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ACHS Community Archeology Lab Days

April 6th, 2024 by WCBC Radio

During Maryland Archaeology Month, a partnership of the Jane Gates Heritage House, the Western Maryland Archaeology Society, the Allegany County Historical Society and Oxbow Cultural Research will offer April archaeological lab days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm at 400 North Mechanic Street. aprilparticipants will help catalog objects recovered from excavations at the 1867 Jane Gates House back in 2019. Everyone is welcome to learn about artifacts found during the excavations, how the soil was screened, and how the artifacts were collected. This experience offers the chance to catalog, photograph, and learn about interpreting historic artifacts..

The Jane Gates house has been a witness to nearly 150 years of life along Greene Street. Beginning in 1871, it housed Jane Gates and several generations of her descendants. She was born into slavery, but shortly after the Civil War she purchased this two-story home on a large lot on the Old Turnpike Road, now Greene Street. According to the 1870 U.S. census, Jane was occupied as a laundress and midwife, and lived at the home with some of her five children, including Edward Gates, the great grandfather of Henry Louis Gates Jr., a contemporary scholar of African American culture and history at Harvard University.

This archaeological study directed by Suzanne Trussell, will be an important step in understanding the everyday lives of the home''s occupants. Recovered objects, treasures, and trash, are fragments of daily life insight often unattainable by any other means.

This research adds tangible depth to archival research obtained by the Gates family and perfectly fits our ACHS vision for using the 1845 Canada Hose Company No 1 at Blue Spring.