A crew of five joined Mike Riggs and myself at the site for this
last scheduled dig for 2003. Everyone found something of substance. Mr.
Coen worked in the pit south of the ditch feature and found a .410
shotgun shell casing at four feet below surface. That indicates the soil
to that level remains twentieth century flood deposit. We hoped to find
a Mormon period deposit there but will accept the evidence at hand and
add it to the confusing inventory which appears intent on disrupting
every good theory put forward. Mr. Hibbs and Miss Mackey worked the
square next to the teardrop drive and found another piece of the
lavender transfer print, square nails and a brickbatt. Miss Worth and
Antonio completed the first level of the square in the field opened this
fall (40-50 S, 170-180 W) and found a nice stoneware handle, salt glazed
stoneware, blue shell edged and a beautiful green shell edged
earthenware as well as glass, nails, mollusk shell and bone.
A crew of a dozen workers
enjoyed the sunshine at Haun's Mill this afternoon. We stayed in the
field to conspicuously alert deer hunters to our presence and found
more deer (bones) than did most of them. The lavender leaf pattern
from 180W,70S is similar to one earlier found, but this one has a V
on the obverse as sometimes is found associated with a maker's mark.
Unfortunately the mark has not yet materialized.
McKewen and Diane Forsythe had seen a cut stump below the normal low
water mark approximately where the dam should have crossed (about 10
rods downstream from Haun's creek). Since no high school nor college
students showed today, we investigated and again found the best and
most exciting of our theories are too easily debunked. This stump
proved to be an eight inch slice of a stump that had floated in. The
water is lower than we have previously seen, exposing shoals in three
locations germain to our project. We looked at prospects for a
monument location and concluded the best locations would either be
near where we dug with the back hoe this spring, looking west over the
hamlet, or possibly adjacent to the Setzer marker. There, however, we
will have to dig if that site claims priority. The elevation for the
Setzer marker is probably man made, but may include structural
remains. Diane notes that one photo shows a structure at that site.
The sunshine made this a pleasant afternoon to be on the site. We hope
for comparable good weather next week.
Riggs, Sharon, Diane and I traveled to Dawn, Mo. this afternoon to see
the remains of Whitney's mill. It perched on the hill overlooking Shoal
Creek to the west. Its power must have been transferred up the slope
from the stream to the much larger facility than I would have
anticipated. It paces about 42 ft. e-w by 33 ft n-s. A doorway to the
south can be seen in the foundation of burned stone. The mortar in some
cases is soft and in others remains durable, probably indicating tuck
pointing repairs. Mr. Hughes was most accommodating in showing us the
No dig at
Haun's Mill Oct. 26 because of the thirteenth annual luau at Shawnee
Drive Community of Christ in support of Outreach International schools
in Haiti. Instead, help us dig into and take a bite from the hunger
Our beautiful Sunday afternoon benefited
not only from a good assortment of students on site anxious to work,
but from a visit by Mr. Newel Kitchen, who came to ascertain the
location of the mill face wheel as pointed out to him in 1986.
crew of students from Shawnee Mission East and Johnson County Community
College worked diligently this afternoon and found several artifacts of
note. The hand forged razor (tentative identification pending lab work)
and the stretch marked bottle neck are accompanied by the normal
assortment of square nail fragments, bone and undecorated earthenware.
Another hand forged item verifies the probability that we are close to a
blacksmith shop. The hand applied neck and lip on a heavy soda lime
bottle are appropriate to the period in question.
we did little digging this weekend, it has produced remarkable results
in the Haun's Mill Summit and the the JWHA gathering.
left pools in some squares so today our undaunted volunteers opened
another square north of the pool and worked the sod from the two squares
opened last outing. Few artifacts were found, but preparation for the
next session stimulates hope that many will be recovered as a result of
clearing efforts this time.
9/7/03 A large crew of students from SME and JCCC made it to the site this afternoon (see diggers photo which excludes some in other parts of site). The enclosed red transfer printed plate fragment is the largest yet found and has an oak leaf floral design which we may be able to find in the documents. Clews Brothers Picturesque Views and the Godden books on earthenwares of the period merit consultation. Even though no maker's mark has yet been found, the design may be sufficient to match. Many students found artifacts. Stoneware, several teeth, many square nail fragments and a few pieces of glass were notable on this beautiful sunny afternoon with the earth softened by recent rain. We opened two new squares with southwest corners at 180 West and 50 South and at 10West, 160 South. Sod is off but no artifacts yet. In two weeks we will return to discover more.
