Results of Research Conducted on the Thomas Nelson Farm Site (19-MD-347/HA.6) in Hanscom Air Force Base, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Author(s): Barbara Donohue

Year: 2010

Summary

Pursuant to Public Law 102-488-October 24, 1992, 106STAT.3135, a 3.082-acre parcel of land within the western portion of Hanscom Air Force Base (HAFB) was transferred to Minute Man National Park (MIMA). The parcel, located between a wetland area to the east and Airport road to the west, had not been included in a previous specialized archeological survey of HAFB (Donohue 2007). The area was considered to have high potential for battlefield debris as well as high potential for prehistoric and historic archeological resources. Given security concerns for the base, a fence was proposed to separate the transferred MIMA parcel from HAFB. Prior to the property transfer a specialized archeological survey was conducted on the parcel that included documentary research, metal detector and magnetometer surveys, and an archeological field investigation in areas of prehistoric and historic archeological potential. Documentary research for the specialized archeological survey revealed that the area under study or a significant section of it may hold an association with the Thomas Nelson, Sr. (also referred to as the Tabitha Nelson) Farm site (19-MD-347/HA.6). It was determined that environmental features and vestiges of historic land use practices may still exist within both the parcel being transferred to MIMA and HAFB. These landscape features may be significant as they can provide information important to an understanding of activities and events associated with the Battle of April 19, 1775. As the boundaries of the eighteenth-century Thomas Nelson Farm site (19-MD-347/HA.6) were not known, it was recommended that additional documentary research be conducted to clarify its present-day boundaries and see if features of the farmstead associated with the Battle of April 19, 1775 remain in HAFB (Donohue 2007). In 2009, the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE) contracted with John Milner Associates, Inc. to conduct the recommended investigation. The survey consisted of documentary research into primary and secondary sources and a field walkover at both HAFB and MIMA. As a result of the survey four landscape features associated with the Thomas Nelson Farm site (19-MD-347/HA.6), one landscape feature belonging to either Nelson or his neighbor, and two that postdate Nelson’s farm have been identified in HAFB. Within the parcel transferred to MIMA, 10 landscape features associated with the Thomas Nelson Farm site (19-MD-347/HA.6), one landscape feature suspected to belong to either Nelson or his neighbor, and two that postdate Nelson’s farm been identified.

Cite this Record

Results of Research Conducted on the Thomas Nelson Farm Site (19-MD-347/HA.6) in Hanscom Air Force Base, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Barbara Donohue. 2010 ( tDAR id: 447961) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8447961

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): James Wilde

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2010030101---HAFB---Research-at-Nelson-Farm-Site--9-MD-347-HA.... 33.26mb Jan 4, 2019 1:23:51 PM Confidential

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Contact(s): James Wilde