Nazareth Foundry

Nazareth Foundry & Machine Co.

Nazareth Foundry & Machine Co.

Historic documents are always entertaining, but moreso if they relate to your own family. The advertisment above and the photograph below lie in the O’Shea family documents amongst many other pictures (some subjects identified, some not) and documents and graduation programs, etc.   I love these two documents in particular, but I know very little about the Nazareth Foundry & Machine Co., which is connected to my family history.  I believe “Ed” who signed the photograph is my paternal great-grandfather.

If you have heard of it or know of Nazareth, PA, please let me know. Or if you have any advice for researching it, send it along. Thanks!

"Annie, How do you like it? Come out & see us sometime. Ed"

"Annie, How do you like it? Come out & see us sometime. Ed"


Adventures in the Field: Archaeology at Historic Bath, NC

Adventures in the Field: Archaeology at Historic Bath, NC is a series of posts about Lauren’s experiences as a TA at East Carolina University’s summer 2009 archaeology field school in Bath, NC.  This is post #1.


By Lauren McMillan

Week One: 5/20 – 5/22/2009

So, I was asked by Kaitlin, and bugged by Brad, to write a weekly entry on my experiences while excavating this summer, and just FYI, this will be a pretty long first post.  For those of you who don’t know, I’m a 2008  UMW Historic Preservation alumni and am currently working on my Masters in Anthropology with a concentration on Historical Archaeology at East Carolina University.  For the next five weeks I will be working as one of the two Teaching Assistants at ECU’s historical archaeology field school in Bath, NC under the direction of Dr. Charles Ewen.  I’d like to first give you a brief background on the town and the site before getting into the field work.

Bath Town, as it was once known, was settled by Europeans in the 1690s and later became North Carolina’s first town in 1705.  Bath was home to many important men and events in NC’s colonial history.  John Lawson, Bath’s founder and author of A New Voyage to Carolina (which is still in print), made his home in town.  Lawson became the first casualty in the Tuscarora Indian War (1711-1715), while on an exploration trip.  North Carolina’s most infamous figure, the pirate Blackbeard, made his home and married his fourteenth wife in Bath,  right before Virginia’s Spotswood chased him down and had him beheaded (one of many reasons NC still hates us – did you all know that North Carolina feels this great rivalry with Virginia?)  It is even said that Edward Teach (Blackbeard’s “real” name) was actually from Bath.  Bath was also home to the first port, shipyard and library in North Carolina, and can still claim the oldest church in the state, St. Thomas, built in 1734.

St. Thomas Church, the oldest church in North Carolina, constructed 1734. Photograph by Brad Hatch.

St. Thomas Church, the oldest church in North Carolina, constructed 1734. Photograph courtesy of Brad Hatch.

Overall, Bath is an interesting place for all you history buffs and pres dorks like myself; there are a few state owned historic houses to tour, in addition to a beautiful view of the water.  To me, the most exciting things about Bath is that all of the streets and most of the lots are almost exactly the same as they were in the 18th century, as seen on the 1769 Sauthier map.  The town literally has no stop lights, just two corner flashing lights.  And for you archaeology nerds out there, Stan South dug a cellar the size of the one we are currently excavating in just three short days in 1960.  This is one of the sites that helped him create his mean ceramic dating formula and his site pattern types.

1769 Sauthier Map - Beaufort Community College

1769 Sauthier Map – Beaufort Community College

As one of the few ports in North Carolina, Bath became an important site of commercial activity in the 18th century.  We are lucky that many of the town records have survived, and we knew before we started digging two years ago that a communal merchant warehouse was located on the lot we are currently investigating; in fact, there are court records showing that two merchants were constantly fighting one another over space and merchandise.  I can easily imagine arguments breaking out over space in this building, since we just found a third corner this week, and now know that the building was 15’x15’; not a very big space for all the merchants in one of the few ports of entry in the state to share.

Site with happy field school students and intern house in the background. Photograph courtesy of Lauren McMillan.

Site with happy field school students and intern house in the background. Photograph courtesy of Lauren McMillan.

