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Participate in Garfield Farm Museum’s June 2012 Archaeological Field Session

What: Volunteers needed for Archaeological Investigation
When June 6-10 & June 13-17, 8am – 5pm
Who: Garfield Farm Museum Archaeology Program
Where: for GPS only: 3N016 Garfield Road Campton Hills, IL 60175
Contact: 630 584-8485 or

     This year marks the tenth field season and fourth consecutive year of professional archaeological investigations at Garfield Farm Museum. The museum’s Archaeological Program is under the direction of James R. Yingst, Director and Chief Archaeologist of Chicago-based Heartland Archaeology Research Program, and a Research Associate in Archaeology at Garfield Farm Museum. The 2012 fieldwork will again focus on the area of the farmstead initially occupied by the Culbertson family (1835-1841) and subsequently by the Garfield family (1841-1846).

     The Culbertson log house/Garfield log tavern stood in the fork of the Chicago/St. Charles Road that branched northwest to Sycamore and southwest to Oregon, Illinois. Culbertson originally claimed 440 acres of land that he improved with a log house, a dug well, and 30 acres under cultivation by mid-1841 when he sold the claim to Timothy Garfield for $650. The Garfield’s immediately saw a lucrative opportunity in establishing an inn to capture the business of the numerous farmers hauling wheat past their house to Chicago’s port. Documentary sources suggest the expanded structure measured about 20 by 50 feet. The house consisted of two sections and a kitchen to the west. Three first-floor rooms included a barroom; two sleeping chambers were on the second floor. The log house had slab siding with a roof of shakes bound down by poles. Ultimately, a replica of the original Culbertson log house, as subsequently enlarged by the Garfield family into an inn or tavern, will be built. The archaeological investigations are critical to this effort and provide significant clues about not only the layout and arrangement of the log structure, but also the day-to-day life of the Culbertson and Garfield families.

     Registration is currently open for individuals who are interested in assisting with the archaeological fieldwork at Garfield Farm Museum. The ten-day June session is June 6 – 10 and 13 – 17. Fieldwork begins promptly at 8:00 am and runs until 5:00 pm with an hour break at noon. A full orientation to the Archaeology Program at Garfield Farm Museum will be presented on Wednesday morning, June 6. If you intend on making a serious commitment of time to the June field session, you are strongly urged to be present for the opening day. A second two-week fieldwork session will be offered in late September/early October. Last season volunteers contributed over 1800 hours to the Archaeology Program.

     Individuals enrolling for a minimum of 40 hours receive a structured training involving rotation through the activities of unit excavation, screening of excavated soil for artifact recovery, and processing (washing and preliminary sorting) of recovered artifacts. Participants who successfully complete 40 or more hours will receive certificates documenting their hours of training and supervised experience in historical archaeology.

     The GFM Archaeology Program accepts volunteer of ages 14-17 with written parental permission. Volunteers ages 8-13 must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult at all times.

     To register as a participant, to visit the excavation site, or to financially contribute to the effort, contact the museum at 630 584-8485, e-mail or write to Box 403 LaFox, IL 60147.

For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: or call 630/584-8485.