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Neff & Gampp Cheese Factory Site Interpretation

The Neff and Gampp Cheese Factory represent a multi-component 19th century industrial / 20th century domestic site.  The sites first component is associated with its c.1867 – 1888 use as a cheese factory.  Due to excessive soil disturbances, no in situ deposits were found that were directly associated with this early period.  While several possible artifacts were located that could potentially be associated with the MDS 81’s industrial use, including iron mechanical parts that may have belonged to a steam engine system used to power the former cheese factory’s curd heating system, as well as thermometer fragments and several coal bricks.

Based on the paucity of any cheese making artifacts in general, it is assumed that the valuable equipment was removed from the factory at the time of its closing and was reused or recycled. Larger objects, including engines, boiler, or other equipment that were either obsolete and/or too difficult to move, may have simply been removed from their mounting and buried in MDS 81’s rear yard.   However, these materials were recovered from soil contexts heavily disturbed during MDS 81’s early 20th century conversion into residential apartments.  As such, it cannot be determined if these materials were used in the cheese factory, or were dumped at the site as fill.

The sites second component is associated with MDS 81’s mid 20th century use as a residential apartment, as well as with its late 20th century collapse and ruination.  Materials recovered from the site potentially associated with its 20th century domestic occupation include a variety of cosmetic, clothing and commercial food related artifacts; though no distinct depositional patterns were observed that suggested that the site’s occupants were disposing of their trash on-site within either sheet or pit midden contexts.  Instead, these materials are likely building contents that were deposited during MDS 81’s collapse.