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News and Events
PAL is committed to sponsoring community and historic preservation organizations and events. Links to information about upcoming events we are sponsoring are provided below.
PAL 2019 Event Sponsorships
Suzanne Cherau, PAL Senior Archaeologist, will be a guest speaker at the Holmes Park Revitaization Dedication. Come celebrate the completion of the Holmes Dam Removal, Newfield Street Bridge Replacement and Holmes Park Revitalization!
Saturday October 5th, 2019 - 10:00am
Newfield Street, Plymouth
Archaeological Site History
PAL industrial archaeologists completed excavations at the nineteenth-century Robinson Iron Rolling Mill and Nail Factory archaeological site, within the Town Brook Historic and Archaeological District in the heart of downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts. The excavations were part of the Town’s project to remove the Holmes Playground Dam off Summer Street, which is the last obstacle to fish passage upstream of the historic Jenney Grist Mill Site. The dam removal was undertaken by the Town of Plymouth and its partners including the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Ecological Restoration to restore anadromous fish passage on Town Brook between the Atlantic Ocean and spawning grounds in the Billington Sea. PAL’s archaeological work at the industrial site included data recovery excavations in one of the two nineteenth-century iron rolling mill buildings, which contained four side by side large brick furnaces or ovens used to reheat wrought iron bars for rolling into nail stock, plate, and similar products. Large scale machinery parts including timber framing, iron pins and rods, chains, weights, and three 4 ft by 1.5 ft diameter metal rollers from the iron roll trains have also been recovered in the former mill building footprint. PAL’s archaeological site work continued this fall as construction monitoring during the removal of the dam masonry structure and associated excavations in other former buildings at the iron factory complex.
Watch the YouTube video featuring footage of PAL Archaeologist Jen Banister and the archaeological site area and finds. David Gould, the Town of Plymouth’s Director of Marine and Environmental Affairs, discusses the project and the historic and archaeological work being conducted by PAL.
Aerial photos were provided by the Town of Plymouth from their Drone recording the project.
Massachusetts Historic Preservation Conference 2019. Pal senior staff will be participating in two sessions this year. 2019 MHCP Conference Site
September 20, 2019
180 Water Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Session 1A: Landscape Planning and Preservation – Modern Non-invasive Techniques and Methods
Non-invasive technologies are used to assess, document, and analyze historic landscapes above and below ground. These cutting-edge methods include geophysical surveys (ground-penetrating radar, conductivity, resistance, magnetic gradient, metallic surveys); remote sensing; and 3-D imaging technologies. This panel will showcase properties and discuss specific techniques and how they aid project implementation and inform landscape interpretation and preservation. Case studies include Parker’s Revenge (Lexington), Town Bandstand and Ellis School House (Millis), Franklin Park (Boston), Fort Pickering (Salem), Gore Place (Waltham), and Fowler Clark Epstein Farm (Boston/Mattapan).
Maureen Cavanaugh, PAL Senior Planner, Moderator/Presenter
Session 3B: Archaeology in Plymouth
In the late 1940s, Henry Hornblower II, a summer resident of Plymouth and a self-taught historical archaeologist, introduced the idea for an open-air museum dedicated to telling the story of the Pilgrims through replicas of Pilgrim and Native American dwellings in a village setting. Plimouth Plantation opened its doors in 1955, and since then, our knowledge of the pre-history and post-contact history of Plymouth―Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians alike—has grown considerably, largely due to the efforts of archaeologists, historians, and scholars. This session will discuss the history of the town and the “history of archaeology” as it has been manifested in Plymouth.
Suzanne Cherau, PAL Senior Archaeologist, Moderator/Presenter
Kristen Heitert, PAL Senior Archaeologist, Presenter
We are excited to announce that PAL will be a part of this year’s free festival by Doors Open RI! Saturday September 28, 2019 visitors can tour and experience the beauty of some of the hidden gems in Pawtucket and Central Falls. In 2011 PAL purchased and renovated the historic To Kalon Club on Main Street in Pawtucket to serve as its corporate headquarters. Come by between 10am – 4pm for a self-guided tour of the building and view some of our archaeological collections in our lab. PAL staff will be on hand to answer questions on the building and the artifacts!
