Photograph by Eli Pousson, 2015 May 13.

Field Notes from Herring Run: How big is Eutaw House?

We are continuing to share field notes from Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer as they lead our archaeological dig at the Eutaw Manor and Mill complex in  Herring Run Park. Read on for Lisa and Jason’s third journal entry – dated Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – or look back at past entries from Monday and Sunday.

Today marked the midway point for this first field season of the Herring Run Archaeology Project, and we enjoyed the beautiful cool weather as we continued to make new discoveries.

One of our ongoing goals is to define the dimensions of Eutaw House. We need evidence of all four walls to get a sense of how big the house was, so Jason set out this morning to identify more of Eutaw’s foundation.

As it turns out, the west wall, much like the north wall, was still intact and fairly close to the surface. A section of the west wall was uncovered and documented by lunchtime. While digging, one of today’s volunteers (NPS archeologist and Baltimore Heritage board member Dave Gadsby) noticed a dark stain near the west wall. After some careful cleaning of the area we determined the stain was likely the remains of a decayed post that may have supported a porch or stair. Tomorrow we will excavate the post and begin searching for the other two walls.

2015 May 13
David Gadsby, Jason Shellenhamer and Margaret DeArcangelis examining the western wall and post hole, 2015 May 13.

To the west of Eutaw House, Lisa and her team of volunteers continued their excavation of the mixed historic and Native American component of the site. In addition to finding nearly seventy-five Native American stone artifacts over the last two days, they have also discovered some of the earliest European artifacts at the site. These artifacts point to an occupation that predates that of William Smith by several decades.

Another interesting discovery was the identification of an oyster shell midden (trash pit). So far, the excavation of the oyster midden is in its preliminary stages, and we’re looking forward to exploring it more fully on Thursday.

Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer, 2015 May 13.
Lisa Kraus excavating the oyster midden. Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer, 2015 May 13.

One comment

  1. Matt H. says:

    Question: I was under the impression that Eutaw Place(the street) is named after the 1781 Revolutionary War Battle involving John Eager Howard. Does Eutaw Manor predate the battle? If so, where does the name come from and is this the actual origin of the street name? Thanks.

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