As you can see, it has a square opening where the spindle would have gone in, and a circular opening on the side of the shank for the pin that would have held the rod in place. I have been searching the internet for a way to date the doorknob, but so far no luck. The only useful observation I can make is that it's very light, which suggests that it may be machine-made and therefore later (nineteenth century).
When we arrived at the site this morning Hans was busy at work clearing leaves. Later, he helped us by clearing away the dirt from the rectangle of stone pillars, confirming that there were pillars all the way around (we had wondered if there were any gravestones or other materials mixed in).*
After the dirt was cleared away, we realized that one of the two pillars in Feature 3 was broken and extended only a few inches laterally beyond the west side of the unit - thus it would be easy to remove. And so Bill did, but not before he and I guessed at how heavy it would be by looking at it. After lifting it Bill said he thought it weighed about 100 pounds.
Here's the stone in place before its removal (the stone we removed is on the left):
It was only after removing the stone that we discovered it had an "S." on its base too.
Meanwhile, work began on Feature 3. Pat and I laid out a 4' x 4' unit around the stones that Susan found on Monday.
After taking photographs and measuring, we began to strip the sod away. We always begin by cutting the walls of the trench with an edger - a task at which I am completely ineffective. Luckily John can do it.
After that the options are to cut away the sod with trowels for fifteen minutes (as Tricia and I are doing in the photo below) or have Hans do it in fifteen seconds (which we did shortly after this photo was taken).
After that the actual digging can begin. In the photo below you can see Tricia and Pat working on Feature 3. At this point you could see some other stones beginning to crop up near the wall of the unit. In the background of the photo below, you can see part of the rectangle of stone pillars. If Feature 3 is the foundation of the church, then the people who arranged the pillars weren't too far off.
As with all of our features, there were plenty of nails to be found, including this ginormous one. We also found more painted glass, unpainted glass, slag, mortar, charcoal, coal, and a material we think may be plaster. The plaster could be wishful thinking on my part - I recently read an article on the excavation of a different eighteenth-century church and how a piece of painted plaster allowed the archaeologists to identify the original color of the inside of the church. Wouldn't that be fantastic?
Here's what Feature 3 looked like at the bottom of the level. Plenty of rocks, laid fairly flat, as you might expect to see in a foundation. I have a suspicion that the larger rocks represent the foundation wall, while the smaller ones represent the church floor ... but we'll have to see.
Incidentally, here's another photo of St. Mark's. We've had it for a while but I don't believe I've shown it on the blog. The photo must date from 1891 or later because that was the year that a "rustic lichgate" [sic] was constructed at the entrance to the churchyard, according to the local newspaper.
While the digging continued I finally got a chance to draw the profile of STP 5. In the picture below I'm trying to demonstrate to Laurie a technique that Carol showed me for identifying the different strata in a profile. The idea is to scrape away a small strip of dirt onto your trowel and look for where the color changes.
John the town historian stopped by again to check out our progress and to deliver a very tantalizing set of images from a book on his town's Episcopal church, St. Matthew's. The first image shows St. Matthew's as it appeared in 1843, and it looks almost exactly like St. Mark's as it was illustrated in the 1855 History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the County of Westchester. In the photo below I'm showing the pictures to Bill - and you can see the rectangle of stone pillars clearly, running from foreground to background. (You can also see me in my Halloween costume, which I call "Preppy Ringwraith.")
Here is the picture I was pointing to. Compare it with this picture of St. Mark's.
Laurie took this picture of the newly reset grave of Isaac Lounsbury. Dating to 1773, this is the oldest inscribed stone in the cemetery. It had been lying on its face for as long as I could remember, though, so I had never actually seen what it looked like until today.
*I'm not sure how many people will know from reading this what I'm talking about ... what I call "the rectangle of stone pillars" is more accurately described as "the stone pillars that used to hold up the iron bars in the fences around family plots in the cemetery but in the 1960s were removed from their original locations and arranged into a rectangle over what the chairman of the St. Mark's Buildings and Grounds Committee believed was the footprint of Old St. Mark's Church." Ugh. Can't we just call it a dry well?