The house and grounds of the Huntington Homestead are a rich and valuable time capsule of thousands of years of human occupation. Archaeology can reveal much information about how the land was used and about the everyday life of the people who occupied this site.
In 1998, volunteers participated in an excavation beneath the leanto kitchen floor that yielded information about an earlier fireplace, the sequence of construction, and the condition of the building's foundations. The 1998 excavations also yielded stone tools, including a projectile point and flakes. This tells us that Native Americans once occupied the site as a hunting camp, and that they shaped or retouched their stone tools while encamped here along Merrick's Brook.
In 1998 the Trust began preservation and restoration of the Huntington Homestead. A wood shingle roof to keep out the rains was the first order of business, replacing a badly deteriorated asphalt roof. Repairs to the structure included work on the foundation, sills, windows and interior. The exterior received a fresh coat of paint.
Archaeology is an essential part of the discovery and evaluation of the Huntington property and its significance to the history of Connecticut and the nation. The methods of archaeology have guided study of the house and grounds from the outset, and have helped to determine when and how the house was built, how the land was used, and how the house and outbuildings were changed over time.
Throughout the house, clues uncovered through archaeological investigation are evident. We have removed wallpaper, plaster, layers of paint, pieces of woodwork, and layers of soil, and have discovered the original size and appearance of the house, and the timing and nature of the changes made by later owners and occupants. For example, a 1780s coin was found below a layer of debris that had accumulated when an early fireplace was dismantled, telling us the chimney took on its present appearance about 1790 or later. Removal of the mantel in the oldest ground floor room uncovered evidence of four different fireplace configurations.
The archaeological process of investigation has produced extensive field notes, drawings, and photographs at every step of the research. Archaeology will continue to play an important role in the ongoing research and development of the Huntington Homestead Museum.
A research report, entitled Integration of Resources for the Huntington Homestead, by Myron O. Stachiw, July 1999, is available at the Connecticut Historical Commission, the Dodd Center at UConn, Storrs, and the Scotland Public Library. Appendix I of the report, "The Huntington House in Scotland, Connecticut: A Summary History of the Occupants, House and Property based on Documentary, Architectural, and Archaeological Evidence," is also presented here.
The Huntington Homestead is open to visitors May through October on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Museum Archives are where older information from our site can be found.
You can purchase items from the Museum Store and have them mailed to you. All sales benefit the Trust.
|The Huntington Homestead is owned and operated by the Governor Samuel Huntington Trust, Inc., P.O. Box 231, Scotland, CT 06264. A non-profit corporation formed in 1994, the Trust is authorized by the IRS to receive tax-exempt contributions. This site has been made possible by a grant from the Connecticut Society of the Cincinnati.|
|This page last modified on 07/13/2011.|