Rhyolite, Charcoal and Whiskey: The Archaeology of Catoctin Mountain Park

Author(s): Lisa Kraus; Jason Shellenhamer

Year: 2016


Catoctin Mountain has always been a challenging landscape, but one that rewards perseverance. Native Americans negotiated its rocky slopes in search of rhyolite for stone tools, and hunted and camped along the freshwater streams and springs. Workers from the nearby Catoctin Iron Furnace burned its ample timber for charcoal to fuel the ironworks. Innovative farmers and homebuilders created flat terraces for their houses and gardens on the mountainside. During the Prohibition era, some of the largest bootlegging operations in the country were based on high-volume stills operating near streams in nooks and crannies of the rugged Catoctin Mountains, like the Blue Blazes Still, which was famously raided in 1929. Dr. Potter's interest in Catoctin was rewarded with the discovery of 119 new archaeological sites, which have helped to illuminate the history and prehistory of the park and the region as a whole.

Cite this Record

Rhyolite, Charcoal and Whiskey: The Archaeology of Catoctin Mountain Park. Lisa Kraus, Jason Shellenhamer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434895)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 201