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2008 Archaeology Dig at the William Blake House

Dorchester residents, youth and adults, explore the history held in the ground near the Blake House during Massachusetts Archaeology Month. Working with Blake House caretaker and City of Boston Archaeologist Ellen Berkland, dig participants found archeological evidence that this place we now call Edward Everett Square has been lived in for thousands of years.

Of particular note were remains of an early Native American clam bake that would have been associated with the pond originally located where Pond Street now intersects with Columbia Road. Also discovered were items from the late 1800’s which were used as landfill to prepare for the relocation of the Blake House which occurred in 1896 by the newly formed Dorchester Historical Society. These items, trash at the time, included metal hardware from wooden refrigerators, children’s toys, fishing nets, bottles, shoes and other items discarded from local residents. Interesting, this trash was identified as coming from a very specific 6-week period of December 1895 – February of 1896 – right around time the house was moved.

Image courtesy Ellen Berkland