The Evergreen State College brings local archaeology opportunities to community

August 22, 2016

Radar provides new insights

(Olympia, Wash.) Last August, faculty member Ulrike Krotscheck and 16 students from The Evergreen State College discovered 4,000 artifacts at the Bush Prairie Farm located at 8400 Old Hwy 99 SE in Tumwater. This year, the Bush Field School will open for excavation tours from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on August 18, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Tour participants of all ages will have the opportunity to learn about archaeology and the Bush family, and try to unearth a bit of Washington history for themselves. More information is available on the project blog.

The tour is an extension of the Bush Field School, which explores Washington history through the excavation of property owned by some of the first settlers in the Tumwater area, the Bush family. With Irish and African-American heritage, George Washington Bush was unable to own the land that encompassed his settlement. However, nearly 10 years after he’d settled, the provisional Washington Territory legislature prevailed upon Congress to grant Bush the title to his homestead.

The Bush Prairie Farm was once a haven for travelers and housed a gristmill, sawmill and hundreds of acres of farmland. Now, it is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm owned by Kathleen and Mark Clark who partnered with The Evergreen State College’s Ulrike Krotscheck to facilitate the Bush Field School starting in summer 2015.

The project took a new turn in June 2016 when The Evergreen State College partnered with Steve Hackenberger from Central Washington University to employ ground-penetrating radar to uncover the location of a buried structure.

“This may be the next step in uncovering additional structures, artifacts and understanding Washington State’s early history,” Krotscheck noted.

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