Antebellum Sites (1845-1865)

Research & Collections

Identified through large-scale metal-detector survey are numerous antebellum domestic sites.  Many of these were homes for enslaved families until they were co-opted by Confederate Cavalry.  This was such a common occurrence during the Civil War that domestic sites that do not have any Civil War materials were mostly likely abandoned by that time.  It is from this type of relative dating that archaeologists can confirm that the structures of the South Yard and Stable Yard were demolished prior to the 1860s, while the North Kitchen remained extant in the landscape until the 1880s.

One of these antebellum sites—Arlington House—was owned by the Newman family and now provides the housing for the many Archaeology Expeditions and field schools offered annually by the Montpelier Archaeology Department.

Archaeologists removing soil to reveal the foundation for a slave quarter in the mid 19th century Montpelier farm yard.