1993 Archaeological Dig Report

Report on Findings from New Construction Monitoring at the Junkins Garrison Site

From Kathleen Wheeler, Ph.D.

"Enclosed please find a brief report summarizing the findings from the monitoring of the Junkins Garrison/Junkins Housesite. It appears that you and Betty were successful in placing the new construction away from highly sensitive areas. In the area closest to the road, a concentration of household debris was found in the new water line trench, but overall there was a gradual thinning of archaeological materials as one moved farther east and away from the road.

"On May 13, 1993, arcaeological investigation continued at ME 497-19, the Junkins Garrison site. The property has returned to descendants of Robert Junkins, who first settled the site circa 1660, after he completed his indenture to Valentine Hell of Durham, New Hampshire. Seven generations of Junkins owned the property until late in the nineteenth century when the old garrison house was burned. The land has passed in succession to George Grant, Mabel Lewis, John and Harriet Simonds, Bronislaw and Julia Kowalski and Gary and Dale Guyette. In 1992, the four-acre lot was purchased by Alan and Betty Junkins.

"The current owners contacted archaeologist Kathleen Wheeler to oversee the construction of their new home on the property. They sited the house, septic system, driveway, and utility lines in such a manner to minimize disturbance of the archaeological resources in and around the ca. 1660 cellarhole. The house was located about 80 m east of Rte. 91, well away from known features. In three days of work (May 13, 14, 17), monotoring of heavy-equipment earth moving took place in the excavation of the cellarhole and septic system. A very thin scatter of primarily late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century remains were detected here. Materials included brick fragments, green shell-edged pearlware, undecorated creamware, and redware. In three days of monitoring, no glass, bone, or architectural materials were observed or recovered.

"On June 29 and July 2, archaeologists returned to the site to oversee the digging of a water line trench, to connect the new house with the Town of York water system, and to monitor the grading of a driveway. The procedure involved the recovery of artifacts that emerged during backhoe trenching and earth moving. Artifacts were collected in 10-meter section to offer an approximate density as one moved further east from the road and away from the water line trench, where bricks, kaolin pipestems, mammal bones, bottle glass, and various ceramics were collected. All ceramics appeared to date from the first half of the eighteenth century, including English white salt-glazed stoneware, Staffordshire combed and dotted buff earthenware, and redware. No creamware or later materials were recovered. Recognizable vessel forms consisted of porringers, small bowls, redware milkpans, and large bowls. This concentration was found directly south of the garrison cellar at a distance of approximately 40 m from the front facade of the former building. These materials were also amassed at the base of a granite slope, and it is possible that kitchen debris was carried a short distance from the house and allowed to roll downslope.

"Along the length of the driveway, the density of artifacts diminished rapidly. At 0-10 m east of the water line, a horse tooth, 6 brick fragments, and four sherds of redware, Staffordshire buff-colored earthenware, and white salt-glazed stoneware were collected. At 10-20 m from the beginning of the driveway strip, only one piece of redware and one brick frag were found. At 20-30 m east, a single pipestem (8/64" pipe bore) was found. At 30-40 m, a piece of manganese-glazed redware and a small brick frag were retrieved. Beyond 40 m, only brick frags were detected, in low quantities, and these were not collected.

"Overall, the results indicated heavy use of the area closest to the road in an area directly south of the garrison house. No features were noted during the monitoring of the excavator or backhoe earth-moving. One special concern was to keep alert to the possibility of early subsurface construction, such as earth-fast housing. However, no signs of post holes or post molds were noted in the areas affected in 1993.

"The current owners, Betty and Alan Junkins, sponsored the archaeological investigation, and are to be commended for their sensitivity and involvement in preserving the past of their ancestors."

Kathleen Wheeler, Ph.D.
Brentwood, NH

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