City Archaeology Program Completes Three Months of Digs
The first excavation at 42-44 Shirley Street in Roxbury sought to find remnants of the original location of the Landmark-designated Shirley-Eustis House as well as evidence of activities carried out by the enslaved individuals and others living and working on the property. Archaeologists and volunteers located what appears to be the original 18th-century basement floor for the Shirley-Eustis House in its original location.
The Program’s second dig took place in the South End Landmarks District at the headquarters of the League of Women for Community Service, a Black women’s civic organization that has occupied the house at 558 Massachusetts Ave. since 1922. The team uncovered evidence of the mid-19th century cistern and drainage system that would have fed into the plumbing for the mansion, which was built with four water closets and two shower rooms in 1858 even before most of the wealthiest Bostonians had indoor plumbing.
The third and final dig of the season conducted by the City’s Archaeology team and volunteers took place at the Landmark-designated Loring Greenough House in Jamaica Plain. The team uncovered both a 17th/18th century living surface and evidence of Native Masssachusett use prior to the arrival of Europeans to the area.
Special thanks are due to everyone who helped including Mike Bavis, the Shirley-Eustis House Association, the League of Women for Community Service, the Loring Greenough House, and the fantastic volunteers who worked tirelessly in all kinds of weather to make it all happen!