Things have been busy for me this past month, so I haven't had time for an update. The John Snowdon and Son's Vulcan Iron and Machine Works excavations in Brownsville, Pennsylvania have come to a close for this field season. I cannot thank the volunteers enough and the students from the WVU Field School who came out to pick through some of the toughest fill material I have ever encountered. We have recovered an incredible amount of data dating back to the turn of the 20th-century. Personal items, industrial artifacts, and a variety of little unidentified items that will keep us busy for a long time. However, we also have the most important artifact, the foundry itself, a mausoleum to 19th-century industrialization in the Monongahela River Valley. It is my estimate that we have excavated 5% of the total structure. We haven't even begun to excavate within its interior except along the foundation walls.
In the first three photographs show an air pocket that we hit during excavation. Within it are the remains of a barrel laying on its side. The strapping is just visible to the left of that concrete floor joist support. When the building was demolished by the railroad, the area next to that floor joist created an air gap with brick from an interior wall. No artifacts were found with the barrel that would indicate its contents. the final picture is Erin who came out do some mapping of our foundations!
|Air gap with barrel strapping.|
|Close-up of the barrel remains.|
|The Completed excavation unit with exterior wall to south. Barrel removed.|
|Erin field mapping in the shade!|