Community Archeology Lab Days

Tuesdays & Thursdays during April • 2 PM to 4 PM
History Discover Center at Blue Spring
400 North Mechanic Street, Cumberland

No reservations or tickets required. 
Get more info by emailing [email protected]

In conjunction with Maryland Archaeology Month, a partnership of the Jane Gates Heritage House, the Western Maryland Archaeology Society, the Allegany County Historical Society and Oxbow Cultural Research will offer April archaeological lab days tp catalog objects recovered from excavations at the Jane Gates House in 2019 at the new History Discovery Center in Cumberland.

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm during the month of April, the public is welcome to participate and learn about artifacts found during excavations in back yard at the Jane Gates House on Greene Street in September of 2019.  The soil was screened, and artifacts collected. The artifacts have been washed and mostly sorted. This experience offers the chance to help catalog, photograph, and learn about interpreting historic artifacts in the doing.

The Jane Gates house has been a witness to nearly 150 years of life along Greene Street. Beginning in 1871, it housed Jane Gates and several generations of her descendants. Jane Gates was born into slavery, but shortly after the Civil War she purchased this two-story home on a large lot on the Old Turnpike Road, now Greene Street. According to the 1870 U.S. census, Jane was occupied as a laundress and midwife, and lived at the home with some of her five children, including Edward Gates, the great grandfather of Henry Louis Gates Jr., a contemporary scholar of African American culture and history at Harvard University.

The archaeological study, directed by Suzanne Trussell, is an important tool to understanding the everyday lives of the house occupants. Through recovered objects, treasures, and trash, we discover fragments of daily life – information often unattainable by any other means. This archaeological research adds a tangible depth to archival research obtained by the Gates family.