Incorporating Ephemeral-ness: Archaeology of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum

Author(s): Stephen Damm

Year: 2014


The Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum (LHBM), situated along the shores of Lake Michigan, is dedicated to Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr., a noted progressive agriculturalist in the early twentieth-century. While discussions of his later life center around his championing of farm reforms in the New Deal and advocating new methods of agricultural production, the LHBM focuses on his childhood in South Haven, Michigan-especially his early views of nature and agriculture found in writings. The Bailey’s, however, were farmers who pioneered new agricultural methods, methods that Bailey, Jr. would later go on to advocate in academic and political arenas. Despite the fact that the site proved more ephemeral than anticipated, we have been able to draw connections between his childhood and his later ideologies based on the material record. I will present a brief historical context for this site and for Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. and explore how archaeological interpretations are possible not only in spite of the ephemeral nature of the site, but in fact utilize it to enhance our understanding of the development of a key historical figure.

Cite this Record

Incorporating Ephemeral-ness: Archaeology of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum. Stephen Damm. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437073)

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-53,04