Hunter Research Identifies Foundation of 18th-century New Brunswick Church

Archaeological Monitoring at the 1st Dutch Reformed Church of New Brunswick 

In 2013, as the Town Clock Community Development Corporation prepared to redesign the 1st Dutch Reformed Church of New Brunswick as a multifunctional community complex featuring supportive housing for victims of domestic abuse, site preparation work was accompanied by an exploratory archaeological investigation along the exterior of the west end of the existing circa 1811-1812 church.  From that initial work, an archaeological monitoring program was developed and begun in January 2014 to monitor the complex excavation taking place both along the exterior and interior of the State and National Historic Site Registered structure. We are excited to report that the truncated foundations for the previously unknown location of the circa 1767 church that once stood on the property have been identified within the existing church’s footprint. 

 Interpreted east wall of the original 1767 church uncovered during excavation.

Interpreted east wall of the original 1767 church uncovered during excavation.

 Excavations conducted on the interior of the 1812 church are conserving the historical integrity of the church's exterior.

Excavations conducted on the interior of the 1812 church are conserving the historical integrity of the church's exterior.

Data gathered from this monitoring program indicates the smaller earlier structure measured approximately 55 feet north to south by 50 feet east to west.  Evidence also suggests the south and west walls of the earlier church were reused in place and built-upon during the construction of the early 19th century church.  Several episodes of robbing from the earlier foundation would seem to indicate stone and other material were extracted and reused as the footprint of the standing church was expanded to the north and east.  Work remains ongoing at the site, with monitoring being conducted by Joshua Butchko

For more information, check out Dina's Dwellings by the Town Clock Community Development Corporation