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Full text of "Intensive Archaeological Testing at the John Houstoun McIntosh Sugarhouse--Camden County, Georgia"

// 



INTENSIVE ARCHAEOLOGICAL TESTING 

AT 
THE JOHN HOUSTOUN MCINTOSH 

SUGARHOUSE 
CAMDEN COUNTY, GEORGIA 

By 



Thomas Hales Eubanks 




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E WALL - EXT. (CURING RM ) 



Charles H. Fairbanks 
Principal Investigator 



Received 

MAY 1 9 1986 

DOCUMENTS 
UGA LIBRARIES 




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E. WALL - INT. (CURING RM.) 



Edited By 
John R. Morgan 





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State of Georgia 

Department of Natural Resources 

Parks and Historic Sites Division 

Historic Presentation Section 

1985 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/intensivearchaeoOOeuba 



INTENSIVE ARCHAEOLOGICAL TESTING 

AT THE 
JOHN HOUSTOUN McINTOSH SUGARHOUSE 
CAMDEN COUNTY, GEORGIA 



BY 
THOMAS HALES EUBANKS 



CHARLES H. FAIRBANKS 
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR 

Received 

EDITED BY 

MAY 1 9 1386 

JOHN R. MORGAN 

DOCUMENTS 
UGA LIBRARIES 

WITH AN APPENDIX BY BRAD T. SMITH 



Copyright State of Georgia 1985 

Department of Natural Resources 

Parks and Historic Sites Division 

Historic Preservation Section 

Atlanta 



FORWARD 

The selection of Kings Bay in Camden County by the U.S. 
Department of the Navy as the site of a new submarine base 
brought prospects of new construction, additional jobs, in- 
creased revenues and an expanding population to this part of 
Coastal Georgia. These hopes for economic prosperity and 
growth were tempered by concerns for addressing and managing 
the inevitable environmental impact to the area. With such 
unusual developmental pressures on a community, ties with its 
cultural heritage easily can be neglected or even forgotten. 
Of particular concern in this case was the preservation of the 
tabby ruins of the John Houstoun Mcintosh Sugarhouse, a highly 
significant 19th century mill. 

Located directly across the highway from the main gate of 
the submarine base, and cared for by the staff of Crooked River 
State Park, some three miles north, the Sugarhouse ruins 
demanded special consideration. Through the cooperative efforts 
of local, state and federal officials, a strategy was developed 
to prevent the loss of the ruins' historical values and features 
as a result of the rapid development and influx of people 
around the base. It was agreed that the best hope of managing 
the ruins was at the county level as a passive recreational 
facility which respected the site's historical significance. 



in 



Title to the Sugarhouse was transferred from the State of 
Georgia to Camden County with the condition that preservation 
studies be conducted. An intensive archaeological survey 
program was then undertaken. Its purpose was to ascertain 
the extent, nature and significance of the Sugarhouse ruin 
in order to formulate interpretive and preservation recom- 
mendations for the County's use in managing the site. The 
report produced here documents the results of the archaeology 
and contains the management recommendations. 

Funding for the project was provided jointly by Camden 
County and the Kings Bay Impact Coordinating Committee, an 
organization established by the U.S. Department of the Navy 
to help the surrounding communities deal with the impacts of 
the base. The archaeology was administered by the Historic 
Preservation Section of the Georgia Department of Natural 
Resources through a contract with the University of Florida. 
Archaeologist Thomas H. Eubanks conducted the research and 
field work and prepared the report. In addition, Camden 
County retained an architectural consultant, Brad T. Smith, 
then of Lee Meyer and Associates, to document the current 
condition of the ruins through rectified photography and 
drawings, and to make recommendations for stabilization of 
the ruins. With permission of the architects, the drawings 
have been reproduced and included as an appendix to the report 



IV 



The Department of Natural Resources has appreciated 
the opportunity to work with Camden County and the Kings 
Bay Impact Coordinating Committee toward the goal of pre- 
serving and interpreting the Sugarhouse ruins within the 
context of passive recreational activity. The ruins represent 
an era of economic development that once was present on 
Georgia's coast and help us to understand the past culture of 
the area. Our hope is that continued historical and archaeo- 
logical research will be accommodated in the ongoing management 
of the John Houstoun Mcintosh Sugarhouse and that this report 
has helped to bring an awareness of its significance to those 
persons who may have an opportunity to plan for its use and to 
visit there in the future. 



Elizabeth A. Lyon 

Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer 
Chief, Historic Preservation Section 
Department of Natural Resources 
September, 1985 



INTENSIVE ARCHAEOLOGICAL TESTING 

AT THE 
JOHN HOUSTOUN McINTOSH SUGARHOUSE 
CAMDEN COUNTY, GEORGIA 



BY 



THOMAS HALES EUBANKS 



CHARLES H. FAIRBANKS 
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR 



A REPORT PRESENTED TO THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES 

HISTORIC PRESERVATION SECTION 
IN FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF CONTRACT NUMBER 

DSR 81211RF-3 



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 
1985 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

Charles H. Fairbanks directed all phases of this 
research. His advice and support continued without regard to 
his declining health until the time of his death. Without that 
assistance, guidance, and influence this project could never 
have advanced to the degree it has. The contributions of Dr. 
Fairbanks to this project as well as his contributions to the 
development of historic period archaeology will certainly be 
remembered. 

Jerald Milanich stepped in after Dr. Fairbanks' death 
to supervise the completion of the project. He successfully 
pushed and prodded the author to this finished report. Without 
his assistance this research would have never developed to the 
extent that it has. 

Marvin Harris has offered his synthesis of cultural 
materialist theory that stands as the basis of the research design 
for the project. His interest in industrial anthropology and the 
archaeology of the Mcintosh Sugarhouse have encouraged the author 
to extend the range of the investigation in order to provide a 
larger context from which to understand the site. 

Lewis H. Larson, Georgia State Archaeologist, whose long 
interest in the site and its preservation, demands special 
recognition. Without his dedication to the cultural resources of 



IX 



Georgia, the investigation of this site and many others in the 
state would have never occurred. His time and energies dedicated 
to this project are greatly appreciated by the author. 

Elizabeth A. Lyon, Deputy State Historic Preservation 
Officer, must also be recognized for her dedication, encouragement 
and understanding. Her staff not only provided for the management 
of the contract but technical assistance whenever requested. John 
R. Morgan and Morgan R. Crook made significant contributions to the 
completed project. 

William Elder and his associates from OICC Trident gave 
freely of their time and resources to insure the success of the 
project. Also the people of Camden County, whose interest in the 
site as a part of their cultural heritage, encouraged the author 
through their unending enthusiasm. Certainly, Eloise Bailey's 
documentation of the history of Lhe Mcintosh family and its holdings 
in Camden County was invaluable to the project. 

An archaeological investigation is only as good as the 
field work accomplished. The field crew performed at the highest 
level of professionalism and maintained their enthusiasm to the 
end. Stephanie A. Carver and Robert G. Hilliard proved most 
worthy assistants. Mary Beth Hutchinson and Sheree Adams were 
invaluable during analysis and report preparation. 

The author's fellow graduate students and friends always 
provided advice and assistance when requested. John F. Wilson 



taught the author the ins and outs of the University of Florida. 
Lucy B. Wayne, Karen J. Walker and Susan M. Case advised, warned 
and consoled the author. 

The author must also thank his parents. They have 
made possible his education and professional development. 

Finally the author would like to thank two special people. 
Michael Whittington gave his unyielding support and assistance 
throughout all phases of the research and contributed immeasurably 
to the success of the research. Charles Wagley not only offered 
his help with the development of the social history of sugar 
manufacturing, his anthropological insight and his encouragement, 
but also his friendship. 

Gainesville, March 1985 



XI 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

FORWARD iii 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ix 

LIST OF FIGURES xiv 

ABSTRACT xv 

CHAPTER I . INTRODUCTION 1 

Research Design 1 

Ecological Setting 3 

The Site 6 

Previous Research 12 

Research Goals and Objectives 17 

CHAPTER II . SUGAR PRODUCTION IN THE AMERICAS 21 

The Agriculture and Production Technology for 

Manufacturing Sugar 25 

The Brazilian Sugar Plantation 31 

The Cuban Sugar Boom 35 

The Georgia Experience With Sugar 41 

The Activity Model 49 

CHAPTER III . ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE McINTOSH SUGARHOUSE 59 

Field Methods 59 

Artifact Analysis and Reporting 63 

Archaeological Data 64 

CHAPTER IV. CONCLUSIONS, INTERPRETATION AND SITE MANAGEMENT 101 

Archaeological Interpretation 102 

Site Significance 112 

Site Visitor Plan 113 

Management Recommendations 115 

REFERENCES CITED 119 

APPENDIX 

Measured Drawings With Recommendations for 

Stabilization of the John Houstoun Mcintosh Sugar Mill.. 123 



xin 



LIST OF FIGURES 

1. Site Location Map 5 

2. Site Map 7 

3. West Room, Exterior View to the South 9 

4. East Room, Interior View to the South 11 

5. West Exterior Door 13 

6. Excavation Units 61 

7. The Milling Room, Plan View 67 

8. The Boiling Room, Area 1, Plan View 71 

9 . Chimney Mortar Scars 75 

10. The Boiling Room, Area 2, Plan View 77 

11. Whiteware Ceramics 79 

12 . Furnace Service Pit , Plan View 81 

13. Furnace Brick Work, Profile 83 

14. Olive-Green Bottle Glass 85 

15. The Boiling Room, Area 3, Plan View 86 

16. Baked Clay and Jug Sherds 87 

17 . Door Hinge 89 

18. Wheel Ruts Outside South Curing Room Door, Profile... 91 

19. White Clay Pipe Fragments 93 

20. The Well, Profile 95 

21. North of the Mill Room, Plan View 97 

22. Possible Ramp Support, Plan View 99 

23. Boiling Room Wall Construction 107 



xiv 



Abstract presented to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources 

Historic Preservation Section 

In Partial Fulfillment of Contract Number 

DSR 81211RF-3 



INTENSIVE ARCHAEOLOGICAL TESTING 

AT THE 
JOHN HOUSTOUN McINTOSH SUGARHOUSE 
CAMDEN COUNTY, GEORGIA 



BY 
THOMAS HALES EUBANKS 
May 1985 

Charles H. Fairbanks, 
Principal Investigator 

The intensive archaeological testing program at the Mcintosh 
Sugarhouse was funded jointly by Camden County and the Kings Bay 
Impact Coordinating Committee and administered by the Historic 
Preservation Section of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. 
The purpose of the investigation was to define the extent, nature and 
significance of the archaeology at the nineteenth century sugarhouse 
ruins. A cultural materialist research strategy was employed to 
accomplish that end. 

A social history for sugar production in America is pre- 
sented in addition to a review of archaeological investigations 
at other sugar works sites. Areas to be excavated were determined 
from an activity model developed from the results of the other 
archaeological projects and the social history. The areas tested 



x v 



included the milling room, boiling room, curing room, attached 
porches, well and other locations indicated by the activity model 
and archaeological indications. 

Analysis and conclusions are presented for each of the 
areas tested. Additionally, individual statements on site signif- 
icance, site interpretation, site management, and a site visitor 
plan are offered. 




xvi 



CHAPTER I 
INTRODUCTION 

Research Design 

During the months of September and October 1981, the 
Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida carried out 
a program of intensive archaeological testing at the John Houstoun 
Mcintosh Sugarhouse and Archaeological Area, Camden County Georgia. 
This testing program was undertaken in order to determine the extent, 
nature and significance of the ruins of a nineteenth century sugar- 
house and associated archaeology. The study was also designed to 
provide information for interpretation and management of the site. 

The project was jointly funded by Camden County and the 
Kings Bay Impact Coordinating Committee. It was administered by the 
Historic Preservation Section of the Georgia Department of Natural 
Resources through a contract with the University of Florida. In 
part, the study was initiated in order to satisfy terms of a land 
transfer from the state to the county; this transfer established the 
Historic Preservation Section as the lead agency for the archaeologi- 
cal investigation. 

Prior to the land transfer, the sugarhouse ruins and surround- 
ing property were managed by the Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites 
Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as a detached 
portion of Crooked River State Park. The property was used for 



passive recreation. No attempt was made to provide active inter- 
pretation of the historic elements of the site. 

With the creation of the United States Navy Submarine 
Support Base at Kings Bay, state park personnel found it increasingly 
difficult to provide proper management at the sugarhouse property. 
Thus, the state legislature, working with county and Navy officials, 
determined to transfer the extant ruins and surrounding state owned 
land to the county for development as a regional interpretative 
center. 

Under county ownership, plans for developing the site include 
constructing a new parking facility, a regionally focused natural 
history museum, foot trails through the natural and historic areas of 
the property, and preservation of the ruins. Passive recreation will 
continue at the site, but will be limited to the areas that are not 
archaeologically or architecturally sensitive. Active interpretation 
of the ruins, archaeology, and ecology of the property will be 
accomplished. 

The archaeological project designed to investigate the John 
Houstoun Mcintosh Sugarhouse has as its epistemological base the 
research strategy of cultural materialism. This approach was selected 
because it offers specific operations to understand relationships 
between modes of production and reproduction, domestic economy, and 
political economy (Harris 1979: 51-54). Understanding these 
relationships is imperative if we are to know why Mcintosh built the 



sugarhouse, why it took the form that it did, why it was abandoned, 
and how it fit into a plantation system of surplus production. 

Theodore Sande (1977: 40-41) and Jeffrey Brown (1980: 1) 
have pointed out that the analysis and interpretation of an industrial 
archaeological site requires that the research design be developed 
from the broadest possible context. This is, to say, that an 
industrial site cannot be fully understood only from the archaeology 
at the site. It is necessary to understand the economic history of 
the period involved, the history and evolution of the technology 
employed by the industry, and the history of the site, all within the 
context of anthropological theory. 

The selection of a cultural materialist research strategy is 
intended to bring together these areas of understanding. In order to 
accomplish this, a demographic, technological, economic and 
environmental history, or social history, will be developed for sugar 
production in the Americas. This social history can be employed to 
integrate the sociocultural system of plantation economy and the 
archaeology of the Mcintosh Sugarhouse. 

Ecological Setting 
The John Houstoun Mcintosh Sugarhouse and Archaeological Area 
is situated in the Atlantic Coastal Plain Province, Marine Flatland 
Tidal Area, 4.5 miles (7.29 km) west of the confluence of Kings Bay and 
Cumberland Sound (Wharton 1977: 8). Today the ruins and associated 



69. 46 acre property are located at the intersection of state road 
Spur 40 and Kings Bay Road, adjacent to the main gate of the Kings 
Bay Navy Submarine Support Base (Figure 1) . 

The site is located on the Satilla terrace, which stands from 
sea level to 60 feet (20.4 m) in elevation. McCallie et al. (1925:25) 
described the terrace as having a system of complex sags and drains 
that form densely wooded swamps that are kept wet by annual 
precipitation. This upland maritime forest, non-flowing water region, 
is characterized by Wharton (1977:187) as an evergreen-oak dominated 
forest with a variety of wetland ecological communities: cypress 
ponds, gum ponds, bay swamps, cypress savannah, and shrub bog (Wharton 
1977: 75-95). 