1 is photographed in a couple of the accompanying shots to show the
probable fireplace base in the northwest corner of the square on the
west edge of the tear drop. We will plan to open the square northwest of
it to see if additional construction remains can be located there.
8/23/03 This artifact from the square in the field next to the probable foundation was adjacent to the key. What is it? The white interior material is soft, breakable with a thumbnail like burned bone. The exterior blue green material appears to be glaze and the convex face shows irregularity as in a decorative material.
Wochner and I proceeded to take the square north of the pool to three
feet below surface. It has flood lines at three inches, six inches and
at 16 inches. It exposed a frisby and a brown beer bottle in the top 18
inches and since those were recent flood deposits, we went below to test
the idea that the Mormon period grade remained below. As we were
cleaning up the two foot trench, the shovel hit a granitic stone which
fractured. It was not the type of thing to have been carried in by
flood, so we expanded the test to cover three quarters, northwest,
southwest and southeast. At 2.9 ft. we began to see charcoal flecks and
noted a firmer soil on the northernmost foot of the square. A couple of
sandstones joined the granitic and a soft bone fragment, but no
diagnostic artifacts were found. The hard packed zone on the north could
well be a footpath. It proved four inches deep and nicely corresponds
with the hard packed Mormon period zone found elsewhere on the site at
is Haun's Mill?" This
question floats in the air every day as we dig, articulated by the
innocent visitor and internalized by the investigator to the point of
passionate involvement through years of hypothesis testing. It floats
there this season after the two week session, still haunting and
motivating, because, having destroyed two excellent thesis in two weeks,
we are slowly narrowing options and preparing new hypotheses to address.
The structure for which we have worked so hard has no basement
walls or floor. We dug to six feet below surface and used the open probe
to nearly nine feet. No floor level was encountered. Feature one, the
demolition debris that may have been a fireplace base certainly indicates
a house, however, we will have to open adjacent squares to identify it.
The teardrop drive may be appropriately identified. I am preparing to wipe
mine tomorrow by backfilling the square and giving the situation back to
Lach for a few days of normal management. We still are testing the squares
beside the pool and may retain them for some Sunday afternoon activities.
The squares in the field remain productive of artifacts and the workers
there can be proud of their progress.
We have all worked hard. Sometimes the answers earned are not to
the questions asked. Perhaps it is good to reconsider our questions and
the information gained so combined genius can synergize our efforts. I
will continue to supply pictures and information for your perusal and hope
within a few days to have a schedule for Sunday afternoon digs in the
fall. Thanks to everyone for support during this hot exploratory session.
8/6/03 We mapped additional slumps in the teardrop area today. Eight more ten foot squares will need testing to examine them. The question of whether they lead to something or not remains open. The slump we have been working on and about which last night I was confident, today has had its promising foundation wall dissipate into a feature. Rather than a basement foundation, we have demolition rubble with a possible fireplace base (see feature 1 photo). Sharon Harris found mortar, burned limestone, burned sandstone and so forth, but none adhering and few conjoined. Demolition debris is the likely explanation. We intend to open a central portion of the square tomorrow to see if there is a basement floor. Interesting how quickly good theories can bite the dust in our trowell and error approach.
stuff today! The first clear evidence of the battle on the site was
found in the square in the field by Bethany, a flattened lead slug.
More of the lavender transfer printed design, more blue shell edged,
hand painted blue and green, hand painted red, and a clear demarcation
in the teardrop square between the gravel laden western portion and
the flood deposit within the probable basement were found.
Coen and I traveled to the Rich site to orient with the three ladies
from Cameron, Missy and Dessa from Gallatin and later, Mrs. Wochner and
daughters, Johanna and Jessica from Kansas. Mike Riggs and I gave the
tour. We listened to the log. (As with most artifacts and old timers, it
has a lot to say). We hiked Far West north of the temple site and Mr.