While ECU and Dr. Ewen have had a long and happy relationship with Bath, this is only the third year at this particular site, which is currently called the Intern House, because of the building standing right on part of our cellar.  The past two years, the ’07 field season with ECU students and the ’08 season with Summer Ventures (a high school governor school program which lasts for about two weeks), have revealed a good portion of the mid 18th century cellar.  The ceramics are dating the site from about the 1720s (white salt-glazed stoneware) to the 1770s (pearlware), which corresponds to the historical documentation.  Of course, the majority of what has been found are boring ol’ bricks and mortar, but as Noel Hume says, “While bricks are not the most collectible of artifacts, they are among the most common relics of early American domesticity.”

Now onto the ’09 season; we have a total of 14 people out on the site this summer, six Anthropology undergraduates, two recent anthro graduates, one Public History graduate student, two anthro grad students, two grad teaching assistants and the professor. Our first week out in the field was a short one, just three days, but we were able to accomplish quite a bit.  We got all the backfill from last summer out, which was a lot! The cellar goes down about six feet from the top surface, and there was a lot of dirt down there.  When we were finally able to pull all the tarp off the site and see it in its full glory; I was very joyous.

We uncovered most of the north cellar wall and some of the east wall (isn’t it nice when buildings line up with the cardinal directions?)  Halfway through Friday we were finally able to open up two units from last year.  It was in one of these units (60N40E) that we found one of the most important pieces of this puzzle we call archaeology; the southwest corner!  This is the third corner uncovered, telling us that the building was 15’x15’.  This is interesting, because there was a law in place in the 18th century that within one year of purchasing land in Bath, a building of at least 15’x15’ had to be built; this was to prevent land speculation and to encourage immigration.  This corner was found at the very end of the day, right as we were about to pack up, as is always the case, so I know all the students are excited about starting up next week to see what else the dirt will reveal.

Well, that was about it for this week.  We should get a lot more done next week, even though it too is a short one.  Stay tuned to find out more about Bath, NC!


Catsburg Country Store, Catsburg, Durham County, NC

Catsburg Country Store, Durham County, NC. Photograph by Michelle Michael.

Now, this is the kind of photograph that makes me fantasize about road trips and intriguing highways and bways. Michelle Michael took this picture on one of her many North Carolina architectural excursions. It is located on Old Oxford Highway in Durham County, NC.  The Catsburg Country Store is no longer in operation. It was built in the 1920s by Sheriff E.G. “Cat” Belvin, who was known to be able to sneak up on moonshiners and bootleggers.  See the Durham County Architectural Inventory.

Preservacation: Stratford Hall and the Various Meanings of Historic Sites

Preservacation is a series of essays by Brad Hatch about the preservation related adventures, issues, and sites that he and Lauren have encountered on their travels.  This is #3 in the series.


By Brad Hatch

This posting has taken me a little longer to write than usual because I’ve been busy the past week. In addition to going to Williamsburg for commencement on the 17th, Lauren and I stayed at Stratford Hall that weekend for our anniversary. We met at Stratford 3 years ago and have gone there for every anniversary since. This annual ritual has inspired me to write about this place that has played such a large role in my life. Rather than giving you a review of what to do and critiquing the site, however, I wanted to reflect on what this one place means to me, and by doing so, hopefully get at the deeper and more nuanced meanings of this and other historic sites.

For those of you who don’t know, Stratford Hall is the birthplace of Robert E. Lee as well as the home of brotherly signers of the Declaration of Independence. It is a beautiful H-plan Georgian brick house built in 1738 along the cliffs of the Potomac near Montross, Virginia. At its height the plantation boasted 7,000 acres of land, a landing for ships, a grist mill, and numerous slaves. Like many plantations it was a small, self-contained town of sorts. The Lees lost the home after 1810 and it went through the hands of private owners until 1929. It was in this year that May Lanier created a ladies’ association that raised enough money, $240,000, to purchase the house and 1,100 acres as a memorial to Robert E. Lee. The Robert E. Lee Memorial Association still owns Stratford and it, like many historic houses, stands as an example of the late 19th and early 20th century preservation movement among wealthy women.

