For one week in May, 1986, archaeologists from the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio conducted a dig at Fort Martin Scott to locate foundations of the original buildings.
Some of the foundations of the original officers' quarters were visible prior to the survey. For other structures, they relied on an 1853 Army survey of the post that showed building locations. Finding the cut-stone foundation of the fort's bakery oven, as well as the foundation of the laundresses' quarters was cause for celebration. A sweep with a metal detector found the probable location of the blacksmith shop, behind the enlisted men's quarters.
Working under a blistering sun with shovels and trowels, archaeologists unearthed 754 artifacts. The number would undoubtedly have been higher had they excavated trash dumps or privies. The site yielded glass fragments of windows and bottles, and various ceramic shards. Hand-forged square-cut nails, dropped on the ground by the original builders over 130 years before the dig, are also part of the archaeological record. The few military objects found are attributed to the soldiers stationed at Fort Martin Scott from 1848 to 1853.