Saturday, April 28, 2012

Freegrace Treasure

Our pond was in dire need of a filter.  While the neon green algae isn't unhealthy for our animals (on the contrary, it's actually full of nutrients), we wanted a pond that was both healthy and not the color of Gatorade.  Ray built a super filter from scratch but it requires a behemoth Rubbermaid tub to hold the works and we can't have a rubber tub in the middle of the yard.  So we did what our Vermont ancestors did, we scoured our property for stones to build a dry rock wall.
We have a dry stone wall that surrounds our property.  It dates to the 18th century and spans the property line.   A barrier that old is going to have issues and a few stories.  I'd noticed that we had some lovely stones just along the property perimeter alongside the wall but my worry was that the rocks belonged to the wall, that they'd listed sideways and plopped off to take a rest on the loamy ground. We hefted up a handsome rock and found that instead of having belonged to the wall, it masked a trash pit.  A few centimeters beneath the roots and rolly pollies, a city of ancient trash awaited our discovery.  My childhood dream of becoming an archaeologist was now fulfilled.

pottery, bottles, metal, toothbrushes.  everything that's dug up on the Discovery Channel during Egypt week was in my reach.  Did I harbor a gleefully morbid hope to find a body?  Of course!  

But I found pottery tinged with bright blue.
And I filled my bucket with shards of treasure.
And I set aside strange stragglers like marrow bones, glass shards and a piece of metal with a beehive imprint.  

And I found more fiddleheads.  I hadn't expected to unearth more edibles but treasure is treasure.  

YAY!  Food!

During the war of 1812, Freegrace Leavitt famously  brewed potato whiskey at the tavern to great profit. We've been looking for remnants of whiskey production since we started to restore Freegrace and now we have a piece of glass to remind us that we still haven't found any barrels of the good stuff. 

we found ancient toothbrushes.  strangely, they make me feel dirty.

our bounty.

I can't find more of this particular pot but unearthing a small azure shard was heaven.

I also found a bottle top and stopwatch frame.  

We didn't find human remains but a horse mandible will do.

And it's a lovely reminder that life will always find a place. There's a plant growing upside down in this ancient bottle.

All this wonderful treasure found because we were building a pond.  This is the life I dreamt of having when I was a kid.  It doesn't disappoint.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE that you found all of this treasure~!!!!...that is my dream as well....I live just on the other side of the "mountain" from you and I poke around my own acreage in hopes of finding some old relics of days gone, are you lucky!....I'm envious...and your pond looks fabulous....


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