We’re Digging!: A Preview of 2021’s Archaeological Excavation at Ferry Farm

Visitors to George Washington’s Ferry Farm will once again be able to meet and talk to our staff archaeologists as they work at our archaeological dig this summer. The dig opened this past Monday, June 7 and runs through Friday, August 20. Archaeologists dig Monday through Friday.

Approximate location of the 2021 archaeological dig at Ferry Farm.

The dig is located on the east side of the Washington house in the work yard.  The work yard is where the everyday activities associated with the running of an 18th-century household took place. These activities including food preparation, cooking and cleaning, washing laundry, animal husbandry, dairying, household storage and wig maintenance.  Eventually showing and interpreting these activities as well as incorporating our findings into Ferry Farm’s history are the reasons we dig.

We are looking for the remains of outbuildings in this area of the site.  Luckily for us, last fall we uncovered a large post mold and hole which we suspect is a structural part of one such outbuilding. This first week we are opening up multiple 5’x5’ units to the south of our posthole feature in anticipation of finding more of this structure.   

Large post mold and hole located at the southern edge of the 2020 site.

Our crew will consist of four paid interns in addition to Elyse Adams and myself as co-site directors.  COVID-19 has again eliminated the possibility of university archaeology students joining us for a six-week field school this year, but we hope they can finally return next year. 

The 2021 dig will be located directly beneath our visitor’s feet in this photo.

Over the next 12 weeks, we’ll post some of our more interesting discoveries during on Ferry Farm’s Facebook and Instagram so everyone can stay up-to-date our progress.  When you visit Ferry Farm, please stop by the excavation site to ask questions and watch us at work. We are happy to share our daily findings and explain the process of digging into the Washington family’s past!

Judy Jobrack, Archaeologist
Co-field Director