Friday August 22nd 2008 Privy Dig


Alan had talked to Gary who we met the week before and Gary was really happy for us to help him finish his privy that he secured permission for us to dig two of his neighbors privies. We knew these would be 30 plus footers so we got a big group of guys together and decided to dig them both at once. By time we arrived at 7:00am Gary had already started opening up one of the pits and had the elaborate brick arch exposed. It was pretty cool looking so I snapped a few pictures and then we started opening it up. I started helping the second group of guys open up the pit in the yard next door. We removed our arch and started digging down this pit was full of ash and we were making good progress. The other pit had a heavy clay fill. The digging was so easy in the pit Russ, George, Matt, and myself were digging that we got down 20 feet in only a few hours. And that's when the trash layer started. The first bottles were 1890s and the layer steadily dropped back in age to the 1870s with just a skim of 1860s trash on the bottom. We recovered well over 100 bottles from this pit. Including some interesting whiskeys and medicines. The pit bottomed at about 27 feet a bit shallower then I had thought it would be. We then filled the pit back in and were done by around 4:00. The clay pit was taking major time it was only down about 20 feet by this time. So We all started helping on that pit. I climbed in and started digging it was bad the clay was damp and sticky. But then finally at about 27 feet I hit  layer change. This layer was only 4 feet thick but was flat 1860s and had quite a few Philadelphia sodas in it about 30 total. And a few meds and a pontiled cologne. This one bottomed out at 31 feet. We were finished digging this pit around 10:00. It took us about another 3 hours to fill it back in. Then an hour to split up the bottles. We finally left Philly around 2:00am. This was one tough dig. But we got it finished.

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