Archive for May, 2011

Metal detectors, radar used to find Army barracks site at 19th century Oregon post
May 16, 2011


KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Archeologists have used ground-penetrating radar to determine exactly where a Fort Klamath soldier barracks stood in the late 19th century.

“It’s a pretty exciting moment,” said Todd Kepple, Klamath County Museums manager. “No trace of this building was visible for the 44 years the county has owned this property. We had no idea exactly where anything was except for the flag pole.”

University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History archeologists on Wednesday used metal detectors and radar to find where the barracks stood at the Fort Klamath military post, established by the U.S. Army in 1863 to protect settlers as they settled in Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin Indian territory.

The museum was awarded a Preserving Oregon $10,000 grant to pay for the work. Archeologists went over three sites, but found substantial evidence only at the barracks site.

“To us, this is wild West . history,” said Paul Baxter, an archeologist. “To (tribal members), it’s family history.”

The fort was decommissioned 17 years after the Modoc War, a result of the U.S. government forcing three different American Indian tribes to live together on one reservation. A Modoc Indian the Army called Captain Jack led his tribe off the reservation and the Fort Klamath cavalry was ordered to bring them back.

After a year of battle, Captain Jack was captured and hanged; his grave is at the Fort Klamath Museum.

In 1966, Klamath County acquired 8 acres of the once expansive fort. In its heyday, the military outpost contained 80 buildings stretching from the museum to the town of Fort Klamath.

But in the 75 years the fort was under private ownership, buildings were allowed to disintegrate, leaving nothing but nails and, archeologists discovered Wednesday, a foundation.

“(Wednesday) was a banner day for us,” Kepple said. “It was the first time we’ve been able to turn back the pages of history and see the fort the way it was 120 years ago.”

___

News Article by Sara Hottman, Herald and News, http://www.heraldandnews.com

http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/74ace2a016484687b7ffedc612945b63/OR–Fort-Klamath-Barracks/

Advertisements

Forts in Georgia
May 10, 2011

 

Lisa O’Steen searches for early Georgia fort in Oconee County.

Grant will fund dig at Oconee site || OnlineAthens.com

By Erin France, May 10, 2011

Grant will fund dig at Oconee site || OnlineAthens.com.

An archaeologist will use grant funding this year to pay for investigating what may be the remains of a fort along the Oconee River east of Watkinsville.

The Watson Brown Foundation Athens’ Junior Board of Trustees recently awarded Athens Land Trust a $6,250 grant for an archaeological study of a site near the Oconee River and Barnett Shoals Road that some experts believe once housed a fort on the border between United States territory and Native American lands.

Archaeologist Lisa O’Steen likely will launch the study this summer, though much of the work could wait until fall and winter after the area’s heavy vegetation dies off, said Nancy Stangle, the Athens Land Trust’s executive director.

“We’re glad it’s happening now,” Stangle said.

O’Steen will explore the site and likely will find artifacts from both early Georgian settlers and Native Americans, she said.

Stangle’s also curious about the fort’s name, she said.

The ruins could be Fort Matthews or Fort Henry – there’s not enough evidence to prove either name at this time, she said.

“We have the additional mystery that we are trying to solve with which fort it was,” Stangle said.

The property owner, Celestea Sharp, also is curious about the name and history behind the fort, and already has agreed to help preserve found artifacts as well as the site, she said.

Sharp directed and distributed “Carving Up Oconee,” a documentary about grassroots activism in development issues. She’s also written a book about the history of Oconee County’s town of Bishop.

“Having her historical expertise … it’s just an excellent asset to the project,” Stangle said.

Junior board of trustees member Glenn Reece toured the site and was impressed with Athens Land Trust’s enthusiasm for the project, he said.

“It shows that they’re really interested and they really care about what they’re trying to get money for,” Reece said.

Reece is a junior at Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School, and this is his second year on the junior board of trustees, he said.

Board members sometimes disagree about which projects they should fund, but most members agreed about funding the archaeological study, he said.

“It’s hard to divvy up who gets what because we’re on a limited budget,” Reece said.

This is the second time the Athens Land Trust received the grant, said Shannon Hayes, the junior board of trustees’ adviser.

“The original grant would have gone through with no problems, but the property owner (at the time) decided to put the property up for sale,” said Hayes, who also works as the program coordinator at the T.R.R. Cobb House in Athens.

Members awarded the grant in 2008, then took the money back when the archaeological study wasn’t completed, she said. Sharp bought the land after that and OK’d the study.