In Search Of....The Lost Kilns Of St. Elizabeths Hospital

Author(s): Paul P. Kreisa; Nancy Powell; Geri Knight-Iske

Year: 2016


St. Elizabeths Hospital was championed by Dorthea Dix during the 1840s-50s as a model hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill. Starting in 2005, Stantec has conducted archaeological investigations at the Department of Homeland Security’s new home on the Hospital’s West Campus. One of the persistent questions we are asked is: "Where were the kilns?" Annual progress reports to Congress mention the presence of "kilns" but give no clue as to their number, location, or nature.  Various field techniques, including GPR and magnetometry, have enabled us to identify at least 10 clamp kilns or related features.  In this paper we examine the nature and location of the kilns in relation to the original hospital buildings and their construction sequence to create a chronology of kiln use and abandonment. In so doing, we attempt to gain insights into the tempo and nature of large scale construction projects during the 1850s.

Cite this Record

In Search Of....The Lost Kilns Of St. Elizabeths Hospital. Paul P. Kreisa, Nancy Powell, Geri Knight-Iske. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 435077)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 254