From 1996 to 1997 archaeologists from Wilbur Smith Consulting documented the remains of the John Arnold Farmstead in Logan County. This work was undertaken in advance of the US 431 relocation project. The Arnold Family had owned it from the 1790s to the 1840s. Researchers investigated the remains of their log house and a detached brick kitchen or slave quarters. The more recent of the two buildings, slightly smaller than the original structure, had brick chimneys. This suggested it was a more permanant dwelling. Stone and brick building materials were expensive, and the Arnold Family’s ability to purchase these items suggested they were relatively wealthy.
The recovery of trade beads, straight pins, copper cones, and mouth harps from the original house suggested that enslaved people and lived in it after the Arnolds moved into their new home. These types of items have been found at slave dwellings throughout the American South.
Historians had once assumed that frontier families, such as the Arnolds, were not involved in the broader economy linked to the eastern seaboard and, as a result, had limited access to luxury items and a more restricted diet. However, research at this site indicated that the Arnold Family was not isolated from national markets, and had a rich and varied diet.