Archive for May, 2012

DAR members hear program about Kettle Creek site archaeological finds
May 27, 2012

DAR members hear program about Kettle Creek site archaeological finds.

Dan Elliott of the Lamar Institute in Savannah presented the program to members of the Kettle Creek Chapter NSDAR and guests at the meeting Monday, January 19, at the Washington Woman’s Club.

Mr. Elliott, who resides in Rincon, spoke on the topic “Archaeological Finds at the Kettle Creek Battle Site.”

Introduced by the January program chairman, Nancy Sisson, Mr. Elliott presented the interesting program on the results of an indepth research study of the Kettle Creek Battle site conducted by the Institute. The study, funded by the National Park Service and the City of Washington, included archaeological finds as well as genealogical information and other studies of the site. The Battle of Kettle Creek took place on February 14, l779, in Wilkes County and was a moral victory for the Patriots. Much of the findings and collections will be placed in the Washington-Wilkes Historical Museum.

Prior to his presentation Anneice Butler, co-regent, presided. Ginny Broome, chaplain, led the chapter in the opening rituals and offered the blessing for the delicious lun- cheon.

After the luncheon and program, Mrs. Butler conducted the business meeting. Milly Arnold gave the National Defense message on the upcoming celebrations being planned for the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. Carol Faz, co-regent, reminded the club of the recognition of the Founding of Washington to be held at Fort Washington on January 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Other items of business were conducted before the meeting adjourned.

Members present were Ginny Broome, Nancy Sisson, Oleta McAvoy, Laura Toburen, Anneice Butler, Carol Faz, Louise Burt, Lou Singleton, Mary Ann Bentley, Edith Lindsey, Milly Arnold, Maxine Singleton, Anna Gunter, Phyllis Scarborough, Michelle Smith, Paula Butts, Debra Denard, Rosalee Haynes, Joanne Pollock, Linda Chesnut, Kathryn Sanders, Suzette Kopecky, Jane Burton, Carol Crowe Carraco, Betty Slaton and Kathy Dinneweth. Guests included David Denard, Stephanie Macchia, Jennifer Atchison and Dan Elliott.

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Dedication for graves of the unknown held at New Ebenezer | savannahnow.com
May 27, 2012

Dedication for graves of the unknown held at New Ebenezer | savannahnow.com.

By DeAnn Komanecky

Prayers for those who died long ago filled the sanctuary and grounds of Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church on Saturday during services held for those buried in at least 250 unmarked graves outside the walls of the church’s cemetery.

Many of the graves belong to slaves, buried just south of the church cemetery that contains generations of the area’s descendants, the Salzburgers.

Other unmarked graves are also located outside the cemetery’s brick walls, on the side nearest the New Ebenezer Retreat Center. The graves may contain those of soldiers and civilians who died during the Revolutionary War.

The graves were identified by a team, led by Dan Elliott, with the LAMAR Institute. The work was done with the support of the Georgia Salzburger Society. The institute is a nonprofit archaeological research organization. The team used ground-penetrating radar to find the graves with no disturbance of the soil. The work was done in 2010 with the purpose of determining the cemetery’s lines.

A British-built Revolutionary War fort was also built in 1779 at Ebenezer and its octagonal shape has been previously marked by Elliott. According to unit rosters from the time, some 500 soldiers died of natural causes while at Ebenezer.

In Elliot’s report of the archaeological findings, he noted that the earliest marked grave in Jerusalem Cemetery is dated from 1813 and very few engraved markers exist prior to 1830. Elliot also reports that while burial records for New Ebenezer exist from 1736 through the 1800s, they are inconsistently documented.

Saturday’s services were led by the Jerusalem Church, and their sister church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Savannah. Holy Trinity is the only Black Lutheran Church in Savannah, member Ditric Leggett said.

Leggett said he spent time as a child coming to Ebenezer and to be back for this event was memorable.

“It’s like coming home for us (the congregation),” Leggett said.

Being a part of a cemetery dedication for so many slaves that were in Effingham County made Saturday a special day, for Eva Goldwire of Clyo.

“Our family name came from John Goldwire, a slave owner in Guyton,” she said. “It gives me chill bumps to be here.”

Bishop H. Julian Gordy of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA, told those attending any differences in life among those buried at Ebenezer are gone.

“In death they are the same. Whatever differences in life, they were miniscule and they are reconciled in Christ. We are all free,” Gordy said. “We are all loved, treasured and welcome at the banquet tab le of the kingdom of God.”

Fort Frederica Outdoor Archaeology School Shuts Down!
May 16, 2012

Glynn County Board of Education cut the 4th Grade Archaeology Program at Fort Frederica. Very, very “Poor Do” as my mom would have said. That program was vibrant and exciting and stimulated kids to learn. For 18 years it stood as an example for the U.S.A., which was never equaled. All hail Ellen Provenzano and the other scholarly building blocks of that bastion of learning!

