Testing in all the units within the house’s former cellar continue to produce similar artifacts that one might expect from a house that burnt down in 1865 such as nails, brick, mortar.

However, each area we explore in the house also produced several distinct groups of artifacts that are not found in other areas. These subtle, yet important distinctions have allowed us to start a preliminary reconstruction of the location and uses of various rooms within the former farm house.

Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.
Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.

For instance, all of the expensive white, gold leaf porcelain dinner plates and tea service have been found near the northwest corner of the home, but those same artifacts are absent elsewhere in the house. Given that a dinner party occurred at the time of the house fire, it seems likely that the presence of those ceramics in that area alone may suggest the location of the family’s formal dining room, or at at the very least a pantry where the family kept their formal sets of dinner service.

Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.
Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.

Other locations we explored so far provided other insights into the uses of other areas of the home, including the formal front entrance, kitchens, and side entrances.

Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.
Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer.
Piece of an 18th century hand blown wine bottle. Photograph by Lisa Kraus.

Field Notes from Herring Run: Finding a kitchen, a coin, and much more!

Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this update from April 23 and April 24—the first weekend of digging with the Herring Run Archaeology Project this spring. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the project email list to read these posts in your inbox.

Photograph by Lisa Kraus.
Photograph by Lisa Kraus.

Our second season of fieldwork has begun, and we’ve already made some fantastic discoveries!

We’re exploring more of the Eutaw manor house, and have now firmly identified a second building that was likely the kitchen. We’ll be continuing to explore these two structures tomorrow, but we’re also hoping to begin excavation of the possible stable and slave quarter we’ve tentatively identified nearby.

Photograph by Lisa Kraus.
Photograph by Lisa Kraus.

In the manor mouse, we’ve finally located one of the chimneys, and have found some interesting artifacts, including a 1773 half penny, numerous decorative pieces of window hardware, a beautiful piece of an 18th-century hand-blown wine bottle, a 19th-century pipe bowl, and too many other things to mention.

1773 penny. Photograph by Lisa Kraus.
1773 penny. Photograph by Lisa Kraus.
Photograph by Lisa Kraus.
Photograph by Lisa Kraus.

At the end of last year’s fieldwork, we identified what appeared to be a second, smaller structure just west of the Manor House. We’ve now identified it as an out kitchen, a small building separate from the main house where food was stored and prepared.

Detail from Portrait of William Smith and His Grandson, Charles Wilson Peale, 1788. Courtesy Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Detail from Portrait of William Smith and His Grandson, Charles Wilson Peale, 1788. Courtesy Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

This was likely one of the two smaller buildings depicted in the painting of Eutaw by Charles Wilson Peale (circled in yellow in the detail above). We’ll be posting more updates as the fieldwork progresses, and hope to see you in the field!

Photograph by Lisa Kraus.
Photograph by Lisa Kraus.
Courtesy Pimlico Race Course.

Meet Maryland horses and Mediterranean olives on our upcoming tours Join us at Pimilico, the Maryland Zoo, and the home of Pompeian Olive Oil

This year marks a full century of Pompeian Olive Oil making olive oil in Baltimore, and we hope you can join us on our May 17 afternoon tour of their Pulaski Highway factory, including a peek at a 300-year-old olive press, the processing plant, and expert cooking tips along the way.

On the morning of May 17, you can join us in getting ready for Preakness with a morning tour of Pimlico Racetrack from its stables (including Preakness horses in training) to the Jockey’s locker room and famed clubhouse with its signature weather vane. And don’t forget about our tour next week of the Maryland House, our state’s contribution to the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, with our partner Preservation Maryland.

Spring also means our Monumental City Tours are up and running the first four Sunday mornings of every month from now until Thanksgiving. Bring a friend and join us on these one-hour jaunts to learn more about Baltimore: Jonestown and the Shot Tower, Landmarks and Lions Downtown, Mt. Vernon and the Washington Monument, and the Patterson Park Pagoda.

Lastly, our annual Baltimore by Foot tour series starts off this weekend in Seton Hill. We are thrilled with the huge response these tours have generated—we only have spaces left on the Hunting Ridge and Harbor East to Jonestown tours, so make sure to sign up today to save your spot.