Field Complex (1797-1801)

Research & Collections

In the late-18th century, the working complex for the farm appears to have been settled.  This consisted of slave quarters, barns, an overseer’s house, and work areas.  This complex was part of the new farm management scheme of plowing, crop rotation, and animal husbandry initiated by James Madison Jr. during the 1790s.

Excavations in 2012 revealed the location of a complex site in the Field Complex.  Three 16x16' structures built side-by-side seems to have had a single, continuous roof.  Archaeological evidence points to it being originally built as a tobacco curing barn, then turned into a domestic site, and finally into a threshing barn.

Artifacts such as these hand-wrought "teeth" from a groundhog, threshing machine allow archaeologists to piece together the history of the field complex.