Sunday October, 1st  2006 Privy Dig


We Dug a barrel last Wednesday with very bad results and spent the rest of the day. Driving around town checking out potential sites. We found a dilapidated parking lot on the west side of the city with lots of nice looking but rather large sinks. The houses that once stood in this area of town were of some of the more wealthy people in Baltimore during the 1830s and 1840s they were large and high style. And so were their privies. The pits in this area tend to be large deep brickliners. There was one sink in the edge of the lot that interested both Doug and myself. It was rather large and sinking badly we knew we would need a 3rd person on this dig. We decided on digging it on Sunday. I made plans with Tom another local digger to help us with this one. However come Sunday tom was feeling ill and couldn't make it. So at the last minute I called John from the bottle club and asked him if he wanted to come dig. He said when I said Now. He said he had just sat down to watch the Ravens game. but would come dig. It was about 1:30 by time john met us at the site. We popped open the sink and quickly probed the wall it was a brickliner just as I figured. We started following the wall around and discovered that a large part of the wall was missing on the side facing the street. then we found the cast iron sewer pipe running through the top of it. This is pretty common we find that many privies had an outdoor flusher toilet installed on top of them around 1900 when Baltimore installed its sewer system. These pipes are old and dead but always in the way. we smashed it up with the sledge and finished following the wall around. This pit turned out to be a nice 4' by 6' oval brickliner. Were were very excited by this because Brick ovals usually go pontiled. We started digging down and at about 7 feet the clay broke through to a nice dark loam. Sadly the age was only 1890s. but the pit was producing some embossed pharmacy bottles and a few beers so we kept digging and the pit kept going we had about 3 feet of 1880s-1890s layer then it took a drastic age turn to about the mid 1850s a couple broken pontiled sodas came to light then Doug said here's a whole one it turned out to be a very rare iron pontiled  J. D. Thompson & Co. Richmond, Va  in a nice shade of green. we had about 2 feet if 1850s however most of the bottles were unembossed puffs or broken. The age then dropped back to the late 1830s early 1840s for the next 4 feet this layer was loaded with the typical ceramics of the time beautiful decorated pearlware and redware. however we were pleasantly surprised to find 7 intact early hand painted cups and 4 intact hand painted saucers some with birds and one with a little red house and the rest with flowers. All in very nice condition. then finally at 16 feet bottom. this hole had an amazing 9 foot trash layer it took us 12 hours to dig her out and fill her back in we finished up about quarter of 2 in the morning. After finishing we headed over to our usual meeting spot on the east side were my truck was parked and split up our finds and headed home I got home just before 3am. It was a long day but it was a good hole. 

Some of the finds before the split.

My share of the finds and the soda.

The soda Its for sale If your interested let me know.

 

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