Dolores Archaeological Program Technical Reports, DAP-054: Historic Research Design

Author(s): Deborah A. Duranceau

Year: 1979


The Dolores Archaeological Program Historic Research Design serves to structure fieldwork, analysis and other studies necessary to reconstruct the historic occupation and settlement of the Dolores River Valley. One segment of historic studies will focus on the settlers who "took up" 1 and in the valley under the provisions established by the Homestead Act of 1862; this part of the program has been designated Problem Domain 1. Other studies will focus on the establishment, lifespan and decline of the townsite of McPhee, headquarters of the new Mexico Lumber Company from 1923 to 1948; this part has been designated Problem Domain 2.

The reasons for concentrating historic research on homesteading and the McPhee townsite are as follows: first, due to the availability of land patents, assay records, company records and other lines of evidence, the Homestead Era (ca. 1880-1950) and the town of McPhee are well documented. Second, a large majority of the sites already surveyed and recorded can be classified as relating either to the Homestead Era or to McPhee. Finally, there has been very little systematic work done in Historic Archaeology in Colorado. The investigations that have been accomplished in the recent past have concentrated on local mining operations, or towns on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains. The results of the program enumerated in the research design will make a significant contribution to understanding of the history of and historical processes in southwestern Colorado. It is also intended that the program will make a significant contribution to local heritage; this will be in the form of a colorful summary that will be available to the local populace. In summary, by evaluating the historic resources available for study in the project area, it has been concluded that homesteading and the town of McPhee are those with the most potential for systematic research and contributions to local heritage.

Cite this Record

Dolores Archaeological Program Technical Reports, DAP-054: Historic Research Design. Deborah A. Duranceau. Dolores Archaeological Program Technical Reports. Salt Lake city, Utah: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Region. 1979 ( tDAR id: 394795) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8G44SW5


Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.61; min lat: 37.461 ; max long: -108.483; max lat: 37.595 ;

Record Identifiers

Bureau of Reclamation Contract No.(s): 8-07-40-S0562


General Note: As of April 2015, this and additional reports are hosted on the US Bureau of Land Management, Dolores Archaeological Program website;

File Information

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DAP-Technical-Report-054.pdf 1.14mb Apr 2, 2015 1:31:14 PM Public