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