Thursday, March 20, 2008

Excavations at Port Tobacco

Archaeological investigations at the site of the Port Tobacco Court House was suggested at the first meeting of the Port Tobacco Court House Restoration Committe in 1966. Captain John Mathay and Mrs. Sarah Mathay led the excavations that followed. Included in the excavations were the outlining and mapping of the foundation of the circa 1819-1892 site of the courthouse.

This map was made and drawn by Captian John Mathay on May 26, 1968. The map has been sitting in the courthouse among other documents. As part of our archaeological project in Port Tobacco we have been scouring the documents at the courthouse for information. While this map is not new news to us, it is an important part of the history of archaeology at Port Tobacco.

Yesterday I digitized the map using AutoCAD so that we can use it for our work and get the original back to the courthouse.

Below is the recreation of that map. Some liberties were taken since the age of the map makes some of it a bit hard to read. The map is a plan view of the foundations of the courthouse. The main building and its two wings can be seen.

There are some curious things on the map. The curved section running from the southwest of the main building that fades off towards the middle of the main section is one of them. While it goes underneath another brick wall, there is no mention on the map or in the report written by Mrs. Mathay of what it was or what it is suspected to be. Support walls would have been necessary to support the structure (one of which can be seen just to the west of this curved section) however, this curved section is still a mystery.

Another mystery about Port Tobacco to be solved!

- Peter

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