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Volunteer Registration for August Archaeology Program at Garfield Farm Museum

CAMPTON HILLS, IL- Garfield Farm Museum is looking for volunteers to help with archaeological research in August. The hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 8am-4pm during the weeks of August 10th-14th and August 17th-21st. 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, work is focused on understanding the lives of the 1830s/1840s settling farmers in Northern Illinois.

        July's exploration yielded more of the ceramic shards that are a hallmark of innkeeping history. Work is now progressing towards the front of the log house site with hopes that the site of the well will finally be revealed.  The well is portrayed in a 1800s watercolor as in front of the log house and Timothy Garfield's map of his farm shows a mark labeled "pump" in the fork of the Chicago- St.Charles Road where the log house stood.

         Registration is currently open. Individuals enrolling for a minimum of 40 hours receive a complete orientation, structured training involving rotation through the activities of shovel excavation, screening of excavated soil for artifact recovery, and washing of recovered artifacts. Participants who successfully complete 40 or more hours will receive certificates documenting hours of training and supervised experience in historical archaeology. Volunteers who cannot commit to 40 hours are also welcome and will receive informal orientations and participate in tasks needed during their hours of participation.

       The GFM Archaeology Program accepts adult volunteers and volunteers of ages 14-17 with written parental permission. Volunteers under 14 years old must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult at all times. We do not recommend participants under 8 years of age.      

       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.      

      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.