Wednesday April 26th 2006 Privy Dig
We have been digging every week like usuall but the finds have included Milk bottles and machine made crown top beers. Not much to write about until today. Well it started out like most digging days except it was just Me and Doug today I guess the lack of recent finds caused everyone else to wimp out for the day. So we met at the usuall place downtown around 10:00 and loaded everything in Doug's truck and decided to drive around and look for something to get into. We started out with a quick tour of Fells Point and Butchers Hill then it was off to Jones Town we found a brick liner on the edge of Jones Town but after digging a test hole we realized its going to be a big deep one we decided to save it until we have a 3rd person to help dig it. So after striking out on the east side of town we. Shot over to the Poppleton area of west Baltimore and ended up behind a row of 1850s houses that we have never been able to find privies behind. W pin cushioned one back yard on this row with no luck by now it was about 1:00 so I said to Doug lets try South Baltimore We rarely dig on that side of town because its pretty well kept over there and there's not much abandonment. Well we took a look at an empty lot were about 8 houses are missing they were torn down years ago but now its just an open area were people walk there dogs. The houses on either end of this open area date to the mid to late 1850s. With nothing else to dig we decided to poke around on this lot a bit well I quickly probed out a privy. So not wanting to make a big mess we put down a tarp and cut up the sod and did a "proper dig". We figured we would get run off rater quickly but that never ended up being the case a few neighbors showed up and asked us what were doing and they didn't seem to have much of a problem with us being there. So we kept digging. The hole turned out to be Barrel lined The Barrel was ash and then some clay mixed it and finally a hard rusty and ash layer. Under that a few 1910 era crown top beers and unembossed medicines and hock wines. Nothing really worth having. but we got to the bottom of this barrel and discovered the top rim of a second barrel. This hole was going to go at least two barrels deep and since we were already hitting trash we should get a whole barrel of trash. Usually when this happens you get something good. Well about a foot into the second barrel we hit another rust layer and water. Doug started digging a sump hole to bail out the water when he felt a bottle he reached into the black muck and pulled out a nice R.A. Shinn squat soda from Georgetown Dc. This alone what have made the dig but we had no idea what was in store for us. Before I knew it Doug said I feel another soda. He pulls out a D. Roche steamer type soda from Baltimore. After baling the sump hole down he starts taking the rest of the trash layer down. While doing this he uncovered about 6 or 7 more Baltimore steamers. As we got deeper into the layer the steamers gave way to smooth base squats. They were from all over the place we got sodas from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington Dc., Chicago, and Richmond Va. Quite a few in Green and Blue but most were aqua. In total we got 47 sodas out of this one privy. That has to be a record for most sodas in a Baltimore privy. After we finished the hole we filled it in nicely and put the sod back it looked great.
All the pics below are of my share of the sodas we found.
Baltimore steamer type sodas
New York Sodas
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