This past spring, LCMM educators and AmeriCorps service member Eileen led Vergennes Middle School students in a search for the history lying under their school grounds.
Starting with historic maps and current satellite imaging, students located a slaughter house on the edge of the school property.
Over the next few weeks, they dug a one meter by one meter test excavation, following standard archaeological practices. What they found was consistent with a late 19th/early 20th century building, and included glass, brick, burned material, nails, pottery, and even a decorated pipe bowl!
The students wrote a report on their findings, reprinted below.
“Report on archaeology at Vergennes Union High School during fusion after school program. May Two Thousand Sixteen. During the first day of archaeology we were looking at some maps. They were modern and old. We looked for a spot with no modern activity. We looked for a slaughter house that used to be next to the high school. To narrow down our target location we surveyed the ground around the school and dug two shovel test pits. One test pit showed modern landscaping. Test pit two showed 19 Century artifacts. After we found our site we decided to dig a 1 by 1 meter square pit. We found over 20 items that we cataloged including a pipe bowl, square nails, and burnt wood. Everything we found appears to be 19 century or early 20 century. We did not find anything directly linked to the slaughter house but we have found nails that could have been from a building from that time period. After completing our dig we examined the artifacts, sketch them, described, measured, and cataloged them. It is our professional opinion that this site should be studied further.” ~ Kenny, Ava, & Zack
Interested in archaeology at LCMM? We’ll be doing more archaeology programs soon, so watch this space!
This program was sponsored in part by funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program.