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Friday, August 26, 2016

It's National Dog Day or some such nonsense. So I stopped for a moment and posed with Twinkle Toes (AKA Mr. Pickles) and Buddy.

Twinkle Toes, Homer, and Buddy.

Buddy hates having his photographic image recorded. I suppose he has learned that sometimes there could be a flash involved. Anyways, I usually have to hold him to get his cute mug in the photograph.

Twinkle Toes (AKA Mr. Pickles) is my friend Robert's dog. He and Buddy play together, it is very cute. He is a good doggy and surprised me (and Puff and Snowball) by jumping up onto my bed last night. It is a very high bed. Puff mostly ignores him, but Snowball hisses. Very drama.




The peach tree that grew from a pit I tossed into the compost pile next to my backdoor made a single peach.

It was delicious.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tucson was occupied by Native Americans for probably 4,000 years when the first Europeans wandered through. On 20 August 1775, Captain O'Conor selected the location of a new presidio fortress and August 20th is now the official birthday.

This year the group that I am president of hosted the official birthday celebration. We focused on foods and had food tasting tables from several groups, as well as women making tortillas. Over 200 people attended the event. I made the cover of the newspaper.

I was not arrested.

I also made the evening news. You can watch the story HERE.

I wore my Victorian reproduction clothing and my too-tight thrift store wingtips and my poor feet were killing me after I finished stacking chairs and carrying tables after the celebration was over.

Victorian Homer.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sarah DeEtte (Pierce) Chandler is one of my great-great-grandmothers. She was born on 15 December 1851 in Jefferson County, New York, the daughter of Robert Pierce, an immigrant from England, and Julia Sprague, whose family had roots in New England going back to the Pilgrims.

She was the oldest child of the Pierce family. Her parents would have at least six other children: Bertha (1855), Florence (1856), Frances (1857), Charles (1862), Mary (1863), and Fannie (1866). It is likely that there was another child between DeEtte and Bertha. It was typical for women of the period to have a child every other year, since ovulation was suppressed while breast feeding and women often got pregnant after they weaned their children.

The first record that mentions her by name is the 1855 New York State census. Sarah lived in Theresa, Jefferson County with her parents, her sister "Burtha" and her mother's mother Sally Sprague. The family resided in a log cabin, valued at $100.


1855 New York State census, Theresa, Jefferson County.

Five years later, in 1860, the Pierce family lived in Alexandria, Jefferson County. Robert and Julia headed the household, which included their four daughters- Sarah, Bertha, Florence, and Frances; Julia's mother Sally Sprague, Julia's brother Marcellus Sprague and his wife Mary, and a 17-year-old farm laborer, John Dobbin. Robert worked as a farmer, owning $3,060 in real estate and $615 in personal property. Sarah had attended school in the last year.


1860 US Census, Alexandria, Jefferson County, New York.

The Pierce's moved to Lima, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin in the mid-1860s. Robert served in the Union Army in the Civil War and the family moved to Grand Traverse County, Michigan after the conclusion of the war.

Between 1860 and 1868, Sarah began to go by her middle name DeEtte. This has always been an uncommon name. According to the indexed census records on Ancestry.com, there were 30 DeEttes in 1850, 81 in 1860, 186 in 1870, and 133 in 1880. By 1930 there were 386. The variant DeEtta had 13 in 1850, 25 in 1860, 66 in 1870, and 54 in 1880. By 1930 there were 512.

I checked the Social Security Death Index to see whether the name was popular later and saw that of the millions of people who have died in the United States since the 1960s, there have been only 258 DeEttes and 376 DeEttas. I once saw a convenience store clerk with the name and was very surprised. There is no clear origin for the name, it doesn't appear to have been a name plucked from a novel

The only known family heirloom that once belonged to DeEtte is her small leather-bound Bible.



DeEtte (Pierce) Chandler's Bible.

Inside the cover, very faded, are the words "[illegible] Sunday 1868[,] DeEtte Pierce[,] Traverse City, Mich. [,] Aged 18" The title page is missing, so I cannot tell when the Bible was printed.

The 1870 census found DeEtte living with her parents and siblings Bertha, Florence, Frances, Charles, and Mary in Paradise township, Grand Traverse County. DeEtte was now teaching school, perhaps teaching some or all of her siblings in a little one-room schoolhouse.


1870 US census, Paradise township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

Sarah was married on 14 February 1872 in Traverse City to David Green Chandler. Reuben Hatch, a Minister of the Gospel, conducted the ceremony, which was witnessed by Marion Hatch and Mary Knizek. 

