New Philadelphia : 2004 Archaeology Report
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS: Block 8
Block 8, Lot 4
The earliest known deed transaction that we identified for Block 8, Lot 4, is an 1871 sale from James Vokes to Solomon McWorter. A resurvey of the primary data in the Pike County Courthouse may provide evidence of an earlier transaction. There are 18 transactions for this piece of property through 1930. Several of these families, including Solomon McWorter and Frederick Shipman, also appear on the 1880 Federal Census that includes New Philadelphia, and there is likelihood that the Shipman family lived on the site. The deed and census data follow.
1865 STATE CENSUS
NAME FIRST NAME RACE no. in household
McWorter S. B 5
1880 FEDERAL CENSUS
Archaeology for Block 8, Lot 4
The archaeology team performed a core sample survey and opened three excavation units in Block 8, Lot 4. Mr. Burdick (1992) recalls this block as being unoccupied through the twentieth century and he referred to it as “The Park.” The impression is that the area may have never been occupied. A review of the earliest surviving Hadley Township records dating to 1867 indicate that Block 8, Lot 4 was not improved. However, after the archaeological survey, the team concluded that Block 8 has a high potential for locating archaeological remains associated with the early settlement of the town. Block 8 had one of the largest concentrations of artifacts on the entire town site and based on the surface survey finds, it had a mean date of occupation is 1864 (Gwaltney 2004). The geophysical survey (see Hargrave, this report) also located several anomalies in Block 8, Lot 4 (Figure 3.19).
Figure 3.19. Resistivity Survey locating several soil anomalies found in Block 8, Lot 4. (From Hargrave 2004.Grid overlay by Christopher Fennell.)
Anomaly C identified in the geophysical survey is located in the southwest portion of Block 8, Lot 4. Three transects of nine core samples were placed in a north-south direction at five ft intervals. The southern most part of transect 1 (T1) is 20ft north and 25 ft west of the southwest corner of Block 8, Lot 4 (Figure 3.20). Of the 27 core samples, physical resistance to the core probe occurred in 10 of the sample points. The majority of these are located in the northern portion of the tested area. Generally, each core sample reached a depth of 1.8 ft to 2.1 ft below the surface. The upper most layer consists of a 10YR 3/2 (very dark grayish brown) and is located to an average depth of 1.0 ft to 1.1 ft below the surface. This soil is the plow zone. The subsoil underlies the plow zone and it generally consists of a 10YR 3/2 (very dark grayish brown) mottled 10YR 4/3 (brown).
Physical resistance to coring mostly occurred in the northern portion of the cored areas (T1N8, T1N9, T2N7, T2N8, T2N9, T3N8, T3N9) (Figure 20). Archeologists hit resistance at a depth that ranges from an average of 0.65 ft to 1.5 ft below the surface.
Figure 3.20. Coring performed near Anomaly C. (Drawn by Christopher Fennell.)
Considering this information, the archaeology team placed three excavation units where we determined the greatest possibility of locating undisturbed archeological features. Generally, in all three excavation units the plow zone exists to a depth of about 0.8ft below the surface. It consists of a very dark grayish brown (10YR3/2) silty loam (Figure 3.21). The artifacts ranged from the earliest settlement, although the heaviest concentration of artifacts in this layer appears to date to the post-bellum era. Underneath this layer is a buried horizon of soil that consists of a brown (10YR4/3) silty clay. Archeologists located a large concentration of brick fragments and stones that measured 0.25ft to 0.5ft in diameter. This large concentration of debris is anomaly C detected in the geophysical survey. This buried undisturbed horizon with debris is about 0.7ft deep and it contains artifacts that date to about the 1840s and 1850s. The quantity of artifacts dramatically increased in the lower part of the layer as archaeologist came closer to the top of Feature 4 (Figure 3.22 and 3.23).
Figure 3.21. Location of three units excavated in Block 8, Lot 4. (Courtesy, Likes Land Surveyors, Inc.)
Figure 3.22. North wall profile of Excavation Unit 1, Block 8, Lot 4. (Image enhanced by William White.)
Figure 3.23. Photographing wall profile in Block 8, Lot 4. (Courtesy, Paul A. Shackel.)
The western portion of feature 4 was exposed although the full extent of the feature could not be determined during the 2004 field season. The western edge of the feature is about 8.0ft long (in the far eastern portion of Excavation Units 1 & 3) and is located in the entire Excavation Unit 2 (Figure 3.24). The top of the feature appears to be a pit feature, although at this time, with a limited amount of the feature exposed, archaeologists cannot determine its original function. Its secondary use is probably a trash pit or used as a receptacle for building debris after the structure was destroyed and/or dismantled. Because of the overlaying sealed context of 1840s/1850s artifacts, it is probable that the original function of the pit feature is related to very early development of the town. Even though the earliest known deeds for Block 8, Lot 4 date to 1858, and the tax records from 1867 show that the lot was not improved, the archeological evidence indicates that the area was used as a domestic place, probably as early as the 1840s. The structure was probably dismantled before the Civil War. Additional work, such as expanding this block excavation, will help determine the age and function of the feature and perhaps provide more information about the early lifeways in New Philadelphia.
Figure 3.24. Plan of Feature 4 in Excavation Units 1, 2, and 3 in Block 8, Lot 4 found in the location of Anomaly C.
(Image enhanced by William White.)