Trees include live laural oak, American holly, Southern 
magnolia, red bay ( Persea borbonia ) , Southern red cedar 
(.T uniperus silico la), water oak, pignut hickory, cabbage palm and 
slash pine (Wharton 1977:187). The shrubs present are staggerbush 
(Lyonia f eruginea ) , wild olive, wax myrtle and sparkleberry 
(Wharton 1977: 187). Herbs likely to be located in the area include 
panic grass ( Panicum sp. ) , spike grass ( Uliola sessilif lora ) , 
broom sedge, nut grass ( Sypersu sp. ), thoroughwort ( Eupatorium 
aromaticunm ) , nut rush ( Scleria triglomorate ) , and black oat 
grass ( Stipa avenacea ) (Wharton 1977: 187). 

Fauna reported by Wharton for a more northern upland forest 
situation, also on the mainland, included broadhead skink ( Eumeces 
laticeps ) , Black racer, copperhead, diamondback rattlesnake, opossum, 




US-17 



ATLANTIC 
OCEAN 



I'cumberCand SOUND 

<k..o/ 



MILES 
Figure 1. Site Location Map, 



mole, short-tailed shrew, gray squirrel, flying squirrel, and 
deer (1977: 188). 

Soils at the sugarhouse property are of the Mandarin-Rutlege 
type (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1980: 5-6). They are poorly 
drained fine sands. The upper unit is dark gray and about 7.6cm 
thick. The next unit is light gray and extends to a hardpan 49cm 
below the surface. 

The Site 

The Mcintosh Sugarhouse was constructed during the first half 
of the nineteenth century and today is an extensive tabby ruin with an 
associated archaeological area. Standing walls of the structure are 
approximately 4.26m (14 feet) high and 35.5cm (14 inches) wide. They 
define a rectangular building with three large rooms and two porches 
(Figure 2). 

These three rooms are aligned generally east-west. The east room 
is the largest of the rooms. The center and west rooms are the same 
size and the porches are the same size but they are smaller than the 
rooms. Total floor space for the structure is 1,965.96m sq. (6,450 
square feet). That space is divided as follows: east room, 685.8m sq. 
(2,250 square feet), center and west rooms, 480.06m sq. each (1,175 
square feet each), porches, 160.02m sq. each (525 square feet each). 

The west room has four doorways. One is at ground level and 
connects the west room with the center room. Two doorways, also at 
ground level, open to the outside. One is at the east end of the 




4-1 

•H 






southern wall and the other is at the east end of the northern wall. 
The fourth doorway is located in the northern wall approximately 2.13m 
above ground level. This elevated placement of the door indicates 
that the room had a second story or loft. 

The west room has six large windows. Three of these are 
located in each of the exterior walls and are near ground level. 
There are also 27 small slot-like windows located in the exterior 
walls about 2.4m above ground level (Figure 3). 

The center room has two doorways, one opens to the west room 
and one opens to the east room. Two large windows open to the south 
porch and two others open to the north porch. There are two other 
openings to the north porch and are described by James Ford as "arched 
doorways" (1937:215). The significance of these openings will be 
discussed later. Further there is a small opening to the south porch 
which will also be discussed later. 

In addition to the doorway from the center room, the east room 
has three other door openings, all to the outside of the structure. 
One is located in the center of the east wall and is at ground level. 
The other two are located at the center of the northern and southern 
walls about 1.06m above ground level. There are two windows in each 
of these walls and four in the east wall. 

Two tabby foundation walls divide the east room into three 
equal parts. As evidenced by these foundations, sockets in the walls 
of the southern and northern areas of the room, and the height of the 










- 

- 






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£W 



Figure 3. West Room, Exterior Viexj to the South. 









southern and northern doorways, it is apparent that these foundations 
were constructed to support wooden floors for these areas (Figure 4). 
The central area of the room has no sockets for joists, and therefore 
it is unlikely that it had a wooden floor. This is further confirmed 
by the relationship of the exterior door opening and the tabby 
foundation walls (Figure 5) . 

The north and south porches both have four tabby columns. They 
are 76cm wide and 3.04m high. The easternmost of these columns on the 
south porch has fallen over and a portion of it is not present at the 
site. These columns were most likely constructed to help support roof 
beams for the long span over the center section of the sugarhouse. 

From observations of the construction patterns in the tabby 
walls it is possible to determine that the eastern and center rooms 
were built as a single unit. Tabby was poured in a continuous form 
for all of the walls in these rooms. The western room was constructed 
separately and was added to the other structure. Also the tabby 
foundation walls in the eastern room were constructed separately from 
the other walls in that room. 

In addition to the walls of the sugarhouse structure and the 
two foundation walls in the east room, there are two retaining walls 
in the southeast corner of the north porch. Floyd suggests that these 
retaining walls were constructed as a water cistern (1937:157). He 
felt that such a cistern would be necessary to provide enough water to 
keep a large sugarhouse like this clean. Today these foundation walls 



10 



are considerably eroded en the upper surfaces due to natural pro- 
cesses and destruction caused by site visitors walking on the walls. 

Two depressed areas exist outside of the sugarhouse. The 
first is near the northeast corner of the building. It is reported by 
Floyd (1937) and Ford as a well (1937). The other depression is near 
the south door of the west room. Other than these depressions and the 
sugarhouse ruins, there is little other surface evidence of architec- 
tural elements at the site. The one exception is found north of the 
west room. In that area, a number of brick fragments can be found 
scattered about. 

Previous Research 

Although a significant number of plantation period sites 
have been excavated in the Georgia coastal area, very few of these 
investigations have involved the archaeology of a sugarhouse. The 
first reported archaeological study of a sugarhouse site occurred in 
1934 (Ford 1937: 193-213). 

James Ford, working for the now reorganized Georgia State 
Parks Department, carried out a six week investigation of the tabby 
ruins of Elizafield Plantation on St. Simons Island, Glynn County, 
Georgia. These ruins were thought by some historians to be the site 
and remains of the Spanish mission Santa Domingo. Ford concluded the 
ruins were, in fact, the ruins of an octagonal sugar mill building and 
a rectangular sugar manufacturing building (1937: 202-203). 



12 




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While involved with the Elizafield Plantation archaeological 
project, Ford took the opportunity to visit other tabby ruins that had 
also been reported to be the remains of Spanish missions on the 
Georgia coast. He spent one day at the Mcintosh ruins in Camden 
County and concluded that these ruins were not those of the mission 
Santa Maria. He felt they were the remains of a sugarhouse and 
explained the fact that this was a single structure rather than two 
separate structures as the result of change in the technology for 
sugar manufacturing (Ford 1937: 202). Ford recorded the ruins of the 
Mcintosh Sugarhouse, but it is uncertain if he carried out any 
excavation at the site. His map indicates two excavation areas, but 
he makes no reference to them in his report. Ford also visited the 
tabby ruins at the Thickets Plantation near Darien in Mcintosh County. 
There he recorded an octagonal mill building (Ford 1937: 201). 

Morgan Crook and Patricia 0' Grady, under the supervision of 
Lewis Larson, conducted test excavations at the octagonal mill 
building constructed by Thomas Spalding on Sapelo Island, Mcintosh 
County, Georgia (Crook and 0* Grady 1977: 318-350). Their work 
consisted of mapping the site and excavation of two exploratory test 
units. The results of these excavations were analyzed, and their 
findings compared with publications by Spalding regarding his 
involvement with sugar production. Crook and 0' Grady also present an 
economic background for the production of sugar during the time that 
the Spalding sugarhouse was in operation, the first part of the 
nineteenth century. 



14 



Beyond current archaeological investigations at the Mcintosh 
Sugarhouse and the work by Ford, Crook and 0' Grady, there are no other 
accounts of professionally conducted excavations at sugarhouses in 
Georgia. Floyd does report that I.F. Arnow, digging at the Mcintosh 
Sugarhouse, "Discovered... the base of a furnace...." (1937:159). 
This discovery apparently occured in 1904. 

Other investigations of sugarhouses include a study of the 
Galways Plantation of Monserrat in the West Indies, a sugar mill in 
northern Belize, and what has been reported to be a sugar mill at the 
Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo, Texas. Of these studies, 
the work at Galways Plantation is the most useful for comparative 
analysis with the findings of the current investigation of the 
Mcintosh Sugarhouse. 

The report by Lydia Pulsipher and Conrad Goodwin of the 
Galways Plantation is the first phase of an extensive program to 
investigate the large mid-eighteenth century sugar plantation 
(Pulsipher and Goodwin 1982). Their first phase work included site 
mapping and making a controlled artifact collection. They located two 
mill buildings; the first was constructed for a cattle powered mill 
and the second for a wind powered mill. They also identified the 
sugar processing house, the great house (the Galway residence) and 
several other structures. 

David Pendergast has reported encountering a sugar mill at 
Lananai, Belize (1981). Very little can be understood of the mill 



15 



complex from his newsletter report; however, a full report is in 
preparation and should provide a greater understanding of the site 
and the sugar industry in Belize. Pendergast does state "We thought 
that the level areas around the mid-19th century edifice were work 
surfaces without permanent construction, but digging revealed a great 
complex of brickwork channels, small tanks, and other features that are 
bewildering to a Mayanist" (1981: 1). 

John Clark (1976: 245-260) carried out an archaeological 

t 
investigation at the Mission San Jose y San Miguel in an attempt to 

locate a sugar mill that was reported for the mission. It is 

uncertain from the data presented in the report that the site 

investigated is an eighteenth century sugar mill. The test pit 

excavated by Clark and the 1934 excavation by Harvey Smith, Sr. (Clark 

1976: 248) seem inconclusive for an argument that the limestone and 

lime mortar structure represents the remains of a sugar boiling 

operation. Given the likelihood that archaeological evidence exists, 

further investigation at the mission could prove most important to the 

understanding of early sugar works technology. 

A description of an 1818 steam engine has been published by 

Cornelius Roosevelt (1976:23-28). The steam engine and associated 

sugar mill are located in Haiti. Roosevelt provides a detailed 

discussion of the engine and drive assemblies, but little is mentioned 

about the sugar mill and no site maps were included in the report. No 

comments are made regarding the archaeology likely to exist at the 

site. 



16 



These few investigations at sugarhouse sites constitute the 
extent of research conducted and reported in the archaeological 
literature. The ethnological and historical literature, on the other 
hand, have been most useful in defining what might be expected during 
an archaeological investigation of an eighteenth, nineteenth or 
twentieth century sugarhouse site. The findings from this body of 
literature will be combined and presented as a social history for 
sugar production in the Americas. 

Research Goals and Objectives 
As stated previously, the research goals for the Mcintosh 
Sugarhouse archaeological project are to define the extent, nature, and 
significance of the archaeology present at the site and to prepare 
management and interpretive recommendations for site development. To 
accomplish these goals, research objectives were established. These 
objectives fall into three categories: 

(1) a literature search that can be used to 
define a social history for sugar 
production in the Americas; 

(2) extensive archaeological testing 

at the Mcintosh Sugarhouse based on the 
conclusions reached by the social history; 
and, 

(3) use the results of the archaeological 
testing in conjunction with the social 



17 



history to define the significance of the 
archaeology encountered and develop recom- 
mendations for conservation of the Mcintosh 
Sugarhouse and archaeological area. 
Each of these categories then has several operational objectives. 
In order to develop a social history for sugar production in 
the Americas the literature search must explore several aspects of 
plantation society, agriculture, and industrial technology. The 
demography, technology, economy, and environment must be understood for 
each of the major regions in Latin America and the Southern United 
States that were competing for the world sugar market. In doing so, 
the relationships between inf rastructural modes of production, 
structural components of domestic and political economy, and the 
superstructural values, goals, ideologies and philosophies must be 
determined for each area. Thus, the design of the literature search 
requires that the search define che makeup of the labor force, the 
manner that the labor force is maintained or expanded, the 
organization of labor, the economics of production and marketing, and 
any environmental changes or constraints affecting sugar production. 

The literature search and resulting social history will make 
several major contributions to the archaeological research objectives 
of the Mcintosh Sugarhouse project. They provide the basis for 
understanding how the sugarhouse fits into an evolving industrial 
enterprise. They also help to explain differences and similarities 
between the Mcintosh Sugarhouse and others constructed during the 
first half of the nineteenth century and they assist in identifying 



features at the site that are earlier or later than the sagar 
operation. Further, they are used to predict the areas at the site 
most likely to produce archaeological data relating to the sugar works. 

This last contribution is perhaps the most important because 
it permits the archaeological testing to be directed to areas that 
confirm or deny certain historical assumptions about sugarhouse 
construction and operation. This maximizes the archaeological testing 
in those areas most likely to yield information that can be used to 
establish the significance of the site. To accomplish this, the 
social history must contain an activity model which predicts 
behavioral aspects of the sugar manufacturing process and the 
activities involved. 

Specific objectives for the archaeological research are 
designed to understand the extent and nature of the archaeological 
component of the Mcintosh Sugarhouse. The first of these objectives 
is to define the limits of the archaeological area associated with the 
site. This must be accomplished through traditional testing schemes 
and remote sensing. Results are intended to provide an analysis of 
the extent to which the archaeology at the site has been 
disturbed, the reliability of the archaeological data for interpreting 
the site, and the limits of the areas to be more fully investigated. 

The second objective is to undertake extensive archaeological 
investigative efforts in those areas where the activity model and 
initial testing indicate the greatest likelihood for producing data 
that can be used to interpret the site. This is the most significant 
ihaeological objective because it will provide the data necessary to 



arct 



19 



point out the differences and similarities between the Mcintosh 
Sugarhouse, other sugarhouses that have been investigated 
archaeologically, and what the historical record indicates should 
constitute an early nineteenth century sugarhouse. It will also 
provide the majority of data necessary for interpretation of the site. 

The final archaeological objective is to excavate selected 
areas that can provide information about the architectural parameters 
of the site. These excavations should develop data regarding roof 
overhang, tabby construction methods, and the stability of the ruins. 
Again, these data will be important for interpreting the site, as well 
as assisting in the development of management recommendations. 

The final analysis of findings from the literature search and 
archaeological testing program will be accomplished from an informed 
perspective of what historians have recorded at existing sugar 
plantations, what archaeologists have found at other sugarhouse sites, 
and what exists archaeologically at the Mcintosh Sugarhouse. This 
analysis will point out changes in sugar plantation society and the 
sugar manufacturing process through time and space and suggest why 
sugar plantations did not succeed in the Georgia study area. 



20 



CHAPTER II 
SlIf.AR PRODUCTION TN THE AMERTC<\S 

The introduction of sugar cane and sugar to the New World 
occurred in 1493. Columbus brought the cane to Hispanola on his 
second voyage (Steward, et al. 1956:37). Before this, however, 
Portugal had introduced sugar to its island colonies on Madeira and 
the Azores (Taylor 1978:13). A high demand for sugar in Europe led to 
the rapid establishment of sugar plantations in the Azores, Maderis, 
S2o Tome and the Cape Verde Islands; with this expansion Portugal 
controlled world sugar production at the beginning of the sixteenth 
century (Taylor 1978:13-14; Wolf 1982:110-120). The discovery of 
Brazil by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Alveres Cabral in 1500, opened 
a major new area where sugar plantations could be established. By 
1550, sugar plantations extended from Recife to Salvador along the 
rich soils of the northeast coast of Brazil (Wagley 1971:25). The 
addition of Brazilian sugar plantations assured the Portuguese hold on 
world sugar production into the latter part of the eighteenth century. 

Colonization of Brazil was slow to begin. After the 
discovery of Brazil few Portuguese nationals perceived a purpose in 
settling in the hostile new land. The first settlers found the 
Indians to be "animals, barbarians and buggers" (Wagley 1971:19). 
The Indian cultural practice of cannibalism also appalled them. 
Even with these reactions to the native population, traders did 
establish stations where goods were exchanged for Brazilwood. The 
Brazilwood was shipped to Portugal where a red dye was extracted from 



21 



the wood. Red dye was a prime commodity of the European market. 
Trade in Brazilwood dye never reached a level that could support the 
cost incurred by the Portuguese Crown in maintaining its claim to the 
vast lands of Brazil. 