Savannah Explores Its Archaeology
May 12, 2012

Savannah Explores Its Archaeology
(Savannah, Georgia, May 11, 2012)
A panel discussion on archaeology in Savannah and Chatham County, Georgia will be held on May 12th at 2:00 at Trinity Church on Telfair Square, Savannah, Georgia. Entitled, “Perspectives in Archaeology Digging for the Truth”, the four discussants include: Dr. Pamela Cressey, archaeologist for the City of Alexandria, Virginia; Neil Dawson, Dawson Architects; Richard Kanaski, Regional Archaeologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Dr. Sue Moore, Professor of Anthorpology, Georgia Southern University. Michael Jordan will serve as moderator for the event. Partners in this project are Metropolitan Planning Commission, Chatham County Resource Protection Commission (primary hosts for the event), Trinity Church, Chatham County, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic District Board of Review, City of Savannah, the Chatham County Historic Preservation Commission, The LAMAR Institute and Coastal Heritage Society. This discussion will explore a variety of topics on archaeology in Savannah and Chatham County, including the current state of knowledge, need for an archaeological ordinance, and benefits of archaeology for the people of coastal Georgia. The LAMAR Institute is delighted to serve as a co-sponsor of a reception that follows the archaeology discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

More Fort Hawkins Discoveries!
May 12, 2012

More Fort Hawkins Discoveries
(May 11, 2012, Macon, Georgia, Special Press Release by Marty Willett, Fort Hawkins Commission Press Officer & Project Coordinator)
Fort Hawkins continues its May celebration of Archaeology Month in Georgia after a successful dig last week at the early American frontier fort and factory. The “Search For the Northwest Blockhouse” conducted by the LAMAR Institute helped kickoff the month long statewide celebration and determined the exact location of the fort’s other blockhouse that blew over in December, 1880. The preliminary results reflect that after the 1871 cleanup, the 1920’s construction of the Fort Hawkins Grammar School, and finally the widening and paving of Woolfolk Street, all evidence of the blockhouse, save the very bottom of the palisade posts leading to the blockhouse wall, has been erased. However, the research will allow the fort to be fully and accurately mapped now for the first time since it was constructed in 1806.

During the burning of Washington, D.C. by the British in the War of 1812, it is presumed the fort’s plans and early records were destroyed because they do not exist today. Since the Fort Hawkins Commission began its archaeological research with the help of the Peyton Anderson Foundation in 2005, more has been discovered about the fort than ever known before and why the Commission’s web site is called “The Real Fort Hawkins.”

The fort and the “Second War of Independence” are featured prominently on the Society for Georgia Archaeology’s May 2012 Celebration poster. On June 18, 2012 the Major Phillip Cook Chapter of the Daughters of the War of 1812 and the Commission will dedicate a War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebration historic marker at the fort site.

Just completed at the fort site is the new protective covering over a 200 year old double brick fireplace hearth uncovered in the 2005 dig. One of the many surprises unearthed then that documented a more significant and substantial Fort Hawkins than previously thought, the unique brick feature is now better preserved and shared in a new outdoor interpretive display at the fort. The Macon Town Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia sponsored this important preservation project and its completion adds to the site’s Archaeology Month Celebration.

Visitors to the fort this Saturday, May 12, 2012 will see more of the site’s treasures uncovered as the Boy Scouts of America join the celebration. Troop 10 of the Central Georgia Council BSA will aid one of their member’s Eagle Scout project to reclaim and stabilize the 1930’s WPA stone pool constructed when the Southeast Blockhouse Replica was built. The scouts will be digging out the stone pool, screening for artifacts, and building a berm that will prevent future flooding. Not only will this project improve the site’s appearance, but also allow the feature to be fully restored by the Commission as they fully develop the fort site. The site off Emery Highway in Macon is open every Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 pm with no admission charge. For more information call or click 478-742-3003 or http://www.forthawkins.com.

Remember Donald Wayne Campbell
May 9, 2012

Obituary for my friend, Donald “Eon” Wayne Campbell, the Vice-President of the C&E Broom Company, Cedar Grove, Georgia and founding member of the short-lived garage band, The South Side Cedar Grove Salvation Army Marching Blues Band. Back in the Day.

Obituary For: Mr. Donald Wayne Campbell | Benson Funeral Home, Inc..

The History Underneath
May 8, 2012

The History Underneath.

The LAMAR Institute is proud to sponsor the May 12th event in Savannah!

from Connectsavannah:

May 08, 2012
The History Underneath
City explores need for an archaeological ordinance

By Jessica Leigh Lebos

If you own a building downtown and you want to paint it fuschia, there’s an app for that.

Same if you want to demolish it, add a sign to the front or attach a flagpole: You’d have to file an application for approval through the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

It’s because of the city’s rigorous rules concerning the renovation of its old architecture that Savannah remains one of the largest and most glorious landmark historic districts in the country. But you may be surprised that there are no such stipulations for the archaeological sites buried beneath those historic homes and offices.

