Hawkins Road I (18AN498)

Hawkins Road I (18AN498), or the Boehm Site, is an 18th- to early 19th-century domestic site near Crownsville, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Archival research reveals that 18AN498 is located on “Long Venture”, patented in 1673 by a John Simpson and conveyed to Richard Rawlings in 1685. In 1714, the parcel was divided within the Rawlings family. In 1738, John Rawlings sold 20 acres of Long Venture to William Hernwood. Hernwood held the property until 1772 when he sold the land to Francis Rawlings who was reconsolidating the various parcels of Long Venture. All of the references in the land records indicate that the Rawlingses were “planters”, while William Hernwood is described as a “carpenter”. They are probably representative of what have been called “middling” planters of the 18th century Tidewater region. Middling planters constituted a large segment of the population of Colonial America, but are under-represented in history because they were neither literate nor rich. Site 18AN498 was occupied throughout the 18th century by individuals of moderate means involved in cash crop agriculture.

Phase II field research was carried out at 18AN198 in 1982. The two primary field techniques utilized were controlled surface collection and manual test unit excavation. Six 1 X 1 m test units and one 5 m X 50 cm test trench were excavated to examine areas of cultural activity delineated by the surface collection. The purpose of these tests was to identify subsurface features. Only one feature was identified, but the augering data suggested saucer-shaped depression of non-uniform thickness. The data suggested that the feature was the result of a tree fall, rather than a culturally-derived feature. Architectural and domestic debris from a partially burned and dismantled structure appear to have been thrown into this convenient hole at some later date.

The artifact pattern recovered through Phase II excavation at 18AN498 suggests two 18th century loci which may be partially contemporaneous. Occupation appears to have started earlier in the southern portion of the site, which may relate to the Rawlings occupation, while the northern portion of the site may have been associated with William Hernwood. Any structures that were present in the southern portion of the site could have remained after Hernwood’s arrival in 1738. He could have then built to the north but continued to use the older building(s). Within the period of his occupation, the southern portion of the site appears to have ceased in use. The absence of subsurface features makes it impossible to confirm these hypotheses.

In sum, 18AN498 represents a relatively scarce resource (an 18th-century middling plantation), but with low integrity and limited research value because of severe impact by nearly two hundred years of erosion and agricultural disturbance. It is unlikely that further research would appreciably refine the pattern of cultural deposition within the site. For these reasons, no additional work was ever carried out at the site and the I-97 project likely demolished what remained.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)

References

  • Kavanagh, Maureen, and Silas Hurry
  • 1984. Phase II Archeological Investigations for the Baltimore Annapolis Transportation Corridor, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. MGS File Report No. 186.

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