Archeological Investigations at Boston Village, Boston Township, Summit County, Ohio, Part I: Inventory and Evaluation at the Boston General Store, 1991

Author(s): Jeffrey J. Richner

Year: 1996


This report summarizes the results of a three-week-Iong archeological investigation of the grounds about the Boston General Store at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. This timber-frame structure has survived relatively intact since its construction in 1836. It exhibits elements of Classical and Greek Revival architecture combined with vernacular components. Located along the towpath (west side) of the Ohio and Erie Canal in the village of Boston, Summit County, Ohio, the structure is part of an early- and mid-nineteenth-century commercial development focusing on various milling activities and on the canal's transportation potential. The Store had minor impact on the regional economy, although some of its owners were successful, relatively notable figures in the nineteenth-century business community of nearby Akron, Ohio, and of the Western Reserve in general. The structure was a family residence for most of its long history, but it also functioned as a general merchandise store, post office, and warehouse throughout much of the nineteenth century.

The ongoing restoration of the canal towpath as a hiking trail through the Recreation Area led to the need for numerous access points and other visitor facilities. The Store's location and architectural significance made it a prime candidate for preservation and adaptive use. In 1991, a draft Historic Structure Report was completed, thus initiating the adaptive restoration process. The archeological investigation reported here is a separate component of that study. Archeological fieldwork focused on study of the condition of the original sandstone foundation and investigation of the structure's grounds to determine the nature of associated archeological features and artifact scatters. Limited test excavations revealed numerous archeological/architectural features preserved on the grounds and demonstrated the foundation to be in variable condition. Many of the archeological features are foundation elements from a two-story timber-frame warehouse that formerly had been attached to the south facade of the Store.

Artifacts spanning most of the plus-150-year history of the structure were recovered during evaluative testing. These materials support current interpretation ofthe historic record which argues that the Store's impact was local both in scale and in importance. The numerous, well-preserved features and stratified condition of the site indicate that the archeological deposits surrounding the structure are significant and should be carefully considered during future restoration.

Cite this Record

Archeological Investigations at Boston Village, Boston Township, Summit County, Ohio, Part I: Inventory and Evaluation at the Boston General Store, 1991. Jeffrey J. Richner. Midwest Archeological Center Technical Report ,No. 53. Lincoln, Nebraska: Midwest Archeological Center, National Park Service. 1996 ( tDAR id: 376082) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8TX3F39

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min long: -81.569; min lat: 41.24 ; max long: -81.55; max lat: 41.278 ;

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