Rosenlund Gatehouse Site

Artifacts

The artifacts recovered from the Rosenlund Gatehouse site present the remains of daily life for those who lived at the site during the late 18th to mid-19th centuries. This section discusses the artifacts by functional group to detail patterns in household activities. The distribution of artifacts recovered from the Rosenlund Gatehouse Site follows a pattern common for domestic refuse or sheet middens. Excavations produced a total of 5,337 artifacts from the three phases of investigations at the Rosenlund Gatehouse site. Food-related artifacts, and faunal remains represent about 50% of the site's assemblage (n=2,620) providing information on domestic activities. Architectural materials, which may represent the construction of the gatehouse, are well represented (23%,n=1,227). Other unique and personal items are also present in numbers high enough to provided added information on consumption practices for the household.

 

Architectural

The architectural items recovered from the Rosenlund Gatehouse site reflect materials related to a residential structure that was built in the early to mid-19th century with later additions and improvements. Cut nails were the most prevalent nail type (whole nails- cut-n=129; wire-18; and wrought-n=1). Wrought nails were used until the 19th century when they were replaced by cut nails. Wire nails replaced cut nails in popularity ca. 1890. The high number of cut nails is consistent with a structure built during the 19th century. The recovered drain pipe consisted of stoneware and represents attempts at drainage. Other building materials, such as brick and cut stone, were noted but not collected. These are representative of the construction materials used in the gatehouse and show portions of the site were used as a refuse area for construction materials during the gatehouse's construction. Window glass accounted for about half of the architectural items recovered. The high number of window glass fragments is reflective of the fragility of the glass.

 

Food-Related

Food-related materials consisted mostly of ceramic and glass vessels. One hundred and thirty one ceramic vessels and nine glass vessels were identified in the Rosenlund Gatehouse site's artifact assemblage. The ceramic vessels consisted of both vessels used for the production and storage of food as well as serving food. Tablewares and teawares included creamware, pearlware, whiteware, redware, and ironstone plates, bowls, cups, and saucers used for settings during meals and tea service. Ceramic vessels used for food production and storage included creamware, ironstone, pearlware, redware, stoneware, whiteware, and yellowware. The redware and stoneware were the most prevelant of production/storage vessels due to their lack of expense. The majority of glass vessels were bottle glass possibly containing liquor, medicine, or condiments. The types of vessels recovered from the site represent an upper middle class family that attempted to keep up the latest styles in table settings.

Non-vessel food-related items were also recovered from the site. These included one crown cap, an electric coil for a heating pad, an aluminum pull tab, and two bone utensil handles. Besides the utensil handles, these items represent materials from the late 19th and 20th centuries and are most likely intrusions to the site's historic deposits and not representative of the households who occupied the site. Crown caps appeared c. 1892 as a closure for bottle glass and can indicate mass production in the form of consumer goods.

Annular Wares

Annular wares and bone handles

 

Green Shell Edged Ware

Green shell-edged pearlware plates

 

Edged Wares

Edged wares

 

Transfer Printed Wares

Transfer-printed wares

 

Hand Painted Wares

Hand painted wares

 

Stoneware

Stonewares

 

Redwares Design

Slip-trailed and coggled-rimmed redware

 

Redware

Redware

 

Red and Earthenwares

Redwares and earthenwares

 

Glass Vessels

Glass vessels

 

Faunal Remains

The Rosenlund Gatehouse Site produced 1,289 fragments of animal bone and shell. Species identified within the assemblage included cow, domestic chicken, sheep, sheep/goat, old world rats, eastern gray squirrel, pig, and clam and oyster shell. The rat and squirrel are most likely intrusions and were not directly related to the historic occupation of the site. Some of the unidentified mammal and ungulate remains may be associated with species such as deer. However, the lack of any identified wild game at the species level suggests the Van Anden household did not supplement their diet with hunting. Instead, they relied on domesticated animals. Imported foods, specifically the clam and oyster shell, shows their integration with a broader market system.

Cutting marks suggest that butchering and processing may have occurred on the Van Anden's farm rather than purchasing meat. Twenty-seven bone fragments had saw or cut marks that could not be identified as to a specific meat cut. This is suggestive of non-professional butchering and meat processing. Members of the Van Anden household may have been butchering their own livestock for household consumption and as such not using standard butchering cut techniques.

