We were a bit nervous about this site, because we had not had an opportunity to tour it before committing to sampling. This is something we very rarely do, but Michelle and I had discussed the details of the structures and she confirmed that there was bark on a number of logs. Fortunately, almost everything was exactly as she had described it to us! I'll get back to the "almost" part in a moment. Let me first introduce the Kile Homestead.
Kile Homestead - Upper Tract, WV
All signs point to no later than 1840, but it is possible that there is a considerable difference in the ages of these structures. I imagine if the family had to relocate quickly they probably first built a basic one-room structure to reside in while the main house was constructed. The kitchen, barn, and slave quarters all fit that description, but only the slave quarters and kitchen have a hearth, so my guess is that either of them could have been the first structure built on the property. But enough conjecture already! Sometimes I get a little too excited and then I forget that I'm here to answer these questions...
Shawn and I decided that we would start in the slave quarters. First let me explain the conditions of the slaves quarters - not only did it feel incredibly oppressive in there (for obvious reasons), it was also full of spiders (we named the closet the "Black Widow Closet" for a reason) and unidentified, creepily human-like, scat. We decided that Shawn would tackle the downstairs (and the Black Widow Closet) and I would tackle the upstairs (and the scat). Seemed like a fair trade to me.
Michelle, if you're reading this and cringing - please don't. These types of places are old and it is expected that they are full of something creepy and/or gross. It just varies by location and we love setting up our adventure stories with the gory details.
By now, readers, you know the details of coring so I'm just going to set you loose with some pictures of our work. Sounds more interesting, right?
If you don't know the details of coring yet, please visit the Barracks Field Work post and catch up with us!