Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Saturday February 25, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Kempf House dig

 

continued

To find the site, Beisaw made a grid on the property and took core samples with an auger every five feet. She discovered evidence of a former gravel driveway, a subterranean pile of bricks possibly from a renovation project, a pile of coal at the back of the property, and the likely privy site beside the house — the archaeologists couldn't dig there because the museum's sprinkler system ran through the site. Excavation in the coal pile unearthed everything from nineteenth-century clay pipe stems to dainty carved-shell buttons. An elegant furniture caster came to light, as well as chicken, duck, and cow bones, a slate pencil, a stone marble, a handle for lifting stove lids, a fragile fragment of a china doll, and a ruler that may have belonged to a tailor who once lived in the house. A delicate tuxedo button prompted Bacon to reflect, "Mr. Kempf used to give concerts." My favorite item was an old-timey medicine bottle, preserved intact. Beisaw traced it to nineteenth-century Illinois druggist Robert George. There was no indication of whether it had contained healthful celery tonic or one of the opium-based "soothing syrups" common in Victorian times. "They probably would put a little hooch in it, too," observed Bacon.

The artifacts are on display at Kempf House September 7 through 30.    (end of article)

[Originally published in September, 2003.]

 

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Crime Map Crime Map
Photo: Photo:
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Calendar This Week - Classes, Seminars, and Workshops Calendar This Week - Classes, Seminars, and Workshops
Virtual Food Delivery - EatBlue, where are you? Virtual Food Delivery - EatBlue, where are you?
Meredith Monk - On Behalf of Nature Meredith Monk - On Behalf of Nature
Ann Arbor Nightspots: Old Town Ann Arbor Nightspots: Old Town
Map of Community Services - Food and Housing Map of Community Services - Food and Housing
Ann Arbor Family Crises Ann Arbor Family Crises
Taking Down the Tree - Schools find money in un... Taking Down the Tree - Schools find money in un...
Your guide to summer camps and activities for kids.