Chandler-Pierce Marriage Record, Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

David was born on 3 March 1847 in Flushing, Genesee County, Michigan, the son of William A. Chandler and Fannie Green. Mother Fannie died in 1849 and William soon married a younger woman, Margaret Newman. David grew up in southern Michigan before the family moved north in 1864. He had full siblings Caroline and Winfield and a younger half brother William, who was the black sheep of the family. The only family story to pass down about his siblings were that his sister Caroline liked to smoke a corncob pipe. David spent the years from 1864 to 1869 helping his father clear his land. From 1869 to 1872, he worked elsewhere and "had accumulated some money and considerable property" according to a write-up in a county history book.

Chandler homestead, East Bay township. Left to right: David Chandler, William Chandler, Jr., Winfield Chandler, Margaret (Newman) Chandler, Caroline Chandler, and William Chandler, Sr., circa 1870.

The following two tintype photographs were probably wedding photographs taken at about the time David and DeEtte married.

David and DeEtte, circa 1872.

DeEtte was already pregnant on her wedding day. The couple's son John Gilman Chandler would be born eight months later on 16 August 1873 at Fife Lake. It was relatively common for children to be born a month or two early after marriage. As my mother has said, the first child can come at any time. 

DeEtte would have two more children- Grace Lee Chandler on 23 November 1875 and Garfield David Chandler on 6 May 1881. It isn't known why she did not have as many children as her contemporaries. Perhaps she was practicing birth control, or perhaps she had miscarriages.

The 1880 census lists David and DeEtte and their children John and Gracie as living in Fife Lake township, Grand Traverse County. David was working as a farmer while DeEtte was keeping house, caring for the two young children.

1880 US census, Fife Lake township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

DeEtte was a practicing Christian. On 18 February 1886 the Grand Traverse Herald reported: One of the largest attended and most successful events of the season in this vicinity occurred on the evening of Feb. 12, at the large and commodious farm residence of David Saxton, three and one-half miles east of Kingsley, the occasion being an oyster supper for the benefit of Rev. S. P. Hewitt, our circuit preacher. Before supper the large and merry crowd were entertained with singing and recitations. The supper, consisting of tea and coffee, oysters, cakes and pies of nearly every variety, passed off very successfully, under the efficient management of Mrs. David Saxton and Mrs. David Chandler. After supper a drawing of cakes took place,which ended with a practical joke on the well known rock elm man, Matt. Dudy, who was somewhat astonished on drawing a finely frosted cake to find that it was composed of rock elm, which caused considerable fun at his expense. There were nearly 100 present, who enjoyed themselves immensely. About $15 above expenses, was realized for the pastor.

A photo taken around 1890 shows DeEtte wearing a dark dress with an elaborate, almost Elizabethan collar. 


DeEtte, circa 1885-1890.

Relatively little is known about her life. No family stories were passed down about her. She is mentioned in only a coulple newspaper articles. A Civil War pension file for one of her neighbors mentions that she was the neighborhood midwife, attending Juliana (Krauth) Feiger when she was giving birth. Juliana's son Philip Feiger would later marry DeEtte's daughter Grace.


DeEtte (Pierce) Chandler and her daughter Grace Chandler, circa 1890-1895.

On 10 January 1891, DeEtte signed her daughter Grace's autograph book: One wrong step often staines the Character for life. your Ma.

DeEtte (Pierce) Chandler's autograph in her daughter Grace's autograph book.

Today this seems like a rather grim thing to inscribe in your child's autograph book. Other saying written in the book are similar in moral nature. I checked to see if the phrase could be found on Googlebooks and was pleased to discover that it was, part of a longer passage describing "Lost Character" printed in The Gem Cyclopaedia of Illustrations by John Gaines Vaughn, published in 1889. It is likely this book was present in the Chandler home and DeEtte chose the sentence and copied it into the book.

Gem Cyclopaedia of Illustrations, 1889, page 80.

DeEtte died unexpectedly from a stroke on 5 July1 898 in East Bay township, Grand Traverse County. The Grand Traverse Herald published an obituary:

"Death of Mrs. D.G. Chandler

Mrs. DeEtte Chandler, wife of D.G. Chandler of East Bay, died quite suddenly at her home of paralysis Tuesday afternoon, aged 46 years. Mrs. Chandler had not been in strong health for some time, but was as well as usual the day before her death, and was not taken seriously ill until after breakfast Tuesday, when a sudden stroke of paralysis prostrated her, and death came about two o'clock in the afternoon. The funeral services will be held at noon today, and the burial will take place in Oakwood cemetery.

Mrs. Chandler was prominent in many good works and will be greatly missed, especially among the young people of the Potter school house Sunday school of which she was superintendant, and her loss will be felt deeply by the whole community."

DeEtte (Pierce) Chandler's Death Certificate, Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

DeEtte was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City. A tombstone was placed over her grave.



DeEtte (Pierce) Chandler's tombstone.

Husband David Chandler would marry again, was elected Sheriff of Grand Traverse County, and died in 1929, outliving all three of his children.

David Green Chandler.

