Homewood's Lot (18AN871)
Homewood's Lot (18AN871) is located off Whitehall Creek near the Chesapeake Bay in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Continuously occupied since 1650, Homewood's Lot is one of eight known sites associated with the Puritan town of Providence (1649) (Luckenbach 1995). James Homewood arrived in Providence in 1649 and, in 1650, a parcel of land was laid out for him. James' brother, John Homewood, lived on Homewood's Lot until his death in 1681/82, leaving the land to his wife Sarah and first nephew, Thomas. Thomas died in 1709/10 and left the land to his minor son Thomas, under the guardianship of John Ingram. Captain Thomas Homewood, son of Thomas, took over the rights to the land sometime between 1713 and 1731 when he consolidated eight tracts of land into “Homewood’s Lot” (AACo. Pat. Liber EI 5: 139).
In December 1731, Captain Thomas Homewood married Anne Hammond and went on to have three children, the eldest of whom was Charles Homewood born in 1734 (MSA AAC St. Margaret’s Parish Records). When Thomas died in 1739, Anne remarried a sea captain, William Govane, and together they continued to occupy Homewood’s Lot. They lived there for ten years before obtaining a divorce in 1749. After the divorce proceedings, the court conducted a survey of the lands and buildings of Homewood’s Lot in 1750/51. They found there were 29 buildings, 17 in good repair and 12 in “middling” or bad repair (AA Court Judgments, Liber IS B1: 686). In 1760, Charles mortgaged all of his lands to Henry Woodward. Henry Woodward took up residence there with his wife Mary Woodward and died in 1763 leaving his wife Mary with all lands that belonged to him.
Mary Woodward remarried to renown portrait painter John Hesselius the day after her husband’s death. Mary Woodward brought the Homewood property to the union, as well as another mansion Primrose Hill, which still stands in Annapolis. Together John and Mary sold many of Henry Woodward’s lands and when John Hesselius died in 1778 (still in possession of Homewood's Lot), he left his land to his son, John Hesselius. However, the 1783 tax assessment for the property shows a division of land between four individuals; Anne Homewood (Govane), Mary Woodward (Hesselius), James Moss and John Ridout.
Based on the results of shovel tests and topographic information a total of 89 5 by 5-foot test squares were excavated at Homewood's Lot by the Lost Towns Project. Due to changes in property ownership and shifting development threats, these excavations were conducted over portions of three field seasons. Emphasis was placed on determining the location and nature of a series of structures built on the site, and on the earliest components related to the mid-17th century Providence settlement.
All excavations units were excavated stratigraphically and screened through ¼ inch hardware mesh. All cultural materials were retained except red brick fragments, which were weighed and discarded. Samples of whole bricks were collected and curated. Only the female hinges of oyster shells were retained for future analyses. All artifacts were taken to the Lost Towns Project Laboratory where they were processed and will be permanently stored.
Beneath a plow zone, which extended over the entirety of the site, a total of 66 cultural features were discovered and mapped. Due to limitations of both time and resources only 42 of these were tested. Given that the emphasis of this work is on the delineation and dating of the structures encountered, the results of the excavations are organized around a series of specific buildings and their associated features.
Building A—Earliest Construction
The earliest structure located at Homewood's lot was a small building whose sills rested on a highly degraded, native ironstone foundation or piers. It had an external wattle and daub chimney on its northern elevation, and a sub-floor storage cellar. Compared to other structures found on the site, this building was tiny, measuring approximately 16 by 10 feet.
The cellar measured 10 by 6 feet and its base was reached at 2.2 feet below the current ground surface. A summation of the artifacts that were found in this cellar is displayed in Table 1. These included an interesting delftware assemblage, Rhenish Stoneware, and small amounts of North Devon and Staffordshire wares. Significantly, there was no English brown stoneware (or white salt-glazed stoneware) found in this feature, suggesting a pre-1680 fill date. Pipe bowl forms suggest an even earlier mid- to late 1660s deposit.
Based on the artifactual assemblage, Building A is believed to be the first structure built at Homewood’s Lot—presumably around 1650. Interestingly, construction debris was recovered in the cellar that did not appear to relate to the structure above. This included green-glazed, Dutch floor tiles, bricks, and a 1661 dated window lead, suggesting that Building A was occupied during the construction of another, more elaborate dwelling nearby.
