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You are here: Home » Buildings » Village of Scotia » Flint House Archaeological Report » Conclusions

Flint House Archaeological Report, 2002 — 2003:
Tales from the Glenville Woods

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[This information is from pp. 32-33 of Flint House Archaeological Report, 2002 — 2003: Tales from the Glenville Woods by Stephen D. Jones, Ph.D., RPA, and others, and is reproduced here with his permission.]

VII. Conclusions

The limited area of excavation, the jumble of features, and the broad dating of artifacts have not permitted us to create a concrete sequence of events. Therefore any conclusions here are fairly speculative. Also, I would like to reiterate what I wrote in the archaeology section: The following sequence only deals with structures excavated. This model does not argue that there weren't other structures outside of the porch area, or that there weren't other structures earlier than the porches.

The Reeses may have moved onto the Flint property in the 1830s, around the time that Fredrick Rees died (1833). Judging by the amount of domestic debris in the earliest features, I suggest that the Flint House was not the first home on this spot, although it may well be an enlargement of the first (the post matches the orientation of the house). The deeply buried post may be a remnant of that first structure; if so, it did not greatly predate the Greek Revival structure. Fredrick's widow, Susan, was allowed to keep her current house (per Deed K,574-580); assuming that this was the original Hook Farmhouse, the Flint area may have held David Reese's first home away from (parents') home. Some of the support flagstones subsequently appear, either along with the Greek Revival house or with the alterations that imposed Greek Revival features — i.e., the 1840s or '50s. Considering Pierpont's (1997:3) suggestion of "at least two construction campaigns" for this structure, the enhancement hypothesis looks more likely. The Greek Revival porch would seem to have anticipated, roughly, the same lines as the 20th-century version. Judging by the extra course of bricks under the flagstone, the porch may have had to be redone not long after its initial construction. A fine gravel sidewalk seemed to surround the porch.

Around the time of David Reese's death in 1867 the house was treated to a new "gingerbread" porch that was narrower than the former but stretched nearly the length of the front of the house. Perhaps its construction contributed to his son's money problems? (I find it interesting that construction episodes seem contemporary with the deaths of heads of household — a question for further research?) The pedestals almost certainly belong to this porch, but other features show no relation to it, unless some of the stone layers were placed under the porch at this time. The gravel path may have gone out of use at this time, being covered intentionally or unintentionally as the ground level rose.

Reynolds seems to have left the porch as it was, but Ulrich must have replaced the Victorian porch before Ms. Flint bought the house. Curiously, there are few if any contexts that seem to relate to this new construction. All clearly 20th-century features include artifacts of the second half of the century; I suspect some of these are legitimate early-20th-century features that were contaminated by later repair or removal of the porch.

There is little so far to support the notion that David Reese's broomcorn industry involved any buildings on this property. Peschel found no specific evidence of it in the barn area, and Farrow's testing showed no structures in most of the rest of the existing property. It may also be significant that no industrial artifacts (aside from construction) were among the debris found in the porch area. This does not refute the industrial notion: Peschel has dug little of the barnyard, shovel-tests are "shots in the dark," and it's hard to say what would constitute "specific evidence" in terms of artifacts small enough to be left below the surface. Moreover, much of the barn area is north of the current property, under modern housing. We simply cannot supply any corroboration at this time.

The model takes us part of the way toward understanding what was happening on the Flint property during the 19th century and after. Unfortunately, it has nothing to say about what came before. Since earlier documents on the Hook properties lack specific reference to this area, I am inclined to believe that the Flint property was part of the extensive Sanders holdings, but to date I have no evidence to support this. The best guess is probably that it was somebody's woodlot, and was part of the expanse of contiguous properties that Fredrick and David Reese acquired in the early 1800s. But these presumptions require much more investigation, not only in the porch area and archives but also throughout the property — and, ideally, in surrounding lots.

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