Armstrong-Rogers Site (7NC-F-135), U.S. Route 301 Corridor, New Castle County, Delaware


On behalf of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), Dovetail Cultural Resource Group (Dovetail) conducted a Phase III archaeological data recovery at the Armstrong-Rogers site (7NC-F-135), a late-eighteenth- through mid-nineteenth-century farmstead work yard in New Castle County, Delaware. The work was completed in association with DelDOT’s U.S. Route 301 Project and the site is located within the project’s Area of Potential Effects (APE) in the U.S. Route 301 mainline corridor just east of Summit Bridge Road, current U.S. Route 301. It was determined that the proposed road construction would have an adverse effect on the Armstrong-Rogers site, thus a data recovery was conducted at this location.

The Armstrong-Rogers site was the subject of Phase IA and Phase IB investigations by Hunter Research (Hunter) in 2008 and 2009 and Phase II investigations by the Louis Berger Group (Berger) in 2011 (Berger 2011; Burrow et al. 2009; Liebknecht and Burrow 2011). Archaeological work revealed a distinct core of activity located in the southern portion of the parcel with a light scatter of domestic artifacts in the northwestern portion of the yard. Together, the surveys determined that the core of activity at the Armstrong-Rogers site covers a roughly 2-acre (0.8-ha) area, which was the focus of data recovery efforts. The results of data recovery efforts undertaken at the Armstrong-Rogers site, as well as results of the Phase II work previously not documented, are presented in this report.

Phase II excavations at the site were conducted by Berger in the autumn of 2011 and included the excavation of 56 test units, leading to the identification and sampling of 18 features. During the Phase II work, Berger recovered 3,207 artifacts. Phase III data recovery excavations of the site were conducted in the autumn of 2012 and involved the excavation of excavation units within the previously defined site core in order to sample the plowzone, the mechanical stripping of the remaining plowzone, and the excavation of features. This work resulted in the recovery of over 6,500 artifacts and the examination of 35 cultural features.

Phase III investigations further refined the site occupational history and identified at least three buildings (a dairy, a smokehouse, and a possible granary) and two wells dating to the period of ownership by Cornelius Armstrong and his heirs, 1767–1824. Artifact and feature analysis showed that the overall landscape of the work yard reflected changing ideas about farmstead management and agricultural reform that began to appear in the late-eighteenth century. The siting of the work yard, and the farmstead in general, in relation to transportation corridors revealed the complex nature of the development of transportation in Delaware and how it affected the location and use of sites. Broad comparative and contextual analyses of the dairy, smokehouse, and wells at the site illustrated the ways in which the everyday architecture and agricultural practices of this Delaware farmstead both reflected and influenced changing concepts of identity and society in the late-colonial and early-Federal Middle Atlantic region.

Cite this Record

Armstrong-Rogers Site (7NC-F-135), U.S. Route 301 Corridor, New Castle County, Delaware. ( tDAR id: 439980) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8BP05Q6

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1767 to 1824

Spatial Coverage

min long: -75.735; min lat: 39.479 ; max long: -75.7; max lat: 39.507 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Heidi Krofft

Contributor(s): D. Brad Hatch; Danae Peckler; Joseph Blondino

Field Director(s): Marco Gonzalez

Lab Director(s): Kerry S. Gonzalez

Principal Investigator(s): Kerri S. Barile

Sponsor(s): Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Permitting Agency(s): DelDOT

Repository(s): Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Curatorial Facility

Prepared By(s): Dovetail Cultural Resource Group

Submitted To(s): DelDOT

Record Identifiers

DelDOT Parent Agreement and Task(s): 1534/14


Redaction Note: Figures showing site location and state site forms were redacted.

Source Collections

Artifact assemblage and excavation records transferred to Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Curatorial Facility, Dover, DE.

Resources Inside this Project (Viewing 1-5 of 5)

  1. Archaeological Data Recovery at the Armstrong-Rogers Site (7NC-F-135) Appendices (2017)
  2. Archaeological Data Recovery at the Armstrong-Rogers Site(7NC-F-135) New Castle County, Delaware (2017)
  3. Armstrong-Rogers Site (7NC-F-135) Phase I Artifact Catalog (2017)
  4. Armstrong-Rogers Site (7NC-F-135) Phase II Artifact Catalog (2017)
  5. Armstrong-Rogers Site (7NC-F-135) Phase III Artifact Catalog (2017)