In order to expedite settlement in the colony Dom Jo3o III 
introduced a system of land grants or captaincies that permitted 
Portuguese nationals to acquire and control large tracts of land. The 
deeds to the lands could be inherited and entitled the holder to duty 
free trade with Portugal. Initial occupancy of the lands was not 
specified (Taylor 1978:17-18). After 1534, when the captaincies were 
granted, many Portuguese settlers came to Brazil and established sugar 
plantations. With the introduction of sugar, settlement occurred 
rapidly. This land policy of Dom JoSo III had as its basis 
mercantilism, which in turn locked the Brazilian planters into primary 
production of sugar as an export crop (Taylor 1978:17; Wolf 1982: 
111-112). On the other hand the land policy system that 
developed in the Spanish controlled West Indies resembled the earlier 
European feudal system of land tenancy. 

The traditional semi-feudal farming pattern of the West 
Indies combined subsistence agriculture and cash cropping. The cash 
crops were primarily sold within the islands and not exported to 
Europe. These crops were generally rice and maize. Sugar cane was 
grown for use by the farm and island population (Steward et al. 
1956:47). 

Coffee was introduced to some of the islands of the West 



2 2 



Indies in about 1700. With the introduction of coffee a slow shift to 
production for export began. Sugar soon joined coffee in the 
eighteenth century as an export commodity (Steward et al. 1956:47). 
With the beginning of the nineteenth century the West Indies had taken 
full control of world sugar production. 

The Portuguese-Brazilian hold on sugar production started a 
steady decline during the 1650s that left the door open for the West 
Indian planters to take control of the market (Taylor 1978:24; 
Wagley 1971:25). Perhaps the most important factor affecting this 
outcome was expulsion of Dutch and Jewish merchants from Brazil in 
1654. The Dutch and Sephardic Jews were important in the Brazilian 
sugar industry because they had become the major slave traders and 
they were able to coordinate sugar production with market demand in 
Europe, keeping the price of Brazilian sugar high. The Dutch were 
encroachers in the Portuguese colony. They raided coastal towns and 
Portuguese ships laden with sugar. The Dutch established illegal 
settlements and took advantage of the Sephardic Jewish population (who 
had been deported to Brazil) to trade directly with the Brazilian 
planters (Taylor 1978:22). They established a colony in Pernambuco 
and held it for over twenty years. When the Dutch and Jewish 
merchants were finally removed, they took with them not only their 
knowledge of the successful Brazilian cane planting and milling 
practices, but their access to the major European sugar refineries and 
markets (Wagley 1971:25; Taylor 1978:21-22). 

Many of these merchants settled in the West Indies and with 



2 3 



them came a ready market for sugar and the beginning of major sugar 
plantations of the islands. Through the Dutch and Jewish settlers new 
mechanisms of finance became available to the planters and, as such, 
the newest milling and processing technology could be imported. This 
period also brought a weakening influence from the Spanish Crown and 
the Church leaving the island planters more freedom to pursue their 
own development. 

Sugar cane arrived in North America much later than it did in 
the Caribbean Islands and Brazil. Early records indicate that 
attempts to grow sugar in the southern United States most likely began 
in the Louisiana Territory during the early 1700s. By the end of the 
eighteenth century sugar had been demonstrated to be an economically 
successful crop and planters in other areas of the southern United 
States began to plant cane. 

Three major areas of production developed. In Texas, sugar 
cane was planted along the Gulf Coast and in the valleys of the Brazos 
and Colorado Rivers. Louisiana continued to grow cane and by the end 
of the nineteenth century produced ninety percent of southern United 
States sugar (Sitterson 1953:13). The other major area of production 
included portions of southeastern Georgia and northern Florida. 
However, in Georgia and Florida, it was only produced on an 
intermittent basis and never as the single cash crop on a plantation. 

The first report of sugar cane arriving in Georgia is said to 
have been in 1784 (Coulter 1940:113). Coulter writes that John 
McQueen brought his Georgian friends cane plants acquired in Jamaica. 



24 



The next documented report occurs in 1829. Thomas Spalding, of Sapelo 
island, states that he hegan cultivation of 100 plants in 1805 
(Spalding 1829:55). 

The following discussion will be directed to technological 
and agricultural considerations of sugar production in the Americas. 
To understand development of sugar production at the John Houstoun 
Mcintosh Sugarhouse site and surrounding area, the sugarhouse and its 
location will be compared to selected areas in Brazil, Cuba, and 
Louisiana. The discussion will concern the social and technological 
history of these areas. From this discussion an activity model will 
be constructed to direct and interpret the archaeology at the Mcintosh 
Sugarhouse. 

The Agriculture and Production Technology for Manufacturing Sugar 
Between 1500 and 1850 little effort was made to intentionally 
hybridize specific varieties of sugar cane. As late as 1805, Thomas 
Spalding (1829:55), attempted to find plants that were hardy to the 
fall, winter, and spring frosts common to the Georgia coast and plants 
that had a high juice yield. He found the "common green or Otaheite" 
cane to have an inferior juice yield but could be processed 
effectively with the vertical three roller mill. "Ribbon" cane, 
introduced from Jamaica, was a hardy plant and had a high juice yield. 
To process ribbon cane efficiently required the use of a horizontal 
roller mill (Spalding 1832). 

The requirements for planting sugar cane are relatively 






simple (Spalding 1816; Stubbs 1897). First the field must be plowed. 
Lengths of seed cane are laid in continuous rows within a trench or 
furrowed ridge. Seed cane is a length of cane taken from the previous 
crop and protected from rotting and freezing. The seed cane is then 
covered with several inches of soil; the depth of planting varies 
where frost is a consideration. Rows vary in separation from 
two-and-a-half to seven feet. The new plants begin to sprout from the 
seed cane when proper moisture and temperature variables are reached. 
In tropical and semi-tropical areas, the rainy season is critical for 
new growth. In the southern United States it is temperature. 

Beyond weeding, little attention to the cane field is 
necessary until harvest time. However, harvesting the sugar cane and 
processing it for the sugar mill is the most arduous task on the 
plantation. Thomas Spalding offers some observations on this 
plantation activity (1829:58-59). He suggests that 50 laborers are 
necessary to take the cane from 100 acres (40.5 hectares) during a two 
month period. The laborers must cut the cane, strip off the leaves, 
place it flat on carts, and haul it to the mill. There it is unloaded 
and prepared for the grinder. There are numerous reports of using 
railroads constructed with movable wooden rails and boats, such as 
rice boats, to move cane from the fields to the mills (Sitterson 
1953:227; Sulliman 1830:227; and Floyd 1937:101). 

The manufacture of sugar from the cane required three major 
steps. First, cane was crushed or ground in a mill to separate the 



26 



sweet juice from the rind. Second, the juice was clarified and boiled 
down to a thick syrup. The syrup was then placed in containers 
where it would crystallize. Any syrup remaining after crystallization 
occurred was drained off as molasses and sold in that form. 

The first sugar mills were constructed of wood and had 
vertical rollers through which the cane would be forced. This basic 
design continued to be used into the nineteenth century. The first 
major change involved sheathing the rollers with iron, and by 1800 
replacing them with solid iron rollers (Sitterson 1953:138). In the 
1820s the design was radically altered. The vertical rollers were 
eliminated and replaced by horizontal rollers. This is important for 
several reasons; not only could more juice be extracted from the cane 
but a harder and tougher variety of cane could be processed. This 
hardy variety, ribbon cane, grew quickly, matured earlier, and was 
more resistant to drought and frost (Sitterson 1953:138). 

The early sugar mill was generally placed at one end of a 
boiling and curing building. The first of these structures may have 
been little more than a shed over boiling kettle with the mill 
detached from the structure (Clark 1976:250-256). As the quality and 
quantity of sugar production increased, the boiling and curing 
operation was carried out inside a two room building with one room 
dedicated to boiling and the other to curing. The principal reason 
for enclosing the curing operation in a special room is related to an 
underlying assumption that curing the syrup required heat. This 



27 



assumption eventually led to the construction of stone, brick, and 
tabby sugarhouses. Such structures protected against the danger of 
fire from boiling the juice, as well as acting to maintain heat in the 
curing room. Thus, through time the sugarhouse developed from a 
simple shed to a two room building (Spalding 1829:60; Sitterson 
1953:135-138). 

As the size and value of vertical roller mills increased the 
mill was frequently housed in its own building. These first buildings 
were often octagonal or circular because such a structure could 
efficiently house the vertical roller mills and the animals that were 
employed to power the mill (see Crook and O'Grady 1977:322,325; Ford 
1937:195). The drive mechanism on a vertical roller mill comes out 
the top of the mill and required the animals to walk around the mill 
(see Fraginals 1976:104). When horizontal roller mills were intro- 
duced, they were frequently housed in a third room of the boiling 
and curing building. By 1825, newly constructed sugarhouses were 
generally rectangular with the mill at one end, the boiling room in 
the center, and the curing at the other end. Use of horizontal roller 
mills eliminated the need for an octagonal or circular milling room 
because the mill's drive mechanisms came out the side of the mill and 
no longer required the animals to walk around the mill (see Fraginals 
1976:102). Instead, the animals could be removed to one side of the 
mill. 

Early wooden vertical roller mills were nearly always animal 
powered. They generally used oxen, mules, and horses to turn the 



28 



rollers. On hilly terrain or in tidal areas a few sugar mills are 
reported to have been water powered (Spalding 1832:282; Steward et al. 
1956; Sitterson 1953; Fraginals 1976). Several reports of wind 
powered sugar mills have been found for the Americas, but these are 
few and far between (Fraginals 1976:35-36; Pulsipher and Goodwin 
1982). 

Animal powered mills frequently employed eight oxen to turn 
the rollers. The central vertical drive shaft would be affixed with a 
set of crossed wooden beams. Each end of the beams would then hold a 
double yoke. In this way, the oxen would walk around the mill as 
their power was transferred to the rollers. This type of arrangement 
required that the cane be fed between the oxen to reach the mill and 
that the crushed cane or bagasse along with the extracted juice be 
taken out the other side, again fitting them between the oxen. With 
the construction of the octagonal mill buildings, the feed paths for 
the cane, baggasse, and juice could be offset vertically from the 
tread followed by the oxen. This reduced the problem of getting the 
cane to and from the mill. 

The shift to new horizontal roller mills eliminated much of 
this problem. The new mill design no longer required a vertical drive 
shaft. Changing direction from the horizontal drive shaft to 
vertically suspended ox yoke presented few mechanical problems. An 
iron gear system could easily remove the draft animals from the 
immediate area of the mill. With the horizontal roller mills of the 
1820s there also arrived the use of steam power for the sugar planters 



29 



who could afford to purchase an engine. Steam powered horizontal 
roller mills were common through out the world sugar growing regions 
by 1850 (Sitterson 1953:150). 

The boiling operation on the sugar plantations also went 
through significant changes from a single kettle to the system that 
was probably used by John Houstoun Mcintosh. The first change was the 
addition of several kettles, each with their own furnace. Next, the 
kettles were arranged in such a way that a single furnace could be 
used to heat all of the kettles. In this arrangement the fire ditch 
or flue was called a train. The juice would be transferred from one 
kettle or pan to the next as it was concentrated. The first pan was 
the largest and each successive pan was smaller. This system provided 
the greatest area for evaporation in the first pan and the least areas 
in the last or strike pan. As best as can be determined from the 
records of train type evaporation and concentration, the strike pan 
was located nearest to the firebox of the furnace (Sitterson 1953; 
Fraginals 1976). 

Train type technology quickly spread within the sugar growing 
areas and received various names. Jamaica train was the name to 
become most often identified with an arrangement of five successively 
smaller pans. The French sugar planters in the West Indies called 
such a train Equipage du Pere Labat with the specific pans called: 
grande, propre, flambeau, sirop, and batterie (Fraginals 1976:108). 
Other areas had their own names for the boiling trains. Brazil, Cuba, 
Louisiana, and Georgia generally used the name Jamaica train and 
occasionally in Louisiana the term ,, fire-wall" was used to designate a 



30 



five pan train. 

During the nineteenth century the trains were enlarged to 
seven and nine pans. Such expansion was generally associated with a 
shift from a sugarhouse on the plantation to a large centrally located 
sugar factory. These factories may have been owned by several 
planters or constructed by an independent entrepreneur (Sitterson 
1953; Steward et al. 1956; Wagley 1971; Taylor 1978; Fraginals 1976). 

The Brazilian Sugar Plantation 

Like the sugar plantations in Cuba, Louisiana, and Georgia 
the plantations of Brazil were established through the labor of 
slaves. At first, the Brazilian planters enslaved the Indian 
population but this did not prove successful. Many of the Indians 
quickly died from smallpox, measles, and various other infections and 
viruses (Wagley 1971:18). Additionally, the Indians who escaped 
enslavement could go to their yet uncaptured kinsmen for shelter. 
When the planter turned to Africa as the primary source for slaves, 
those who survived the voyage to Brazil had no place to escape. They 
were as alien off the plantation as they were on it. 

Because Portugal controlled the major slave trading stations 
on the west coast of Africa, it was relatively easy for the Brazilian 
planters to import the Black slaves. Taylor (1978:22) states that in 
1570 there were at least sixty sugar mills operating in Brazil with a 
free population of 17,000 and a slave population of 13,000. By 1798, 
when the first Brazilian census was taken, a population of 2,998,000 



3] 



non-Indians was reported with 50 per cent of that group comprised of 
slaves (Taylor 1978:42). It is difficult to know the number of slaves 
in Brazil at the time of abolition, 1888, because Rui Barbosa had all 
official records of slavery destroyed. This was accomplished to free 
black Brazilians from any stigma associated with past slavery (Wagley 
1971:19). 

The ethnological study of Vila Reconcavo, by Harry W. 
Hutchinson (1957), provides important insights for understanding the 
Brazilian sugar plantation as it existed during slavery and as it has 
changed since abolition. Hutchinson has described a privately owned 
and operated sugar plantation that he observed in 1950 and 1951. The 
plantation is in the state of Bahia, on the Bay of All Saints, 
approximately 40 kilometers from Salvador. At the time of 
Hutchinson's study, the plantation no longer manufactured its own 
sugar. Instead, it sold its cane to the nearby corporately owned 
factory (usina) . Aside from the absence of a sugarhouse on the 
plantation, it appears much as it would have during the great 
Brazilian sugar boom. 

The Fazenda das Mocas (Ethnographic present) is operated by 
Dona Sinha, the owner of the plantation. She has been actively 
engaged in the operation of the fazenda since the death of her 
husband. She spends most of the year on the plantation and lives in 
the city only two months, during the rainy season. 

Seu Paulo is overseer at the fazenda and has nearly equal 



32 



managerial responsibilities with Dona Sinha. Two other employees 
have status above the workers. They are the feitor (foreman) and 
the vaqueiro (cowboy). The feitor has the responsibility to 
record how much work is accomplished and by whom. The payroll of the 
fazenda is derived from these records. The vaqueiro takes care of the 
cattle, milk cows, and saddle horses. He is also required to 
accompany Dona Sinha and her family on pleasure rides, to meet the 
train or boat, and to get mail from the post office. 

