September 2008 Archaeological Excavations at the Cottage



From 8th to 14th September 2008 a team of archaeologists headed by Professor Julie Schablitsky of the University of Oregon and Dr Robert Neyland of the American Navy Historical Centre, Washington carried out a second season of excavations around the Cottage. They were looking to find material relating to Jones's early family life. The popular story of Jones is that he was born into poverty and became famous but it is known that his father moved to Arbigland Estate because of his talents as a gardener and the Cottage was built for him so it may well be that the family had a decent standard of living and some social standing as skilled artisans. Finds from the Cottage will assist in determining the family's social status. Others in the team carried out archival research on the history of the Cottage and it is hoped their investigations will fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge such as whether his mother had to move out of the Cottage after the death of her husband, why the Cottage became derelict in the early 1800s, who lived in it after Lt Pinkham restored it in 1831 and the names of some of the more recent occupants.

Two Excavation open days were held when Professor Julie M Schablitsky of the University of Oregon gave visitors tours of this year's excavations at the 18th century birthplace of the 'Father of the American Navy'

A Free public lecture entitled THE SEARCH FOR BONHOMME RICHARD was held on

Friday 12th September at Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura,

The Observatory, Rotchell Road, Dumfries, DG2 7SW

This was followed by a presentation by Prof Julie M Schablitsky of the University of Oregon on this summer's excavations around the 18th century childhood home of John Paul Jones.

The project was funded by the First Landing Foundation.


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Last revised: 1st October 2008