That’s enough of facts though. Facts are handy to a point, but we supply the meaning (to paraphrase Second Mate Stubb in Moby Dick). It’s meaning that interests me, though I will only give one of the countless meanings for this place. Stratford has been like a mother to me through these past several years. To start with, it has played a pivotal role in shaping my career as an archaeologist. It was here in the summer of 2005 that I took my first supervisory role in archaeology as the UMW field school assistant. I have worked on this site (the Oval Site) longer than any other, three years. It has become a part of me. I know the site backward and forward, the feel of the soil, the way the breeze cooled us off on hot June days, the sounds of the countryside.  It was as if the place and I could converse, we knew one another so well. Things seemed clearer on that site than any other. It almost had a youthful innocence about it.

In constructing my own meaning of Stratford Hall, however, it is the people that are most important. In the years that I worked there I met several important people in my life. Not least among these was Lauren, whom I found my second summer there. Up until this meeting Stratford was already tied to some important friendships. Actually, most of the people I really continue to keep up with from Mary Washington were at the first field school in 2005, including Andrew, who will be going to the University of Tennessee’s Ph.D. program with me, Irene, and Erin. The four of us continue to keep in touch and it seems that we formed a bond that summer that won’t soon be broken. With the exception of my childhood friend, Patrick, and Lauren, I would say that those three know me the best. We shared so many things on the plantation from evenings spent on the pond fishing, to afternoons spent wandering the beach looking for sharks’ teeth, to nights spent watching fireflies dance on fields beneath a starlit sky. These images are burned into my memory, but not because of their own beauty. It is the people that I spent these times with that made them special. Without the people there is no meaning for me.

Coming back to Stratford now is bittersweet in a way. It’s like going back to a point in my life that I want to capture and put away. Visiting this place allows me to do that. I can savor all of those memories as they come rushing back to me with the taste of a Northern Neck Ginger Ale, the tug of a Bass on my fishing line, or the sight of the mansion with a full field of hay in the foreground. To me Stratford represents a simpler time, a more innocent time (if there ever was such a time). It reminds me to live and to enjoy all things beautiful, for they are fleeting. I know that I can never go back to the same plantation that lives in my mind, but I don’t need to. My experience on my mother’s sandy shores and fertile fields has provided me with more than I could ever repay to her in a thousand lifetimes. This is what Stratford Hall means to me. This is only my interpretation though. As we go to sites like this we should be mindful of the people who have lived and toiled on these places. The entirety of the human experience exists on such small pieces of the planet. Historic sites are places where people have been born and died, thousands of loves have been won and lost, people have literally given their whole beings to these places. And, they’ve lived, oh, how we have lived. Think on this the next time you visit another site and it will change how you experience it.

It's the people, not the place. Photo courtesy of Lauren McMillan.

It's the people, not the place. Photo courtesy of Lauren McMillan.

Memorial Day

To those who served the United States of America in all wars and military operations past, to those who are serving today, to those who have defended and supported our country in any way possible, thank you. Thank you for your sacrifices. Without you, the rest of us wouldn’t be able to live our lives as carefree as we do today.

Nowadays Memorial Day rings of red, white, & blue, barbecues, parades, summertime, family and friends, retail sales, and beach days (if you’re far south enough). And while enjoying our freedom and being proud to be an American is our right, perhaps we should take a moment to remember why we have this holiday in the first place. Make sure you think of those who have given you the right to enjoy the barbecue today.

Memorial Day began in 1868, but was originally called Decoration Day, and it is a day of remembrance for those who have died while in service to the United States of America. Read the Memorial Day Order:

General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters.

I.     The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and com­rades will, in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, Comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers sailors and marines, who united to suppress the late rebellion.”  What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead?  We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.  All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders.  Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners.  Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hinds slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation’s gratitude—the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

II.         It is the purpose of the Commander‑in‑Chief to inaugurate this observ­ance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III.      Department commanders will use every effort to make this Order effective.

