Phase II Archaeological Evaluation of Site 18ST792, U.S. Navy Land-Exchange Parcel, Point Lookout State Park, St. Mary's County, Maryland

Summary

This report describes the results of a Phase II archaeological evaluation conducted on site 18ST792 located on a 3-acre parcel in Point Lookout State Park, St. Mary’s County, Maryland. The investigation was conducted in advance of a land exchange to be executed between the U.S. Navy and the State of Maryland. The purpose of the exchange is to allow the Navy to relocate its existing Communications Tower from the southern point of the Point Lookout peninsula. The land exchange would result in the Navy transferring the historic Point Lookout Lighthouse located at the point to the State of Maryland.

Numerous historical and archaeological resources are known to exist on the Point Lookout peninsula, which extends into the Chesapeake Bay. These resources are associated with a Civil War-era U.S. Army hospital, a fort (Fort Lincoln), a prison camp for Confederate soldiers, and the Point Lookout Lighthouse. Buildings and structures were constructed and occupied on the peninsula during the Civil War between 1862 and 1865. A previous Phase I survey of the 3-acre parcel (Sara and Bergevin 2004) identified a scatter of historic artifacts possibly associated with the Civil War occupation. The site was recommended for further testing in order to determine its National Register eligibility.

The Phase II investigation consisted of a systematic metal detector sweep of the 75-x-70-m site followed by excavation of 31 shovel tests and nine 1-x-1-m test units. The metal detector sweep recorded 129 positive metal detector readings in three clusters. A total of 51 metal detector hits, representing 39 percent of the sample, was investigated by test unit and shovel test excavation. In total, 167 artifacts were recovered from excavations, consisting of both historic and modern materials. No in situ foundations, structural remains, or other buried features were identified, with the exception of one small possible post mold.

The material remains consist predominantly of small, corroded ferrous metal fragments of wire and square nails, and nail fragments, as well as fragmentary pieces of ceramic, vessel glass, and modern light bulb fragments. The artifacts are interpreted as remnants of both the Civil War-era occupation of the area and late nineteenth- to mid-twentieth-century refuse disposal, although only a small percentage can be attributed to the Civil War era. Civil War era material may be associated with “Stables” and “Carpenter Shop” as depicted in this vicinity on a 1863 lithograph. With the exception of several larger ferrous metal objects, all artifacts are fragmentary and derive from shallow soil deposits.

The material remains of the short-lived Civil War-era occupation have been dispersed from postoccupational demolition, past agricultural activities, and modern-era grading for drainage improvement and reforestation. Site 18ST792 was found to have poor integrity and low research value, and is thus recommended as not eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D. Further archaeological investigation of the site is unlikely to further our understanding of the historical use of this area and no further archaeological investigation is recommended.

Cite this Record

Phase II Archaeological Evaluation of Site 18ST792, U.S. Navy Land-Exchange Parcel, Point Lookout State Park, St. Mary's County, Maryland. Timothy R. Sara, Stacy McClintock. 2005 ( tDAR id: 392744) ; doi:10.6067/XCV82F7PFH

Spatial Coverage

min long: -76.344; min lat: 38.036 ; max long: -76.303; max lat: 38.056 ;

Record Identifiers

Contact No.(s): ARCH–RP00071–03

Maryland Historical Trust Report #(s): ST 224

MAC Lab Lot Number(s): 18ST792/22; 18ST792/13; 18ST792/12; 18ST792/5; 18ST792/18; 18ST792/26; 18ST792/7; 18ST792/25; 18ST792/20; 18ST792/34; 18ST792/36; 18ST792/6; 18ST792/32; 18ST792/35; 18ST792/17; 18ST792/15; 18ST792/31; 18ST792/23; 18ST792/14; 18ST792/21; 18ST792/38; 18ST792/8; 18ST792/39; 18ST792/29; 18ST792/27; 18ST792/33; 18ST792/9; 18ST792/28; 18ST792/16; 18ST792/30; 18ST792/19; 18ST792/37; 18ST792/11; 18ST792/40; 18ST792/24; 18ST792/10

Modification No.(s): 7

MAC Lab Accession Number(s): 2006.056

GMI Project No. (s): 30441.00.01

Notes

General Note: The following physical records are held at MAC Lab: Field Notes, Maps, Artifact Catalog, Report

General Note: Date Collected:FEB 2005

Redaction Note: This document has been redacted. To request access to a nonredacted copy, contact the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.

File Information

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PointLookoutII_rpt.pdf 27.73mb Apr 17, 2014 12:08:52 PM Confidential
PointLookoutII_rpt_Redacted.pdf 14.46mb Aug 28, 2014 9:21:19 AM Confidential
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Contact(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator; Michael Smolek