The name engenho has been used from the time of the early 
sugar plantations to denote the animal-driven mill and the rest of the 
plantation. The engenho consisted of the sugar mill, boiling and 
curing house, the casa grande ( the plantation owner's house), a 
chapel, a house for the overseer, the house of the foreman, the house 
of the workers, buildings for equipment, and the casa de farinha 
(for producing manioc flour) . Forests were maintained for firewood 
(used initially in the boiling operation, and later to power steam 
engines at the mill). Cane fields occupied the majority of land on 
the plantation, with some lands kept in pasture for the animals and a much 
smaller area reserved for subsistence agriculture. Traditionally, 
some lands may have been rented to freemen who owned slaves and 
grew cane that would be sold to the plantation. 

The physical plan of the Fazenda das Mocas reflects almost 
exactly the traditional arrangement of buildings in an engenho. The 
primary exception, as mentioned earlier, is the absence of the sugar 



33 



mill and boiling/curing building. The casa grande stands on a hill 
overlooking the plantation; nearby is the worker settlement.- This 
settlement consists of a narrow street with worker housing on each 
side. Also on the street is the house of the overseer and the casa de 
farinha (the location of manioc flour production, the flour an 
essential element in the worker diet). Buildings to house the 
plantation equipment (plows, a tractor, a jeep, carts, etc.) are 
located on the street, away from the casa grande. A school has been 
constructed on the plantation and is used for children's classes during 
the day and adult classes at night. When a priest from the monastery 
in the city comes to the engenho, the school is used to hold mass. 

Hutchinson reports that the population of the engenho in the 
early 1950s was over 200, with an actual work force of between 60 and 
70 men and boys. Additionally, several women were employed for light 
work and domestic service. 

The focal points for administration and social activities on 
the fazenda are the casa grande and the overseer's house. Dona 
Sinha provides medical attention from her residence. She also 
carries out personnel administration and arbitration from her home, 
maintains supplies such as oil for the tractor, has the only telephone 
on the plantation, and takes care of all other business that falls to 
the owner. The workers see her not only as the boss, but as their 
patrao . 

Seu Paulo, the overseer, also uses his house for administra- 



34 



tive activities. Perhaps more importantly, his house has 

become the location for much of the social activity in the worker 

community. Recently, electricity had been installed in his house. 

Thus the house, larger than those of the workers and with a veranda, 

has come to be a gathering place in the early evening. Seu Paulo's 

new radio also draws considerable attention and dancing on the 

veranda. 

As Wagley has pointed out, the plantation village is closely 
knit (1971:154). Residents are frequently kinsmen, related directly 
or through godparentship. Men work together in the subsistence 
gardens and house repair, while the women share in the task of making 
manioc flour. The plantation owner and the overseer participate in 
neighborhood life. 

It seems justifiable to say that Hutchinson's study of the 
community Vila Reconcavo provides not only a perspective on a sugar 
plantation during the 1950s, but insight regarding the life ways of 
plantation culture during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in 
Brazil. Although his study was done sixty years after abolition, the 
social structure of the plantation had changed little since the days 
of slavery. While the plantation workers had the freedom to leave the 
plantation, there has been only a small change in the makeup of the 
worker village. 

The Cuban Sugar Boom 
Even though the West Indies were late to enter large scale 



35 



sugar production, they became the world leaders during the eighteenth 
and nineteenth centuries. Because the Islands were controlled by 
different European nations, with different colonial policy, their 
development as sugar colonies varied with respect to the mother 
country. Manuel Fraginals (1976) provides an excellent account of 
the social and economic development of sugar in Cuba. His research 
shall serve as the basis for understanding the social history of sugar 
production that followed the sugar boom in Brazil. 

By 1792, all barriers to sugar production in Cuba had been 
removed, and the island (114,524.62 sq. km.) had become the world 
production leader. In 1759, there were 89 sugar mills operating in 
the Havana area; in 1760 the number increased to 93, in 1761 to 98, 
and in 1764 the number of mills was 106 (Fraginals 1976:25). However, 
this kind of expansion was not achieved without cost to the Cuban 
semi-feudal oligarchy. 

The beginnings of the sugar boom started with an effort to 
intensify export production. As stated previously, coffee was 
introduced to the islands of the West Indies in 1700 and with it a 
trend to export agricultural products to Europe. In Cuba, planters, 
or hacendados as they are called, had been exporting tobacco and 
selling rice and maize to the local communities. To shift production 
and move to sugar monoculture, investments were made in preparing 
fields, constructing sugarhouses , and purchasing slaves and equipment. 

Merchants licensed by Spain sold slaves to the hacendados and 



36 



provided access to commodities not available on the island. Thev also 
purchased sugar from the plantations and shipped it to European and 
North American markets. As the Cuban planters and merchants gained 
control of the world sugar market they became quite wealthy yet Cuba 
gained little from Spanish colonial policy. what the colony then 
required was a government with a legal system that could provide a 
friendly environment for capitalist growth and industrial development. 

Differences between the Spanish Crown and the Cuban 
hacendados developed with respect to colonial land policies and 
attempts by the Crown to control the export economy. The Crown had 
received significant income from the export of Cuban tobacco. It 
began to protect the rights of tobacco growers over the interests of 
other producers. Sugar was viewed as a threat to high tobacco 
profits. The Crown attempted to control the expansion of sugar growing 
by protecting "natural tobacco lands" from infringement (Fraginals 
1976: 20-25). 

In 1701, the Crown began efforts to control tobacco 
interests on the island. First, the Crown appointed royal 
commissioners to purchase tobacco from the hacendados. Then, in 1711, 
it established the Factoria to process Cuban tobacco. Next, the 
Factoria was authorized to contract directly with the hacendados for 
their tabacco. By 1760, the Real Factoria had been given the 
exclusive right to purchase Cuban tobacco (Fraginals 1976:20-25). The 
Crown also took action to protect "natural tobacco lands" from 
infringement. 



3 7 



The Factoria closed economic expansion for the Cuban 
oligarchy. Tobacco was quickly seen as a dead end investment for 
the hacendados and sugar was perceived as the way to new economic 
success. It took the Crown years to understand and reconcile this, 
and so, was slow to aid the hacendados in their efforts toward sugar 
production. 

When the sugar boom got into full swing by the mid-eighteenth 
century, most of the tobacco planters converted to sugar production or 
were forced from their lands. The sugar plantations enlarged quickly, 
adding fields for their cane and pasture for their animals. Forests 
were acquired to supply wood for construction of sugarhouses, other 
buildings, carts and to feed the boiling kettles. Within a few 
years most of Cuba's forest lands had been cut. 

The more land the plantations consumed, the more difficult 
logistics on the island became. As the range of the plantations 
extended away from the plantation village there came a need to move 
the sugar mills, or trapiches , to the cane fields. With the 
trapiche went the field labor. No longer could the hacendado keep 
field slaves under supervision at the plantation village. Instead, 
field workers were separated from their families and housed in the 
fields. This resulted in a general reduction in the standard of 
living for plantation slaves. 

In the traditional Spanish semi-feudal organization the 
Church provided for the spiritual needs of the plantation, including 
holding masses, baptisms, marriages, funerals, blessing crops and 






dedicating buildings. In exchange for these services, the hacendado 
maintained a chapel and priest at the plantation village and paid 
taxes to the Church. In this relationship, the Church could exert 
pressure on the hacendado to protect and care for plantation slaves. 

Even though the Church had long concerned itself with the 
question of slavery, the presumed need for forced labor in the 
expanding world economy was not an issue with which the Church could 
deal. Alternately, the Church argued that offering the African slave 
salvation through Christianity was the course to take. In this way 
slave trade was presented as a missionary effort (Fraginals 1976:53). 

In time hacendados began to suggest that it was impractical to 
take 200 or more slaves away from their work and bring them to the 
plantation chapel for Sunday mass. After a time, the hacendado 
convinced the Church to reduce their demands for compulsory attendance 
at mass each Sunday to a few important Saints-Days and finally to 
remove all attendance requirements. Not only did this mean that the 
slaves had no free days to attend church, but it eliminated free time 
that had been available for subsistence agriculture, trapping, and 
gathering. This also put the burden of slave subsistence squarely on 
the hacendado. 

Once the Church lost its influence over the slave population, 
their welfare became the exclusive jurisdiction of the hacendado. To 
the extent that slaves could be replaced more inexpensively than they 
could be maintained, their treatment became unimportant. The British 
slave traders offered the hacendado a new source of inexpensive slaves 



3 Q 



and closed the door on need for slave maintenance. The eleven month 
period of British occupation, in 1762-63, saw more slaves imported to 
the island than had been imported in the previous twelve to fifteen 
years (Fraginals 1976:17). 

The expansive growth of Cuban sugar production continued into 
the nineteenth century, but with setbacks. Large fluctuation in the 
price of sugar, coupled with high inflation and exorbitant interest 
rates charged by unregulated financial institutions, resulted in bank- 
ruptcies, foreclosures, and a worsened life for slaves. It should 
be noted that the makings of the Cuban sugar boom was at first solely 
dependent on increasing the number of trapiches and slaves. After 
1800 new technology made it possible to produce more sugar more 

efficiently. 

Free commerce became legal after 1818 and the Spanish Crown's 
monopoly on tobacco was abolished. This attracted an interest in the 
island by merchants from Europe and North America. In the 1850s there 
were efforts by the United States to acquire the island. Pro-slavery 
lobbyists saw Cuba as a base for expanding slave territory. Even so, 
Spain, for the most part, managed to control the island until 1899. 
Slavery was officially abolished in 1878 and completely eliminated in 

1886. 

Even before abolition was in place the labor force on the 
sugar plantation had changed significantly. The new technology that 
brought more efficient sugar making also brought the need for skilled 



40 



labor. Also, as anti-slavery sentiment increased in the world, slaves 
became more difficult to obtain and more expensive to keep. A mixture 
of slave labor, hired slave, wage-workers, and free artisans were 
found on the plantation (Fraginals 1976:131-135). 

The Georgia Experience With Sugar 

At the close of the eighteenth century, the plantation system 
in Georgia was experiencing financial difficulties related to several 
factors. Although the plantations had not depended exclusively on 
monoculture, cotton had lowered soil fertility and crop yield was 
reduced. Those plantations located in river valleys and along the 
coastal estuaries could depend on rice to offset this reduction, but 
the rice market was unstable and therefore undependable. 

At the recommendations of Thomas Spalding during the first 
decades of the nineteenth century, many Georgia planters turned to 
sugar cane to increase their revenues (Spalding 1829:55). He reported 
that in 1814, he received $12,500 for his sugar crop (Spalding 1829: 
55). This accompanied the end of the War of 1812 which had 
brought non-importation and embargo acts and led other planters to 
begin cultivation of sugar cane. The well established plantations had 
the resources to construct sugarhouses for the exclusive use of the 
plantation where they were located. Some of the new mills were animal 
powered, a few were water powered and others took full advantage of 
steam power. Different types of mill rollers and drive mechanisms 
were selected by the planters to meet their specific levels of 
intended production and starting capital. 

41 



The result of these different approaches to sugar production 
resulted in different forms for sugarhouses. What has been reported 
to be Spalding's first sugarhouse has the form which one would expect 
to find in Brazil, Cuba, and Louisiana toward the end of the 
eighteenth century. There was an octagonal structure (now in ruins) 
which housed a vertical roller mill. Next to it stood a rectangular 
boiling and curing building (Spalding 1829:60; Floyd 1937:99-100; 
Crook and 0' Grady 1977). The mill buildings at The Thickets, near 
Darien, and on Elizafield plantation, St. Simons Island, were also 
of this type (Ford 1937:194-204). 

Major Jacob Wood, at Darien, altered this form slightly 
(Silliman 1830:227-229). His mill building was a square, two-story 
building. A vertical roller mill was located on the second floor 
and the animals used to power the mill were on the first floor. To 
overcome the burden of getting the cane to the second floor mill he 
designed a rather unique apparatus. Major Wood used rice boats to 
haul cane to his mill. Still in river water, the boats would be 
positioned over a submerged cart. The cart sat at the end of a ramp 
which led directly to the door of the mill room and had iron wheels, 
two large ones and two small ones, to keep it level as it moved up 
and down the ramp. The cart, boat and its load of cane would be 
pulled up to the mill with a horsepowered winch. Once there, the boat 
would be unloaded and returned to the river. 

The mill installed by John Houstoun Mcintosh at New Canaan 



42 



plantation was not a vertical roller mill but a horizontal one 
purchased from the West Point Foundry , N.Y. Spalding (1832:281) 
reports that it was the first of its kind to be operated in Georgia. 
He also states that it was animal powered. Floyd (1937:147-148) fixes 
the date of installation between 1826 and 1827. Mcintosh did not put 
his mill in its own building, but located it in a third room at his 
sugarhouse. This room is the only two story room in the sugarhouse, 
leading to the conclusion that the mill was placed on one level while 
the animals used to power the mill were located on the other. Floyd 
(1937:151-154) proposes a reconstruction of the room with the mill at 
ground level and the animals offset from, but above the mill. 

Spalding reports disappointment with the arrangement of the 
power system at the Mcintosh sugarhouse. He states that he spent two 
years designing and constructing a water powered mill (Spalding 1832: 
281-284). To operate the mill he excavated a two hectare (5 acre) mill 
pond, 30 cm. (12") deep. Tidal flooding, twice daily, kept the pond 
full but limited the time the mill could be operated to 10 - 12 hours 
out of every twenty-four. When the mill operated with a 7.31 m. 
(24') water wheel the power generated was equivalent to that provided 
by a 10-horsepower engine. It is uncertain from Spalding's report if 
the water mill was ever operated successfully. He mentions having 
difficulty with the wooden mechanisms he constructed. He also cites a 
letter of his describing the specifications for an iron mill that he 



43 



would like to have made for use with water power. Spalding dees not 
report purchasing the mill or solving the problems with his wooden 
one. Still, though, he urges planters (who have the option) to select 
water power over steam power. 

William Butler had begun operating a steam powered sugar mill 
at his plantation, near Darien, in 1829 (Butler 1829). John Hamilton 
Couper also installed a steam powered mill at his plantation on St. 
Simons Island. The Couper mill began work in 1830 and is reported by 
Floyd (1937:103) to have been the largest and last steam driven sugar 
works built in Georgia before the Civil War. Butler (1829) places the 
cost of the Couper engine and mill at $14,930.72. The 18-horsepower 
engine had been purchased from Boulton and Watt in England and used 
to process both rice and sugar (Floyd 1937:103). 

Investing in steam powered mills was a significant 
undertaking for planters just starting in the sugar business. Many 
probably looked to modifications of the older types of mills for the 
principal answer to their needs. Those who did invest in steam 
engines could only expect a small return during their first years of 

sugar making. 

Butler (1829) received an estimate of $5,840.60 from the West 
Point Foundry for a mill and 14-horsepower engine. Spalding (1829:60- 
61) cites English prices as 500, 650, and 800 pounds for four, six, 
and eight horsepower engines, respectively. He points out that a 25 
per cent import tax on the British-made engines would be added to the 



44 



price of the engine. Spalding also gives the figure for an 8- 
horsepower West Point engine as $4,000. Sitterson (1953:138) 
mentions the price of steam engines and mills dropped between 
1822 and 1831. 

In addition to experimenting with different mills and 
power systems, the Georgia planters attempted to improve the boiling 
and curing operation at their sugarhouses. In the article that 
discusses Spalding's efforts with his waterpowered mill, he speaks 
of two years of alterations to his boiling apparatus with the hope 
of "...simplifying, improving, and cheapening this part of the 
process" (Spalding 1832:284). He reports only disappointment and 
a desire to continue the experiments. 

