As a Historic Preservation major at the University of Mary Washington, I spend a lot of time studying objects from the past. Through my courses, I have learned that common, everyday objects are often able to reflect the values of the people that created and used them. I kept this in mind during my internship … Continue reading Put A Lid On it: Mason Jars and Home Canning in America
During the Civil War, George Washington’s Ferry Farm was the site of Union Army encampments that included some defensive works like a trench dug into the crest of the ridge overlooking the river. In that trench and throughout Ferry Farm’s landscape, Union soldiers lost and threw away a wide array of military gear and personal … Continue reading Bad Medicines: Mercury and Self-Medication in the Civil War
It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when products weren’t covered in labels listing all their ingredients in great detail. We are used to labels promising the absence of unhealthy chemicals. We are accustomed to labels warning when a product was packaged in the same facility as an allergen. Product safety is … Continue reading Bad Medicines: Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup
Recently, George Washington’s Ferry Farm received a generous donation of bottles from the Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library. For the most part they date from the late 19th to early 20th century and therefore have no connection to the Washingtons. However, our Archaeology Department can certainly use them for a type collection. A type … Continue reading ‘Now With No Morphine!’: A Look at Patent Medicine Bottles Donated to Ferry Farm
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Archaeologist Mara Kaktins, Ceramics & Glass Specialist at The George Washington Foundation, presented a lecture titled “Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm.” Mara explored a wide variety of beverage-related artifacts from teawares to punch bowls and discussed how cups and glasses reflected efforts by … Continue reading Lecture – Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm [Video]
The replica Washington house at George Washington’s Ferry Farm has been open for tours for one year now but we still continue to add reproduction furniture and objects to the rooms inside. Since the house is a replica built using archaeology, historic research, and expert knowledge, we are using the same three foundations to create … Continue reading Making 18th Century Glass & Ceramic Reproductions: An Update
Recently, archaeologists at George Washington’s Ferry Farm came across an odd glass fragment in our collection. We poured over it, passing it from person to person trying to figure out what it was. Then came the ‘ah-ha’ moment: it was a gun barrel. That’s odd, right? Turns out it isn’t. This story starts in the … Continue reading Glass Guns: A Late 19th/Early 20th Century Phenomenon
Our Archaeology team reveals how they are creating replica 18th century glass and ceramic objects that visitors may touch during tours of the Washington house replica at Ferry Farm. Learn more about the Washington house replica here.
Twenty years ago, archaeologists digging at George Washington’s Ferry Farm unearthed the remains of a mid-eighteenth century kitchen. It was immediately obvious from the state of the artifacts that this kitchen had not simply fallen into to ruin and been abandoned – it had burned down. While this is fairly interesting in and of itself, … Continue reading Some Like it Hot …But Probably Not This Hot: The Archaeology of a (BIG!) Fire
Mara Kaktins, archaeology lab supervisor at George Washington's Ferry Farm, explains the weird patination on some glass artifacts excavated by our archaeologists. For other "Inside the Archaeology Lab" videos, visit the Archaeology at George Washington's Ferry Farm playlist our YouTube channel.