Archeological Investigations at the Savacoal Property in Boston Village, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Summit County, Ohio

Author(s): Ann C. Bauermeister

Year: 2011


The Midwest Archeological Center (MWAC) conducted archeological inventory

and evaluative testing efforts at the Savacoal property, in Cuyahoga Valley National

Park (CUVA), during the 2001, 2002, and 2007 field seasons. The investigations resulted

in the identification of two archeological sites, both located on land Tract 109-107 in

Boston Village, Boston Township, Summit County, Ohio. Site 33SU419 is an historic

artifact scatter associated with the Savacoal Barn on the east side of the parcel. A small

prehistoric assemblage of two artifacts was also recovered from the site. Site 33SU423,

the Hopkins House site, is a multicomponent prehistoric and historic site, with the latter

assemblage attributed to the residential component on the west side of the lot.

The archeological investigations were initiated in response to plans to

rehabilitate and stabilize the barn (HS-487) and to adaptively restore the vacant house

(HS-486). Data on the archeological resources of the property were collected for use

in ongoing planning efforts. Project field methods consisted of close-interval shovel

testing around the perimeter of the barn and across the grounds adjacent to the house,

followed by limited evaluative testing. Additional and more intensive evaluative testing

was accomplished at 33SU423 after specific undertakings associated with the Savacoal

(aka Hopkins) House restoration were proposed by CUVA. The projects include:

constructing an accessible walkway between the house and the barn; improving an

existing gravel area to accommodate parking; and installing a cistern to provide water

to the house. The new walkway would be positioned within the corridor of an existing

walkway and would be constructed with fill above grade. Supplemental gravel will be

added to the existing gravel pads on the south and west sides of the barn and would be

limited to the footprint of the extant pads. The cistern installation is the only project that

will require ground disturbance to accomplish and is the primary focus of this report.

As a point of clarification, the extant house on Tract 109-107 is known as both

the Hopkins House and as the Savacoal House, though park planners prefer the latter

historic designation. The archeological site was recorded as the Hopkins House site, but

in this report the name Savacoal will be used when referring to the house. Also, the two

sites designated on the property likely comprise a single site with multiple components,

but since they were recorded separately and have received individual state site numbers,

the individual designations will be retained.

This report documents the combined results of the inventory and evaluative

testing that MWAC conducted at the Savacoal property between 2001 and 2007. The

results indicate that site 33SU423 is a potentially significant archeological site with

artifacts dating to the 1827-1927 period of significance for which Boston Village is

recognized. The archeological site is considered potentially eligible for the National

Register of Historic Places (NRHP) under criterion D because it has the potential to yield

additional data about historic residential activities during and subsequent to the Canal

era (1827-1913). Site deposits, however, have limited depositional integrity. They occur

as a homogenous deposit of nineteenth- and twentieth-century artifacts in soils that

have been heavily impacted from ground disturbing activities attributed to demolition

of an earlier house, the construction of the extant house, as well as typical residential

activities. Results from the archeological investigations indicate that the proposed

projects would not adversely impact any cultural resources eligible for the NRHP. The

walkway and gravel parking improvements would occur within the same footprint as

existing components, with supplemental material added only above existing grade.

Further, investigations within these areas confirmed that the underlying soils are grossly

disturbed. Following the process of Section 106 for preserving significant resources and

avoiding the need to undertake data recovery, an area within the site boundary was also

identified where the cistern could be installed without having an adverse effect.

Cite this Record

Archeological Investigations at the Savacoal Property in Boston Village, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Summit County, Ohio. Ann C. Bauermeister. Midwest Archeological Center Technical Report ,No. 128. Lincoln, Nebraska: Midwest Archeological Center, National Park Service. 2011 ( tDAR id: 376089) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8Q52PBM

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -81.642; min lat: 41.166 ; max long: -81.488; max lat: 41.373 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Sponsor(s): National Park Serivce

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