Pit 80: Level 1

Completed on May 26, 2015 by Clover Robichaud, Michael Robichaud, Tim Bradshaw, Jeff, Karen, Dean Hunt, DC Locke, and David Brinkman. This was the 3rd Anniversary of the Granby dig. The Granby Museum is starting to take shape with period-like items including a full size Sarah Friday and Burr Johnston. We started off the day with museum tours and lunch and then the dig. We were joined today by new-comers Karen and Jeff and Karen started off the dig with a bang when she found a beautiful hand painted Colonial period pottery piece from the first shovel of dirt. As usual, we came across a lot of asphalt in level 1 and, as seen in several other pits in the area, a number of pieces of a material similar in appearance to asphalt except for a silver like content and a much lower density. In fact, this material actually floats on water. If not for a unique Granby archival find, we would just pass this off as maybe the top of the asphalt mixture that was skimmed-off. Back in the 1790's and early 1800's, Granby was hit very hard by epidemics. Unknown to the people of the time was that mosquitoes were spreading many of these illnesses. The people, however, figured out that Granby was not a safe place and by the time Sarah Friday made her drawing of Granby (in 1810), over half the population of Granby had moved to other locations. A newspaper article about the influenza epidemic of 1816 mentions a Granby man who successfully protected his family by burning tar around his property. Throughout the Granby dig the strange asphalt-like substance has been found in the artifact rich area of the dig site. The 1960 road construction would be a good explanation except for the fact that the nearby Fort Congaree II dig (also just off the main 1960 road) does not have this type of material. Could the man mentioned in this 1816 article be the Sam Johnston that is shown in Sarah's drawing and also the 1816 owner of the site we are digging? More about the problem epidemics and a copy of the 1816 newspaper article can be found at this link.

Pit 80: Level 1 produced: 10 pieces of pottery, 12 pieces of glass, and 3 nails.