Mcintosh patented a method to precipitate out many of the 
impurities found in the cane juice (Spalding 1829:63; it was not 
possible to obtain a copy of this patent). Another development in 
the clarification process produced greater syrup yield from the cane 
juice and a better quality of sugar. This process involved boiling 
the juice in a vacuum apparatus, rather than open kettles. By 1864, 
the process was in wide use in Louisiana and reduced fuel need by 53 
per cent (Sitterson 1953:150). Although there are no reports of the 
vacuum process for Georgia, it is likely that it had been adopted by 
some planters. 

Most of the sugarhouses in the interior of Georgia were built 
of wood. On the coast, where aboriginal shell middens were available 



45 



to make tabby, it was more often used. Tabby construction had 
been introduced to Georgia in the early days of the colony. The 
practice of building with tabby had all but disappeared until 
revived by Spalding in the nineteenth century. His method has 
been described many times in the literature of the Georgia coast 
and will not be discussed here (see Coulter 1937). 

Slavery in Georgia during the nineteenth century was markedly 
different from that in Cuba at the same time. It more closely 
resembled Brazilian slavery except slaves in Georgia could not 
purchase their freedom (Wagley 1971; Flanders 1933). The most 
important distinction between the three forms of slavery can be 
attributed to what has been called the task system (Flanders 1933). 
In this system tasks are assigned to slaves dependent on plantation 
needs and individual abilities. When a slave completed the assigned 
task, any remaining time could be devoted to personal activites. 
Subsistence gardening and hunting were accomplished during this free 
time (Otto 1975; Moore 1981). 

The welfare of their slaves was a prime concern to Georgia 
planters. Before the founding of the United States, anti-slavery 
forces were acting to prohibit importation of slaves to the colonies. 
Georgia restricted the importation of slaves in 1793 and eliminated it 
in 1798. Unable to obtain slaves from beyond their own borders, the 
Georgia planters had no choice but to insure the health and 
reproductive success of their slaves. This concern can be seen from 



46 



the following comments by Thomas Spalding (1829:59): 

Where the culture is confined to two acres 
the hand, with some accompanying crop, the 
negroes unquestionably prefer it to any 
other culture in our country: They appear 
to me, as far as I can judge from my own, 
to enjoy more health, and to multiply faster 
than they did before I introduced sugar 
among them, and this reasonable, for every 
man, woman, and child upon the plantation, 
is feeding upon the sweets of the cane for 
three months of the year. . . . All appre- 
hensions arising from injury to out Slaves, 
from adoption of this culture should cease. 

His apprehensions stem in part from his experience while 

visiting in Louisiana in 1825 (Spalding 1829:59). 

. . . still I conceive the negroes in 
Louisiana are too severely worked, there are 
too many men upon their plantations, 
and as far as I saw, they were declining in 
numbers, and sinking in strength, but this 
arose in great measure from the necessities 
of the Planter, who is active and energetic, 
and in general no more spares himself than 
he does his sla^e. It was certainly not be- 
cause Sugar Cane was the crop, but because the 
planter had, perhaps in the beginning been 
mistaken in his means, and was making many 
efforts to relieve himself. 

It should be noted that at the time Spalding visited Louisiana most 

plantations there had turned to sugar monoculture. Spain controlled 

the territory and many of the problems faced by the Cuban sugar 

growers were common to Louisiana. 

The sugarhouse on the Georgia plantation was not always located 



47 



in the big house village. More frequently, the sugarhouse would be 
located near the cane fields with traditional crops of cotton and rice 
surrounding the big house. It is unlikely that the planter would 
construct a slave settlement at the sugarhouse because it was used only 
a few months of the year. It would be more likely that any additional 
villages would be located so they could serve several fields and not 
just those near the sugarhouse. 

The selection of an area to grow cane was dependent on one 
major factor, the soil had to be well drained to prevent the shallow 
root system from rotting. Some planters used their fertile river 
lands while others, like Couper and Mcintosh, preferred inland swamps 
that could be kept dry (Couper 1829:104). Deep plowing before plant- 
ing was also undertaken to keep the roots from compacting the soil 
(Sitterson 1953:114). Crop rotation was also used to protect the 
soil. Cotton and potatoes were rotated with cane because they have 
deep roots and keep the soil broken up (Spalding 1828:553). 
Generally planting occurred any time between October and mid-March 
(Sitterson 1953; Spalding 1828; Stubbs 1897). This long planting 
season must have been particularly valuable to Georgia planters who 
added cane to their other crops. Planting activities could be 
scheduled around other activities on the plantations. Crook and 
0' Grady (1977) discuss the advantages of this ability to schedule 
planting activities in detail. Harvesting the cane occurred in 
November and December. While frost was a factor to be considered, 
after some experience it was determined that moderate frosts could be 



48 



tolerated (Spalding 1828:553). 

Little information xs available concerning sugar production in 
Georgia after 1830. The spring of 1829 brought a very wet March and a 
cold April, followed in 1830 by a dry summer and fall (Couper 1953:33), 
These two bad years for the cane crops and a fluctuating sugar market 
may have discouraged further efforts and investments to improve sugar 
production. It is certain that sugar continued to be grown on the 
Georgia plantations but never took on the importance it had during the 
first 30 years of the nineteenth century. 

The Activity Model 

To understand the significance of an archaeological site, the 
site must be seen in relationship to the culture that created it. For 
the John Houstoun Mcintosh Sugarhouse, the significance of the site 
can be determined through an analysis of the demography of the New 
Canaan Plantation, the technology available to and employed by 
Mcintosh, the plantation economy, and any environmental factors that 
encouraged or inhibited the successful growing of sugar cane on the 
plantation. From such an analysis, a behavioral activity model can be 
developed that sets archaeological research parameters, field methods, 
and serves to interpret the results of the field investigation. 

The activity model proposed for the Mcintosh sugarhouse relies 
primarily on the social history for sugar production already presented. 
It is also based on observations at the site before excavation and the 
few records that relate directly to Mcintosh and his plantation. Even 



4 9 



though the records about Mcintosh are often second-hand, they are 
still insightful. 

Marmaduke Floyd (1937:142-160) compiled a short history for 
the ruins of the Mcintosh sugarhouse. In that report he provides some 
data that can be used to understand why Mcintosh moved to Georgia, 
what his intentions for his Georgia plantation were, and his success 
in accomplishing those intentions before his death. Beyond a few 
records at the Camden County Courthouse little else can be found that 
is important to this research. 

Floyd tells us that Mcintosh came to Georgia after the War of 
1812. Before then he had lived in Spanish Florida. During the war, 
Mcintosh was appointed governor of the province by individuals who 
wished to establish Florida an independent republic. Mcintosh and 
his followers in northeast Florida supported the United States in the 
war and became a threat to continued Spanish rule. The unsuccessful 
campaign ended with the war and Mcintosh moved to Camden County, 
Georgia. Floyd (1937:143) quotes a letter to the Collector of the 
Port of St. Marys, in which Mcintosh says he is ". . . a man [Mcintosh. 
... who has lost a very large possession [his lands in Florida], and 
now [is] almost ruined from his attachment to that Government." 

Mcintosh established a permanent residence at Marianna 
Plantation near the mouth of the St. Mary's River between the spring 
of 1812 and the fall of 1813; the actual date is unknown. In 1819, he 
purchased two smaller plantations adjacent to Marianna and renamed his 
holdings New Canaan. Floyd (1937:144-145) suggests this name came 



50 



from his intention to plant sugar cane on these new lands, 
particularly at the area of Dark Entry Swamp where the sugarhouse is 
located. Camden County deed records (Deed Book K/185,186) show an 
entry, dated 3 May 1819, in which Mcintosh purchased 660 acres (267 
hectares) of land at Dark Entry Swamp for $330.00. This land was 
part of the original 1787 state land grant to James Seagrove, although 
it had changed hands at least two times (1809 and 1817) before the 
Mcintosh acquisition. 

Even using all of the known records it is not possible to 
establish the exact construction dates or years of operation for the 
sugarhouse. Because it is located on the Dark Entry property it must 
have been after 1819. Spalding (1832:36) states that after returning 
from Louisiana in 1825 he recommended a sugar mill design to Mcintosh, 
which he had constructed by the West Point Foundry. Couper built his 
sugarhouse in 1829, and it is apparent from his description of the 
construction (1831), and from various statements by Spalding (1829, 
1832), that the Mcintosh sugarhouse had already begun operation. It 
would seem reasonable to assume, as did Floyd, that the Mcintosh 
sugarhouse was built in 1826 or 1827. This would have provided 
sufficient time for Mcintosh to have developed the clarification 
process for which he reportedly received a patent in 1829 (Spalding 
1829:62). 

Mcintosh died in 1836 at age 65. County deed records (Deed 
Book N/229, 300) show the sugarhouse property sold to Caroline M. S. 
Hallowes in 1840. The sale was recorded in the name of John Houstoun 



51 



Mcintosh, son of the deceased Mcintosh. Floyd's research confirms 
this sale (1937:149). 

During the Hallowes tenure on the land the name of the 
plantation was changed to Bollingbrook. Colonel Hallowes planted cane 
and continued to use the sugarhouse. During the Civil War, Hallowes 
is also reported to have used the sugarhouse to process arrowroot 
starch (Floyd 1937:149). Caroline Hallowes (widowed) sold 
Bollingbrook in 1891 (Camden County Deed Book U/424-427). No record 
exists for the use of the sugarhouse after the Civil War. Floyd does 
state (1937:160) that a Mr. James Dancy and a Mr. Harry Russell 
remembered sugar making at Bollingbrook. 

The 1830 Census of Georgia (U.S. Bureau of the Censes 1830: 
186) indicates that Mcintosh owned 6.5 per cent of the slaves recorded 
for Camden County. These 214 slaves were divided into the following 
groups: 28-m (m=Male) and 28-f (f=Female), under 10 yrs. (yrs.=years 
old); 16-m and 22-f, 10-24 yrs.; 16-m and 14-f, 24-36 yrs.; 15-m and 47- 
f , 36-55 yrs. ; and, 19-m and 9-f , 55-100 yrs. There are three free 
whites reported: 1-m, 50-60 yrs.; 1-f, 50-60 yrs.; and 1-f 20-30 yrs. 
Tax records (1836 Tax Book A/241-252) at the time of Mcintosh's death 
record 205 slaves valued at $8,272. Unfortunately, no other information 
regarding the Mcintosh estate could be found from these records. 

From the social history and the information gathered about 
John Houstoun Mcintosh during his days in Georgia (1825+/- to 1836) it 
is possible to construct the activity model. As the name, activity 
model, suggests the organization of the model will be to identify 



52 



locations where different kinds of activity could be expected to 
occur. To do this New Canaan Plantation will be examined at three 
levels of socio-cultural organization: infrastructure, structure, and 
superstructure. Because there are no people living who can tell us 
what happened at New Canaan Plantation, we must rely on etic- 
behavioral observation to explain what will be found from the 
archaeological investigation at the site. The only source of emic- 
mental data comes from the letters and comments of Thomas Spalding, 
James Hamilton Couper, and a short excerpt from the diary of John 
Houstoun Mcintosh. 

Infrastructure 

The modes of production and reproduction comprise the areas 
of concern at the inf rastructural level. The Mcintosh sugarhouse is 
located on New Canaan Plantation. A plantation, as defined by Eric 
Wolf (1982:315-318), is a large capital-consuming farm that uses a 
large labor force to produce a single crop or several crops for sale. 
The labor force works in gangs or at specified tasks. A foreman 
supervises the laborers in order to insure proper performance of 
duties, as determined by the plantation owner or manager. Large scale 
crop production requires that any processing of the crop occur on the 
plantation. Also, administration, processing and housing tend to form 
a single center on the plantation, the plantation village, big house 
village, plantation community, etc. When the plantation is 
established in an inhabited area, it appears as an island on a 
previously disturbed countryside; when it is founded on the edge of a 

53 



previously Settled area, it is said to be on an expanding frontier. 
They are in fact enclaves or outposts dedicated to specialized 
production. 

The labor force on a plantation may be comprised of 
wage-laborers, slaves, or both. During the seventeenth, eighteenth, 
and nineteenth centuries plantations using slave labor were 
established primarily in the Americas, on islands off western Africa, 
and on islands in the Indian Ocean. The planters acquired African 
slaves to work the fields and process the crops. By the beginning of 
the nineteenth century, plantations employing slave labor had become 
primary instruments of capitalist expansion into the world economy. 

In the case of New Canaan Plantation, the 1830 census 
indicates that slaves comprised the entire labor force living on the 
plantation. Slightly over two hundred in number, they were probably 
housed near the big house where they could be managed. Because the 
census indicates no other freemen on the plantation except Mcintosh, 
his wife and one other woman (perhaps his daughter), it is unlikely 
that slave communities were spread over the plantation. 

A statistical analysis of the slave population indicates that 
approximately 52% of the individuals were under age 32. The number 32 
is important because it is the same number of years since the 
prohibition on importing slaves to Georgia, as well as, the mean age 
of the slave population. Even if Mcintosh had brought his slaves from 
Florida (as is likely), the data suggest that the slave population was 
stable. In fact, the data suggest the population might be growing; 



54 



approximately 26% were under 10 years old, 17% between 10 and 24, 14% 
between 24 and 36, 28% between 36 and 55, and 13% were between 55 and 
100 years old. Unfortunately, these data can not be compared to the 
1820 census because Mcintosh did not reside in Georgia. Furthermore, 
the estate tax report did not divide the 205 slaves into age groups 
and it is impossible to assign the missing nine individuals, or for 
that matter, to know if the 1830 and 1836 populations were comprised 
of the same individuals. 

We know from Spalding's comments (1829:59) and the work by 
Flanders (1933) that the work pattern on New Canaan Plantation was 
most likely the task system. Therefore, the slaves were providing 
at least a portion of their subsistence through gardening and hunting. 
Because the gardening activity was probably not supervised, it is 
probable that the gardens were located near the slave settlement. 
This would prevent the slaves from wandering far from their cabins in 
the late afternoon or after dark. Also, the plantation big house was 
on the St. Mary's River where estuarine food resources could be easily 
exploited. The sugarhouse was at least four miles from the nearest 
flowing water. 

The technology of sugar production would certainly demand the 
assignment of specific activity areas. Beyond the activity in the 
fields, various tasks must be undertaken outside the sugarhouse. When 
the cane arrrived at the mill it had to be unloaded and stacked until 
it could be processed by the mill. Once the cane had been run through 
the mill, a disposal area for the baggasse was necessary. Another area 



55 



was required for storing and handling fuel to be used in the 

boiling room. By 1825, fire wood was supplemented with di 

baggasse. A corral would be required for mill and c, nimals, along 

with an area for storing feed. It could be expected that 

time would be spent near the well, along shady sides of the building 

or under trees on warm days and near the furnace on cold d. 

Inside the sugar house space would be allocated for each ot 
the tasks involved in sugar making, milling, animal care, 
clarification of the juice, boiling the syrup, and curing am I Lng 
the finished product. In addition to any architectural constrainti 
these activities, the particular skills of the workers, and status 
derived from those skills, would be reflected by the conditions in the 
activity areas. 

