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Blackmar-Eaton Project

Please click here to view photos of the Blackmar-Eaton project.

The Blackmar-Eaton (MDS 1001) site was excavated as part of a series of cultural resource investigations conducted in anticipation of the construction of Segment 5 of the US Route 219 Upgrade Alternative, the construction of a 6.8 km (4.2 mi) segment of a divided four-lane highway with limited access between NYS Route 39 in the Village of Springville, Town of Concord, Erie County, New York and Edies Road in the and the Town of Ashford, Cattaraugus County, New York.

The site is located in southwestern New York State within the present-day Town of Concord, Erie County, New York, just southwest of the Village of Springville. It is situated within a small, two acre parcel that encompasses the northeastern corner of Lot 68B within Township 6, Range 7 of the Holland Land Company survey area, along the northern shoulder of Zoar Valley Road (CR 451).

The Blackmar-Eaton (MDS 1001) site was first recorded by a team of archaeologists from the SUNY at Buffalo Archaeological Survey in the summer of 2002 during a Phase IB archaeological reconnaissance survey.  Testing within the site’s vicinity resulted in the identification and recovery of a large volume of domestic and architectural debris associated with a large broadcast midden scatter that was contained entirely within project area limits.

A Phase II site examination was recommended, and fieldwork was conducted in 2003. The site examination identified a moderate-to-high density sheet midden concentrated within the site’s southwestern corner as well as identifying several intact subsurface features, including an animal burial and a deeply buried, artifact-rich pit midden. Based on these results, Phase III data recovery investigations were recommended.

A Phase III data recovery was conducted during the summer of 2007.  Excavations produced substantial cultural deposits and features associated with the site’s 19th and early 20th century occupation.  It was found that the site comprises the central domestic core of a small tenant property.  A total of 42,277 artifacts were recovered, from plowzone and feature soil contexts.   Of the 90 features identified, 74 were contextually associated with the site’s 19th – early 20th century occupation; they include 72 smaller features, such as post-holes and post-molds,  as well as 3 large, multi-strata pit features, including a privy, an agricultural debris processing and disposal area, and the wood-lined cellar pit of 1001.