Exterior Walls

Grad students, Carol and Jeff, are seen here excavating around the outside of the wash-house’s eastern wall. From what we can tell, the building had a stud wall sheathed with horizontal plank siding. Note the plank floor (working surface) at upper left. This provides a clear contrast between inside and outside the building.

One of the main research questions I had this year was confirming the physical footprint of the stamp room and wash-house. The western side of things are pretty clear, but the eastern side still needed clarification. Therefore, most of the open ground this year is on the periphery of the mill site.

Yesterday was the first day of open house public tours and for the people who came out, there were able to see the students confirm the eastern walls for both the wash-house and stamp room. At this point it is still hard to make out some of the details in photos (we need to excavate a bit more and then spend some time defining/cleaning our edges to make features “pop,” but if you come on out and visit us today, next weekend, or the one after that you’ll get to see the framed construction of the wash-house as well as the excavated barrel that helped us make the determination that we were working on both sides of a wall.

In this image you can see the stud wall (at left-two north-south oriented boards with a stud just peeking out of the fill at lower left), the remains of a barrel, and just below that a thin layer of copper mineral (the bright teal/green color). Could this mineral have splashed out of the barrel? Or, was the barrel a water cistern for the workers of the mill? We will have to dig down about another 50 cm at least to see if this could be the case (or even if the barrel sitting on a surface and isn’t simply rubble).


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About Sean Gohman

Currently a PhD Degree seeking student in the Michigan Tech University's Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program.

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