Monday, April 19, 2010

Road Work - Part 2

Thanks to the ongoing construction work on Lower St. George Street in Annapolis Royal, we now have a new neighbour at the O'Dell House Museum. From the looks of things, our new plastic blue and yellow neighbour is not built to last in quite the same way that the wooden buildings on the street from 1760s and 1770s were, but we will welcome the inhabitants as only we can in Annapolis Royal. While the house seems small, I must admit that I admire the placement of the house so that it can take full advantage of the beautiful forsythia bush. As an act of welcome, maybe I should wait outside and surprise someone with a freshly baked pie when they come out. I will bet that they would be surprised.

In all seriousness, construction on the street and sidewalks near the O'Dell House Museum is ongoing. While it has the tendency to make for some fairly quiet days in terms of visitors, it is nice to get the work done early in the season. If this has the added benefit of diverting some of the rain water away from the basement of the museum I will be very happy. This collection of images was taken a few days ago when the new sewer pipe was being installed. Since we had a combination of rain and snow today, the construction site was fairly quiet. Very muddy but fairly quiet.

I spent most of today speaking with three separate classes of grade 9 students at the local high school. This was my annual walk through the history of archaeological digs in the Annapolis Royal region dating back to the work done prior to the reconstruction of the Port Royal Habitation in the 1930s. One of my main messages to the students is that we live in an area of significant archaeological interest. From the thousands of years of pre-contact usage by the Mi'Kmaq and their ancestors to over 400 years of European settlement, we have some very interesting archaeological sites in our community. We are literally walking on of the beginnings of what has grown to become Canada. While it is a personal and highly biased opinion, I would say that archaeology is potentially the single greatest untapped resource in Annapolis Royal.

With this information firmly in mind, I always worry when I see construction crews working in downtown Annapolis Royal. Although much of the ground has been disturbed by previous building projects, there are still spots where undisturbed soil is being disrupted. The third image in this post is a clear example in the current dig of previously undisturbed soil on the side of the trench which was dug for the sewer pipe. At the top is a relatively mixed and sandy layer. Just below this is dark coloured layer which is more than likely contemporary with the large fires in Annapolis Royal in 1920 and 1921. After some reddish soil we find another burned layer which I would guess dates to the fire which destroyed a number of buildings in this part of town in 1877. The next dark coloured layer is further down and may be the result of some of the numerous attacks on Annapolis Royal from the 1690s to the 1740s. There is a lot of interesting information waiting to be found under the soil in Annapolis Royal.

All for now,

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