The presence of some standardized meat cuts does suggest that the site's occupants were purchasing some professionally butchered meats. The identified cuts were on cow and sheep/goat species and included leg of lamb, sirloin, foreshank, chuck, and arm chop. The diet of cow and sheep/goat is comparable to New England and New York diets, with a higher reliance on beef and lamb than pig, which was preferred in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions (Martin and Martin 2010). The sirloin, arm chop, chuck, foreshank are suggestive of group meals, such as roasts, while the leg of lamb is prepared for more individual consumption.

 

Clothing

The remains of clothing are usually limited to buttons and other items made of durable materials, but can inform on the styles, identity, and economic means of those living at the site. The clothing items recovered included two buckles and 16 buttons. The buckles were made of iron and had no diagnostic markings. The buttons included one bone button, one brass decorated gold button, 11 copper buttons, one iron button, one porcelain button, and one wooden button. With the exception of the porcelain buttons, the buttons appear to be from the early 19th century based on the materials. Bone and wooden buttons were often locally made. Around 1869, more inexpensive mass produced porcelain Prosser buttons replaced most of the bone and wood buttons in popularity. Most of the buttons were sized for coats or vests (ligne over 20) and two were sized for shirts or dresses (less than 20 ligne). The two shirt/dress buttons were copper and wood. The lack of dress and shirt buttons may represent early clothing fashions from the early 19th century that required less buttons. The ligne sizes or diameters of the coat/vest buttons vary so that none appear to be from the same piece of clothing. One of the copper buttons was an 1834 campaign button. It was identified with an etching of an eagle and "E. Pluribus Unum" as a backstamp. The backstamps of many of the buttons, such as "gilt", date from the late 18th and early 19th century from manufacturers from either England or the United Sates. The front decorations for these buttons were cloth and decayed away leaving only the copper base. One button with the backstamp of "Henry Vanwart" postdates 1820. Overall, the buttons provide evidence of clothing styles fashionable during the early 19th century.

Clothing Artifacts

Clothing items including buttons and buckles.

 

Smoking

Smoking items were limited to fragments of kaolin pipe fragments. These pipes were inexpensive and disposable, but also reusable. They were the typical method of smoking during the 19th century. Forty-two fragments of kaolin pipes were recovered. However, a minimum number of three smoking pipes was based on two pipe bowl fragments with a heel, and one red ball clay pipe bowl fragment. The decorations on the Rosenlund Gatehouse site pipe fragments were limited and represented popular designs at the time with little evidence suggesting the designs had an association with ethnicity or other identity representations.

Smoking Items

Smoking items including bowl fragments and stems.

 

Personal Items

The personal items, although not usually found in great numbers, can offer some additional insight into the social identities of those who occupied the site. The Rosenlund Gatehouse Site had a diverse assemblage of personal items. Toys were present among the assemblage, including a hand painted clay marble, a spoked wheel from a toy metal wagon, a fragment of a porcelain doll, and two fragments of golf balls. The golf balls are modern intrusions into the site's deposits. Other items are associated with household or clerical activities, such as the head of a bone sewing needle, an eye glass lens, a slate pencil, a copper pencil fragment, and a watch part. Jewelry is represented by a fragment of black pressed glass in the shape of a gem. The most noteworthy personal items were a collection of seven coins. One was a Spanish Real from the late 18th century that had a hole drilled into it to serve as a pendant. Spanish Reals were used as currency throughout the United States as the Federal government formalized its own currency during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The collection also included six pennies dating to 1796, 1797, 1803, 1811, 1817, and 1843. Four of these pennies were identified as Liberty head pennies. The coins appear to be centered northeast of the gatehouse and may represent a small cache.

Personal Items

Personal Items.  Top row, L to R: fragments of eyeglass lens, bone sewing tool fragment, watch or jewelry part, glass jewelry part, and 3 slate pencil fragments, Bottom row, L to R: metal toy wheel, porcelain doll fragment, and white clay marble with red paint.

 

 

Coins

Coins.  Top row, L to R: Spanish Real hammered or drilled for use as a pendant (date 177[?], US Liberty Head Penny (1797), US Liberty Head Penny (1796), US Liberty Head Penny (1803), Bottom row, L to R: US Liberty Head Penny (1811), US Liberty Head Penny (1843), and US Liberty Head Penny (1817).

Overview
Site History
Excavations
Artifacts
Conclusions

References

Last Updated: 6/16/16