Message #29 From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Subject: View From The Trenches, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1998 Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 19:23:10 [ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] : From: Laurie Slawson VIEW FROM THE TRENCHES The Quarterly Newsletter of Belagana Research Institute Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1998 Welcome to "The Trenches" Grab a hard hat and jump right in! We're glad you're going to be joining us on our first dig into the rich stratum that is public correspondence. The goal of this newsletter is to inform, update, and educate you with accounts of projects and products of both Belagana Research Institute and Aztlan Archaeology, Inc. We hope you enjoy our efforts! And, by the way, that hard hat I asked you to grab, in this case, isn't to protect your head from falling debris, it's just to let your family and friends know that you're in the process of excavating the pages of "The Trenches!" --Jennifer K. K. Huang, editor Archaeological Investigations in the Historic Townsite of Florence, Arizona by Laurie V. Slawson, Ph.D., Aztlan Archaeology, Inc. Florence, which is situated on a terrace overlooking the Gila River in central Arizona, has a colorful history. The town was settled in 1866; two years later, a formal townsite was laid out by Levi Ruggles, the local Indian agent. By 1875, population was almost 300, and the town became the county seat. That same year, mining played an important role in the subsequent growth of Florence with the discovery of silver ore deposits at what later became the Silver King Mine near present-day Superior. Within five years, the population of the town had increased to almost 1,000 residents. Along with this growth came an increase in the number of business establishments, most notably the 28 saloons that lined Main Street, including the Tunnel Saloon, where on May 31, 1881, a gunfight took place between Sheriff Pete Gabriel and his former deputy Josephus Phy. The latter lost. In March and July 1996, archaeological investigations were conducted within the original Florence Townsite by Aztlan Archaeology, Inc., prior to the construction of the new Florence post office at the north end of town. The property consists of Historic Blocks 65 and 66, and which are bounded by Main Street on the west, Pinal Street on the east, and Ruggles Avenue (formerly 5th Street) on the south. On the north, the property is bounded by what originally was the north side of 4th Street. The original historic blocks of the Florence Townsite were 125 feet square, with 60-foot-wide streets. Sometime between 1910 and 1914, 4th Street was vacated and the easement was added to both blocks. Bailey Street was similarly vacated at some point after 1914. In 1882, Block 65 contained only one building--an adobe on the southwest corner. At some point between 1897 and 1910, the adobe building was removed and replaced by a large, north-south-oriented, wood frame building on Bailey Street that had an adobe dwelling on its east side. The frame building is labeled Blsm, or Blacksmith, on both the 1911 and 1915 Sanborn maps. Between 1897 and 1910, another adobe house was built in the southeast quarter of Block 65. This building was demolished shortly before testing could begin. Whereas the east half of Block 65 belonged to the White family, the west half of the block was associated with the Gay family. Sometime between 1897 and 1910, Alejandro A. Gay set up his blacksmith shop at Bailey Street and Ruggles Avenue. He was a local character and inventor in Florence, who was well known for his various exploits, many of which followed the excessive use of alcohol. One incident began with his announcement that, "Alex Gay will fly today." He climbed to the top of his blacksmith shop, strapped on a pair of homemade wings and jumped off. Although he survived, he gave up flying after that attempt. In 1882, four adobe buildings were standing on Block 66. A small adobe blacksmith shop was located on the northwest corner of the block, a larger adobe was on the southwest corner, another adobe was situated on the southeast corner, and on 4th Street, near the northeast corner of the block, was a very small rectangular building. The latter is the only one of the four that does not appear on the 1890 Sanborn map. Two of the buildings on the 1890 map had disappeared, or were abandoned, by 1897. At this time, the blacksmith shop was labeled Ruins, and the building in the southwest corner, which was labeled Chinese in 1890, had been demolished. This building was Chinese- owned from at least 1883, and possibly as early as 1877. By 1910, the blacksmith shop ruins had been removed and a small wood frame building or shed was built just east of it on 4th Street. Also, the house on the southeast corner had been remodeled. In 1936, the house was being used as a mortuary. The 1880 census lists Jim Sam, a Chinese man, as a resident of Florence who worked as a cook in a hotel. His age is given as 33 years; he had a wife and son. The 1882 townsite map of Florence indicates that Jim Sam owned Block 66. He also owned Block 36, on which two buildings had been built. In addition to his Florence property, he bought and sold mining claims in the area. It is not known how long Jim Sam lived in Florence; he was there as early as 1877 and had moved to Casa Grande between 1890 