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A Big Dig to Celebrate the Job Lane House’s 300th Anniversary

2013 July 18
by The Bedford Citizen
Ralph Hammond talking about plans for Thursday's dig in Plot #2  -- Image (c) Bob Bass, 2013 all rights reserved

Planning for Thursday’s dig in Plot #2 — Image (c) Bob Bass, 2013 all rights reserved

By Julie McCay Turner

The announcement in the Recreation Department’s Spring/Summer brochure held promise of a real exploration, “Have you ever wondered what mysteries lie in the ground beneath us?” Six Bedford youngsters signed up for the challenge and last week they created an archaeological dig at the Job Lane House on North Road.

As part of its 300th anniversary celebration, the Job Lane House held the archeological dig on the farm last week. Participants and leaders created several measured grids where they then dug, sorted, labeled and classified their finds.

The dig crew -- Image (c) Bob Bass, 2013 all rights reserved

The dig crew — Image (c) Bob Bass, 2013 all rights reserved

The program was led by volunteers from the Job Lane House board and Bedford Rotary: Patricia Pellegrini, the coordinator of the Friends of Job Lane’s 300th anniversary activities; Sharon Lawrence McDonald, board chair; board member Donald Corey; along with Rotary Club volunteers Ralph Hammond and Jennifer Zhang. Kathrine, Vincent, Paris,  Kyla, TJ and Justin were  enthusiastic program participants.

Hammond’s enthusiasm “just makes” the experience according to McDonald. “All right! This is really BIG!” is Hammond’s cry when an exceptional find is made, she continued. Hammond was heard to say to the assembled research crew “You guys are teaching us so much! Ms. Pellegrini and I were both teachers and we’re learning from you!”

Vincent, Justin, & TJ  working the dig - Image (c) Bob Bass, 2013 all rights reserved

Vincent, Justin, & TJ working the dig – Image (c) Bob Bass, 2013 all rights reserved

Participants said that the dig was hard work but a lot of fun. “Just think, somebody way back when actually had a piece of pottery and dropped it and now we are finding it,” said Vincent. Kayla was impressed that, “Usually this [kind of activity] is reserved for adults, so now we get to see what it’s like to grow up if we might want to do this.”

Everyone who participated in the dig will be named in the report that will be will be stored in the Job Lane archives, and the youth plan to leave time capsules in the area of the dig when they fill it back up.  Paris said hers says, “If you find this, give it to a friend!” Click here for Patricia Pellegrini’ daily dig log.

TJ with nail he found  -- Image (c) Bob Bass, 2013 all rights reserved

TJ with nail he found — Image (c) Bob Bass, 2013 all rights reserved

Among the dozens of artifacts unearthed was a pipe stem from about 1730, an apparently unused nail from about 1830, many pottery and brick shards and animal bones.

Bob Bass, The Citizen’s volunteer photographer visited the dig on Thursday to capture the images that accompany this story. “This is a terrific project,” said Bass, “The adults are doing a fantastic job working with these wonderful kids who couldn’t be more thrilled about this experience.  Thanks for inviting me to do the shoot.”

 

Additional images from the dig, submitted by Bob Bass

 

 

 

  • Tami Mead

    My son T.J. took part in this project and was more than excited to go everyday and look for historical treasures. Ralph, Pat, Don and Sharon shared their love of Bedford and the history to our beloved town with these kids. Speaking from my sons experience, he can’t wait to return next year to help unearth some more of Bedford’s history. Thank you to all that made this camp possible.

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