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Time Travelers Blog

2016 March 14

Happy Monday everyone –

I thought I’d provide a quick report on the fieldwork conducted that the Quarantine Station on Saturday.

First, I think it’s probably best to think of the Q-station as an archaeological district comprising the sites of a bunch of historically-related structures and deposits.

Second, the surgeon’s house (initially identified in the 1996 investigation) may be the best preserved site, but it also seems to have a lot of post-occupation debris scattered across it. That may not be a huge problem, but it does affect any research potentially conducted there.

Third, most of the other building sites have a very slight archaeological signature. We had some metallic hits and small amounts of surface debris and structural remains at all the major buildings we visited. This indicates that the buildings were for the most part, carefully dismantled and the materials likely reused. If any had been burned, in contrast, there would have been much more massive scatters of nails and other hardware. Shifting sand has also not done the sites any favors!

Fourth, we have accurately-GPSed points flagged for all the major structures. We will be discussing among staff if it makes sense to more or less permanently mark these locations and how to do so if that is the decision taken.

Fifth, I was gratified that the use of metal detectors was an effective investigative strategy. I hope we have other opportunities to use this technology.

Finally, I think there is good potential for further, targeted research at several locations. I need to think though what that should be and how it should be pursued. Since the site(s) is not under direct immediate threat, and we operate with a “conservation ethic,” it may be some time before plans for further work are developed.

Thank you again to all who came out and helped. The day would not have been a success without your efforts.

John P. McCarthy, RPA

Cultural Preservation Specialist

(Archaeologist/Architectural Historian)

Cultural Resources Unit

DNREC - State Parks and Recreation

152 S. State Street

Dover, DE 19901

Direct Dial (302) 739-9188  Mobile (302) 387-9785



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