For more details on this event visit
The Bristol Historical & Preservation Society's Annual Winter Luncheon will feature guest speaker, Suzanne Cherau, Senior Archaeologist at The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. "The Past is Present: An Archaeological Glimpse into Bristol's 18th & 19th Century Rum Distilleries" will focus on the 2007 discovery of early 19th century remains of a rum distillery under the Belvedere development on Thames Street in Bristol. For additional information visit Bristol Historical and Preservation Society Press Release and the January 10th Bristol Phoenix Article
Date:Sunday, January 27, 2019
Time:12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Cost / donation: $40 per person, pre-registration required
Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation program at Salve Regina University will host this Fall (October 12-13, 2018) its annual cultural and historic preservation conference on the theme “Community Preservation through Adaptive Reuse.” The purpose of this conference is to explore adaptive reuse as a form of community preservation. Potential topics include position papers, conceptualizing adaptive reuse, historical analysis, and case studies.
Adaptive reuse is a strategy commonly employed by preservationists, architects, and planners to extend the use-life of historic buildings and sites. Perhaps because it is not as readily measurable as financial benefits, the ability of adaptive reuse to strengthen community relationships and identities is often overlooked. Despite this lack of attention, adaptive reuse has the potential to be a powerful form of place-making that promotes community solidarity. Taking this perspective, historic buildings and sites are seen as more than fabric. They are also seen as richly layered “texts” that combine material and non-material cultural narratives of a community’s past, present, and even future. In many cases, the range of narratives associated with a particular building or site is as diverse as the community itself, which has the potential to create a shared sense of history.
Friday October 12
8-8:45 a.m. Organized Session
“The Cushing House Museum: Enhancing Community Preservation through Inclusive Access”
Elena M. Pascarella, Susan C.S. Edwards, Kristen Heitert (PAL)
8:45 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. Discussion
9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Adaptive Reuse in Rhode Island
“From the TK Club to PAL: Preserving a Pawtucket Landmark through Adaptive Use”
Gretchen Pineo (PAL)
For additional information visit http://chpconference.salvereginablogs.com/
Virginia Adams, PAL Senior Architectural Historian, will speak on the evaluation and
nomination process of Waveny Estate to the National Register of Historic Places.
The New Canaan Preservation Alliance 11th Annual Awards Reception
Recognizing six outstanding REHABILITATION, RESTORATION and PRESERVATION projects in New
Canaan. The New Canaan Preservation Alliance Awards will recognize the achievements of
owners who have undertaken projects involving the preservation of historic structures in New
Canaan. The dedication and effort that went into these projects reflects our community's
desire to protect and cherish New Canaan's iconic architecture.
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Avenue
New Canaan, CT
4:00 - 6:00 pm
This event is free and open to the public, families welcome.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Native American Settlement and Resource Exploitation along the Southern New England Coast
Where: Peace Dale Museum of Art and Culture (http://www.peacedalemuseum.org/)
When: Thursday, May 3rd at 7:00 pm
The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.’s. (PAL) Senior Archaeologist Jay Waller will discuss southern New England’s changing coast and will draw from real archaeological examples to summarize evolving patterns of Native American coastal settlement and use through time. This discussion will take us from Narragansett Bay, to the state’s south shore, and southward to Block Island.
Rhode Island’s 400 miles of coastline have supported coastal populations and communities for millennia. Fishing, shell fishing, canoe manufacture, trade, and resource exploitation were practiced along the southern New England coast long before the arrival of the first Europeans and continue to this day. Concerns about rising seas, coastal development, energy projects, and rapid responses to major storm events have led to a flurry of archaeological surveys within Rhode Island’s coastal zone in recent years. Archaeological surveys have provided evidence for more than 7,000 years of Native American occupation and use of the southern New England coastal zone. The regional archaeological record is varied, ranging from small stone quarries and fishing locales to large, concentrated Native American villages and places of ancient ceremony.
PAL was well-represented in a symposium on March 30 during the 82nd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Vancouver B.C. The symposium, “Person, Place, or Thing: Ongoing Questions and Evidence for New England Settlement and Material Culture” which focused on issues related to New England archaeology spanning the PaleoIndian Period through the 18th century. Ora Elquist chaired the symposium which included PAL staff Dianna Doucette, Erin Flynn, Kristen Jeremiah, John Kelly, and Dan Forrest, as well as industry and academic colleagues Richard Boisvert, Mandy Ranslow, Bruce Rusch, and Sarah Sportman.