Honeymoon Midden (1797-1801)

Research & Collections

Archaeologists uncovered a treasure trove of artifacts beside the foundations to an 18th-century building beside the mansion (north flanking structure).  This trash deposit contained the tablewares from the Madisons’ honeymoon years following the construction of the 1797 duplex and Portico.  These tablewares were used in the Madison dining room between 1797-1801 prior to the Madisons moving back to Washington DC.This deposit was sealed by a brick rubble deposit from the Washington Years renovations to the mansion.

Fresh from the ground—These artifacts were recovered from a single layer in the Honeymoon Midden, and are pictured here right after excavation and before cleaning in the Archaeology Laboratory. Artifacts pictured here include wine bottle glass, ceramic plate sherds, animal bone, oyster shell, and nails.

Photograph showing location of trash deposit in relationship to building located during excavations.

A small sample of artifacts recovered from the Honeymoon period Midden.