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Wyoming History

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Lincoln Highway

Part seven of seven parts

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Continue to References


Lincoln Highway Motor-court Cabin Testing Program

 

Fort Bridger State Historic Site

 

Artifacts

Appendix A provides a summary of all artifacts and their location. This section focuses on the diagnostic items recovered during excavation.

Most of the material recovered from the Black and Orange Cabins test excavations consisted of fragmentary items. These fragments included a mixture of clear and colored bottle glass, that dated from the 1880’s to the present. These items would have been associated with the military occupation era, through the Lincoln Highway era, and into the present day. Both cut and wire nails, other fasteners and metal pieces of different types, together with a small number of plain white and decorated ceramic sherds were encountered as well. Also found during the course of excavations were additional items such as nondescript fragments of cloth, floor linoleum, and even glass trade beads. As the beads were recovered from near the top ground surface, the belief is that they could have been deposited during one of the earlier Labor Day Weekend Rendezvous held on the Fort Bridger State Historic Site.
buttons

This figure shows Buttons recovered during the course of excavation.

Little in the way of intact or diagnostic cultural material was noticed while excavating the Black and Orange Cabins test units; and of such material almost all was recovered from a single unit and within a single level. The one meter-by-one meter test unit 157N 121E yielded within its uppermost ten centimeters a variety of buttons, a glass marble, and a small cast iron toy steam locomotive. As the unit 157N 121E was within the “Cabin 2” interior, these items are viewed as having probably been beneath the floor when this and the other cabins were constructed in the earlier part of the Twentieth Century.

When considering the assemblage of buttons, five different forms were noted in three types of material. Encountered were five identical two-hole buttons 12mm in diameter and 2.5mm in thickness. These buttons appear to have been molded in a medium brown hard plastic with a raised edge and concave face.
Next were two mother-of-pearl studded buttons 12mm in diameter and 3.5mm thick, which includes a 1.5mm long stud on the rear side with a horizontal attachment hole through the stud’s width.

marble

This figure shows Glass marble recovered during excavation
A single 11mm diameter and 2mm thick two-hole mother-of-pearl button was recovered of plain finish with a narrow cylindrical depression formed in the central portion of the face.

Another mother-of-pearl button was recovered which was 13.5mm in diameter and 2.5mm in thickness. This button had two closely spaced attachment holes within a 3mm wide cylindrical depression formed in the central area of the button face. Near the edge of this button was a narrow and shallow rim depression formed apparently as a slight means of decoration.

Subsequently, a single two-hole ceramic button, much vitrified, was taken from the same unit and level that was 10mm in diameter and 2.5mm in thickness. This particular button was plain with the exception of a shallow concavity in the central portion of the face.
A single glass marble 16mm in diameter was recovered from Level 1 of 157N 121E exhibiting a yellow and orange swirled surface.

Recovered with the diagnostic material was a single cast iron toy steam locomotive painted with a surface painted light gray. The piece was 58mm in length, 23mm in width, and 18mm thick. The toy has been cast with good surface relief features representing raised rivets, boiler and smoke stacks, steam/hydraulic lines, running wheels and suspension gear, and boiler plate seams. Lower in the casting were the cab side windows. There were four wheels (two on each side) intended for running the toy on a surface or track. There was crack damage to the front 12mm and a portion of the front or train

This figure shows a Toy train recovered in excavation units.
forward end of the boiler has been compressed. On the upper interior of the toy piece was cast in linear, raised numerals and upper case letters “MADE IN USA, BARCLAY, 335”. With further investigation the place and possible time of manufacture might be determined.

In summary, the artifact assemblages in most areas show the mixing of cultural material from the military and post-military occupational eras, particularly within the glass concentrations. But otherwise they exhibit a range of cultural material dating from the Lincoln Highway era (1920’s) to the present.
Summary
Prior to the restoration an archaeological testing strategy had to be implemented to determine the nature and extent of the archaeological deposits at the motel. In all 4 1x1m units and 9 shovel test units were excavated to determine the nature and extent of the cultural deposits at the site.
We determined that the restoration of the Black and Orange Cabins would have a beneficial affect to the site as a significant historical resource will be preserved and protected. There will be no adverse impacts to the buried deposits if restoration follows the following recommendations.

bulletAn archaeological monitor is present during any earth disturbing activities
bulletThe earth disturbing activities remain within the confines of the original foundation and disturbed areas.
bulletDuring the construction phase care should be made to avoid any new earth disturbing activities but if earth disturbance needs to take place the smallest earth disturbance signature needs to be considered.
bulletThe earth disturbance should cause little or no affect to identified cultural deposits.

Prior to the restoration an archaeological testing strategy had to be implemented to determine the nature and extent of the archaeological deposits at the site. In all 4 1x1m units and 9 shovel test units were excavated to determine the nature and extent of the cultural deposits at the site.

 
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If you have any questions please feel free to contact Dudley Gardner.

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