The Barkhamsted Historical Society in cooperation with the Colebrook Historical Society is actively seeking volunteers who are interested in working on an archaeological dig. The Revolutionary War era Richard Smith forge is of significant historical value because of its role during the Revolutionary War. The forge, built in 1771, was one of the first in the Colonies to produce steel. Steel was used to produce drill bits capable of drilling the barrels of canons used during the war. Production of steel was a British secret which Richard Smith carried with him from England. Iron was also produced at the forge.
The dig is being led under the direction of archaeologist Marc Banks and is being cooperatively financed by Barkhamsted Historical Society, The Colebrook Historical Society, The Colebrook Land Conservancy, and The Farmington River Coordinating Committee. The site is located just over the Barkhamsted line in Colebrook. The project is dedicated to the memory of Walt Landgraf.
Attached at the bottom of this post, as a PDF file, is the 2007 Archaeological Investigation Interim Report for more information.
Below are some photos of the artifacts recovered from the dig.
The Still River provided the power to turn wheels used to operate the hammers and bellows of the forge. A race on the other side of the rock outcrop in the right of the picture diverted water to wheels on the west side of the forge.
Lamp glass (upper left) and various bottle glass shards
Kaolin Pipe Fragments
Shoe buckle fragment
Fleur-de-lis cuff links and base
This is not the actual coin found as it is still being cleaned. Marc Banks removed some of the dirt from the coin and while it is very corroded, it appears to be a variety minted between 1746-1754 (GORGVIS on obv.). This photo is of a British half penny of that vintage.