David's grave was unmarked in Oakwood Cemetery until 1972. His grandson Harold Feiger asked his wife Anna and son Fred to purchase a stone for him as a last request as he was dying.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Last day of the dig. I convinced Mike to let me dig the other half of this pit structure (see June 24th entry). A backhoe was used to strip away the overburden until some pottery was found. This morning I worked with Jenny, Mike, Chris, and Tyler to finish excavating the house. The pottery turned out to be four plainware storage jars. The other artifacts lying on the floor were a small grinding stone and two cores (leftover rocks from which flakes have been knocked off.

 As Mike was removing a cluster of sherds from the floor, he started finding charcoal-filled postholes. These turned out to be in a circular pattern, probably a granary structure inside the house. I've only dug one other granary in a Hohokam pit structure, so it was fun to see this one.


Tortolita phase house, circa A.D. 500 to 700.

Now that the dig is done, I'm in the office working on the analysis of artifacts from the New Mexico dig and finishing some other stuff. Next project is a huge survey in northern Arizona, starting sometime in September.

Monday, August 08, 2016

What were the skies like when you were in New Mexico? They were blue and filled with little fluffy clouds.

I  drove back to Santa Fe to attend an Hispanic genealogy conference. I had been begged to give a presentation, and eventually I have in. It takes about eight hours to get to Santa Fe from my house. And that includes stopping at almost every rest stop because of my thimble-sized bladder.

The sky.

I stopped in Hatch and had lunch at the Pepper Pot Cafe (cash only!), which I highly recommend.

Green chile grilled cheese and onion rings.

I stayed at the Silver Saddle Motel. It is filled with western-themed art, an old-fashioned place where you have an actual room key to open your room. At $75 a night, it was worth it. My only complaint are the walls are a bit thin and yesterday at 6:00 AM I got to hear the neighbors copulating.

I had supper three nights in a row at El Comal. I enjoyed all three meals. The best was Saturday night.

Veggie combo.

I posted a picture on Facebook saying I was in New Mexico, and blogger Stevie commented that he was going to Santa Fe. So we arranged to meet for supper. His super cute roommate Mike was there as well, but I managed to forget to take his photo. It was really nice meeting and talking to Stevie, he was just as wonderful in person as I had guessed from reading his blog for a decade.

Bloggers Homer and Stevie.

I attended the conference, manned the book table and made some sales. On Sunday afternoon I gave my talk, which was very well received (and I knew it would be, I am a good public speaker).

This morning I hopped into the trusty Ford Focus and drove home, again stopping at almost every rest stop. I have to say, the ones in New Mexico are very clean.
Outside one of the rest stops.

And of course it is 100+ here in Tucson and I had to fix my swamp cooler and got all sweaty. Back to work finishing up the dig this week.


Thursday, August 04, 2016

The dig is winding down. The monsoon storms have been relentless, dumping water onto the site. The pit house depressions are filled with water, as are various trenches. In the morning, with the humidity above 50 percent, I instantly break out into sweat.






































6:43 AM

Jenny and I dug a one meter by two meter control unit into an oval area of brown clay, apparently an ancient pond, perhaps dug to hold water for later irrigation. Once we dug through the wet dirt, it became very hard and I had to use a large pick axe. I was so tired. I'd pick a little, then sit on the bucket while Jenny shoveled the loose dirt into the screen. Not a huge number of artifacts, but I did find a nice, large polychrome sherd. These typically date to after A.D. 1300.

Tomorrow I drive back to Santa Fe for a genealogy conference. I am giving a talk on Sunday on the archaeology of a Mexican family. I'm going to go to The Pepper Pot in Hatch and El Comal in Santa Fe for New Mexican food. It will be a nice escape from the heat. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Back in 1972 or 1973 I really wanted a dog. We had a couple of dogs by then, my mother had a white toy poodle named Smokey (as a child I was obsessed with Smokey the Bear), and my brother had a little brown and white terrier named Ginger. Ginger had just showed up one day and climbed into my father's lap so we kept her. The Dreve's lived next door to my nice grandmother and bred poodles but somehow their female poodle got knocked up by some other breed (a Pekinese?) and as a result I got to have Pouncer. He started out black and soon turned a gray color. A very nice, friendly dog, prone to epileptic fits.

 He didn't get spayed in time and he got Ginger pregnant and she had five puppies in early 1974. We kept two, Curley and a white puppy whose name I forgot, and who managed to get run over. Curley was a fat dog and sometimes was grumpy. I came across this photo, probably taken by me in 1979 or 1980. Brought back memories of my two dogs. Wish I could see them again. in person.

Pouncer and Curley.

Monday, July 25, 2016

This morning I arrived at the dig site at 5:26. I carry my screens and then push my wheelbarrow over to the pit structure I am digging.

