The Glover Park Archaeological Museum preserves a wide variety of semi-significant objects, accumulated over a period of years, and never discarded. The collection had its origin during a kitchen renovation, when the removal of an archaic refrigerator revealed evidence of earlier cultures. Over time, the area of inquiry was extended to all public areas of Glover Park––except parkland, where archaeology without a license is prohibited.
While archaeology is best left to those with appropriate credentials, the alleys, yards, gardens, sheds, basements, crawlspaces and attics of Glover Park provide a fertile field for anyone with an antiquarian bent.
Cigarette Pack, Pre-Surgeon General’s Warning. Entombed beneath floorboards during back porch enclosure, Tunlaw Road, circa 1940.
District of Columbia Dog Tag, 1939-1940.
Bottle, Half Pint, Cavalier Distilled Dry Gin, Continental Distilling Corporation, Philadelphia, PA, circa 1950. Discovered behind a cabinet during a kitchen remodeling on W Street NW.
Marbles: Cat’s Eyes, Aggies, a blue Cleary, and a Lime Jelly-Mayonnaise Composite . These artifacts––often associated with ritual circles––are frequently found imbedded in Pre-Nixonian clay matrix. (Everett, J., “All the Marbles: Childhood in Early Glover Park”, 1979)
Tombstone Fragment, circa 1850. Discovered on Tunlaw Road, outside Holy Rood Cemetery fence.
Seashell fossil in limestone, surface find, near Guy Mason Recreational Center: “Once all of this was a vast inland sea.”
Cobble (twice-struck), perhaps discarded material for Paleolithic tools. In the ravines of College Run (a stream whose branches are now storm-drains under 37th Street) there were quarries, worked by prehistoric artisans, where cobbles suitable for the production of tools and weapons were abundant. To turn a cobble into a tool, it was reduced and shaped with a “hammerstone”; cobbles that failed to break as intended were rejected after only a few blows.
Fossilized Cretaceous Bivalve, of the Cardiidae, or Heart Mollusk, family. Accurate dating is rendered problematic by the anomalous situation in which the artifact was discovered, i.e. on the lid of a District of Columbia super can.
Minie Ball, Caliber .58. This “drop”or “pocketspill”––i.e. a bullet not fired, but merely lost––was excavated in a back yard in the southwest quadrant of Benton Street and Tunlaw Road, and may indicate the southern extent of the Union army encampment on Red Hill, Georgetown D.C.
Entrenching Tool, M-1943, Government Issue, (handle decomposed). Military surplus items were ubiquitous during the Cold War, and constituted key elements in building “clubhouses” and “forts” and “playing guns”.
Sign, “Long’s Fence”. The fact that the Long Fence Company was a Washington firm since 1945, and moved to Tuxedo, Maryland in 1965, provides a convenient terminus post quem and a terminus ante quem for this artifact, and a date prior to 1960, when seven-digit dialing was introduced in Washington, is suggested by the letters LA., i.e. Lawrence, one of the old Washington telephone exchanges. (“C&P Plans Fall Start for All-Number Dialing”, Evening Star, July 12, 1960. The author is indebted to Ariadne Henry for pointing out that the use of the old telephone exchanges persisted, in both speech and print, upwards of a decade.)
Magazine, Newsweek, August 11, 1969. Received by Mrs. Fanny Bonajuto, 2500 Wisconsin Avenue NW.
Golf Balls: TopFlite 3 XL Regular Trajectory; Wilson ProStaff Distance 4.
Billiard Cue Ball, Acrylic. The physics of the shot that caused this cue ball to achieve escape velocity, and come to rest outdoors, in an ivy patch at the rear of Observatory Place, present a rich field for conjecture.
Lincoln penny, 1951D. Unless something about their date resonates with the finder, coins found in yards are usually returned to circulation.
Lincoln penny, 1973D.
Jefferson nickel, 1963.
Washington quarter, 1974
Penny, “American Large Cent”, 1829 (struck by nail punch?). The site on Tunlaw Road where this coin was turned up by a gardener corresponds to lot 266 of Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition to Georgetown, land owned by Michael Homiller in 1820.
Ford Meter Box lid, installed circa 1950, replaced by plastic ones in 2002. Edwin Ford invented the meter box in 1898, as a place to install water meters outside of houses.
Wall Calendar and Delivery Schedule, Chestnut Farms Sealtest Milk, 1952. The large number of relics from the Age of Milk Man attest the presence of a highly evolved dairy culture. Milk bottles are most commonly found outdoors, under the primeval ivy in alleys; delivery schedules, order slips and other paper ephemera are more likely to come to light indoors, usually during kitchen renovations, when primitive refrigerators are removed.
Pad of Order Slips, Thompson’s Honor Dairy.
Pad of Order Slips, Thompson’s Honor Dairy (reverse).
Milk Bottle, pint, Wakefield Simpson Brothers Dairy (pre-1940?).
Milk advertisement (Washington Post, April 14, 1924, p.16). A bottle (corresponding in every way to the 1924 advertisement) was exposed by yard cleaning in 1991, but as the site was not residentially developed until 1928, dating is problematic.
Milk Bottle, half pint, inscribed “Safe Milk for Babies”, Chestnut Farms Dairies, Chevy Chase (date unknown).
Milk Bottle, Embassy Dairy (1951?).
Insulator, Hemingray-42, aqua glass. Left behind after utility repair at 37th and U Streets.
Mason jar, No.10, Ball Ideal, with glass lid , blue (1923-1933?).
Mason jar, No.8, Ball Perfect, screw top, without lid , blue (pre-1937 lettering).
Bottle, Frank Steil Brewing Company, Baltimore (date unknown).
Bottle, Rock Creek Ginger Ale, Company, Washington D.C. (embossed “4/52”).
Bottle, “REM”, i.e. Remington gun oil.
Bottle, Old Dominion Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., Arlington, Virginia (1958-1964?).
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