Monday, June 8, 2015

Days Nine and Ten...The Fun Must Come To An End

During the last two days of the field school, students had several opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge we learned. On the competitive side, we raced to assemble a Norman Truss system, and on the cooperative side we presented our groups projects. Groups developed an interpretation plan for an 1840’s kitchen soon to be opened by the Felix Valle House State Historic Site and made improvements to the exhibits and interpretation for the Ste. Genevieve Museum.

This year’s SEMO HP field school was a huge success. We used the distinct and unique French Colonial architecture of Ste. Genevieve to develop a valuable preservation skill set that is applicable everywhere. Of course, we made great friends and many memories that we’ll treasure/haunt us for years to come.

Everyone With The Finished "Norman" 

Final Piece 

Museum Project Presentation 

Sarah, Meghan, and Leah Show Off Their New Exhibit Sign 

Shaw House Kitchen Presentation

Day Eight...Archaeology!!

Day 8 was all about archaeology! We continued to excavate in the units we started the previous week. The unit behind the garage contained an astonishing variety of historical artifacts, ranging from a 1944 penny, to depression era glass, to mid 19th century ceramic transfer ware. This mix extended about 30 cm and indicates a disturbed surface layer that is overlying an undisturbed one. The other unit beside the house exposed a large horizontal slab of concrete, overlying a horizontal natural stone block. The concrete is most likely part of a historic sidewalk and the other stone is visually similar to the ones used in the removed chimney. While it feels like we ended with more questions than answers, next year’s field school will use our preliminary findings to design further research at this site.    

Digging, Screening, and Recording 

Even Back Filling Is Fun 

Kyle Looking Way Too Cool 

Looking For The Chimney

Days Six and Seven...Building Documentation!

The next two days of the field school focused on building documentation. Led by SEMO HP graduate Richard Young, the students learned the basics of measured drawings and then recorded the Theophilus Dufour House.

Karen Bode-Baxter taught us how to properly document a building using photos. We put our new photography skills to use on the same house. Building documentation is an important facet of historic preservation. Measured drawing and photos are needed for tax credits projects, National Register nominations and section 106 compliance, just to name a few.

Yet another successful department alumni, Jesse Francis, gave us a hands on experience using traditional techniques to make one of the distinct mortise and tenon joints that make up many of the French Colonial buildings we have gotten to know so well. Mr. Francis has played a major role in restoring several of the most significant vertical log buildings in Ste. Genevieve. The time, labor, and expertise it required to make even one joint gave us a true appreciation for the skill needed to construct these architectural treasures.

Chiseling The Mortise 

Dr. Hoffman Takes His Turn 

Hacking Away 

It's Harder Than It Looks 

Laura Deep In Thought 

Learning the Ropes of Measured Drawings 

Making Pegs 

Mapping the Attic of the Parfait-Dufour House 

Master of the Tape Measure 

Never Enough Tape Measures?! 

Photographic Documentation of the Theophilus Defour House 


Puzzling It Out 

Reviewing Some Photos 

Richard Young Teaching the Crew the Basics 

Sarah Was a Natural 

Sawing is a Group Effort 

The Green Tree Tavern

Monday, June 1, 2015

Day Four and Five...Work Hard, Play Hard

On day 4 we toured yet another unique French Colonial structure in Ste. Genevieve. Built in the early 1790s, The Green Tree Tavern is a large, vertical log, post-in-sill building, with an open galley porch wrapping around 3 sides. In the afternoon we made baskets as part of a larger discussion about the importance of heritage education in facilitating public history and historic preservation.

On day 5 we got started with the below-ground portion of the field school doing some historic archaeology at the Pierre Dorlac House owned by Jim Baker. We opened up two excavation units in the yard, One to expose the foundation of an exterior stone chimney that has since been removed but is shown in historic photographs, and the other to investigate the depositional stratigraphy in the back yard near several outbuildings.

Architectural Investigation 

Heritage Education 

Kittens Need Preservation Too! 

Setting Up An Excavation Unit 

Sneaky Dr. Hoffman 

Surface Collection 

The Green Tree Tavern 

Surface Collection 

Boys Screen. Ladies Do The Digging