Friday, March 28, 2008

The expert comes to visit

LB called about 1:30 p.m. and said he was done with his archaeology program for kids. I directed him to my place and into the woods we went.

I was a little nervous, because I have not been to the slag pile in several months and it is a little tricky to find, deep within the woods. But I had less trouble than I thought. It's a matter almost of instinct, of knowing to venture east at a certain point, then north.

We came to the edge of a steep slope that marks the boundary of the site. I had always assumed it was a natural bank. LB, however, knew immediately that it was the work of man, or rather, of bulldozer.

The young pines that dominate the area, he said, were signs that the soil here was somewhat sterile, as would be expected in an old industrial site.

He climbed up onto the slag pile, examined it, said the whole area was clearly 20th century. I pretty much figured that all along. But still, I am interested to know what portion of the 20th century saw industry here -- and what was done.

Amidst the brush, he pointed out concrete blocks that he suggested were the ruins of a massive conveyor belt. Showed me a chunk of concrete with a heavily burned edge -- said this was probably part of a metal-smelting furnace.

And he stood atop the pile and took a GPS reading. Said he would share it with another expert -- and report their findings to me.

Just when I thought we were done, he ventured into the brush and pointed out a huge "field" of English ivy and an old road.

"A house was in here, most likely, for the ivy to cover this much ground," he said.

Who could have known?


Janice Thomson said...

I agree it was still very interesting - and I wonder if anything is buried where the house was...and around what year did he think a house was there?

eastcoastdweller said...

Janice: He seemed in a bit of a hurry at that point so we didn't investigate the house site very thoroughly. I'll have to do that on my own. He didn't suggest a date, either. But it would have had to have been at least a few years older than the industrial site.

Have a great Saturday, lovely Lady!

Maria said...

How nice to know that a little cottage sat there too...that it wasn't simply a slag heap, you know?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

This sounds like a fun thing to do. Keep us informed about what you find.

eastcoastdweller said...

Maria: Yes, that was a nice thought. I picture a little farm family dwelling in there, perhaps, with a milk cow and a few chickens.

Lone Grey: I will do that.