and 1896. His three-room adobe "One-Bit Bar" on the northeast corner of Main Street and Ruggles Avenue was built in 1877. The bar was in operation from at least 1877 to 1878. On Block 65, on the east side of the post office property, the focus of the testing program was on the dwelling on the southwest corner that is shown on the 1882 Cox map and the four Sanborn maps, and on the adjoining blacksmith shop of Alexander A. Gay that appears on the 1911 and 1915 Sanborn maps. On Block 66, testing focused on the area of the One-Bit Bar and Jim Sam's house on the northeast corner of Main Street and Ruggles Avenue and the blacksmith shop north of the bar that is depicted on the 1890 Sanborn map. The area of the dwelling that appears on the southeast corner of the block on the 1882 Cox map and the four Sanborn maps also was tested. Twelve trenches were excavated in Block 65, and 16 in Block 66. Five historic features were located during the week-long testing program. Feature 1 was a cobble foundation and trash deposit, whereas Feature 3 was a large trash pit within a thin trash deposit. Both features, located within 40 feet of each other in Trenches 9 and 11, contained a notably higher percentage of Chinese artifacts than the remainder of the site, particularly Feature 3. In contrast, Trench 10, situated between Trenches 9 and 11, was almost completely sterile. The other three features were small pits. All five features contained ash and burned wood, possibly from the discarding of materials from heating or cooking stoves. Data recovery excavations of Features 1 and 3 were conducted in July 1996; an additional trash concentration, Feature 29, was found in association with Feature 1 at that time. Artifacts recovered from Feature 1 provide a date range of 1886 to 1890; all of the artifacts from Feature 29 date to 1890. No diagnostic artifacts were found in Feature 3. Of all the artifacts collected during the excavations of Blocks 65 and 66, perhaps the most interesting are several Chinese opium pipe bowls and opium cans. Four complete and one fragmented opium pipe bowl were collected during trenching in the vicinity of Feature 3. One of the complete bowls has five characters incised around the neck that read Yun Shen Bu Zhi Chu or "when the clouds are thick, you lose track of where you are." Parts of three rectangular brass opium cans also were recovered near Feature 3. Affixed to one can fragment is a partial, legible paper label. The lettering, "...(o)pium/...PAT(NA)/HON(G KONG)," is unique. Of the hundreds of whole and fragmentary opium containers found in archaeological contexts in Arizona over the past 29 years, none has had a legible English text label. In the case of this artifact, the label advertises that the raw opium originated in the Patna area of India, which was a favorite British source for high quality opium. Research questions that were asked concerned ethnicity, gender, and age of the blocks' residents; sources and types of food consumed; changes in use of artifacts and buildings over time; and types of construction methods employed. With the exception of the Chinese-related items, sufficient quantities of artifacts in good enough contexts were not obtained to fully address these research questions in terms of specific households. However, information was obtained that is applicable to understanding the history of Blocks 65 and 66, and the town of Florence in general. Of particular interest are the artifacts that reflect the presence of Jim Sam, an early Chinese resident of Florence, and later, Casa Grande, who served in Florence in a number of roles, including as laborer, businessman, landowner, and speculator in mining properties. Also of note is the curious lack of blacksmith shop-related artifacts, given that there were two such shops on Blocks 65 and 66, one of which was in operation for almost 50 years. Aztlan Currents by Joseph Howell, Aztlan Archaeology, Inc. Hello! Welcome to the first Aztlan Currents. In this column, we will be reviewing the progress of AAI projects that are currently ongoing or have been completed recently. For this edition, I'll be reviewing three of our recent major projects. Hopefully, in the future I'll be able to prevail upon some of the other Project Directors at AAI to contribute to this column! Tucson Museum of Art Those of you who spend time in the downtown area may have noticed recently that the Tucson Museum of Art is in the process of expanding its facility. AAI's primary fieldwork at the site was completed in late November of last year. Part of the site is the former location of the Jacobs House, a once well-known Tucson landmark that faced Alameda Street. This, along with the fact that the site is situated within the old Presidio, makes it hardly surprising that a large collection of historic artifacts was recovered. Some of the more interesting items include Tohono O'odham ceramics and projectile points, Majolica ceramics, several musket balls, glass and bone buttons, a glass salt holder, and a variety of bottles. At the lower levels of the excavation, a considerable amount of prehistoric material was found, as well. Items of note include an unusual red-on-black variety of ceramics, a ground stone pestle, and a few spindle whorls. City of Tucson Historic Neighborhood Inventory Jennifer K. K. Huang and I, under the direction of Morgan Rieder, are currently conducting historic research for the City of Tucson