5:30 AM

By 5:57 AM, the first bead of sweat runs down my face. By 6:13 AM, the sweat has drenched my shirt.
6:13 AM

My shirt stays like this all day long. Clumps of dirt develop on my forearms, I have to use the trowel to scrape them off. I drink lots of water. Last Friday it was worse (108 degrees) and I drank a lot of red Gatorade and good lord it came out the same color.


Archaeology is glamorous.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Tyler and I drove to New Mexico for work. 


New Mexico.

We stopped at the Pepper Pot restaurant in Hatch and I had a grilled cheese with green chile pepper and onion rings for lunch. So good.


Tyler should have been a farmer.

We stayed in the Super 8 in Santa Fe. Would not recommend the place. Mystery stains on the floor and mystery gravy for breakfast. I did enjoy the air conditioning and cable tv.

Here I am at the office, well the dig site. I am enjoying the cool weather. The weathermen screeched about the horrible heat but I thought it was very nice.


Happy.

We were digging around an 1890s cabin in Pecos National Historical Park. The cabin is going to be restored next year and the Park Service needs to know what sort of archaeology is present. The cabin is on the Glorieta Battlefield and we were also hoping to find evidence of the Civil War battle that took place there in March 1862.


The cabin.

There were wildflowers blooming. This gourd plant was next to where we parked the Suburban.

Gourd.

There are a lot of artifacts scattered around the surface of the site. We laid out units and counted them. On the first day I found a fragment of a cannon ball. We would find another fragment and two Minie bullets, so there was scant evidence for the battle.

One 2m by 2m unit's artifacts.

On Saturday, Tyler, his wife Mariel, and her delightful grandmother Heather and I went to Chaco Canyon. I had not been there since 1990.

Pueblo Bonito.

The visitor center needs some displays. The ruins didn't seem as big as I remembered it.


T-shaped doorway.

Tyler and Mariel enjoyed seeing the pueblo.

Mariel and Tyler peering through doorways.

Grandma Heather was fun to talk to. At 87, her mind is really sharp. 

Mariel and Heather.

Santa Fe is known for its green chile. We went to La Choza twice for meals. I was more impressed by the food at El Comal.

Green chile cheese enchiladas at El Comal.

On Thursday, Tyler and I backfilled and because we finished early, we drove over to Bandelier National Monument. This park has both pueblos and caveates.

Pueblo.

The caveates are small rooms cut into the soft stone of the nearby cliffs.

Red mural within a caveate.

Tyler climbed up ladders to see the cave at the top with a kiva, one which you aren't allowed to go into (unlike back in 1990).

Tyler on the ladder.

A friendly deer stood along the trail on the way out.

Deer!

It was a nice break to escape to Santa Fe. Now I am back in Tucson and it is hot and humid.




Friday, July 01, 2016

The monsoon season has arrived. It is raining in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. Monsoon storms are not good for archaeological excavations. Jenny and I started to dig a pit structure on Monday. We had exposed the floor by Tuesday afternoon, and tried to cover the house to prevent water from getting in. The heavy rains that night flooded everything and the next morning there was several inches of water standing inside the house.

I am not happy.

I bailed out as much water as I could and in the afternoon I scraped up most of the mud and we covered it again with fence panels, plastic and a tarp.

It rained most of the day on Thursday, but when I got to the site, bailed off the standing water on the plastic, I was pleased to see that the floor had not gotten wetter. 

With help from Deb and Greg, we were able to complete excavation of the house. It dates to the Tortolita Phase of the Hohokam Pioneer period, sometime between AD 500 to 700. It has an offset entrance (one that is not placed in the center of the house). Two large posts with adobe cones mark the transition from the entrance to the house floor. A 25-cm-diameter plastered fire hearth lies inside the entrance. There are four post holes for roof supports on the floor, and a floor groove around the perimeter of the house floor, which was covered with an adobe (mud) plaster.

Looking to the south. The southwest corner of the house was under dirt and was still dry.

There was a scatter of pottery sherds on the floor, as well as some pieces of chipped stone. When I wet-screened the dirt I scraped off the floor, I found part of a sea shell bracelet. Three of the postholes had artifacts in them, in one case a couple of rocks that might have been used as chinking to help hold the post in place. A Y-shaped charred beam was present in the southeast corner of the house. The "Y" would have been used to hold a roof beam in place.

Looking to the north.

The entrance was interesting. It had an adobe step (the top of which might have been plastered but was probably sliced off by the backhoe by accident). Then an adobe passage way running to the adobe cones that were built around a pair of big posts. Smaller posts (about 5 cm in diameter) were found in the floor groove, along with some pieces of reed used as thatching for the walls.

Entrance looking south.

Perhaps totally by accident, the entrance way looked remarkably like a human penis. I do not think this will be discussed in the final report.

Entrance, looking to the east.

You never know what you will find when you do archaeology.


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