Archeological Inventory, Testing, and Data Recovery at the James Staples House (HS 9), Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, West Branch, Iowa


Staff of the Midwest Archeological Center investigated archeology associated with the James Staples House (HS-09) at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site during fall 2005 and spring 2006. These investigations ensued as a part of a rehabilitation project to upgrade staff housing, to restore the home’s historic character, and to improve conditions for its long-term preservation. Geophysical and shovel test inventories, as well as evaluative testing and data recovery excavations all provided information on the nature and distribution of archeological deposits across the house lot. Deposits vary, with a shallow kitchen midden dominating the southwest quadrant and extending south into the adjacent house lot. This dense yet relatively fragmented assemblage includes a wide variety of personal and domestic artifacts, as well as heating and construction debris (noted within the near-surface sediments everywhere). The northwest lot contains one or more potentially significant deposits located beneath a sizeable layer of re-deposited and/or churned fill. A buried trash feature contains a concentration of largely intact construction, domestic, and personal materials. Both eastern quadrants also showed a significant amount of redeposited sub-soil capping original grade and potentially significant artifact deposits, including early landscaping features and historic remodeling debris. Analyses suggest basement excavation spoil was distributed across the front and north sides during basement excavation and remodeling near the turn of the 20th Century. The artifact assemblage provides a useful source of information regarding house occupants throughout the late 19th into the mid-20th century. This assemblage might be used in comparison with others from the West Branch neighborhood to address questions regarding social and economic dynamics during that time.

Archeological deposits are capped by 30 or more centimeters of tilled and/or moved sediments in all but the southwest quadrant, where significant deposits are located at or near the surface. Archeological consultation early in the process of planning for any future undertakings involving groundwork at this lot is recommended. This is especially emphasized for the southwest area of this lot, as well as portions of the adjoining Wright House lot.

Materials and data associated with this project are stored at the Midwest Archeological Center under MWAC Accessions 1104, 1105 and 1119 (HEHO Accessions 126, 127, and 129, respectively).

Cite this Record

Archeological Inventory, Testing, and Data Recovery at the James Staples House (HS 9), Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, West Branch, Iowa. Dawn Bringelson, Amanda Davey, Jonathan Weiland. Midwest Archeological Center Technical Report ,No. 107. Lincoln, Nebraska: Midwest Archeology Center, National Park Service. 2008 ( tDAR id: 376116) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8CV4HGN

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.377; min lat: 41.651 ; max long: -91.328; max lat: 41.685 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Steven L. De Vore; Kenneth P. Cannon

Repository(s): Midwest Archeological Center National Park Service

Record Identifiers

HEHO Accession Number(s): 127; 126; 129

MWAC Accession Number(s): 1119; 1104; 1105

File Information

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