Preserve and Protect – Cultural Resources Inventory of Hitchcock Woods
In 2015, the Foundation contracted a three year archaeological survey of Hitchcock Woods. The objective of the survey was to identify sites and artifacts of historical significance, and to develop a management plan to preserve them. Carl Steen, of the Diachronic Research Foundation, and his associate, Bobby Southerlin of Archaeological Consultants of the Carolina’s went about the survey by dividing the 2,100 acre Woodland into three parcels and phases of work over the winters of 2015, 2016 and 2017. With the help of maps and LIDAR images of Hitchcock Woods and the guidance of amateur archaeologists who grew up in the Woods, shovel tests and excavations were carried out to locate sites and unearth artifacts of cultural and historical significance. What did we learn? Hitchcock Woods is a far richer archaeological resource than we imagined! While typical archaeological surveys contain an average one site per every 30 acres, the Hitchcock Woods survey revealed one site per every 15 – 17 acres! We also learned that the Woods contain artifacts dating as far back as prehistoric times (Paleo-Indian period), projectile points thousands of years old, the oldest pottery in North America, and remnants of early settlements such as a whiskey still, 18th century glass bottles and structural artifacts. To our surprise, a remnant of the old Charleston to Hamburg Railroad was even discovered in the Woods at the end of the survey! Opportunities for learning more about the Woods rich heritage abound, so stay tuned!
For more information about the Cultural Resources Survey of the Woods, check out the following articles.
Railroad Tracks belonging to the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company, c.1839–1852
“Article (c)2009 Society of Industrial Archeology and reprinted with permission from _IA: The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology_ vol. 42, no. 1.”