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Old 02-02-2021, 02:46 PM
Mikevet Mikevet is offline
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Default Where to look first

I got permission on an 1846 house. It is along a local small river that was used for commerce back then. The front yard overlooks 600 acre farm land from back then. The back yard in 80 feet from the river bank. Should we start in the front yard or the back? This is my first old site to dig that is a house. Any hints are appreciated.
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Old 02-02-2021, 02:51 PM
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I tend to start on foot paths to common things, ie path to a barn, privy, well from the house. Then expand out from those.
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Old 02-02-2021, 03:29 PM
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I go all around the house.

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Old 02-03-2021, 09:43 AM
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Try and determine which entrances got the most use and concentrate in those spots first. Most outhouses were accessed from the back of the house as well as clotheslines. But houses with large front porches had a lot of traffic from the front entrance. In later years where did they park their cars is a good indicator. If they parked at the curb then front yards, a garage would likely be back yard.

Also where would kids be likely to play? Another area to concentrate on

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Old 04-07-2021, 07:35 PM
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Look also for HUGE old shade trees where they once relaxed out of the hot sun. In addition, look for evidence of old shade trees (decaying large stumps or depressions where tree roots have decayed and caused the soil above to collapse). Check the Historical Aerials website too, for evidence of former structures, pathways, etc. many of the historic aerial photos for locations near me (eastern Massachusetts) go back to 1938.

Good luck and letís hear what kind of goodies youíre finding!

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Old 04-07-2021, 07:55 PM
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^^^^All good info. One thing to add... people who lived in town tended to have their "social events" in the back yard (privacy), while rural people held them in the front yard. FWIW GL and HH.

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