Structure 

The structural organization of the plantation includes 
domestic economy and political organization. Under these categories 
the activity model is concerned with family structure, domestic 
division of labor, domestic socialization, enculturat ion , education, 
age and sex roles, domestic discipline, taxation, tribute, class 
hierarchies, police control, and war. Unfortunately industrial 
archaeology can provide little to the understanding of this level of 
social organization. What it can do is provide data that can imply 
aspects of structure. For example, archaeology can be used to locate 
items that indicate age (toys), sex of the workers at the site 



56 



(articl. clothir. . tatus of the workers (white clay tobacco 
,li[ " • <rmamenl (gun parts and flints), etc. Most 

to structure will be found at residential 
sites. Hoi . because these kinds of evidence may exist at the 
su £ a ' b e included in the study. Therefore, these 

• ization are included in the activity model. 

Supt - 

ructure is even more difficult, if not impossible, to 

This level of cultural organization 
J-nclu • ivities as belief systems, art, music, 

dance, li' , myths, aesthetic standards and 

phi ' Because sugar production and technology, 

'*t I Intosh sugarhouse, were to a certain extent 

hope to identify modifications to the 
lp us to understand the science of the era. 
sugarhouse structure, itself, any archaeological 
rts the possible relocation of space should be 
note if changes could explain alterations in the 

acti\ rojected at the inf rastructural level. 

Tim activity model predicts where certain activities 
Likely to take place and what kinds of artifacts might be 
associated with them. At the inf rastructural level the following 
ire predicted for the Mcintosh sugarhouse: 
A. Outside the sugarhouse: 



57 



1. cart unloading area, 

2. cane stacking/storage area, 

3. baggasse disposal/drying area, 

4. fuel storage/handling area, 

5. corral, 

6. several rest/eating areas for the workers. 
B. Inside the sugarhouse: 

1. milling area, 

2. animal tread and care area, 

3. clarification area, 

4. boiling area, 

5. curing area, 

6. storage area for the processed sugar and molasses. 
Within these areas any evidence of structure and superstructure 
should be noted and evaluated in terms of assigning significance to 
the site. Interpretation of the archaeological findings should also 
be based on these relationships. 



CHAPTER III 
ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE McINTOSH SUGARHOUSE 

Archaeological investigations were conducted at the John 
Houstoun Mcintosh Sugarhouse between 1 September 1981 and 30 October 
1981. The field crew was obtained through the Georgia Department of 
Labor. These workers had no previous experience with archaeology; 
however, they had a personal interest in the project and pride for 
their local historic resource. 

Field Methods 

An excavation coordinate of grid system was established in 
order to provide both horizontal and vertical control for all 
excavation units. A permanent bench mark was established at grid location 
1000R1024 (near a red cedar tree approximately 9m east-northeast of 
the northeast corner of the ruins). Elevation at the bench mark was 
determined to be 4.96m (16.3 feet) above Mean Sea Level (MSL) . 

The grid system was established on a magnetic north/south 
axis. This axis was selected not to provide consistency with the axis 
of the building, but to attempt to discourage sampling bias associated 
with the configuration of the architecture. 

The grid system is designated in the same manner other 
investigators have used for excavations on state lands and should 
simplify comparisons with other state owned archaeological and 
historic sites. The system employs two sets of numbers separated by 
the letter "R" . The first set of numbers designates the north 



59 



location of any point to be determined and the second set or "R" 
number determines the eastern location. 

Excavation units are at two by two intervals on the grid 
system (even numbers only). Tbe units are designated by the grid 
coordinate for the southwest corner of the unit. For example: 
1000R1000 is a 2x2m square east of Unit 1000R998 and north of 998R1000 
and so forth. 

In areas where the archaeological situations required it, the 
2x2m excavation units were divided into smaller lxlm squares. Each 
was designated by the coordinate number for the larger 2x2m excavation 
unit in which it was located with the addition of a letter 
designation. Thus, a lxlm square located in the southwest quadrant of 
Unit 1000R1000 would be further identified as 1000R1000A; "B" is the 
southeast lxlm, "C" the northwest and, "D" the northeast. 

In all, the equivalent of thirty-two 2x2m units were 
excavated (figure 6). They were excavated to varying depths depending 
on the archaeological situation. Depths ranged between 10 and 150cm. 
Approximately six of these units were located in the mill room 
(westernmost room), ten in the boiling room (center room), three in 
the curing room (easternmost room), four on the north porch, three on 
the south porch, six lxlm squares on the south side of the building 
and six lxlm squares in the well area (northeast side of the building) 

Generally, excavation units were removed at 10cm arbitrary 
levels. Exceptions to this include: the well area where 5cm levels 
were removed in order to provide greater control of artifacts and 



60 



enhance recording data, and in the boiling room where culturally 
determined statigraphy exceeded 10cm levels. 

All excavated materials were screened through hardware cloth 
(12.7mm or .50"). Features containing animal bone were screened 
through a 6mm mesh size. Any other areas that warranted it, either 
through the experience of their excavation or through evidence at the 
screen, were fine screened through the 6mm mesh. In one area of the 
boiling room a disturbed area with great depth and extent was split 
between screening and not screening. In this case, units not screened 
lay between areas that were screened and the speed of excavation was 
reduced to provide a thorough examination of the material removed: 
whole, partial and fragmented brick, mortar fragments, and crushed and 

broken tabby. 

Elevations were recorded using a transit and rod. These data 
provide vertical control for the excavations and the basis of the 
contour interval displayed in Figure 2. The base of excavation units 
and levels within units were also recorded in this manner. Base plans 
of all excavation units were drawn and, where appropriate, 
photographed. Drawings were made of selected features at each level 
of their excavation. Additionally, profiles were recorded for at 
least two sides of all excavation units. Differences in soils were 
established using Munsell color designations and intrinsic structure. 

Through the assistance of the Navy, a "cherry picker" was 
obtained to photograph large excavation areas. Further, the Navy Fire 
Department was most cooperative in providing equipment to wet down 



62 



excavation areas during the long dry period at the site. This reduced 
the fragility of standing profiles and aided in locating features. 

Artifact Analysis and Reporting 

All artifact materials, ecofacts, soil samples, tabby samples, 
and excavation records were taken to the Laboratory of Anthropology at 
the University of Florida. Cataloging and analysis of these materials 
are complete. Artifacts were classified in the system developed by 
Sprague (1981). His system, "A Functional Classification for 
Artifacts from 19th and 20th Century Historical Sites," lends itself 
well to the research design of this project. 

Sprague divides artifacts into the following categories: 1, 
Personal Items — clothing, footwear, indulgences (tobacco pipe, flask, 
snuff box), pocket tools, etc.; 2, Domestic Items — including 
furnishings, housewares, cleaning and maintenance, etc.; 3, 
Architecture — construction materials, hardware, plumbing, power 
utilities, heating systems, conveyances, safety (lightning rods), etc; 
4. Personal and Domestic Transportation — vehicles, maintenance 
equipment, ritual, etc.; 5, Commerce and Industry -- agriculture, 
hunting, fishing, gathering, trapping, manufacturing, etc.; 6, Group 
Services; 7, Group Ritual; 8, Unknowns. These categories work well to 
draw attention to distinctions between infrastructure, structure, and 
superstructure. They also organize the materials into groups that 
can be analyzed with respect to the activity areas. 



63 



Archaeological Data 

The archaeological findings will be reported in the following 
order. First, mill room excavation units will be discussed. The 
discussion will include the areas excavated, any special 
circumstances encountered, and artifacts located. Second, excavation 
units in the boiling room and north porch will be combined for discussion 
because they are archaeologically continuous and functionally related. 
Third, the curing room will be considered. The excavation area 
Outside the south door of that room will be addressed at the same time. 
Fourth, the excavations in and near the south porch will be reviewed. 
Fifth, the importance of the area north of the mill room will be 
reported. Sixth, and finally, the well area excavation findings will 
be discussed. 

Very few artifacts associated with the milling and boiling 
machinery were recovered. This may in part be due to the fact that 
wood, tabby, and sand mortared floors were present in most areas of the 
building. When sugar production was stopped at the building, it would 
have been easy to remove all equipment and related parts for storage, 
use elsewhere, or sale. Additionally, broken or discarded equipment 
or parts could be easily removed for repair or discard outside work 
areas . 

It should be pointed out that the majority of artifacts 
recovered at the Mcintosh sugarhouse can be attributed to public use 
of the site over the last thirty years. The analysis of this material 
has been limited to an attempt to establish current usage patterns for 



64 



aid in site management. This material will listed here. A more 
thorough commentary regarding the implications of these modern 
artifacts will be found in the final chapter of this study. 

The Milling Room 

A total of six 2x2m excavation units was opened in the 
milling room (west room). Further, four lxlm squares (or portions of 
them) were excavated adjacent to one door and two walls. These 
excavation units (figure 7) represent about 12% of the floor space. 

Depth of excavation was determined by the presence of a tabby 
floor. The floor was found in all units and ranged between 6 and 22cm 
below ground surface. In areas where smooth, uneroded and undisturbed 
tabby could be examined the floor appeared level, at approximate 
elevation 4.45m MSL. In areas where holes in the floor were 
encountered excavation continued to the base of the tabby. In 
general, the floor was only 6cm thick. Excavation units next to the 
walls revealed that the floor was added after wall construction. 

A large live-oak tree growing in the room made excavation and 
interpretation difficult. Because of its size and location, efforts 
were taken to prevent killing the tree. Its large roots followed the 
top of the tabby floor. Through physical and chemical erosion the 
roots have destroyed large areas of the floor. Acids from the roots 
combined with ground water dissolves the calcium in the tabby, leaving 
a smooth textured surface under the root. In weak areas of the floor, 
where the roots have punched through it, the root hole is smoothed-out 



65 



and difficult to distinguish from a human-made surface. This is even 
more true where the root had died and rotted away. 

Several of the smooth-sided holes were obviously not produced 
by root action and are so indicated in Figure 7 (see Burned Timber, A- 
B) . Some are particularly important. Located in Units 1004R984 and 
1006R984, they are angular and have finished edges. If the mill was 
located in this area and resting on prepared soil or wooden foundation 
it may have rested next to these edges. In support of this conclusion 
are at least two wooden beams which can be seen in the tabby floor. 
They are located in the same excavation units. Finished edges in Unit 
1000R984 are aligned with one of the beams, but no wood fragments were 
found there. The 6cm thickness of the floor would also support this 
conclusion because it would be expected that a weight-bearing floor 
for heavy iron machinery would be much thicker. 

None of the holes with finished edges could be assigned to 
architectural posts installed to support the second story floor of the 
mil] room. It was expected that some system of beams and posts was 
used to hold the upper floor. No evidence on the walls indicates that 
the floor was attached to them, with the exception of the east wall. 
In that wall there are two square holes about 3m apart and 2.28m above 
the tabby floor. They are a few centimeters higher than the door 
lentil in same wall. These holes were cut into the tabby wall after 
it was constructed and are 27cm square, large enough to hold a 10 inch 
beam. 

The only artifacts that can be attributed to the time of 



6 6 





SOFT TABBY FLOOR 



ROOT 



SUBSOIL 



HARD TABBY FLOOR 



Figure 7. The Milling Room, Plan View. 



sugarhouse construction and use are 3 whiteware plate fragments 
(2-blue shell-edged and 1-plain) and 2.786kg of cut nails. Most of 
the nails are burned and well preserved. Only 3% (by weight) could 
not be classified by size. In all, there were 692 nails asigned to 7 
lengths. The seven lengths are 5.0 cm (2"), 6.0cm (2. A"), 6.5cm 
(2.5"), 7.3cm (2.9"), 8.6cm (3.4"), 10.8cm (4.25") and 11.4cm (4.5"); 
and there were 464, 26, 162, 3.7, 1, 1 and 1 of each size, 
respectively. 

Of the other artifacts located in the mill room, most are 
modern Personal Items of Indulgence - remains of tobacco products, 
bottle glass and tops, aluminum pop-tops, unidentified plastic, etc. 
Bottle glass represents 99% of this material. The glass has a total 
weight of 13.3427kg; 50% is clear, 42% brown, 4% green, 3% light green 
and 1% multi-colored. Other Personal Items include food packages 
(potato chips bags, candy wrappers, sandwich bags, etc.), a conical 
whetstone, a "D" cell battery, a "Cricket" disposable lighter, and 
the clasp of a stick-pendant earring. 

The Boiling Room and the North Porch 

Twelve 2x2m excavation units were opened in the boiling room 
and on the north porch. Some of these were partial units because of 
the tabby room walls and others were lxlm squares; size was in 
response to the archaeology present. About 68 square meters (10% of 
the available area) were excavated in the boiling room and on the 
north porch 40 square meters were exacavated (25% of the available area) 



68 



Depth of excavation ranged between 2cm below ground level 
(the top of a tabby retaining wall in Unit 1006R1000 [4.9m MSL] and 
the tabby floor in Units 1002R992 and 1000R1000 [5.1m MSL]) and 1.72m 
(3.24m MSL) below ground level in Units 1002R1002, 1004R100 and 
1004R1002. These deep areas reached sterile soil beneath the furnace. 
The absence of large trees in the room aided in efficient excavation, 
data recovery, and recording. 

Three areas were excavated. The first area was near the west 
opening in the north wall. This opening, as stated earlier, was 
thought by some observers to be a doorway to the north porch. The 
second area was also near an opening reported to be a door, the east 
opening in the north wall. Archaeological findings in these two areas 
resulted in the decision to extend the excavation through the openings 
and on to the north porch. The third area was adjacent to the south 
wall. It was excavated to determine if the archaeological and 
architectural findings in the first two areas were duplicated in the 
southern half of the room. 

Area one . Inside the boiling room (figure 8), the 
builder ' s-trench for the north wall was identified. The base of the 
trench and the wall was 64cm (4.26m MSL) below ground surface and 
extended 30cm from the wall. The builder ' s-trench had been back 
filled. No artifacts were recovered from the fill. Although 
excavation did not continue below the wall, it was learned that the 
wall was sitting directly on sterile soil. 

Above and adjacent to the builder ' s-trench was a zone of 



69 



loose brick, brick fragments, lime mortar fragments and soil. The 
matrix of this zone was so dense that it prohibited penetration by 
large roots; in fact chemical action on the lime fragments had acted 
to cement it. It is 25cm to 30cm thick (4.76m to 4.46mMSL). The 
zone extended south from the wall 3m. At that point, the zone thinned 
and ended within an additional 50cm. At the base of this zone, 1.3m 
from the wall, five whole Savannah Gray Bricks were located. Four of 
these bricks were in situ, set flat and bound together with mortar. 
The mortar joints were parallel to or at right angles to the wall. 
Three of the four bricks had mortar on their top sides. It could not 
be determined if the brick represented a single or multiple course 
work. 

On top of the mixed brick, mortar and soil zone was another 
layer with a similar matrix. The fragments were much smaller and 
appeared, near its top, to be more crushed than broken. This could be 
the result of root action and compaction by site visitors. The layer 
is generally 10cm to 15cm thick and covered with 5cm to 10cm of 
topsoil, fine roots and leaf mold. Near the wall the layer is 
somewhat thicker. 

At the southernmost edge of the excavation a tabby floor is 
exposed at the surface. Probing revealed that the floor extended 
between the east and west doors of the room and was the cause of the 
slightly raised area seen in Figure 2. No finished edge could be 
found on the north side of the floor. Instead, a zone of tabby rubble 
extended (1.6m) from the hard tabby floor under the previous layer of 



70 



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Figure 8. The Boiling Room, Area 1, Plan View. 



small brick, mortar and soil. The tabby rubble was 20cm thick next 
to the hard floor and tapered out as it reached northward. 

