Above: The Dynamic Jail House Crew excavates the foundation. Below: a view of the jail site with the Hardest Working People in Penal History
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Jail House Rocks
Let me first thank everyone who assisted me with the Port Tobacco Jail House project. By far, my crew was the most ambitious and hard working. You all know who you are and I really appreciate you helping me. Special thanks to April, Jim, Pete, and Dio for their advice and guidance. Also, to Steve, our intern...thanks for the coffee!
April and Jim during dinner at the Burch House. Angry Peter makes threats in the background.
The jail house efforts didn't start too well. We excavated a unit in a failing septic field! Very damp as you can imagine. While digging in that festering swill, someone wandered into the woods about 50 ft away (hmmm) and discovered a lot of surface brick, mortar, plaster, and even an iron fence. Additionally, a large mound was seen. My dynamic and energetic crew was quick to clear the brush from the entire area. A few STPs were dug revealing fairly deep deposits of rubble as well as 18th, 19th, and 20th century artifacts. We knew we were on target. A 2.5 ft by 10 ft trench was excavated, but no foundation. Later, a 5 by 5 was excavated and there was the foundation! Subsequent test units were excavated, revealing more foundation. At one point, the foundation seemed to reach a corner and we dug STPs at 15, 20, and 25 ft, hitting foundation at each test site. A 5 by 5 was dug at the 25 ft mark. The wall, strangely, seems to terminate there. Was this the main wall of the jail or and interior support wall? We'll not know this season, but we will soon! Lot's more details available on this site...more later.