Working in advance of the KY Highway 922 (Newtown Pike) road realignment, University of Kentucky archaeologists uncovered the remains of an early nineteenth-century house. It was likely built by Samuel Beeler sometime around 1803. Beeler and subsequent owner/occupants and their families operated small-scale farmsteads on the 300-acre property until the 1850s.
Intact architecture revealed that the house was rather modest: a small, two-room, hall-and-parlor style log or timber framed building. These investigations provided important information about early nineteenth-century farmsteads in central Kentucky.
Archaeological remains of the house consisted of a stone foundation and pit cellars, as well as artifacts such as window glass, hinges, and nails. These remains indicated that the house was built in the early 1800s and that repairs were made over time, including replacement of the floor.
Many of the recovered artifacts could be linked to the families who once lived in the house. Animal bones indicated that site residents had eaten a traditional Upper South diet, which is focused on pork and to a lesser extent, beef. The amount of wild game in their diet decreased over time: the earliest residents ate more wild game. Later residents ate less wild game, likely because they had better access to domestic animals.
Archaeologists recovered the bones of young chickens and turkeys, as well as egg shells of both birds from a small, ash-filled pit in front of the hearth. The pit's location suggested that it was where residents had cooked family meals. The large number of chicken and turkey bones suggested to researchers that the residents raised both chickens and turkeys for their meat and their eggs.
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