Archaeological Survey of the Gibbs Museum
In 2006, Ramsey County Historical Society (RCHS) purchased an additional 1.5 acres of the original Gibbs farmstead located adjacent to the existing Gibbs Museum property in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. This purchase provided the impetus for updating and expanding the interpretive programs at Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life and creating a new master plan and landscape plan for the Museum.
Historically, the parcel was once part of Heman and Jane’s homestead tract. As the original 160 acres tract was divided, Area F became the site of a circa 1920 brick house. A garage and pool house are also located on the parcel. The area has seen heavy landscaping and disturbance related to construction of gardens, a pool, a labyrinth, and large asphalt driveway. No archaeological testing had been previously conducted in this area.
In April 2010, the Ramsey County Historical Society (RCHS) retained a consultant to complete an archaeological investigation inpreparation of planning projects at the Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life, Ramsey County, Minnesota. The purpose of the investigation is to identify if previously unrecorded archaeological sites exist within the project that may be affected during future site projects. The archaeological investigation included a review of known archaeological sites, historic properties, and previously completed surveys and a field reconnaissance survey.
The main purpose of this project is to identify any potential archaeological sites located on the Gibbs property. The goal of the project is that the results of this archaeological survey will inform RCHS as they begin a new Master Planning process for the Gibbs Museum. In addition, RCHS engaged the public in the process of archaeology by providing opportunities for the public to participate in a dialog with the archaeologist during the project.
Public Archaeology Day
On June 27, 2010 a public archaeology day at the Gibbs Farm Museum was completed. The event was completed in conjunction with “Dakota Day”, an event dedicated to discussion of the Eastern Dakota peoples and their relationship to the Gibbs Farm.
Assisted by volunteer, Rod Johnson, President of the Minnesota Archaeological Society, Blondo Consulting completed the excavation of one test unit (1 x 1 meter). Visitors were able to witness archaeology firsthand and some participated by screening soil and examining artifacts. A brief program to explain the archaeological process and discuss excavations (past and present) at the site was also completed.
(b) Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. (i) $2,250,000 in 2010 and $4,500,000 in 2011 are appropriated for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources. Funds are to be distributed through a competitive grants process. The Minnesota Historical Society shall administer these funds using established grants mechanisms, and with assistance from the advisory committee created herein.