Special Edition    Daily Report    October 17, 2004


The Fort Edwards  Archaeologist

Unearthing the Story of Joseph Edwards's Home and Fort    


Report on the Archaeological Excavations at Fort Edwards, home site of Joseph
Edwards and a French and Indian War frontier fort of Col. George Washington.
This second major archaeological excavation is part of the ongoing project of The Fort Edwards Foundation of Capon Bridge, West Virginia, to preserve, protect and interpret the home site and fort site at Joseph Edwards's land grant on the banks of the Cacapon River in Hampshire County, West Virginia. This site represents both an early settler's home of the second quarter of the eighteenth century and a French and Indian War fort in Col. George Washington's chain of forts protecting the Virginia frontier. The excavation is under the direction of Dr. Stephen McBride of McBride Preservation Services of Lexington, KY. This report provided by The Foundation.


Daily Report, October 17, 2004

    In the afternoon of the last day of our extended dig, we found two very important features. There was little time to study them closely, but we feel confident that we have found a second bastion and possibly the foundation of Joseph Edwards's home. This does not answer all of the questions that arose during the dig, but it accomplishes two major goals: to find Edwards's home and to find more of the fort.

     House Foundation?
feature 91 all
    As we looked more closely at the area shown on the page of the 13th that we had said was an 1890-1920 barn feature, we disovered that it appeared to cover something. The photograph above shows Dr. McBride (lower left) working on a 24 inch deep exploratory pit that yielded earlier artifacts. On the upper right we see David McBride photographing a feature we have numbered #91. It appears to be an early foundation, possibly of Joseph Edwards's home. Below is a closeup of Feature #91.
feature 91 closeup

new bastionNew Bastion
    To the right is a picture of the second major discovery. It is a bastion on the stockade wall. The red line shows the line of the stockade; only the parts in the trenches have been excavated, but we feel sure that the line is continuous. Until we fully uncovered the jog in the stockade (shown at the top of the photo) it was not clear that we should follow the turn toward what we discovered to be a new bastion feature.

    The bastion is the sharp angle at the bottom of the photo. It protects a section of the fort to the right that is as yet undetermined although there are some stockade features in that direction. The answer to that question will have to wait until the next dig.

10-17-088 metal detect
    Because we had found so few artifacts during the previous days, we decided to take the metal detector over all the open features to make sure that we had not missed anything. There were some artifacts found during this sweep.

10-17-032.jpg wall jog
    We also continued to clean and slightly expand the area where we found the stockade wall taking a double turn (photo above). Since there were some prominent post molds in this part of the wall we sectioned one to better study the outline of the stockade trench. The detail of the post mold is shown below. The red lines outline the stockade trench; the red dots outline the post mold where a stockade post (tree log) was placed within the trench.
10-17-024.jpg post section

10-17-043.jpg bastion & cellars
    Kurt continued to work on the puzzling features behind the original bastion. The photo above shows the stockade wall running from bottom center up right to the bastion. The bastion then intersects with the pile of rocks that may be a cellar, a foundation or a fallen chimney - or something else. The other red lines represent other features that are still a puzzle. The one meter square pit to the left of Kurt shows the left extent of the cellar feature (marked "c") Kurt is working on. We still do not know its purpose. Future investigations will have to continue working to determine the purpose of these features within the stockade.

10-17-016 measure & draw
    There was a rush to make sure every feature had been measured and drawn because the next morning they would be covered.

david86.jpg DavidCrew Chief and Photographer
    David McBride, brother of Stephen McBride, is the Crew Chief and Project Photographer/Videographer. David has an M.A. in Anthropologh from the University of Kentucky and an M.A. in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. He comes to our project with 25 years of archaeology experience working mainly on historic sites in the eastern U.S. Fortunately for us, he also has extensive experience in video work; he has made documentaries and directed a commercial TV station. We hope to get lots of good video footage for use in videos for our school programs and Visitor Center interpretations.
Artifact of the Day
10-17-081.jpg artifact
    Our Artifact of the Day was this scratch blue white salt-glazed stoneware that caught our eye because of its bright blue color. It is probably from the mid to late eighteenth century. Could it have been Joseph Edwards's?

Go to: Glossary


Final Summary

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