Building Site Archaeology

The village of Newbury has been occupied by European settlers for approximately 200 years, and by at least transient encampments of native americans.  The area is currently home (within 20 km to “first nation” reserves and communities.  My building lot was occupied by settlers for much of that 200 years, and according to the local old-timers at one time had a veneer/basket factory with a steam engine to treat logs, and shave thin strips of wood for various uses.  The concrete base with large steel bolts emerging on which the steam engine was mounted is still present just behind my RV trailer.  The reason for all this activity was the railroad which runs through the village, and at one time there were all sorts of businesses, hotels, etc related to the support of the railroad activity.  According to the village history,  somewhere on the block in which my lot is placed on York Street the first school (now long gone) was constructed more than 150 years ago.

During the excavation for the footings of the house, a few real artifacts turned up, and I anticipate finding more when I spread the stockpile of topsoil on the south side of the house for landscaping.  Below are pictures of my prizes.

Queen Victoria silver nickel 1881

The "heads" side of the Victoria nickel, very small, smaller than a modern dime.

A nearly perfect crockery vinegar decanter, a medicine bottle, and a hand forged nail.

3 Responses to “Building Site Archaeology”

  1. Ted Gilmer Says:

    hello, Are the blocks you used specially made for dry stacked construction? and could you tell me where they can be purchased? I live in Leelanau county, Michigan. Thanks,Ted

    • tedspassivesolarhouse Says:

      Yes they are special blocks and I got mine at Santerra Stone, manufactured just outside Windsor, Ontario. They are manufactured at several sites in the US, and also Parry Sound, North Bay, and Sudbury, which are closer to you. See They are sort of like big lego blocks, with mating edges, and really 8x8x16, so the dimension are even for usual architectural layout. A bit more expensive than standard block, but a lot easier to use for drystack and SBC treatment.



      • Ted Gilmer Says:

        I didn’t see in your blog how you insulated this house. Did you put the insulation outside?

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