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Nye Mill Report, Sandwich Massachusetts

Nye Mill Report, Sandwich Massachusetts

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Published by Craig Chartier
A report on the 2010 archaeological excavations at the Nye Mill site in Sandwich, MA. Testing identified the sluiceway of the 19th century mill and examined the extent of the fill near the present mill.
A report on the 2010 archaeological excavations at the Nye Mill site in Sandwich, MA. Testing identified the sluiceway of the 19th century mill and examined the extent of the fill near the present mill.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Craig Chartier on Feb 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/20/2011

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 Nye Mill Site Examination, Sandwich, MAOctober 2010
I.INTRODUCTION
The project area is located in Sandwich, Massachusetts off of Old County Road
(Figure 1)
and consistsof the potential location of the 1669 grist mill and its associated infrastructure (flume, dam, andwaterwheel foundation). A nineteenth century mill building currently exists on the site and currentplans call for the restoration of the structure for possible use as a Nye Homestead property industrialarts interpretive center. Much of the area around the building consists of wet deposits associated withthe filled marsh and fill deposits associated with the realignment of Old County Road adjacent to thesite
(Figure 2)
. Three areas of were considered to have high potential for retaining intact architecturaland archaeological features and deposits associated with the 1669 mill
(Figure 3)
. These areas wererecommended for archaeological site examination testing.The program of archaeological testing had six goals:-locate traces of 17th century mill-look for wheel support-look for traces of flume and type of flume-look at nature of soils around site-look for traces of all uses of the land-gain better understanding of landscape Nyes lived in/ onThe first area of high potential was located adjacent to the north side of the extant mill buildingfoundation at the bottom of the slope down from the road. Testing in this area had the potential of beingthe deepest of the proposed testing and thus could reveal remains of the earlier mill foundation beneathor adjacent to the extant mill foundation. Testing in this location also had the potential to revealevidence of the location where the mill stream traveled under the building. Proposed archaeologicaltesting in this area consisted of the excavation of a trench between 50 cm wide and one meter long (1.6
 
x 3.2 feet) and one meter wide by two meters long (3.2 x 6.4 feet). Trench size would be dependent onthe depth and nature of the deposits encountered.The second high potential area was located on the slope of the hill between the mill building and OldCounty Road. This is the area where the flume is believed to have existed and where traces might beburied beneath later fill deposits. Proposed excavation in this area would consist of the excavation of a
 
test trench 50 cm wide and one meter long (1.6 x 3.2 feet) which, dependent on the remainsencountered, could be expanded to expose more of the flume. Once the flume location was identified, if it was found to have been made of stone, probing could have been conducted up the hill to delineate itspath and extent.Finally, the area to the west, on the opposite side of the existing mill and wetlands, was proposed for
 
testing. Probing at this location is proposed to attempt to locate the possible support foundation for thewaterwheel, if it was an over or undershot wheel. Probing was proposed with the purpose of encountering stones associated with this foundation, thus indicating an area where a third test trench
 
could be placed. This trench was proposed to be 50 cm wide and one meter long (1.6 x 3.2 feet), but theactual size could vary due to the nature and size of the remains encountered.1
 
 Nye Mill Site Examination, Sandwich, MAOctober 2010
Figure 1. Project location2
 
 Nye Mill Site Examination, Sandwich, MAOctober 2010
Figure 2. Project area shown on 1935 map (showing road straightening)3

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