Unearthing History at Lauralton Hall
Where else in this area can you get a hands-on learning experience uncovering 19th century artifacts on a property listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places? Only at Lauralton! Inspired by student interest several years ago, April Kelley ’85, LH science teacher, began in 2017 to lead this interdisciplinary course based on an authentic archaeological dig on campus. The course, "Archaeology: Discovering Lauralton’s Buried History" is open to juniors and seniors.
Under the early guidance of State of Connecticut Archaeologist Dr. Brian Jones, students followed State archaeological protocols to document recovered artifacts. These items were then removed to Lauralton Hall’s science labs for cleaning and analysis and curated with the School’s archives. As the dig progresses on the site of the former Victorian greenhouse, students will seek to answer questions related to the age and purpose of the greenhouse in the lives of our Milford property’s early occupants. Uncovered items include hand-forged nails, brick pieces, a metal shutter clasp, and shards of window glass.
In a report for the State of Connecticut, students have documented the techniques and tools they’ve used along with photos and descriptions of their findings. These include a jar of hand-blown glass likely used for apothecary between 1890-1930 and pieces of burnt clay brick common in the 1800s. Read the full report, Excavation of the Greenhouse at Lauralton Hall which includes photos of the dig's findings and historic images of the Lauralton property.