1652 Susquehannock Treaty


Note from author:  I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Ed Chaney, Deputy Director of the MAC Lab and Dr. Julia A. King, St. Mary’s College of Maryland in the preparation of this blog. Any errors are my own.

Figure 1.Tulip shaped tobacco pipe from the Pine Bluff site. Tobacco had social and spiritual significance for native peoples and in some cultures, stone pipes were used in treaty ceremonies.

Figure 1. Tulip shaped tobacco pipe from the Pine Bluff site. Tobacco had social and spiritual significance for native peoples and in some cultures, stone pipes were used in treaty ceremonies.

This week’s Maryland artifact is a tobacco pipe recovered in the 1970s during an excavation at the Pine Bluff site (18WC20) near modern-day Salisbury in Wicomico County.  The pipe, made from fired clay, is in a shape associated with the Susquehannock Indians and often described as a “tulip” pipe.  Other materials found during the excavation, including gun parts, glass pharmaceutical bottle fragments and English ceramics, suggest that some components of this possible village site post-dated English contact (Marshall 1977).

By the time of English colonization, the Eastern Shore had been home to Maryland’s native peoples for at least 13,000 years (Rountree and Davidson 1997:20). Archaeological surveys have revealed evidence of short-term camps, villages and places where resources were procured and processed.  The abundant natural resources of the Eastern Shore—fish, shellfish, wild game and wild plants—made this area a favorable place to live. Continue reading

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Maryland’s Wine Industry: A Long History


Figure 1.  Complete wine bottle from the King’s Reach site.

Figure 1. Complete wine bottle from the King’s Reach site.

As the days grow longer and the weather warmer (finally!), my thoughts begin to turn to a nice glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. And how lucky we are to have Perigeaux Vineyards and Winery right up the road from us at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum-a nice Friday happy hour venue!

Sales of Maryland wines totaled over 24 million dollars in fiscal year 2011 (Maryland Wine 2014) and the industry continues to grow. The late 17th-century wine bottle shown here was recovered at the King’s Reach plantation site (18CV83) in Calvert County, today home to at least five wineries. The modern production of wine in Maryland can be dated back to 1945, when Philip Wagner opened Maryland’s first winery, Boordy Vineyards, in Baltimore County (Appellation America 2014).

But winemaking has a long history in our state, dating back as far as the early days of the colony. In February of 1638, Father Andrew White wrote to Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore to urge him to consider viticulture as a viable source of income for the colony. Father White had apparently tasted wine made from the local muscadine grape the previous year and pronounced it “not inferior in its age to any wine of Spaigne” (Lee 1889). Continue reading

Germans in Maryland


Figure 1:  This 25.5 x 23.5” plate from a five-plate stove is one of eight from the site that bear German or Pennsylvania Dutch motifs.

Figure 1: This 25.5 x 23.5” plate from a five-plate stove is one of eight from the site that bear German or Pennsylvania Dutch motifs.

The Antietam Furnace (18WA288), more properly known as the Mt. Aetna Iron Furnace, operated between around 1761 and 1783 in what is now Washington County. Excavations conducted at the former site of the furnace revealed a number of industrial structures and evidence of the production of pig iron, hollow ware and stoves (Frye 1984).  Some of the most interesting artifacts from the site included stove plates containing inscriptions in German (Figure 1).

Although Antietam Furnace was not owned by individuals of German descent, proprietors Daniel and Sam Hughes apparently knew their local customer base well – of the eight complete or virtually complete stove plates that were recovered from the site, all were molded with German and Pennsylvania Dutch-style motifs in the forms of tulips, hearts, birds of paradise and blessings in German (Figure 2).  From its earliest beginnings, Maryland has been home to a large population of German immigrants and the Hughes brothers were banking on these stoves finding ready customers among them. Continue reading