which is updating its historical assessment of three of Tucson's oldest neighborhoods: Sam Hughes, Dunbar/Spring, and Barrio Anita. Many buildings in these areas were not eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (that is, were not over 50 years of age) at the time of the last assessment. The research being done will bring the information up to date, as well as allow for a possible expansion of the currently established historic districts within the neighborhoods. The research into Barrio Anita is proving to be the most exciting, since it (unlike Sam Hughes and Dunbar/Spring) does not presently possess a formal historic district and appears not to have been previously studied historically to any great extent. One of the first stages in our research involves delving into the old Tucson city directories that were published for each year prior to 1948, and ascertaining who lived at each address throughout the years. Most of the occupations of the tenants are listed in the directories, and it is fascinating to watch a pattern emerge: in the late 1920 and 1920s, employment with the Southern Pacific Railroad is common (especially in Barrio Anita, through which the railroad ran and still runs). In the mid- to late 1930s, during the Depression, employment with Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Projects Administration is seen to increase. Then, with the onset of America's involvement in World War II, enlistment in the Armed Forces becomes commonplace. Watch this column for further developments on this interesting project. The Uncompahgre Plateau/Gunnison Basin Survey This project involved a survey of more than 4,000 acres of land in western Colorado for the Bureau of Land Management. Under Mark Sullivan's and my direction, fieldwork was conducted in two phases, beginning during the autumn of 1996 and ending in the early summer of 1997. The report was finalized this last November. One of the objectives of the survey was to check for any indication of the "Gateway Tradition," a semiagiculturalist tradition found in eastern Utah and western Colorado in the region east of the Uncompahgre River. No clear evidence of the Gateway Tradition was found during the survey; instead, most of the sites found fit well into the Uncompahgre Complex, a hunter-gatherer tradition of the Uncompahgre Plateau, first defined by Robert H. Lister and H. M. Wormington in 1956. The Uncompahgre Complex spans a time frame beginning in the Archaic period and ending with the Ute Indians. Particularly interesting was the Cebolla Creek region, near Gunnison. This area had a fairly dense number of sites consisting of scatters of lithic tools that were largely manufactured from a unique butterscotch-colored chert that is endemic to the area. Several historic sites were recorded, as well. Most of these were the remnants of livestock herding and mining camps, but a small historic cabin (actually, "storage shed" might be a better description) also was discovered. This cabin possibly was associated with gold mining activities in the northern Cebolla Creek area. And on a personal note, I saw my first bear in the wild! Well, that's it for the first Aztlan Currents column. Next time I'll try to include news of some of our smaller projects in addition to our major ones. Until then! In the Next Issue The ongoing project adjacent to the Tucson Museum of Art in downtown Tucson is producing some surprising discoveries, and some interesting trenches. The arc shown in this photo is a result of following architectural plans; that curve at left-of-center will one day be part of a massive circular planter. Coming Events March 14-15, 1998 Archaeology Expo at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center in Phoenix March 20, 1998 Aztlan Archaeology, Inc., will be hosting an Open House in honor of Arizona Archaeology Awareness Month March 25-29, 1998 Aztlan Archaeology, Inc., will have a booth at the Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in Seattle April 3, 1998 Belagana Research Institute Open House featuring a publications- oriented exhibit: "An Illustration is Worth a Thousand Photographs" April 4, 1998 Belagana Research Institute will have a booth at the Arizona Book Festival in Phoenix Available Publications Ayres, James E., and Laurie V. Slawson 1996 Archaeological and Historical Investigations of Blocks 65 and 66 in the Florence Townsite, Arizona. Archaeological Series No. 1. Aztlan Archaeology, Tucson (163 pages, $16.00). Rieder, Morgan 1997 Historic Resources Evaluation and Eligibility Survey of the Post-1916 Railroad Route and Associated Navy Track Within the Naval Ordnance Center, Pacific Division, Fallbrook Detachment, San Diego County, California. Technical Report No. 97-19. Aztlan Archaelogy, Tucson (80 pages, $8.00). Slawson, Laurie V. 1997 The 1994 Archaeological Testing Program at AZ AA:12:285 (ASM), the Dairy Site. Archaeological Series No. 3. Aztlan Archaeology, Tucson (127 pages, $13.00). Slawson, Laurie V., and Mary Ellen Thompson (editors) 1997 Tucson Basin Archaeology, 1985-1994: An Annotated Bibliography. Monograph No. 1. Belagana Research Institute, Tucson (262 pages, $22.00). Sullivan, Mark, and Joseph Howell 1997 A Cultural Resource Survey of Approximately 4,155 Acres in 53 Parcels of Bureau of Land Management Land on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Technical Report No. 97-17. Aztlan Archaeology, Tucson (141 pages, $12.00).