Our exhibit opened today! Here you can see all three display cases that we used as well as the painted sign that stood at the entrance to the cemetery while we were excavating. We filled the cases with artifacts, images, and text. There are also some relevant materials from the historical society.
All of the images on display were created especially for the exhibit, with the exception of the poster boards with photos of the dig in progress, which we created for Archaeology Day. The main themes of the case above are pottery, architecture, and possible American Indian artifacts. There is also an introduction to the site.
The main themes of this case are military and local industries. Do you remember the Boehmer bottle we found on our last field day? In this case you can see that bottle (left) next to a later version (right). The later version was created when Rudolph Boehmer's son, Rudolph Jr., had inherited his father's business. This bottle was donated to the historical society.
The third case features some of our research materials as well as a trowel and the chalk board (which reads "Research is just as important as digging!"). On top of the case are some handouts about the exhibit and pamphlets about the restoration project.
Here are just a couple more pictures showing some of the beautiful details of this building.
I am very pleased with how the exhibit turned out and hope that many people come to see it. It will be up for at least three months.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Below you can see some of our fancy glass. Some of these pieces could be cleaned very easily; others had to be cleaned more carefully (or not at all) because the dirt was keeping the design in place.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Louis-Alexandre Berthier was an assistant quartermaster-general in Count Rochambeau's army who created a series of maps depicting the areas where the army camped from 1781 to 1783. Above is Berthier's map of North Castle, showing the meetinghouse (a.k.a. St. George's Church) and "Etang" (a.k.a. Kirby Pond, drained in 1888).
Here are some excerpts from Berthier's journal of 1781 describing the army's experiences at North Castle. While we don't fully understand the symbolism used in the map, it seems apparent from Berthier's description that the rows of squares along a black line shown next to the meetinghouse and in several places behind it represent encampments.
2 JulyThe soldiers of Rochambeau's army would have looked something like this (illustration from The American Campaigns of Rochambeau's Army, Volume 1, translated and edited by Howard C. Rice Jr. and Anne S. K. Brown).
The Second Brigade left Newtown and marched 15 miles to Ridgebury, where it arrived at eleven o'clock. It was preceded on its march to the camp by an advance detachment of grenadiers and chasseurs. I was ordered to lead them and to choose a good position for them a mile ahead of the brigade on the road to New York, where they camped after stationing sentries at all points leading in from enemy territory. Here we received a change of itinerary. The First Brigade, which was to have marched to Salem, had marched to Bedford instead, and we had received the same order, when suddenly at midnight there arrived from the General another order to proceed by a forced march to North Castle, where the whole army would be assembled.
The Second Brigade left Ridgebury at three in the morning and at one that afternoon arrived at North Castle, 22 miles away, where it joined the First Brigade, which had just arrived from Bedford.
The Fourth Division, which had marched without a day's halt from East Hartford, 92 miles away, made this last 22-mile march in excessive heat with a courage and gaiety in keeping with the ador of the French. As we approached the enemy I was sent forward with an escort to requisition wagons at the halfway point for the sick and exhausted men. Since we were now on the edge of enemy territory, I was ordered to seize by force whatever was not yielded voluntarily. Using both methods, I obtained everything I needed.
The grenadiers and chasseurs camped on a height to the left of the New York road in front of a pond that adjoins the North Castle meetinghouse. The rest of the army was encamped on high ground in back of the pond and the little North Castle River, with their left at the meetinghouse and their right resting on a wood. The position was an excellent one, since its left was protected by marshes and closed by mountains and woodland ...
North Castle has few houses, and they are widely separated. The headquarters was very poorly housed - just how poorly you will understand when I tell you that the assistant quartermasters-general were obliged to sleep in the open on piles of straw, which was, to boot, rather too green ...
During the 4th and 5th the army made a halt at North Castle. General Washington came to visit the Comte de Rochambeau and passed down our lines. The troops were drawn up before the camp in line of battle without arms and wearing forage caps.
The following illustration was drawn by Jean-Baptise Antoine de Verger, a sublieutenant in the Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment of infantry, and shows American foot soldiers at the time of the Yorktown Campaign (1781). Left to right: black light infantryman of the First Rhode Island Regiment, musketeer of the Second Canadian Regiment, rifleman, and gunner of the Continental Army (also from The American Campaigns of Rochambeau's Army).
Dear Mrs. Manning,The postcard is a litho-chromograph manufactured in Germany and sold by a local optician/jeweler.
Am having a glorious time out driving every day. [Name of the town] is a beautiful place. How is Mr. Manning and Francis? Lots of love and kisses to you all.
The postcard below shows a general view of the town, along with this message: "Did not send you any card from Danbury, so will send you a [name of the town] view. Dan Oct 17, 1908." It was sent to Mrs. Nettie Robinson in Westville, Otsego Co., NY.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Perhaps someone reading this post is an expert and can tell me when the button dates from! It's difficult to see the details, but the eagle seems to have its head facing to the right, and there seems to be a rope wrapped around the anchor. There is a ring of stars around it, but due to the condition of the button I can't count how many there are.
It was pot-washing day here
Below, some random ceramic sherds:
This piece has a maker's mark of the East Trenton Pottery Company in Trenton, New Jersey, and would have been made in the late 1880s.
registry mark - if it is, it indicates the piece was made between 1842 and 1883. But it appears to have been hand-painted instead of stamped.
The following pieces don't have maker's marks, but they sure are pretty. We found quite a few (very small) pieces of that reddish-brown patterned pottery.
Lastly, one of my favorite artifacts, the teapot, which now consists of nine pieces. Laurie thinks it may be a Brown Betty and I'm inclined to agree. It's a very no-nonsense item, solid and undecorated, but really beautiful. The glaze has a lovely range of hues in it.