Artifacts and Sherds Found at the Hess Homestead
Excavated from the Soil during Restoration in the 1980s
Above: Pre-Woodland Indian artifacts, including quartz arrowheads and spearheads, a drill (upper right), and a hide scraper (lower row, second from left).
Above: Ceramic sherds of British imported tableware from ca. 1800 to 1860s. Clockwise from uppper left: Spatterware peafowl saucer, stick spatterware cup, rainbow spatterware saucer, yellow spatterware sugar bowl, pearlware cup, Leeds cup, King's Rose plate, mochaware earthworm pieces, yellow Leeds cup, blue-edge saucer. In center is blue-and-green striped mochaware and historic blue transferware.
The sherds are in a British blue-edge platter owned by Jonas and Annie (Franck) Hess while living in the log farmhouse from 1862 to 1910. Jonas was born in the house. The platter was not excavated.
Above: Hand-wrought iron and a bone-handled steel knife. Iron includes (clockwise from top): ca. 1800-1850 swamp axe for cleaning irrigation ditches, a hoe head, thumb piece for thumb latch, pot hook, spatula, spoon, two parts of a thumb latch, meat hook, and a pintle for a strap hinge.
British and American Coins:
Above: Left to right: Row One: 1755 George II British halfpenny, next two coins: ca. 1770s George III halfpennies, 1788 Connecticut penny. Row Two: ca. 1788 Connecticut penny, mid-1790s U. S. large cent, 1804 U. S. half cent, 1812 U. S. large cent. Row Three: ca. 1840s U. S. large cent, 1879 Indian Head cent, 1905 Indian Head cent, Unidentified, ca. 1910 Washington D. C. trolley token.
Fragments of Stiegel Glass from Manheim, Lancaster County:
Above: Glass fragments of a painted flip glass in a bird pattern, ca. 1770s from the Stiegel glassworks in Manheim, Lancaster County. Found under the front porch of the log farmhouse. (The intact glass shown here was purchased at auction, and was not excavated.)
American Redware Sherds:
Above: Pennsylvania redware sherds ca. 1750 to 1820. Largest sherd is a fragment of a slip-decorated pie plate. Also shown: a clay pipe bowl, a fragment of a grooved roof tile from the log farmhouse's bake oven (bottom center), plus tableware and bakingware. All the sherds shown here are slip-decorated except the roof tile.
The platter (not excavated) is a ca. 1860 British ironstone platter in a wheat pattern. It was used at the Hess Homestead by Henry F. and Annie (Shenk) Hess for their Thanksgiving turkey. They lived in the log farmhouse from 1909 to 1920. The platter was also used by an earlier generation.
Buttons, Buckles, and a Bone-Handled Knife:
Above: Various buttons, mostly pewter. The large button, upper left, is from George Washington's inauguration. Beside it is a small 18th-century brass button with a star. Collection also includes bone buttons and glass buttons. The buckles include shoe buckles.
Fragments of a 1755 Stove Plate made near Brickerville:
Above: Fragments of a side plate of a five-plate stove cast in 1755 by Jacob Huber, ironmaster at Elizabeth Furnace near Brickerville, Lancaster County. The stove was probably used in the log house's Stube (living room). The fragments were found in the soil at the site of the present-day garden.
The complete stove plate shown above is identical to the fragments in date and design, and is also from Elizabeth Furnace. This intact plate was not found at the homestead, though, but was purchased at auction. This complete plate is a right-side plate, while the fragments are for a left-side plate.
A Spitball Shooter Hidden in a Loft:
Above: This homemade spitball shooter was found in the loft of the summer kitchen during the 1980s restoration of that building. The shooter was hidden behind a window casing.
Teacup Archaeology: Ceramic Sherds Found in the Soil at the Hess Homestead.
And a Collection of the Sherds' Corresponding Patterns:
In the 1980s Clarke Hess recovered several thousand pottery fragments in the soil at the Hess Homestead, while restoring the property. The sherds consist primarily of Pennsylvania redware and British imported ceramics.
The British ceramics span the period 1780 to 1860, with the bulk of the fragments dating from 1820 to 1850. Clarke identified 103 patterns or variants among the fragments large enough to identify. Of those patterns, 36 are examples of pearlware and creamware, 15 patterns are variants of green, feather-edged Leeds, 10 are variants of blue, feather-edged Leeds, 13 are spatterware patterns, 10 are transfer-printed patterns, 9 are mochaware patterns, 7 are stick-spatter patterns, and there is one decorated ironstone.
59 Patterns of Antique Cups and Saucers Found in the Hess-Homestead Soil:
Clarke found 59 patterns of cups and / or saucers among the sherds. This remarkable number of cups suggests that there were countless numbers of cup-and-saucer patterns used here at the Hess Homestead throughout these generations. The manufacture dates of all these cups range with 50 years, from 1800 to 1850.
What explains the huge number of broken cups and saucers (59 patterns) found in the soil here at the Hess Homestead? Mennonite church services were held here in the 1700s and 1800s, so all these broken cups and saucers might suggest that these cups were used for serving refreshments after the church services.
Other pottery forms found here include 33 plates, mostly cup plates or dessert-size plates, 3 waste bowls, 2 serving bowls, 2 cream pitchers, 2 mugs, 1 sugar bowl, and 1 child's cup. After analyzing the sherds, Clarke purchased intact examples of some of the patterns represented by these fragments found at the Homestead.
Above: Spatterware peafowl pattern, ca. 1840.
Above: Spatterware peafowl pattern, ca.1840.
Above: Spatterware peafowl pattern, ca. 1840. The fragments are from a cup in this pattern.