Archaeologists Dig into Bellevue Estate History
On March 28, 2013, the St. John Historical Society entered into a 99 year lease agreement with the St. John Community Foundation for a small parcel of land on the Bellevue Estate, off Gift Hill Road, on St. John. The parcel being leased is part of a larger piece of the land gifted to the Foundation by Reliance Housing, largely because of the important historic nature of the property and the ruins it contains. (To learn more about the historic nature of this property, click here to see David Knight’s article on the estate.)
The ultimate goal of both the Society and Foundation is to develop and preserve the site in a way that provides for an “interesting and educational destination in a welcoming setting.” One of the first steps is to have a comprehensive archaeological survey completed. The primary objectives of this survey are (1) to more specifically assess the extent of cultural deposits on the property in order to define areas within the property that could be used for the construction of community and heritage theme structures without harming the significant archaeological resources located there, and (2) to develop a plan for archaeological reconnaissance, excavation, analysis as part of a proposal for a focused, long-term, research project to be designed by Alan Armstrong as part of his dissertation in anthropology at Northwestern University.
Alan’s work this summer, sponsored by the Historical Society, is the beginning of this process and is the basis for the July 23, 2014 article in Tradewinds by Jaime Elliot. Please click here to see the article.