Finding the Floor
The first unit we set to excavating is placed just above the working floor in the above picture. We were hoping to find the floor in decent condition and then work northwards to hopefully locate the exact location of where the stamps were set up. We know at least one fire occurred at the mill and that this could mean that wood preservation wasn’t going to be as good as last year, and we soon found out that this was indeed the case.
We reached the floor last week after cutting through a root and top soil layer followed by a layer of un-crushed stamp rock and rubble from the building’s collapse. The floor shows signs of fire damage and was broken up in many places, most likely from the collapsing debris. The stone and brick pedestal in the above picture is no longer in that great of shape and much of the brick and stone (and mortar) fell onto the floor.
Damaged or not, the floor was what we were looking for. From what we can tell, it is possible that this is the same floor from the earlier 1850’s mill, just re-used decades later in Warren’s version of the mill set-up. The next step is to excavate immediately to the north (which we started last week-Unit 9) and try to find the stamp placements.
I can tell you that what we’ve found shares both similar and very different traits with last year’s stamp mortar excavations.