Wondering just where to begin put this blog creation on hold for a long time. Well, not too long, just a few months. When I first decided to do a blog, I thought, well, that’s no biggie. But, as I began formulating, creating, drafting, re-drafting, editing, researching and otherwise coordinating the pieces for the blog I became aware that it was a bit more involved than just putting my thoughts on paper. Primarily because I just didn’t know where to begin.
You might simply suggest that it is best to start at the beginning, but to be perfectly honest; I am not sure where that is. The beginning of what, exactly? Where is the beginning of this blog project? Was the decision to go back to school and complete a Master’s degree the spark made me want to share all I learn with the world? I had been working as a field technician (a.k.a. archaeological shovel bum) for several years, and I knew that this would never be a lengthy or moneymaking career. Sadly, it was nothing more than a lucrative hobby. So I began taking education classes and decided to become a teacher. Having my first child stalled this somewhat, at least it seemed to at the time, but I wonder if maybe that wasn’t really and truly “thinking time.” I did a lot of thinking. At the time I was applying to the masters program, I was completing excavations at a historic site in Cortlandt Manor.
I was involved with excavating and analyzing the remains of an old manor house that had been abandoned sometime after the turn of the 20th Century. The house was reported to have been there since the Colonial period prior to the War of Revolution. After which, the lands were seized under the Commission of Forfeiture and sold (New York Genealogical and Biographical Record). In 1850, Samuel Lent owned the manor house (Sidney & Neff 1851). By 1867, Isaac Mosier owned the house (Beers). The Federal and New York state census indicates that in 1860, there is no Samuel Lent living in the neighborhood, and that Isaac Mosier lives in Verplanck (US Federal Census 1850 and US Federal Census 1860). The census of this year (1860) and the ten-year period following show a variety of individuals staying in this manor house. The archaeological record indicates that the domestic materials changed as well. Material furnishings shifted from expensive, well-made ceramics to cheap glasswares. All of these factors indicate that during this ten-year span, the house shifted from a privately owned residence to being a boarding house for laborers working in the area. Samuel Lent also owned a general store, but by the 1860’s this store is no longer shown on the cartographic materials (Sidney & Neff 1851; Merry 1858; Beers 1867).
This is the type of information that gets me excited! i have decided to take this hard won research and share it.
I hope you enjoy reading.