Hunter Research has just recently completed for Mercer County a year-long study of the storied section of Baldpate Mountain known as Honey Hollow. For decades, this locale has been posited as a focus of free black settlement, with as many as 50 families supposedly living in close proximity to one another on the mountain’s wooded, rocky slopes. Through exhaustive research into primary documents, field survey and oral history, the African-American presence on Baldpate Mountain is shown to be relatively light, widely dispersed, and peaking in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There was no nucleated black settlement per se on Baldpate Mountain and this idea apparently originated in the mid-20th century in the writings of popular folklorist Henry Charlton Beck. The report is currently in draft and under review and will be publicly released in the near future.
Last month, Evan Mydlowski, Hunter Research staff cartographer and surveyor, became the company’s first FAA-certified drone operator. When coupled with digital photography and videography, Evan and his drone will provide our firm with a vital new capability that we anticipate using on a routine basis to create georectified plan views for archaeological and architectural site surveys and large-scale area excavations. Evan has been putting the Hunter Research drone through its paces recently at the Monmouth University archaeological field school at Jockey Hollow in Morristown National Historical Park where he has been documenting excavations of the Continental Army’s encampments of the winter of 1779-1780.
At the recent annual New Jersey History and Historic Preservation conference held in Paterson, Hunter Research and Historic Morven (aka Morven Museum & Garden) received a project award for the exhibit “A Gentleman’s Pursuit: The Commodore’s Greenhouse.”
This exhibit, which will remain open until October 21, 2018, blends recent archaeological discoveries on the Morven grounds with the practice and philosophy of Victorian gardening in the Middle Atlantic region. Artifacts and archaeological documentation, paintings and drawings, books and treatises, plants and tools are all appealingly interwoven to tell the story of the Stockton family’s gardening habits. The culmination of the exhibit is an impressive indoor reconstruction of a portion of the Stockton greenhouse based on historical documentation and archaeological evidence.
Morven’s horticultural history is brought vividly to light in this innovative display which conveys two decidedly outdoor activities, gardening and archaeology, both centered on digging, into the confines of a series of indoor galleries.