Coen found several pieces of glass and ceramic. We briefly visited the
site south of the burial plot and made it to Haun's Mill by shortly
after one p.m.
Mr. Coen and Mr. Hipps finished out the week
with urgency to address the densely packed zone beside the teardrop. Not
only had artifact density increased, the idea that we might reveal the
cause of the road slump pushed us to work quickly. It rained. That
softened the soil but delayed us an hour. We discovered a two inch hole
on the south side of the square nearly two feet deep. Another of
comparable size appeared in the northeast corner of the square. Rodents
appear to be responsible for the road slumping! (We may revise that
interpretation later but it has appeal on the basis of the holes). Charcoal
appears in the east half of the trowelled square along with burned
limestone, sandstone, and ferrous material. On the west side of the
square, the lavender and red transfer prints materialized. That portion
appears to be in the Mormon period materials at 14 inches below surface.
7/31/03 Four of us invested ourselves in the investigation today. Two squares made it to one ft below surface. One, 360-370 south 60-70 west is north of the pool and it has provided a Frisbee and at the bottom, a short necked brown beer bottle. The other square next to the west edge of the teardrop drive has substantial quantities of burned limestone, sandstone, mortar, small brickbatts, a piece of red ochre, a mollusk shell fragment, seven earthenwares of which the only decorated is hand painted green in a floral pattern, and 30 fragments of square nails. Because the oxidation process has left them fragile, when we found larger specimens, they were treated with substantial care and our beginning excavators learned the more cautious strategies of learning as much as possible before moving and potentially fragmenting the artifact. Two pieces of strap iron were thus removed along the east edge in the slumped portion of the square. Since the west portion has the earlier materials already exposed, we anticipate that tomorrow will add key interpretive information on this possible feature.
7/30/03 We spent the morning struggling through the baked clay bonded with gravel and finally have the square next to the teardrop below the worst compacting. It was hot! Our blisters were well earned. We moved to the shade for the afternoon and opened the square 360-370 south, 60-70 west to test for Mormon period grade on the north side of the pool. Our team in the field found the blue shell edged painted in the four-camel-hair brush pattern typical of the early nineteenth century. They also found our first pontil scarred bottle base. Our crew is earning the privilege of later discovery. The hard work of removing overburden anticipates the delight of discovery which we hope will begin in the next two days. If we accomplish the early objectives this week, Shoal Creek is low enough for us to walk across and we may be able to test one of the sites south of the stream next week. That is a particularly pleasant prospect because those sites may not have been disturbed since the Mormon period and should give us a pristine package of artifacts and features of the two year lens in this 10,000 year occupation.
joined our team today as we began the Haun's Mill focus of this two week
project. We laid out a ten foot square 160-170 ft. south of the chained
post. It extends east into the teardrop drive and provides a painful
challenge for digging. Not only has traffic churned the soil when wet
so it has baked into a close cousin of adobe, the gravel mix acts like
grit in pottery making the surface extraordinarily durable. A slump in
the soil has led us to this test. A rectangular depression about four
inches deep was noted last week extending most of the way across the
drive. This week, the differential drying has produced a deeper slump,
now one foot deep with the new gravel scraped by the bottoms of
vehicles. I anticipate a basement to a Mormon period house, however,
Sharon raised the prospect of a well. We are digging through veritable
brick to find out, so please be patient. We
extended the base line to 370 ft. south, turned 90 degrees west and laid
out two more squares to test our theories on the pool. At 60-70 ft
west, 370-380 south and 60-70 west, 440-450 south we have placed squares
to seek the Mormon grade north and south of the pool. We have theorized
that the pool served the lumber mill so the mill should be close at
hand. The compact Mormon period grade should be evident even if we are
not fortunate enough to hit a structure. On the other hand, the backhoe
test has challenged the theory by demonstrating 15 ft. of soil on top of
50 year old drums south and east of the Setzer marker. No Mormon period
grade was evident in that sector. What will we find south of the pool?
Where was Shoal Creek in 1838?
