The plantation house at Sherwood Forrest Plantation (44ST615) was home to two upper-class white families in the latter portion of the 19th-century. During the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons of the University of Mary Washington field school, an American Civil War-era midden was excavated in the yard behind the plantation house. Through this excavation, various artifacts associated with both families were uncovered, including a German-made, hard-paste porcelain clown head. The presence of this artifact, in addition to other items of “bric-a-brac,” indicate that at least one of these two families were participating in the home decorating trend of conspicuously displaying decorative objects. The possession of and choice in these objects could signal the social class, cultural literacy, and cultural capital of a victorian individual or family. In this paper, I will further explore this victorian relationship between constructed identity and material possessions.
After the Civil War, many recently freed African Americans found themselves in a position of new economic freedoms. Using an 1865 2-Cent coin found at Sherwood Forest Plantation (44ST615) by the University of Mary Washington archaeological field school students, I will explore the lives of the Johnson family- an African American family who occupied the former slave quarter during the Postbellum period from which the coin was recovered. The Johnsons’ story provides a narrative of African American farm laborers during this period and their struggles for economic and educational freedom. Many freedmen still faced economic and social discrimination after the Civil War, and in response the Freedman’s Bureau and African American led organizations were formed to promote financial independence and education. This paper will focus on the new lives as freedmen the Johnsons had, and the different ways they used their salaries to better their lives and the lives of their children.
Historic preservation is a game of time and money; two things which are often in short supply. The success of preservation projects relies on federal funding more often than not, and political capital speaks louder than necessity in many cases. Studying trends in the administration of federal funds for preservation purposes raises a number of questions about accountability and inequality in allocation. This thesis analyzes the statistical trends present in preservation spending of the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside fund in order to highlight a necessity for further research. By comparing the use and amount of administered federal money in rural and urban areas, one may isolate universally successful techniques of preservation as well as significant disparities and questions for future study.
by the students of HISP 469: Laboratory in Preservation Planning
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Andrea Smith
The students of HISP 469: Laboratory in Preservation Planning worked under Dr. Smith to develop new bike and pedestrian paths for historic downtown Fredericksburg in order to improve the wayfinding and connectivity of existing trails. Students researched successful trails in urban settings comparable to Fredericksburg to gain an understanding of the positive and negative qualities of those trails, and how they could be applied or avoided in the new trails created by this project. Research into local and state ordinances regarding signage, bike paths, and similar details was also completed. Using GIS, Survey123, and Google Maps, students conducted extensive surveying of the existing trails and downtown area. The class selected the most ideal pedestrian and bike trails based on the data collected. After these trail paths were tentatively established, the class carried out two interviews with Fredericksburg locals to gain a better understanding of how users interact with the existing infrastructure and how to effectively integrate our plan in a way that benefits the city. For the plan proposed by the students to effectively connect to the existing network of trails, designs for signage that will aid in wayfinding while creating a unified aesthetic for each path were included. With these trails, the class hopes to further improve the walkability of downtown Fredericksburg and increase accessibility to local resources both historic and natural.
by Lillian Salamone, Laurence King, Kathleen Keith
Faculty mentor: Dr. Lauren McMillan
Students in the introductory archaeology class at the University of Mary Washington conducted a preliminary shovel test pit survey of the site currently referred to as Little Falls-Norton Property in March and April 2018 and March 2019. These investigations were undertaken at the request of the landowners, who discovered archaeological material while doing yard work. The site is currently a residential lot, near Little Falls Plantation, which is in southern Stafford County, Virginia. The analysis and interpretation of the site was undertaken by the authors for a class project. Analysis of the artifacts, combined with archival research, indicates the site was likely an Antebellum slave quarter/Postbellum tenant site. This mid-19th-century site was likely an outlying field quarter associated with the larger Little Falls Plantation. This poster will detail the historical and archaeological evidence uncovered during the course of this project and outline suggestions for future research.
In March 2019, Dr. McMillan and the Historic Preservation Department participated in an archaeological excavation in conjunction with the Patawomeck Tribe of Virginia. The goal of this excavation was to find evidence of the village of Quiyough, which appears on John Smith’s 1612 Map of the Chesapeake. Our work was an extension of other investigations led by Mike Clem and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. This presentation is an analysis of our findings as well as a comparison with those made by the DHR.