Monday, November 13, 2006

I had an unexpected little archaeological dig in the backyard yesterday. We were doing some "getting ready for winter" tasks outside and I was planting a couple of perrenials that I still had in pots. As soon as I started digging, I knew I had found a good hole--the dirt in these "garbage holes" always has light coloured dirt with what looks like ash--although you'd think ashes would be long gone by now. Anyway, I decided to just keep digging. I started to find the usual pottery shards and glass, but then suddenly, I saw an entirely intact bottle sitting just to the side of where I had just been ramming the shovel! I carefully took it out of the earth. Now remember, I get super excited when I find a tiny piece of a broken dish, my head nearly exploded when I found this bottle without even a crack! The bottle is greenish blue, frosted glass and the top is fairly wide. Inside are the petrified remnants of some kind of sticky yellowish stuff. I'm going to have to get a bottle brush to get it out.

I decided to keep digging, but I got rid of the shovel in case there were more goodies down there that I might accidently break. About 3 feet down I found another bottle, this one had a fancier shape--brown glass with a little stopper. When I lifted it out it had liquid inside the bottle. It smelled and looked like water, but it's hard to say what it was. I threw it out. I don't want to mess with unknown liquid! eek! The bottle is in perfect condition but the stopper is cracked in half. It's a clean break and easy to glue.

Along with the brown bottle were the broken pieces of what looks like a large tea cup saucer. I pulled out as many as I could. The exciting part about this is that two of the pieces showed almost the whole makers mark. With the help of the internet, I was able to find information about the maker AND date the piece! The mark on this dish was used between 1900 and 1913. Which means this dish probably belonged to either the Wright's (who lived here between 1900 - 1903) or the Tompson's (1904 - onward). A photo of the mark on my dish is shown at left. The mark I found on the internet can be found here (scroll down).

The last thing I found before I had to stop, was the bowl of a clay pipe. This one being such a personal item, it really gave me that jolt that I get when I start to think of how these objects connect us in time. Perhaps this pipe once belonged to Mr. Thompson--the owner of the Barber Shop?

Along with these pieces I pulled out a few crockery shards and one piece of an unidentified porcelain object that looked very fancy. I wonder if the little bubbles on it are the tiny feet for a footed bowl of some sort or maybe it was a figurine? I really can't say. I'm thinking that someone got in trouble for breaking whatever that was!

The bottle and the saucer were sitting in what looks like a metal bucket. I wasn't able to get it out--but I'm not giving up yet! I've left the hole open and will continue digging once the winter is over. Now I have to figure out how to display these things properly. (Away from curious kitties!)


At 5:17 p.m., Anonymous ac said...

No way...this is all so cool! I love that your house has history and that you are uncovering it. I really like the brown bottle with the stopper!

At 10:42 a.m., Blogger windywoo said...

i find this SO AMAZING and facinating that you are finding this stuff!! you can start your own museum.!! i have Johnson Bros dishes btw..the blue willow should look on ebay to see if you can find that same cup and saucer.

At 11:06 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

simply amazing! wow... I have to wonder why people buried stuff on the front lawn (or whereever). I think I may have to take out one of my dishes and bury it in the garden for someone to find years from now!

The bottles are very cool... keep digging!

At 3:34 p.m., Blogger Sadie Says said...

Oh they buried and/or burned their garbage back in the day. I find things quite often when I'm digging in the backyard by the fence. But usually it's just broken pieces of pottery.

Wendy, I didn't know that Blue Willow was made by the Johnson Brothers!

At 12:45 a.m., Blogger GoodKnit said...

I thought it was cool when you were telling me about your 'discoveries'. I miss living in an old house where exploring often reveals interesting things - maybe even the odd 'ghost';)

At 10:00 a.m., Blogger windywoo said...

there might be several companies that make the Blue Willow pattern..i have another fancier set of Blue Willow made by someone else..i'll have to look and see who it is..


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