Archaeology of a 19th Century Miner’s Boarding House Yard
Author(s): Brendan Pelto
The Clifton site (20KE53), located on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was the settlement site for the Cliff Mine, the first profitable copper mine in Michigan. Operating throughout the 1850s and 60s, the town of Clifton began to disappear around 1871 when the Boston and Pittsburgh mining company ceased operations and began to lease out the land to individual prospectors. The Industrial Archaeology program at Michigan Technological University has been performing field work at the Cliff site for the last four years, with the last year of work being focused on the site of the town itself. One of four trenches dug at 20KE53 was labeled as ‘Trench A’ - the A representing the beautiful apple tree that covered the trench. This trench was designed to look at how yard space of a boarding house would have been utilized in a mid 19th century mining town of diverse ethnic background. Ceramic analysis and zooarchaeology will be utilized to portray life in the boarding house as well as how the space between the house and the road was organized.
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Archaeology of a 19th Century Miner’s Boarding House Yard. Brendan Pelto. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437367)