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Wilson-Folts Site Interpretation

Wilson-Folts represents a multi-component domestic historic site. The first component is comprised of materials related to the sites 19th century residential use.  During the 19th century, MDS 1004 was occupied by at least two different households, the Abram B. Wilson household, between c.1848 and 1860, and the Oliver Folts household, between c.1860 and 1900.  Materials associated with the site’s domestic component were recovered from topsoil sheet midden contexts and from Feature 1, and in addition to a variety of early to mid 19th century domestic ceramic and glass artifacts, also included functionally diagnostic artifacts contextually associated with specific residential occupation periods.

Artifacts attributable with the Wilson occupation included several medical/surgical objects: including, but not limited to a circular bone saw blade, a chloroform applicator bottle, and a table utensil handle with the initials “AW” scratched on the front and “W” on the reverse.  Artifacts attributed to the Folts occupation include a variety of smoking pipes recovered from rear yard contexts, including glass canning jars that became popular in the late 19th century with the advent of semi-automatic bottle manufacturing process, effectively replacing ceramic vessels for food storage purposes, as well as for patent medicines and commercial cosmetic products (hair tint, etc).

The site’s second component is associated with 20th century re-use for the disposal of residential garbage by the sites owners and/or neighbors who also lived along Neff Road.   Although the entire wooded portion was covered by 20th century surface debris, MDS 1004’s foundation pit was the epicenter of refuse dumping activities. Contextually associated artifacts recovered from MDS 1004’s re-used foundation pit include a range of domestic kitchen refuse, such as consumer food product containers as sanitary can fragments, commercial condiment and other food containers, beverage bottles, both glass and ceramic cooking and serving wares.

Other functionally diagnostic materials include commercial hygiene/medicinal products, including a variety of hair dyes, proprietary medicines, cosmetics and lotions.   In addition, several agricultural tools were identified, including a pitchfork, a scythe and a saw-blade, along with several automobile parts and other small personal, clothing and lighting/electrical artifacts. It is likely that these materials represent the continuous dumping domestic trash from one or more of the domestic households that lived either near the site during the early to mid 20th century.