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Jewell site before excavation, looking south

Jewell House

Site ID: 15Me372

Kentucky Archaeological Survey
Unless specified, we cannot provide site location information.


​​In 1898, the Leslie and Mary Jewell family built a new house in the Apperson community about three miles southwest of Frenchburg.  During this time, the Jewell family took in lumberjacks who worked for Union City Lumber Company as boarders.

The lumber company left about 1910 after the best timber had been cut, but the Jewell family continued to live near the mouth of Big Amos Creek until circa 1935. The Cumberland National Forest (now the Daniel Boone National Forest) purchased the land in 1941.

Well at the Jewell site.


​Historical research and archaeological investigations at the Jewell House suggested that it was a two-story, four-room plank or “box” wooden house built on piers, with two chimneys. It was situated on a rise and faced the East Fork of Indian Creek.  A well was just behind the house in an area that seemed to be a center for play and recreation, as suggested by doll parts and railroad spikes repurposed for playing horseshoes. 

Architectural items, such as window glass and nails, dominated the site's artifact assemblage.  Other artifacts included personal items, such as jewelry and harmonica parts.

A saw blade (left) and hunting trap (right).

What's Cool?

​Railway Connections

The Apperson community, though very remote today, was exceedingly well connected when the logging railroad was in operation (circa 1898 to 1910). It even had official railway mail delivery and likely a small store, maybe in a railroad car.  Despite evidence from the artifacts that the Jewells were not buying a lot of fancy dishes or large quantities of any material goods, their housewares were very up-to-date, and their ceramics were typical of a middle class household.  

A portion of a cylinder record of "It's Nice When You Love a Wee Lassie," by Sir Harry Lauder, patented in 1912, gives a sense of the music the family played. Lauder was a Scottish singer and comedian, popular in both music hall and vaudevillian theatre traditions.

Part of a vinyl phonograph record of “It’s Nice When You Love a Wee Lassie” by Sir Harry Lauder.

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