Northeast of Building A was another associated pit. This was a shallow, ovoid pit with relatively few artifacts—consisting of mostly animal bone and broken pipe stems. Among the pipe stems found were examples of terracotta pipes manufactured in Virginia by a maker termed “the bookbinder,” assumed to date between 1635-1650 (Luckenbach and Kiser 2004) , “Broadneck” pipe forms (also presumed to be Virginian - see Luckenbach and Cox 2003), and pipes made by Emanuel Drue at the nearby Swan Cove Site before his death in 1669. The pit was 6 ¾ by 5 feet and 8 inches deep. The feature also contained large deposits of charcoal and ash. It is believed that this pit was initially created for the daubing of the chimney associated with Building A, a conclusion supported by its containing some of the earliest artifacts from the site.
Building B—1660s Main House
The primary evidence for Building B is a 17th-century, Dutch yellow brick and red brick chimney fall (Feature 53) located in the northeastern-most corner of the site. Unlike at other Providence sites, the numerous yellow bricks discovered here were of the softer, “moppen” variety. Although this chimney was clearly part of a large, well-built structure, time constraints did not permit the delineation of this building's floor plan.
Although no intact features were excavated which could date this structure, there are two mutually supportive means of theorizing a date for Building B. The first is the 1661 window lead found in Feature 30 (the cellar in Building A), which presumably contained debris from the construction of Building B (including green-glazed Dutch floor tiles). Marked and dated window leads have usually proven accurate indicators of the construction dates of buildings in Anne Arundel County (Luckenbach and Gibb 1994).
The second was an analysis of plow zone materials around the chimney fall. Since the plow zone was divided into at least four strata, the forth stratum in each of the six units above the feature were tested. There were no datable ceramics found in the plow zone stratum above the feature, so the feature was dated using Binford’s dating for pipe stems. Using this method, the mean date for this feature is 1660.6. It is believed, therefore, that this is the building that was built around 1662 or 1663 when the residents still occupied Building A to the south.
Other features found on Homewood's Lot were all from the 18th century: a kitchen/laundry, a well and an 18th-century Georgian style house. The kitchen/laundry structure (Building C) was evidenced by an H-shaped brick chimney base, with two associated brick-lined storage pits. A brick drain once ran through the western end of this building that ultimately attached to a well, which acted as its water source. The brick drain was about half a foot deep with a chunky brick and pebble layer. The drain extended from the well, through the kitchen/laundry and continued on at least 20 feet outside to the southeast of the structure.
The well itself is located fifteen feet west of the kitchen/laundry building. Four 5 by 5-foot units were opened over this feature. A circular dark feature that was ten feet in diameter was found, and later discovered that the feature covered a well about four feet in diameter. When excavation of the feature began, a layer of crushed oyster shell and brick was found. Under this layer was a hollow pocket that reached down into the feature almost three feet. Excavation continued to a depth of 7 ½ feet. The bricks, shaped to fit the circumference of the well, were robbed out down to about five feet. This explains why the footprint of the well is so much larger on the surface. Concern for worker safety stopped the excavation of the well before the bottom of the cellar had been reached.
The largest structure discovered, Building D, was built of brick. This structure was once an imposing example of Georgian architecture. It served as the home for Thomas Homewood and his descendants from about the 1740s until 1763 when it became the property of John Hessellius, Maryland’s most famous colonial portrait painter. Besides the substantial brick foundation walls, the most impressive evidence of this structure was a brick-lined three-quarter cellar filled mainly with demolition debris.
The main house is located in the northwest corner of the site, oriented at about a 45-degree angle northwest from grid north. It is a 32 by 28-foot structure with the main entrance of the building facing the creek to the southwest. The house was likely a two and one-half story structure. One can presume that it had at least eight rooms, four on the first floor and four on the second, with one hall running in-between the four rooms on each floor. There was also probably a loft above the second floor.
More than 156,000 artifacts were recovered from Homewood's Lot, including architectural, kitchen, furniture, tools and horse furniture, personal items, weapons and food remains, spanning the mid-17th and 18th centuries. Over three hundred ceramic vessels were identified from this site. Tin-glazed earthenware, brown-glazed red earthenware, creamware and Rhenish blue and gray stoneware are among the most common found on the site. Other ceramics present were North Devon gravel-tempered earthenware as well as North Devon gravel-free and North Devon sgraffito. White Borderware, North Italian Slipware, English Brown stoneware and Native American pottery were also recovered at this site.