There was no obligation to examine the old shipyards layered in the banks of the Savannah River as Hutchinson Island was developed, nor was there any archaeological methodology applied to the massive dugout of the underground parking garage near Ellis Square. Those are only two recent examples—there’s no telling how many other sites have been lost throughout the decades.

Fragile remains of Colonial–era homesteads, indigenous campgrounds, slave housing and other historic sites have “literally been bulldozed over” as Savannah has been developed, but the good news is that there is plenty left to explore.

Ellen Harris, the MPC’s cultural resource and planning manager, wants to investigate the possibility of incorporating archaeology into its own zoning ordinance, if not into the complex Unified Zoning Ordinance the commission has been drafting for years.

“The historic preservation of buildings tells only one part of the story,” explained Harris. “The under–represented people, Native Americans, slaves, soldiers—their stories are buried underneath those buildings.”

Digging in old records, Harris found that the MPC had received unilateral support for a code written in the late 1980s that would have required government projects to perform archaeological research before breaking ground, but the initiative fizzled with personnel changes. She hopes to revive the mandate for city and county projects and provide significant tax incentives for private entities.

Acknowledging that an ordinance applied citywide needs current community input before it can be written, Harris has organized a free introductory educational session open to the public. “Perspectives in Archaeology: Digging for the Truth, A Panel Discussion,” will be held at Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square this Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. A reception will follow.

While research shows that archaeological preservation has economic benefits for cities such as boosted tourism and reduced blight, it can be a scary topic for developers, for whom the discovery of a historic homestead or cemetery can mean the shutdown of a worksite. Harris encourages them to join the conversation.

“This is about dispelling myths and educating the community,” she said. “We’re just beginning to look at what it would take to include archaeology in the code and find out what other cities have done it.”

The nearby city of Beaufort, S.C. has laws mandating archaeological study before any development, and Florida has a statewide network of local archaeology ordinances. But Harris counts Alexandria, VA as the model for archaeological preservation. The city adopted an ordinance in 1989 that protects sites within the city’s center while acknowledging the needs of developers.

Dr. Pamela Cressey, the archaeology guru who helped author the Alexandria ordinance and continues to head the city’s museum devoted to locally–excavated artifacts, will visit Savannah to sit on the upcoming panel.

While Dr. Cressey promises to provide insight into the process that resulted in Alexandria’s ordinance, she counsels that Savannah must develop its own model.

“Every community has its unique characteristics and individual perspectives that will inform what comes out of it,” mused Dr. Cressey over the phone last week. “My goal is to talk about what’s possible.”

It can be challenging to convince people of the value of archaeology, she admits, “because it’s hidden. But down in the ground can be a wealth of materials that can tell us a lot about who lived there.”

Dr. Cressey will be joined on the panel by local architect Neil Dawson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife archaeologist Richard Kanaski and Georgia Southern anthropology professor Dr. Sue Moore. Local historian and filmmaker Michael Jordan will moderate.

Jordan calls the panel “more than just an opportunity for scholars to lecture about what they do. It’s a chance for Savannahians who care about history to start a conversation about what’s worked in other places and what could work here.”

Jordan was present when Lamar Institute archaeologist Rita Elliot excavated the Spring Hill Redoubt, the site of the bloody 1779 Revolutionary War battle now commemorated as Coastal Heritage Society’s Battlefield Park. There Elliot found gun parts and markings for the original fortification wall—factors that add layers to the history of the soldiers who died there. She has also found ditches, flints and other Revolutionary War debris in Madison Square, “steps away from where hundreds of people walk every day.”

Elliot, who will be in attendance at Saturday’s panel, looks forward to a time when Savannah’s buried sites will be as valued as its buildings.

“Archaeology goes in tandem with the preservation of standing structures,” she posits. “That’s how we find the whole story. There is tremendous potential here to expand the horizons of what we know about Savannah’s history.”

Adds Jordan, “Obviously, it will never be feasible to leave every archaeological discovery in Savannah completely undisturbed. That’s not realistic.”

However, even minor construction projects and home renovations “could peel back priceless pages of Savannah’s historic fabric” if policies are in place to preserve archaeological finds.

“That’s why it’s so important for us, as a community, to address the issues of how we preserve the past that’s buried just beneath the surface.”

Perspectives in Archaeology: Digging for the Truth

When: Saturday, May 12, 2 p.m.

Where: Trinity Methodist Church, 127 Barnard St.

Cost: Free and open to the public

The History Underneath
May 8, 2012

The History Underneath.

The LAMAR Institute is proud to be a co-sponsor of the upcoming discussion on Archaeology in Savannah on May 12, 2012 (2PM) at Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square. Interested folks may wish to attend.

The pictured Rita Elliot looks a lot like a Rita Elliott that I know.

ArchaeoBus rolls its mobile classroom into Auburn
May 4, 2012

ArchaeoBus rolls its mobile classroom into Auburn.