Like the mill room, Area One in the boiling room contained a 
significant number (417) of cut nails. When the number and sizes are 
compared there is virtually no difference in the ratios. The 
interesting aspect about the nails in this area is their distribution 
within zones. As already mentioned, there were no artifacts 
(including nails) recovered from the builder ' s-trench. The zone within 
the situ brick, large brick fragments, and mortar contained 4% of 
the nails. The zone with smaller brick fragments and mortar had 50% 
of the nails. 

The upper layer, with the crushed material and small roots 
contained 19%, and the remaining 26% of the collection were found 
resting on the top of the tabby rubble associated with the floor. They 
were in the upper 10cm to 15cm and were consistent with the modern 
artifacts reported in the mill room. No other artifacts were recovered 
from this area that could be linked to the period of construction and 
operation at the sugarhouse. 

The porch excavation in Area One was not continuous with the 
boiling room. Below the wall opening to the porch a tabby footing was 
located 5cm (4.76m MSL) below ground surface. Excavation of the 
builder' s-trench indicated that the footing was a solid extension of 
the wall. The top was eroded and sloped down to the west and north. 

The area outside the wall was excavated to -20cm. At that 
level a badly crumbled tabby surface was encountered. This material 



72 



appeared to be the remains of a tabby floor. The bad condition of the 
floor is attributed co a large red cedar growing at the edge of the 
excavation unit. Six per cent of Unit 1006R994 was obscured by 
massive roots from the tree. These roots could not be removed without 
destroying the tabby floor. 

The floor extended northward 1.4m from the wall. There it 
was solid and slightly raised. The exposed portion of this solid 
portion paralleled the wall for 1.1m and turned back toward the wall 
for 50cm. At that point the raised area was bisected by a large 
branching root. It was not recognizeable on the other side of the 
root. Above the wall opening (figure 9) mortar scars can be observed. 
It is obvious from the position of the raised tabby "floor" and the 
scars that a brick chimney stood in that location. Therefore, the 
tabby area in the excavation was the chimney stool. 

Further excavation beyond the chimney stool revealed no ash 
or burned material. Scattered brick fragments and cut nails (76) were 
the only artifacts recovered. They were found on the chimney stool 
and beyond. No features could be located outside the chimney stool. 

Area two . This was the most interesting and most tedious 
to excavate. Inside the boiling room, depth of excavation ranged from 
10cm to 60cm (3.68m MSL) below ground surface. On the north porch the 
depth ranged from 20cm to 50cm (3.68m MSL) below ground surface. 

In the boiling room, three zones of fill material were 
encountered. The lower zone contained whole and broken brick, mortar 
and soil. The middle zone contained the same material but the brick 



73 



was more fragmentary, smaller pieces. The upper zone was comprised o r 
crushed brick and mortar with topsoil, roots and leaf mold. There 
were no large trees nearby to inhibit excavation. 

The bottom of the excavation was determined by sterile soil 
or in situ brick work (figure 10). It is clear from the positions of 
the brick work that this was the area of the boiling furnace. Soot 
stains are on bricks that lined the fire box. The bottom course of 
brick was coated with residual ash. The shape of the firebox 
indicated that fuel was loaded and ash removed from the north porch. 
Because an area adjacent to the southern extension of the excavation 
contains an uneroded portion of the central boiling room tabby floor, 
it is possible to define the base of the firebox with respect to that 
floor. The floor elevation is 5.6m MSL and the base of the firebox is 
4.46m MSL. 

One peice of annular decorated polychrome-whiteware (in figure 
11) was recovered from the boiling room portion of the Area Two 
excavation. This brown and blue fragment of a bowl or plate was 
located in the lower zone of brick and mortar rubble. 

Cut nails (669) were also recovered. The lower zone contained 
21%; the middle zone- 24%; and the upper-54%. Fragments of metal 
flashing were also recovered: 119. 8g in the bottom zone, 37. 2g in the 
middle and 9.4g in the upper zone. No other identifiable artifacts 
were recovered that could be associated with construction or 
sugarhouse activity. 

On the porch the stratigraphy was uncomplicated. The bottom 



74 




Figure 9. Chimney Mortar Scars. (Note: the rounded "doorway" is the 
wall opening that connects the boiling train flue to the chimney. It 
has been enlarged since the time of abandonment of the mill.) 



zone contained dark ash and crushed charcoal. It was 6cm thick, 
rested on sterile soil and was at the level of the furnace opening. 
The other zone was an extension of the brick and mortar rubble that 
extended out of the boiling room. This zone was covered with a layer 
of root mass, topsoil, and leaf mold. 

Three tabby retaining walls in combination with the north 
building wall (figure 12) surround a staging or service pit for the 
furnace. This service pit was used to fuel the furnace and remove 
ash. The retaining walls were constructed separately from the 
building. All of the retaining walls are 30cm (11.8") thick. The 
east wall is at least 60cm tall. Excavation did not extend to the 
base. The north and west walls are higher (at least 10cm) and taller 
(at least 15cm). It is not possible to determine their exact height 
because the tops of the walls are eroded. Together the retaining 
walls, the north building wall and the face of the furnace define a 
floor area of 7.8 square meters (84 square feet). 

Excavation here revealed that the north building wall is 
resting on a brick base. This was not the case at the Area One 
excavation. There the wall was standing on sterile soil. At the 
end of the wall next to the furnace (figure 13) there are three 
courses of brick. Beyond that point there are two courses. Because 
the north wall is unstable, further excavation to determine the length 
of the brick work was not undertaken. 

A post-mold was located near the southwest corner of the 
service pit. The post-mold indicated that the post was 13cm square 



76 




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(5.1" square). It rested next to the north building wall and extended 
62cm (24") below the building wall and 50cm (19.6") below the west 
retaining wall. It is interpreted to be associated with the 
construction of the retaining wall. 

Artifacts recovered from the service pit include cut nails, 
ceramics, bottle glass, bone, metal flashing, other metal, and wood. 
No artifacts were recovered in situ or from the ash zone. Because the 
other zone was homogeneous, artifacts from it have been grouped except 
those in the top 10cm. This distinction was made to lessen the 
possibility of mixing recent material with that from construction and 
boiling related activity. 

The upper level had 44% of the cut nails (1103) located in 
the service pit. The other zone had 520 cut nails; 31% of the total 
in the top half and in the bottom half, the remaining 24%. The metal 
flashing fragments were concentrated near the bottom of the zone. 
There were 973 (1.73kg) of these fragments. The other metal artifact 
was a flat square of iron 10x6cm. Its function could not be 
determined. 

Three ceramic artifacts (included in figure 11) were located. 
One is a rim sherd of an "iron-stone" coffee mug. The others are 
whiteware, one of which is plain and the other annular decorated 
polychrome. 

Eight sherds of olive-green bottle glass were recovered. The 
larger sherds are illustrated in Figure 14. These were located 
throughout the midden and none was next to each other. 



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The faunal material consists of 289 (116. 5g) bone fragments. 
The material was analyzed by ethno-zoologists at the Florida State 
Museum. Individuals represented in the collection were: racoon, pig, 
unidentified ungulate, and box turtle. None of the individuals showed 
signs of butchering or burning. 

The wooden artifact was a portion of a pine plank. It is 
76cm long and 1.5cm thick. No cut edges are recognizable. 

A number of whole bricks were recovered from both portions of 

Area Two. They were all Savannah Gray bricks. Thirty two portions of 

impressed fire bricks were also recovered. None of these could be 

cross-matched. However, the impressed legend could be reconstructed. 

It read as follows: 

BERRY'S 
PREM. 
FIRE - PROOF 

This is not the same as reported in a letter published by Coulter 

(1937:221). There the impressed legend is stated to be "BERRYS IMP. 

FIRE PROOF". 

Area three . As stated previously , this was excavated to 

establish any similarities or differences between the north and south 

sides of the boiling room. Before the other areas were excavated, 

it was expected that this area would contain a second boiling train. 

This expectation was based on reports in the historic records 

indicating that two trains were generally installed in a sugarhouse of 

this scale. Further, Floyd (1937:155) interpreted the boiling room to 

have two sets of boilers (one on each side of the room) served by a 



80 




Fig 
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UT . e . 12 ' Furnace Service Pit, Plan View. The three t 
aining walls can be seen. One is next to the east ta 
1 (top of photo). The north and west retaining walls 
seen in the lower one-third. Also note the throat of 



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centrally located chimney. He discouraged thoughts of locating 
chimneys on the porches because there were "no natural" openings to 
the porches through which flues could be run. 

After locating the furnace in the northeast corner of the 
room, and a chimney stool at the west end of the north porch, the 
evidence suggested that there would not be a second boiling train on 
the south side of the room. The area selected to confirm this 
conclusion was located near the center of the room for several 
reasons. First, on the north side no excavation had been undertaken 
to define the center section of the flue connecting the furnace and 
chimney. That effort had been avoided to prevent the possibility of 
weakening the north wall through exposing too much of its base. 
Second, probing had revealed that the tabby floor in the center of the 
room did not extend to the south wall. Third, and last, probing had 
indicated an isolated buried surface in that area. 

Sterile soil was encountered at 20cm (4.76m MSL) below ground 
surface. Near the center of the excavation a single course of bricks 
was located (Figure 15). These bricks were mortared and constituted a 
rectangle 1.4m X 1.05m (4.59* X 3.44'). The short sides of the 
rectangle were parallel to the south wall. The top sides of the 
bricks were covered by a thin layer of mortar. Near the edges of the 
rectangle the mortar revealed that there had been a riser or wall of 
brick on all four sides. Further, the rectangle was divided in half 
at the center of the long sides, resulting in two compartments, each 
with an internal area 50cm X 85cm. The mortar lipped up at the 



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contact with the riser. There is no evidence to suggest that the 
risers were more than one brick course high; however, the lipping would 
imply that the brick work was designed to contain a liquid. To 
support this implication 154 baked clay sherds (some are illustrated 
in figure 16) were found in association with the brick work. These 
sherds are sufficiently bulky to indicate that the container was too 
large to move far from the area. In fact they may represent a gutter 
or trough instead of a container. 

In addition to the now predictable cut nails, one other 
artifact was recovered from this area. This was a portion of a 
stoneware jug with a brown glaze. It is pictured in Figure 16. It 
was located within 10cm of ground surface and was probably not 
associated with boiling room activity. 

Most of the cut nails in this area were located directly on 
top of the sterile soil or brick work. Of the total 1211 nails, 701 
(58%) were at the base of excavation. The others were mixed 
throughout the 20cm of topsoil. 

The Curing Room: 

Three excavation units were opened to confirm the absence of a 
wooden floor in the center section of the room and to determine if a 
cellar was present in the center or side sections of the room. For 
manageability, the excavation units were continuous, two in the center 
section and one in the north. Because the north and south sections of 
the room had wooden floors installed when the walls were constructed, 



84 






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and testing was accomplished in the north section, no excavation was 
under Lakun In t lie souLli section. An additional area was excavated 
outside the south doorway. 

In the center section the base of excavation was 48cm (4.02 
MSL) below ground surface. Ranging between 12cm and 30cm below ground 
surface a hard, apparently cemented, floor was encountered. It was 
badly decomposed. This factor may explain its varying thickness. The 
base of the floor is generally level at 4.20m MSL. On top of the 
floor is a zone of well scattered brick and mortar fragments. This 
zone extends from ground surface to the hard floor. The base of the 
tabby wall that separates the center and north sections of the room 
was located at 4.36m MSL. The wall stands 1.22, (4') from base to 
top. 

Artifacts recovered in this area include cut nails and part of 
a door hinge. The hinge (figure 17) was face down on the hard floor. 
Wood fragments were still attached to it. There were 576 cut nails 
recovered. Of those, 78% were within 5cm of the floor. 

In the north section of the room sterile soil was 8cm (4.76m 
MSL) below ground surface. The 8cm zone is topsoil with modern 
materials in the upper portions. No features, including a 
builder ' s-trench, were recognizable at the base of excavation. Cut 
nails were found scattered on and slightly mixed into the top soil. 
In all, 276 nails were recovered. Additionally, 4 chicken bones 
were recoverd just under the leaf mold. 




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Outside the south door a small excavation area was opened to 
identify any features associated with the door. Excavation was 
stopped at 50cm (5.8m MSL) . At that depth the base of the south 
building wall was reached. The wall rests on sterile soil in a 
builder' s-trench. The top of the builder ' s-trench is 24cm below 
ground level (4.62m MSL) and 40cm wide. At the time the sugarhouse 
was in use this level was ground surface. This is confirmed by wheel 
ruts left by wagons parked at the door (figure 18). Seventy five cut 
nails were recovered from this excavation, 69 within the top 10cm, 5 
between 10cm and 20cm and the other nail was located at 22cm below 

ground surface. 

Three other artifacts were located that are attributable to 
sugarhouse activity. They are two fragments of a white clay pipe 
bowl and one white clay pipe stem (figure 19). They were located at 
10cm below ground surface. 

The South Porch 

Three excavation units were opened on the south porch. In 
each, sterile soil was reached 20cm below ground surface. No activity 
areas or archaeological features were located. The ever present cut 
nails were the only artifacts identified to be contemporary with the 
building. When the nails were analyzed in the other areas of the 
sugarhouse they seemed to be distributed evenly in all areas and 
concentrated by depth. On the south porch they still concentrate by 



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depth with 72% located in the top 10cm. The new factor is aerial 
distribution. The unit at the west end of the porch contains 51% of 
the collection. The unit directly east has 30% of the nails and the 
eastern most unit has the balance, 19%. 

A test trench was excavated beyond the south porch. It was 
lm X 4m with the long axis north-south. It began lm past the west 
porch wall. No activity areas or archaeological features were 
located. Sterile soil was encountered 10cm below ground surface. 
Twenty four cut nails were recovered. In the first 2m, 24 cut nails 
were found, 11 collected in the second 2m. 

The Well. 



A lm X 4m excavation trench was opened, on an east-west axis, 
across the depression near the northeast corner of the sugarhouse. 
Within 20cm below ground surface a circular dark stain was revealed. 
Because the stained area was off center from the trench, the west area 
was not excavated beyond the 20cm level. One hand painted whiteware 
sherd (in figure 11) was recoverd. It was not in situ. No cut nails 
were located. 

The east area was expanded to include all of Unit 1006R1018. 
The Unit (figure 20) was then excavated to 1.60m (3.16m MSL) below 
ground surface. Excavation was terminated when the watertable was 
reached. 

The lower portion of the excavation revealed a wood-box 



92 



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casement. It was made of planks and extended upward from the base of 
excavation 56cm at the corner. Planks were set vertically and were 
supported by an interior post at the corner. On the exterior a 
horizontal plank appeared to reinforce vertical planking. The top of 
the planking was burned. Charcoal (.12g), wood fragments, four pieces 
of planking, and one small brick fragment were also located. 
Additionally, one barrel header was located. No artifacts were 
recovered from outside the casement. 

Above the casement, in the well fill material, the following 
artifacts were recovered: 17 fragments of planking, 6 unidentified 
wood fragments, charcoal and 3 brick fragments. At 118cm below ground 
surface the top of undisturbed well fill was reached. Leaves, 4 
pieces of wooden planking, 3.3g wood charcoal, and 3 brick fragments 

were recovered. 

Between 40cm and 118cm below ground surface there was no 
perceivable change in stratigraphy. Artifacts located were: 1 piece 
of post (38.0cm long), 1 cedar stump, 1 pine cone, 51. 7g unidentified 
wood, 20.4 g charcoal, 2 brick fragments, and one piece of whiteware 
(hand-painted, blue-on-white, in figure 11). 

