Return to Agnes Street Home Page
Hunting for the privy After a week of excavations, we've found a handful of features from the Agnes Street backyards--a couple wells, a laid sidewalk, possibly a stable--and artifacts that mostly represent the later households along the street.  We hope to have some more conclusive analyses in the next week or so, but in the meantime here is some of what we have found and done in the first week.
When the bulldozer removed the parking lot surface, one of the things it revealed was a circle of bricks behind the home that was at 444 Agnes Street.  This was a well, and initially it contains mostly World War II-vintage artifacts. Theresa is down the well
1914 Sanborn closeup 444 Agnes Street Left:  In 1914, the Sanborn map showed 444 Agnes Street extending well into its backyard with a rear addition.  The well we are now excavating likely was under this extension at the red arrow. well58.jpg (143504 bytes)Right (click on thumbnail for larger image):  In 1958, the well was part of the structure at the white arrow.
coptoy.jpg (45944 bytes)Left (thumbnail): This plastic police toy came from the well. Right: Since the site neighbors the University Police Station, we enjoy exceptional site security.
well4.jpg (39503 bytes)Left (thumbnail): The well was excavated about two feet below the contemporary surface when this picture was taken.
Left:  Nicolette is shown here excavating along what appears to be a stable/garage wall that had the large stone in this picture placed along its wall.  This unit has few artifacts, and most of the backyards along the street are shown as empty yard space in maps, and historic pictures suggests that most near-Westside backyards had no significant landscape features.  However the carefully laid sidewalk shown below suggests that even in modest circumstances residents placed small but meaningful decorative elements in their yards.
sidewalkLeft:  This laid sidewalk in the foreground  extends back toward the rear yard line, where stables (later garages) and  outhouses were located.
Above: Genesis gives a tour of the unit in which we hope to find the two-story outhouse.
Right (thumbnail):  This doll arm was excavated came from the stable/garage wall.

dollarm.jpg (25717 bytes)

mud.jpg (71428 bytes) Left (thumbnail):  Rory, Nicolette, and Genesis dig in the mud around the stable/garage wall.
Fieldwork has just started, so there is still plenty to do and lots of things to find by the end of June.  Check back for fieldwork updates throughout the summer.  Site tours are given between 9:00 and 2:00 on weekdays, weather permitting, so feel free to visit us at the southwest corner of Michigan Street and University Boulevard on the IUPUI campus.  We begin to accept volunteers the week of May 26th; if you are interested in digging, please email Paul Mullins for details or visit the site.

June 7 Field School Report

Return to Agnes Street Home Page

Last updated June 7, 2003