7/28/03 Mr. Robt. Hipps accompanied me to the log house and we returned the log to which he had listened in world history class. Rich house visitors will now be able to see the dendrochronological record portrayed in that remarkable specimen and listen to the voices whispering from it. Mary Sprouse and Mr. Wallace joined us for the Riggs special tour. We visited the Winchester home site where Major Patton died after the Crooked River Battle. Far West gave us opportunity to find a line of limestones north of the temple site and near those, Miss Sprouse found a redware lid fragment. The burial site gave Mike the chance to explain about the historical shift from commons burial to cemeteries on the edge of town as seen here. The still open excavation south of the cemetery shows little wear except the baulk that hid the brownware jar has been reduced and the jar no longer is evident. We then cleaned the squares in and near the log house, finding artifacts which were left en situ for the tourists to appreciate. A clay marble amidst the stones of the fireplace base offers a nice touch and the cut deer bone and bottle glass inside the house reinforce that the remaining artifacts in the remaining house are authentic. Mr. Hipps noted on the way home that he had learned substantially on this day and looks forward to learning from the facts in the dirt.
The cesium magnetometer worked!
With it projecting a face plate at the confluence of Shoal Creek and the
Mormon dug ditch, we excitedly awaited this day in which the back hoe
could reveal to us what ferrous object the magnetometer had sensed more
than ten feet below surface. This was the day. Charlie and the backhoe
arrived and started work under the supervision of, Riggs, Romig, Sherer,
Hawley and DeBarthe. The new artifact director, Sharon Harris and
Bethany also kept close eye but became distracted by the slow trowel and
error process which keeps producing artifacts in the field, especially
after the machine broke a hose at noon. Contingency plans were made and
scrapped after repairs and the machine took us to 15 feet below the spot
David Hawley had marked. It proved to be a couple of ferrous barrels, 55
gallon drums cut to function as feeders for cattle. Similar
feeding arrangements were used on our Iowa farm through the mid
twentieth century. We also found a dirty diaper and a Zarda cottage cheese
lid.The hoe cut from the stream
to the high point of the terrace southeast of the parking teardrop. The
clay in which the barrels was found continues at about ten feet below
surface as far as the backhoe permitted us to see. Flood deposits
account for that full vertical profile. Therefore, our fine theory has
suffered a setback because we now have no evidence of Mormon period
occupation south of the ditch. The ditch therefore must be reconsidered
as an earlier channel and sense we have Mormon grade and artifacts 18
inches below surface north of the ditch, we will test south of it,
perhaps in the next two weeks.
working by myself. Sharon came afternoon. By then I had cleaned and
squared two of the squares various people have been working in since
fall. They fundamentally are clear to 4" below surface. They have
been excavated with only a one foot baulk at the corners, this to
maintain profiles as we see artifact distribution across the zone. the
north square has burned limestone scattered over the north half and
unburned limestone interspersed with more on the south. We have green
hand painted, a glazed stoneware, rusted metal fragments and a couple
of square nails. One piece of blue soda lime bottle glass came out
today in the cleanup.
I worked by
myself today. The probe found three areas in the northwest corner of
the field with substantial charcoal and burned earth. One,
approximately where Ron Romig found several probe obstructions this
spring also had a limestone obstruction at four inches below
surface. Fifty probes of at least two feet depth were spread across
the western elevation at approximately 20 and 40 feet from the
fence. In comparison to the tear drop and first hill where nearly
every probe will come up with charcoal and burned earth, the west
hill has sparse charcoal and burned earth.
6/16/03 Darryl Babidge (opera singer), Bethany Palmer and Sharon Harris composed the crew today. We spent the morning probing and the afternoon on squares. One of our most significant finds of the season materialized while a cousin of Alex Baugh was watching. There was also the discovery of foundation material adjacent to the area we are excavating in the field. The probe hit brick and limestone at 14 inches below surface near the 60 S 170 W stake. That puts it below the plow zone and revives hopes that structural remains do survive where we can find them below the plowed surface. We also have charcoal probed south of the ditch, offering prospect for Mormon period occupation there as well.
Our new season
was scheduled to begin Monday, but, due to lack of crew, We deferred
until today. One person, Sharon Harris from Cameron was all that showed
up. She has daughters interested who may join us later. We began with a
survey of the site to see the effects of winter, north of the stream.
the line of stakes at 80 ft. south remained in place so we used them to
reestablish our grid on the squares open in the field. We will need weed
whips to clear enough to restring the grid.