The John Hollister Site: A 17th Century Fortified Farm Complex in Glastonbury, Connecticut

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2018

The John Hollister Site is an expansive 17th century farm complex in the Connecticut River Valley. The farm, established before 1650, was located on the fringe of English settlement on eastern shore of "Great River" and became the residence of two generations of large families before being abandoned. Nestled quietly beneath a horse pasture, the site was discovered through remote sensing in 2015. Recent archaeological investigations of three of the five large filled cellars documented at the site have identified artifacts and food remains in an unprecedented state of preservation. This session summarizes recent finds with talks focused on remote sensing, documentary data, material culture, foodways, architecture, and the cultural entanglements between English settlers and their Native Wangunk neighbors.

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  • Documents (8)

  • Examining Wangunk-Hollister Interactions Through Analysis of the Colonial Landscape and Indigenous Pottery (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maeve Herrick.

    The first few decades of colonization in southern New England appear to have been markedly different from eighteenth-century colonialism in the region. Specifically, relationships and interactions between English settler-colonists and Indigenous peoples during this time seem to have been complex and characterized by reciprocity. Intersecting lines of evidence at the Hollister site support this, and indicate that complex relationships were fostered between the colonists occupying the site, and...

  • Geophysical Methods at the Hollister Site: Summary of Finds (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Peter Leach. Maeve Herrick. Jasmine Saxon.

    Geophysical methods in archaeology are increasingly integrated into traditional archaeological surveys. Remote sensing is valuable because it allows for large areas to be surveyed relatively quickly and noninvasively. At the Hollister site in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, magnetometry and ground-penetrating radar, were implemented over a 140x140 meter area. Magnetometry measures alterations to earth’s magnetic field. This method is helpful for identifying a number of artifacts and features,...

  • Identifying Status and Identity Through Material Remains: A Preliminary Report from the Hollister Site (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Megan K Willison.

    This paper presents a preliminary analysis of the material remains and use of space at a seventeenth century fortified Euro-American domestic site located in present-day Glastonbury, CT.  At this site, questions related to status, material consumption, and trade are addressed through the analysis of glass, metallic, and European ceramic assemblages.  In addition to providing a preliminary overview of the types of European products recovered and their reuse patterns, this paper shall also explore...

  • Inroduction to the John Hollister Site (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brian D Jones.

    The John Hollister Site in Glastonbury, Connecticut was occupied from at least 1650 to about 1715. Since that time it has rested quietly beneath an isolated pasture.  Recent archaeological investigations of the site documents how effectively the Hollisters and their tenants were able to adapt to this new land and become socially and economically successful, despite many environmental, social, cultural and political challenges. The site is unique to Connecticut in providing such a rich picture of...

  • The John Hollister Site: Smoking and Money (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jasmine Saxon.

    The success of Connecticut’s industrial history found its beginning in the hard-working farmers and tradesmen of the early 17th century. The John Hollister site, located in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, provides a unique snapshot into the mid-17th century when successful economic activity began developing in New England. The tobacco business created an economic boom in the New and Old Worlds and was quickly associated with wealth and affluence. Comparing tobacco pipe fragments excavated at the...

  • Preliminary Analysis of Faunal Remains from the 17th-Century John Hollister Site, Glastonbury, Connecticut (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah P. Sportman.

          Recent archaeological investigations at the 17th century John Hollister Site in Glastonbury, Connecticut resulted in the recovery of thousands of extraordinarily well-preserved faunal remains.  The diverse assemblage, which includes mammals, birds, fish, and shellfish, was recovered from three large, filled cellar contexts. The food remains provide an unprecedented look at the foodways, animal husbandry strategies, and food procurement activities of Connecticut’s earliest settlers, and...

  • Preliminary Phytolith Analysis at the John Hollister Site (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Krista M Dotzel.

    This presentation will provide a preliminary phytolith analysis to address foodways and plant use at the John Hollister Site using samples taken from the site’s well-preserved filled cellars. Phytoliths provide a line of analysis that can reinforce and expand upon traditional macroscopic archaeobotanical analyses due to differences in the ways that seeds and phytoliths preserve. Initial phytolith analysis supports the macroscopic archaeobotanical findings that the people at the John Hollister...

  • Preliminary Report on the Archaeobotany of the John Hollister Site (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only William A. Farley.

    This paper reports on and begins the process of addressing research questions related to the archaeobotanical remains from the 17th-century John Hollister Site in Glastonbury, Connecticut. The site boasts an extraordinary level of botanical preservation and promises to be a significant contribution to the understanding of the period’s regional foodways. Initial results suggest a mixture of indigenous plants and taxa that likely entered the region with early European settlement. This mirrors the...