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Sawmills and Cordwood: Life in Natchez-Under-the-Hill during the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Author(s): Thurston Hahn III ; Joanne Ryan ; Sara A. Hahn ; Jerame J. Cramer ; Douglas Wells ; Carey Coxe

Year: 2005

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Between June and September 1999, Coastal Environments, Inc. (CEI), conducted Phase III data recovery excavations at the Well site (22AD993) in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Vicksburg District. Those cultural resources investigations were conducted as part of the COE’s Natchez Bluffs Stability Project and Natchez Riverfront Revetment projects. Both construction projects are designed to protect the historic Natchez Bluffs and Natchez-Under-the-Hill from impacts caused by erosion.

The Well site was first recorded by CEI in the summer of 1998 during the course of a Phase I cultural resources survey of the Natchez Riverfront Revetment project area. The site was revisited in the winter of 1998–1999 in regard to the construction of Reach 4 of the Natchez Bluffs Stability Project. Subsequent National Register eligibility testing of the site in the spring of 1999 found that the site met Criterion “d” of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The data recovery excavations were undertaken soon after the development of a data recovery plan.

A combination of mechanical and hand excavations at the site revealed 14 archaeological features dating circa 1840–1933— two associated with the circa 1840–1863 sawmill, eleven associated with several circa 1867–1933 residences, and an erosional feature containing a quantity of cultural material. Not including the over 260,000 pieces of gravel, baked clay, and concretions that were hand excavated, these investigations yielded in excess of 413,000 artifacts. Combined with in-depth archival research, the field investigations and artifact analyses have provided considerable information about the circa 1840–1863 McFadden-Sisloff/Cozzens sawmill and the circa 1867–1906 Roth cordwood yard at Natchez-Under-the-Hill. Together, these resources have illuminated a small window into the lives of the people who lived and worked at Natchez-Under-the-Hill. This report presents the results of the data recovery excavations and the analyses of the recovered artifacts.

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Cite this Record

Sawmills and Cordwood: Life in Natchez-Under-the-Hill during the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Thurston Hahn III, Joanne Ryan, Sara A. Hahn, Jerame J. Cramer, Douglas Wells, Carey Coxe. Baton Rouge, LA: Coastal Environments, Inc. 2005 ( tDAR id: 375622) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8VD6XQW


Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1867 to 1933 (Residences)

Calendar Date: 1840 to 1863 (Sawmill)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.421; min lat: 31.547 ; max long: -91.392; max lat: 31.586 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): District Archaeologist, Vicksburg District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Contributor(s): Elizabeth M. Boggess

Principal Investigator(s): David B. Kelley

Repository(s): Cobb Institute of Archaeology, College of Arts and Sciences of Mississippi State University

Prepared By(s): Coastal Environments, Inc. Baton Rouge, LA

Submitted To(s): U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District

Record Identifiers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District(s): DACW38-98-D-0004


General Note: Contract DACW38-98-D-0004

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
natchez_under_the_hill_cei_2005.pdf 70.54mb May 4, 2012 9:10:31 AM Public
Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America