Intersection (18AN400)

Site 18AN400, or the Intersection Site, is a multi-component prehistoric and historic period archaeological site near Hanover in Anne Arundel County. The prehistoric component dates from the Late Archaic through the Early Woodland. The historic component dates from the late 19th to mid- 20th century and is related to the operation of a blacksmith and wheelwright’s shop that stood near the site location.

Site 18AN400 is located within a 100 acre tract that a Benton Cole obtained from his father, Thomas W. Cole, in 1872. During the mid to late 1870s, Cole leased portions of the property to wheelwright Lewis B. Richards and later to Balthasar Bach, who was also listed in the 1880 Census as a wheelwright. The lease passed to Charles Reimensnyder in 1885. Reimensnyder was listed as a blacksmith in the 1880 Census and had been renting a house from Cole since 1877. The property was sold in 1896. Charles Reimensnyder still was listed as a blacksmith in the 1900 Census, which suggested he had continued the operation of the blacksmith shop since taking over the lease in 1885. After Charles’ death in 1916, his son Henry N. Reimensnyder continued the blacksmith and wheelwright business until sometime in the 1930s.

Site 18AN400 was first identified in the 1970s as a Late Archaic and Woodland period short-term resource procurement camp. In 1980, the site was visited during a Phase I survey for a new utility pipeline. In the fall of 2006, Site 18AN400 was relocated during the course of a Phase I survey related to the widening of MD 295. Six of the 9 shovel tests contained cultural materials. No cultural features were identified, but a total of 539 historic late 19th and 20th-century artifacts were recovered, and a burned cultural horizon was identified. It was thought that the burned horizon could be representative of the presence of a historic forge nearby.

Cultural features identified during the Phase II site evaluation of 18AN400 were of indeterminate association and could not be definitively linked to the operation of the blacksmith shop. Three identified features were linked to the pouring of a concrete foundation. The foundation appears to date to the early 20th century. The other feature identified was an early to mid 20th century refuse pit of unknown size and depth in the south-central portion of the site. Artifacts in the remnant cultural layer (buried A horizon) consisted predominantly of metal (over 84%) and included items related to farrier work and wagon repair. It was determined that this layer was likely laid down no earlier than 1875 and reflects use of the site area through at least the 1920s.

The Phase II fieldwork yielded 225 prehistoric and 8,167 historic artifacts. Diagnostic artifacts suggest that the prehistoric component dated from the Late Archaic and was a short-term lithic reduction locus focused on procurement of locally available cobble resources. The historic component is related to a blacksmith shop that operated near the intersection of the two roads at the site between 1877 and 1928. The shop was razed between 1928 and 1941 and by 1949 the property had been sold and a residence built near the former location of the blacksmith shop. At its height, the shop included three workshop buildings and a lumber house. The partial foundation of one later building (the concrete foundation) remains visible in the southwestern corner of the site.

Phase II investigation of 18AN400 indicated that although the site produced a relatively large number of cultural materials, and contained a few features, it also has been subject to post-occupation disturbances. Most of these disturbances relate to the construction and occupation of the 20th century residence onsite. The site was determined to lack integrity and is no longer considered a significant archaeological resource.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)

References

  • Child, Kathleen
  • 2007. Additional Phase I Archeological Survey and Phase II Site Evaluations for the MD 295 Improvements, MD 100 to I-95, and Hanover Road from High Tech Drive to MD 170, Howard and Anne Arundel Counties, Maryland. SHA Archeological Report No. 377.

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