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Town Center Salvage Excavations on the Square in Fayetteville

 
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Uncovering a late 19th/early 20th century building foundation
Uncovering a late 19th/early 20th century commercial building foundation

Jerry Hilliard, UAF Station Assistant, directed salvage excavations on a city lot on the south side of the square in downtown Fayetteville for several days in September 1999. Jared Pebworth and Mike Evans, Sponsored Research Program archeologists, assisted Hilliard in the mapping and salvage of 15 historic features buried under 2 meters of asphalt and recent town lot rubble. The salvage operations were funded entirely by the Arkansas Archeological Survey with the permission of the City of Fayetteville.

Artifacts dating from the 1830s-1850s
Artifacts dating from the 1830s through the 1850s

Archeological features mapped and excavated include a number of structural remains that reflect the historical chronology of this lot behind the south side of the square. An 1830s deposit was recovered that appears to be the remains of one of the earliest houses built on the lot. Later, this house was rebuilt and subsequently destroyed in the 1920s. One of the interesting facts about the structure was its use as a boarding house as documented by Sanborn Fire Insurance Company plats. Large quantities of artifacts dating from about 1870-1920 were sealed in this cellar deposit when the structure burned. A well was also documented and excavated that serviced this particular structure. Other features documented include a number of commercial building walls and a store privy that contained artifacts dating between 1865 and 1890. The Survey plans to fully document the findings of this salvage excavation in the next two years.

Cellar deposit associated with a 19th century residence and boarding house
Cellar deposit associated with a 19th century residence and boarding house

The Survey wishes to thank Mayor Fred Hanna for his cooperation and especially Ron Troutman of Nabholz Construction Company for his assistance during this project. The city plans on sponsoring an exhibit of the history of the lot incorporating our findings in the Town Center upon its completion.

Jerry Hilliard
UAF Research Station

 

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