Archaeological Data Recovery at Rowland’s Mills

Readington Township, New Jersey


Beginning in 2000 and continuing through 2001, Hunter Research subcontracted to Goodkind & O’Dea, Inc. (now Dewberry) and the New Jersey Department of Transportation to conduct a program of archaeological data recovery at Rowland’s Mills, a deserted 18th/19th-century mill-based settlement on the South Branch of the Raritan River that was affected by the N.J. Route 31 dualization project between Clinton and Flemington, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Archaeological fieldwork involved mechanical and manual excavation at several roadside locations within the village of Rowland’s Mills (e.g., the sites of the miller’s house, a blacksmith shop, other dwellings and a secondary mill complex).

Related historical research involved analysis of a series of early/mid-19th-century account books from the blacksmith shop. The records were converted to a database and analyzed to extract information such as seasonal variations in the frequency of various blacksmithing tasks. Comparison of the customers’ names with census records and historic maps revealed the shop’s economic catchment area.

The data recovery program involved various public outreach activities, including site visits, presentations, information hand-outs, production of a booklet and involvement with the local school district. Full analysis and reporting of the excavations and artifacts were completed in 2006.


Client:  Dewberry for New Jersey Department of Transportation