On Friday we finished our fieldwork in the Lee-Fendall Garden. We spent the day digging small holes around the yard, trying to chase out a couple of features. Along the east side of the garden we had found an extensive layer of brick and stone rubble, along with one wall foundation made of mortared, rough-cut stone. This wall was at least 20 feet long, although we think it was one wall of a building, it could have been an old garden wall. Chasing this pile of brick rubble on Friday we realized that is seemed to follow a gradual curve around the southeast corner of the property, and also that the top of it was mixed with a lot of pea gravel. At the moment we think that when the building was knocked down, the rubble was spread around the eastern half of the yard to help form the foundation for a gravel path. We can follow this path from the northeast corner of the garden, near the old stable, along the entire east side of the garden, around the southeast corner, and about a third of the way across the south side. In the picture below you can see one of our little test holes with brick rubble in the bottom and some of the gravel in the screen.
Near the house we had found another extensive layer of brick rubble. There was no gravel on top of this, but there was a gravel deposit extending westward from the point where the rubble stopped, so this building may still have been standing when the gravel path was put down.
So far I am holding to the interpretation I advanced when I first wrote about the site on this blog. In the late 1700s and early 1800s this yard was a busy place with several working buildings. Around 1850 some of the buildings were knocked down, fill was brought in and placed across much of the yard to form a level lawn, trees were planted, and gravel paths were placed around the outside of the lawn. So the garden had in the 1850s the same approximate shape it has now.
We'll have to see how this holds up once we have better dating of the artifacts, and we hope to learn more from out botanical studies. So there's more to come.