By Command of:

John A. Logan
Commander in Chief                                   May 5, 1868



This Place Matters to me, and so many others. It’s been my work, my life, my passion, for the past (almost) three years. And I’m getting very close to the end … and I’m feeling the effects of nostalgia and memory. But long before I arrived, this place has been home to generations of people, and I’m just glad that I got to have a part in telling the story.

A Good Lesson

 “We have to have a viable option if we want to stay in the conversation.” – Michelle Michael

Section 106 work is never portrayed as the most glamorous aspect of historic preservation work. But it’s one of the most important aspects, especially if you work with federal property.  Michelle and I talked about Section 106 the other day, and while I’ve never been too fond of it (read: that type of work – it’s just not my cup of tea), she explained it to me in a way that allowed me understand why people do Section 106 and why they find it enjoyable.

I can now say that I understand this better than ever before: It is a compromise. It is figuring out how to convey historic buildings as an attractive first choice when it comes to renovation, rehabilitation, and development. Section 106 and architectural history and architecture, when combined, can figure out which materials will bring a building up to modern code without destroying historic materials, details, and features. It is a puzzle and critical thinking. It is shaping the future carefully with respect to the past. And, of course, it’s “green”.

I’m glad to have people like Michelle who do this sort of work and do it well, and tirelessly -and then still have the energy to teach me. As a side note, check out Michelle’s flickr page for gorgeous architectural photographs.

Looking for Coffee? Wi-fi? Got it.

Have you ever been on a road trip or a business trip or just in a new place and you really wanted a good cup of coffee or a quick snack from a local café, but you just didn’t know where to go? It’s hard to be a good preservationist (in the lifestyle sense) when you’re typically greeted with chain retailers and restaurants when you arrive in a new place, whether it be near the airport or off the interstate or on the outskirts of a downtown.

It’s easy to talk about loving the local places more than the national chains, but unless you’ve done a decent amount of planning or have a lot of time on your hands or you have excellent geographic intuition, finding those unique places in difficult and sometimes out of the question. And while maybe one cup of Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts won’t hurt your preservation soul, it would be even better to find a local coffee shop.

If you feel the same way, you will understand just how thrilled I was when I stumbled across Indie Coffee shops. It’s an internet database that compiles independently owned coffee shops across the United States. As of right now, there are 1838 coffee shops in 871 cities listed. You can search by town, address, zip code – it’s easy. What’s even better is that most of the entries have details beyond the address and phone number. It lists if there is Wi-Fi, food, alcohol, indoor seating, outdoor seating, and if it is a chain of any sorts.  Visitors to the site can submit their local coffee shops if they are not listed. Obviously, there are many more than 1838 in the country.  Go ahead and add your favorites! I added Java Bean Plantation in Southern Pines.

From the “about us” section:  It’s pretty simple … we love coffee and the atmosphere of our neighborhood coffee shops. As the name suggests, this website’s purpose is to provide information on local, independent coffee shops so that people have an accessible alternative to the major chains, no matter where they are.

Consider this an excellent road trip tool. I’ll be using it to help plan out my next trip. After all, I always need a cup of good, strong coffee.

click to follow link
click to follow link

June 2009 Newsletter

Writers, photographers, reviewers, and all those interested: if you would like to contribute to the June 2009 issue of Preservation in Pink, please email all submissions to as soon as possible (preferably this weekend). Or, if you need more time, email me and we can work out something. I need to start the layout and editing this weekend. Thank you!

Need an idea? See these posts:

April 24 – Article Reminder

March 30 – Articles + Categories (good list of article suggestions)

March 23 – Call for Articles

Contest Winner

The adopted flamingo has a name! He will now be referred to as Frederick or more formally, Frederick Law Olmsted. Congratulations to Missy who came up with the name! Your prize: one pound of fresh coffee from Java Bean Plantation, the best coffee shop in Southern Pines.

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Zoological Park

Frederick Law Olmsted, the PiP flamingo. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian's National Zoological Park

Here are the poll results. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Frederick (as in Law Olmsted)
7 32%
5 23%
Mr. Pink
3 14%
Jacob (as in Jane Jacobs)
3 14%
3 14%
Smithy (because he was adopted through the Smithsonian)
1 5%
0 0%
Sunburst 0