Archaeological remains examined at Locust Grove consisted of foundations and features associated with a kitchen, smoke house, icehouse, dairy, spring house, barn, workshop, surveyor’s office, and slave houses. The most significant archaeological investigations targeted three slave houses. As with slave house investigations elsewhere, researchers documented a sub-floor storage pit/cellar at each house.
Some of the artifacts from these cellars may have been symbolically meaningful to the enslaved at Locust Grove. Among these items were a silver coin, a spoon handle, and a clay marble. Each had been marked with an “X.” Researchers think this symbol is a variant of a West African religious symbol. Other items, such as glass prisms, a blue glass bead, and Chinese coins, may have been used as charms by the enslaved at Locust Grove.
Similar objects have been found at other plantation sites in Louisville, such as Farmington and Riverside, and at Antebellum sites elsewhere in Kentucky. This suggests that the enslaved people who lived at Locust Grove were part of a much broader underground enslaved community that developed within the restrictions slavery imposed.