209 Main Street (18AP75)

The site called 209 Main Street (18AP75) represents the remains of a late 17th- to early 18th-century tavern in Annapolis, Maryland. Phase II and III archaeological investigations at 18AP75 were conducted by R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. in 1996 for the City of Annapolis. This work was done in advance of the construction of three underground electrical man-hole vaults at 141, 175 and 206 Main Street. Earlier public works activities at 141 and 175 Main Street had largely destroyed intact archaeological strata, but excavations at 209 Main Street revealed two pit features and a shell/rubble layer.

The lot at 209 Main Street was purchased by John and Margaret Freeman around 1695 and they constructed a dwelling there by 1697. They ran a tavern at this location until John Freeman’s death in 1708. After Margaret Freeman remarried in 1709, the property continued to function as a tavern, possibly for much of the 18th century.

The two pit features, Features 4-04 and 4-05, contained large quantities of late 17th to early 18th-century artifacts assemblages associated with the tavern. These features were in a location that was part of the rear yard of the tavern during John and Margaret Freeman’s ownership. Feature 4-05 was a large pit filled circa 1700 during the Freeman’s operation of the tavern and Feature 4-04 was a smaller, intrusive pit filled around 1720. Both of these pits contained large quantities of bone, oyster shell and wine bottle glass. The site also contained a layer of oyster shell and/or brick rubble, overlying the two pits. This layer was determined to be the bed for a circa 1820 sidewalk paving.

(Written by Patricia Samford)


  • Fehr, April, Suzanne Sanders, Martha Williams, David Landon, Andrew Madsen, Kathleen Child and Michele Williams
  • 1997. Cultural Resources Management Investigations for the Main Street Reconstruction Project, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 2 vols. R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.

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