Archeological artifacts suggest the location of outbuildings behind the main house.
Documents and Artifacts
In the 19th century, outbuildings would have stood before you, behind the main house to your left. An old well, which provided water for the house, is located in the distance.
Historical archeologists use both written documents and physical remains to understand a site. Documents tell the history of who owned the place or lived on a site. Physical remains reveal what the documents don't tell, such as the locations of former outbuildings. Archeology can teach us about the daily activities of people, especially women, children, and slaves who are left out of the documents.
Some remains can be seen above ground, such as the brick chimneys and foundations of the main house. Other remains, including artifacts, are found by exploring the ground surface.
A Dairy or Smokehouse
Clusters of artifacts suggest the locations of outbuildings. Archeologists found over 2000 artifacts dating form the 18th to the 20th century. The household items found include tableware, glassware, buttons, and oil lamp parts. Architectural pieces include nails, window glass, bricks and mortar.
Artifacts from the 19th century, when the Chiles family lived here, include machine-cut nails and fragments of ceramic tableware. The types of ceramics found include pearlware, whiteware,
yellowware, and stoneware. Archeologists also found a few pieces of prehistoric Native American artifacts, dating before Europeans settled here.
The outbuildings found here may have included a dairy or smokehouse. A dairy is a dark, ventilated building where dairy products were kept cool. Meats and fish were smoked in the smokehouse to preserve them.
(Image of a hole in the ground.)
Archeologists dug rectangular test units to search for artifacts and other remains under the ground surface.
(Image of three people.)
Archeologists search for evidence of outbuildings behind the main house. The chimney remains are in the background.
(Icon in the upper-left corner for the Chiles Homesite.)
(Icon in the lower-right corner for the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.)