The Lost Towns Project recovered 4,602 tobacco-pipe fragments from Homewood's Lot. Of those, 7.5 percent are locally made terra-cotta pipes while the other 92.5 percent are European made. Twelve makers’ marks were recovered from the pipes found on this site. An additional fifteen had some kind of decoration. Nine were “Bristol Diamond Chain,” six had a fluted decoration, and two of the terra-cotta pipes had a “running deer” motif.
Of the metal objects unearthed, 89 percent were wrought nails. Thirty-five copper alloy buttons were located, as well as eight hook and aighs, three thimbles, nine pairs of scissors, and unidentified iron hardware. A total of fifty-seven table implements including nineteen spoons, twenty-nine knives, and four forks were identified. Seventy-five window leads were recovered, one with a date of 1661, as well as forty-nine lead shot and seventeen bale seals. Two bale seals have marks on them, one with an “M” and the other with “P/W/D/I” lion rampant. Horse furniture included four bits and two stirrups, one horseshoe, and a saddle plate.
Most of the glass found at Homewood's Lot is unidentifiable; there were however five bottle seals found, two with “TH” and one with “THW.” Fourteen glass beads were found all around the site as well as table glass. Most of the table glass was clear stemware glasses though one piece of Venetian table glass was also recovered. Most of the food remains were mammal bones. There was also evidence of fish, bird and reptile bones recovered along with oyster and snail shell.
Franz, Lauren and Al Luckenbach. 2005. “The Building Sequence at Homewood’s Lot, Anne Arundel County, Maryland.” Expected in Maryland Archaeology Spring 2005. Journal of the Archaeological Society of Maryland, Crownsville, MD.
Gadsby, David and Rosemarie Callage. 2002. “Homewood’s Lot through Four Generations: Tobacco-Pipes from 18AN871.” In Al Luckenbach, C. Jane Cox and John Kille, eds. The Clay Tobacco-Pipe in Anne Arundel County, Maryland (1650-1730), pp 18-26. Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc. Annapolis, MD.
Luckenbach, Al and Taft Kiser. 2004. Colonial Chesapeake Pipes. In Press.
Luckenbach, Al. 1995. Providence: The History and Archaeology of Anne Arundel County’s European Settlement. The Maryland State Archives and the Maryland Historical Trust. Crownsville, MD
Luckenbach, Al and C. Jane Cox. 2003. “Tobacco-Pipe Manufacturing in Early Maryland: The Swan Cove Site (ca. 1660-1669).” In Al Luckenbach, C. Jane Cox and John Kille, eds. The Clay Tobacco-Pipe in Anne Arundel County, Maryland (1650-1730), pp.46-63. Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc. Annapolis, MD.
Luckenbach, Al and James G. Gibb. 1994. Dated Window Leads from Colonial Sites in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Maryland Archeology, (30)2. Journal of the Archaeological Society of Maryland, Crownsville, MD.
Maryland State Archives. 1731. Anne Arundel County Patents, Liber EI# 5, Folio 139. Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD
Maryland State Archives. 1750/51. Anne Arundel County Court Judgements, Liber IS#B1 Folio 686. Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD.
Maryland State Archives. 1734. Anne Arundel County, St Margaret’s, Westminster Parish Records.
Further Information on the Collection
The assemblage from Homewood’s Lot is owned and curated by Anne Arundel County’s Lost Towns Project at its offices in Annapolis, Maryland. For additional information on this site, please contact Anne Arundel County’s Lost Towns Project, Office of Environmental and Cultural Resources, Anne Arundel County, 2664 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 or contact the Archaeology Laboratory directly at 410-222-7441.
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Cite this Record
Homewood's Lot (18AN871). ( tDAR id: 6075) ; doi:10.6067/XCV83X8814
Homewood's Lot (18AN871)
Calendar Date: 1650 to 1749
min long: -77.498; min lat: 36.633 ; max long: -75.41; max lat: 39.368 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Project Director(s): Al Luckenbach