The excavation level between 20cm and 40cm contained a mixture 
of modern and 19th century artifacts. First, 2 whiteware sherds were 
recovered. One was plain; the other was hand-painted, blue-and-green- 
on-white. Metal artifacts included 1 cut nail, fragment of a plastic 
lined tin can and 34 (23. 8g) pieces of unidentified metal. Wood (4.1g), 






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wood charcoal (4.1g), and brick fragments were present. Also, 
modern bottle glass was found. 

In the top 20cm only two artifacts were recovered that can 
be associated with construction or sugarhouse activity. One is a cut 
nail and the other is a fragment of decorated whiteware. It is hand- 
painted, blue, green and orange on white. 

North of the Mill Room 

This area (figure 21) was excavated for two purposes. First, 
if a ramp to the second story door of the mill room existed it would 
necessarily tie down in this area. Also, examination of the ground 
surface indicated the presence of archaeological material. A test 
trench was excavated. Starting at the north wall of the mill room the 
trench extended 14m to the north. Only in the area of the wall did 
the excavation exceed 10cm in depth. 

A tabby floor was located at 10cm (4.46 MSL) below ground 
surface. The floor began at the building wall and ended 13.52m north 
of the wall. At the end was a layer of unconsolidated shell. Probing 
beyond the excavation did not locate other areas of hard tabby; only 
the unconsolidated shell. 

Next to the building wall, the builder ' s-trench was located 
and excavated. The base of the wall is 48cm (4.11m MSL) below ground 
surface. It rests on sterile soil. The builder ' s-trench is steep 
sided and 50cm (19.7") wide. From examination of the builder ' s-trench 



96 



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BRICK RUBBLE 



HARD TABBY 



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Figure 21. North of the Mill Room, Plan View. 



it could be determined that the tabby floor was put directly on the 
existing ground surface (4.51m MSL). Four cut nails were recovered 
from the builder ' s-trench. Along with them 38g of wood charcoal were 
found. 

On top of the tabby floor several locations were identified 
where brick footings for a ramp may have been located. Nearest to the 
wall (6m. or 19.5'), three whole bricks were located. They were 
mortared together and laying on their sides. Next to them is a 
finished edge on the tabby floor. It looks as if they had fallen over 
and, when upright, were fitted to the tabby edge. The second 
candidate for a ramp support is located 13.2m (43.3') from the wall. 
Here mortar scars on the tabby floor indicate that bricks had been 
attached to it (figure 22). Between these two features a mortar lip 
or ridge was exposed (7.5m or 24.6'). No brick scars were associated 
with it. 

Artifacts collected from the excavation were limited to a 
few cut nails and whiteware ceramics. The nails (51) did not extend 
more than 6m from the building and they were not evenly distributed; 
79% were within 2m of the building, 1% was in the 2m to 4m range and 
the others were between 4m and 6m out. The whiteware (in figure 13) 
came from this last area. Four fragments were recovered: two were 
blue shell-edged; one was a plain plate and had a foot; the last was 
also from a plate and was plain. 



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CHAPTER IV 

CONCLUSIONS, INTERPRETATION, AND SITE MANAGEMENT 

The intensive arhcaeological testing program at the John 
Houstoun Mcintosh Sugarhouse has provided a great deal of information 
from which the nature and significance of the site can be established. 
With this data the construction details of the building can be 
understood in the context of architecture, industrial use, and human 
behavior. The study provides insight regarding the actual operation 
of sugarhouses, and the intellectual adventure of nineteenth century 
industrialization. 

Historical archaeology has developed through the years in 
several ways. Its early concerns were frequently no more involved 
than documenting major historic buildings and monuments. From there, 
the concerns turned to more focused studies of domestic structures 
and the patterning of activities at the sites. Today, historical 
archaeology continues to address the understanding of domestic 
behavior and looks beyond this behavior to a fuller understanding of 
the lives of the involved peoples. In so doing, it is attempting to 
understand not only modes of production and reproduction, domestic and 
political organization, but the behavioral and mental processes that 
shape human development. 

Through this kind of research our understanding of human 



101 



history can be improved. We can see behind the great individuals and 
events of history to social and cultural factors that affect daily 
life. We can also make comparisons between these factors and 
responses to them through time and between different socio-cultural 
groups. Understanding human history in this way tells us how past 
peoples lived their lives, how they responded to demographic, 
technological, economic, and environmental pressures and how their 
successes and mistakes were handled. 

The Mcintosh Sugarhouse provided a look into the past at a 
time when American culture was grappling with the pressures of 
political development in a new nation, expansion into a changing world 
economy, industrial revolution through new technologies, and the 
intellectual and moral question of slavery. It is a standing example 
of individual and social response to a demo-techno-econo-environmental 
conjunction of factors and events that affected the specific situation 
in Georgia and the general situation in the southern United States 
before the Civil War. The site is significant to understanding the 
events of the nineteenth century in coastal Georgia, the state, and 
the nation. 

Archaeological Interpretation 
Because there were only a few artifacts from which to 
interpret personal and domestic activity at the sugarhouse, most of 
what can be known about the site is related to its construction and 



102 



use. Therefore, each area suggested by the activity model will be 
discussed in terms of social history and architecture. To the 
extent that the organization of infrastructure, structure and 
superstructure determine the design and operation of the sugarhouse , 
interpretation of the site will be guided by them. 

Milling Activity 

Before sugar cane can be milled it must be brought to the 
sugarhouse, unloaded, and prepared for the mill. In general, the 
months that the sugarhouse would have operated are the wet months on 
the Georgia coast. This being the case, it would have been likely 
that efforts would have been taken to minimize soil erosion from 
heavily loaded carts or wagons. Given the abundance of shell in the 
region for making tabby, it would not be unreasonable to construct a 
tabby floor on which to park and unload the carts. The tabby pavement 
north of the mill room could have served this function. If the cane 
arrived at the mill at a rate greater than the rate the mill could 
process it, the paved area could have been used to store the incoming 
cane. In so doing, the cane would stay cleaner, and fewer impurities 
such as sand would end up in the cane juice. 

Where the cane was taken into the building is not known. If 
the assumption is correct that the cane was stored on the north 
pavement before processing, it would be likely that the cane would be 
carried through the north mill room door or passed through one of the 



103 



two large north windows. Logisticaily, getting the cane to the mill 
had to be efficient and not interfere with other activity. 

Remembering that the only exterior access to the second story 
of the mill room was also from the north side of the building, it 
would have been necessary to keep that access clear. A ramp to that 
door would have presented a substantial architectural barrier to 
activity in the area. Next to the wall the ramp would have to be 
2.13 m high to reach the door. Archaeological evidence indicates that 
the ramp was about 13.2m long, giving the ramp a slope of 15 degrees. 

Burning baggasse to fuel the boiling train was standard 
practice by the nineteenth century. Therefore, it seems probable that 
the baggasse was removed from the north side of the mill room. 
Bringing it out this side would provide the shortest path to the 
furnace. 

Therefore, three activities may have been associated with the 
paved area north of the mill room. First, unloading the cane as it 
comes in from the fields; second, moving animals up to and back down 
from the second floor; and third, removing the baggasse to the 
furnace. If all of these activities occurred on the pavement, it is 
probable that the cane was passed into the mill room through a 
window toward the west side of the area. The architectural barrier of 
the ramp would define the eastern limit of that activity. On the east 
side of the ramp, the baggasse could have been passed out the other 
window or through the doorway. 



104 



It should be pointed out that the cane could have entered the 
mill room through the south door and windows or through the west 
windows. The scope of the present research did not permit excavation 
in all of these areas. Future archaeological investigations at the 
site should consider methods to answer this question. 

Archaeology in the mill room located a thin tabby floor at 
ground level. Because of root damage to the floor it was not possible 
to define the size and placement of the mill or structural supports 
for the second story floor. The thickness of the floor would suggest 
that it was not intended to bear weight. Its function is thought to 
have been to aid in keeping the room free of soil and dust that might 
contaminate the cane juice. Additionally, working on a paved level 
floor would have advantages over a dirt floor. 

Certain finished edges in the tabby floor may represent 
footings for the mill. Without extensive excavation in the mill room 
this can not be confirmed. To undertake such excavation would require 
removal of the large oak tree in a manner that would not damage the 
building or the archaeology. 

Boiling Activity 

The construction of the boiling room and its attendant 
facilities is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Mcintosh 
sugarhouse. Not only does it provide direct evidence of the boiling 
operation, it presents a unique opportunity to understand the 
experimental nature of sugar manufacturing in the 1820s and 1830s. 



105 



The archaeology tells us that one set of boiling kettles was placed 
along the north wall of the room. The train was most likely sitting 
in a flue made from Savannah gray brick and flashed around the 
kettles or pans with thin iron sheet metal. The flue extends between 
the furnace (in the northeast corner of the room) and the chimney 
(located in the southwest corner of the north porch) . 

The furnace was also constructed from Savannah brick and 
lined with "Berry's" fire brick. It opened onto the north porch where 
a service pit was constructed to load the fire box and remove spent 
fuel. This service area was defined by two tabby retaining walls and 
two building walls. The area is not a cistern as suggested by Floyd. 

Openings were created in the north wall of the boiling room 
to service the furnace and connect the flue with the chimney. In 
order to accommodate the openings, the north wall was constructed 
differently from all other walls in the building except the south wall 
of the same room. In the lower portion of these two walls, wooden 
forms, both vertical and horizontal, were left in place when the tabby 
for the walls was poured (figure 23). This resulted in the creation 
of individual tabby blocks that could be removed from the walls. 

This special wall construction suggests two related 
interpretations for the setup of the boiling room. First, that the 
construction of the boiling and curing rooms preceded final plans for 
the configuration of the furnace, boiling train and chimney; and 
second, that the output of the mill or size of the crop had not been 



106 



established at the time the building was begun. If output turned out 
to be greater than what could be accommodated by one boiling train, 
another could be added with a simple modification to the building. 
Also, if the crop grew well and the sugar market remained strong or 
improved, Mcintosh could expand his cane fields and process the 
additional cane without the need to build a second sugarhouse or 
undertake substantial construction to enlarge the current building. 

The practicality of the special wall construction can be 
understood when one considers the difficulty involved in altering a 
solid tabby wall. The consistency of the sugarhouse tabby is not 
substantially different from that of modern reinforced concrete. To 
make a new opening in one of the walls would require considerable 
effort with a sledge, and could threaten the structural stability of 
the wall by fracturing the surrounding tabby. Unfortunately, since 
the sugarhouse was abandoned, water has soaked into the wood-lined 
joints and weakened the tabby. It is expected that the north wall of 
the boiling room will require rehabilitation if the wall is to be 
preserved. 

The actual purpose of the brick work on the south side of the 
boiling room can not be determined. It is thought that it may be the 
base of a clarification vat. It could be associated with the starch 
manufacturing reported during the time Hallowes owned and operated the 
sugarhouse. It is not anticipated that further archaeology in the 
boiling room will answer the question of function of the brick work. 



108 



Curing Activi ty 

The archaeological investigation of the curing room suggests 
that the room was little more than a warehouse for the curing and 
finished sugar. The raised areas at the north and south ends of the 
room served as storage, while the lower center area was probably used 
to drain off any molasses that remained after crystallization. The 
low center section of the room may have aided in getting the cane syrup 
from the boiling train, but no evidence for this was found. 

Because the finished sugar was hauled to St. Marys for 
shipping, it is suspected that the height of the floor in the north 
and south ends of the curing room was established to ease the loading 
of the sugar into wagons. The excavation outside the south door 
confirmed that wagons had been parked at the door. 

General Comments 

From the results of the intensive archaeological testing and 
detailed examination of the ruins, the nature of the Mcintosh 
sugarhouse can be characterized. A two room building was constructed 
from tabby. The walls were set in a builder ' s-trench below ground 
level. No footings were placed under the walls; they rested on 
sterile soil. 

The tabby walls of the two room structure were poured into a 
continuous form. In the west room, the north and south walls were 
constructed with wooden joints that defined blocks of tabby that could 
be removed to create openings for two furnaces and two chimney flues. 

109 



The east room was divided into three sections, two raised areas at the 
north and south ends of the room and a lowered central area. The 
central area was separated from the other areas by two tabby footings 
that supported a wooden floor over the end sections. These wood floors 
were installed as the tabby walls were poured. Slots are present where 
floor beams and joists fit into the building and footing walls. 

After the two room building was completed, a third room was 
added to the west side. This third room was added to house the sugar 
mill and is the only two story room at the sugarhouse. The floor for 
the second story was not installed as the tabby walls were poured. 
This deviation (the separate construction of the room and the lack of 
wall-fitted second story floor beams and joists) in the construction 
pattern suggests that Mcintosh began building the sugarhouse before he 
had purchased or received his iron horizontal roller mill. It is 
conceivable that the room may have been constructed around the mill. 
The bases of all building walls excavated ranged between 4.11m MSL and 
4.62m MSL, a total difference of just .51m (1.67'). 

To finished building walls several modifications were made. 
First, two holes were cut in the east wall of the mill room to provide 
partial support for the second story floor. Second, a hole was made 
in the north wall of the boiling room to provide a service opening for 
the furnace. When this opening was installed and the service pit 
excavated, several courses of brick were placed under the wall to 
stabilize its base. Also, the tabby retaining wall on the east side 



110 



of the service pit was probably added to the base of the adjacent 
building wall. Two other retaining walls were added to finish the 
service pit. The third major modification to the building involved 
making another opening in the north building wall of the boiling room. 
This opening was necessary to lead the chimney flue through the wall 
to the chimney. 

Tabby floors were added to the mill and boiling rooms. The 
floor in the mill room was relatively thin and probably not designed 
to support the weight of the milling machine. The tabby floor between 
the east and west doors of the boiling room was probably installed to 
tend the boiling train. It did not extend south to the brick vat. 
There was what appeared to be a sand and mortar floor in the center 
area of the curing room. 

Outside the sugarhouse a wood lined box well was dug near the 
north east corner of the building. It was excavated to the level of 
the present water table. At that depth no artifacts were located that 
might have fallen into the well when it was in use. 

Excavation indicated that it was unlikely that the south porch 
was used during the time the sugarhouse was in operation. This is in 
stark contrast to the activity that occurred on the north porch. 

All indications are that the sugarhouse was gutted at the time 
of its abandonment. No artifacts were located that can be identified 
with milling machinery or the boiling equipment. The large quantity 
of well-preserved cut nails suggests that the wooden elements of the 



1 1 1 



building burned after the equipment and brick work were salvaged. 
Further, the wooden elements of the well may have burned at the same 
time the wood in the sugarhouse burned. After that the well was 
filled through erosion and dumping. 

Site Significance 

The John Houstoun Mcintosh Sugarhouse and Archaeological Area 
provides significant insight into southern history just before the 
Civil War. Tt is important, not only for the information represented 
by the architecture and archaeology, but because it can be seen and 
understood by site visitors who have a minimal background in history 
and anthropology. The site visitor can learn about sugar making, the 
role sugar played in nineteenth century plantation economy, the nature 
of an evolving technology, and the intellectual endeavor of planning 
and executing the construction of a building that could be quickly and 
efficiently altered with changing needs. 

The Mcintosh sugarhouse is also important because it stands 
for a much larger enterprise. It is one attempt to cope with 
demographic, technological, economic and environmental pressures 
acting throughout the Southern United States. Therefore, the site 
significance can be understood at a local level of interpretation, at 
the state level and to anyone attempting to understand the South 
before abolition. This last level of significance is the most 
important because it extends beyond the general issue of slavery to a 



112 



partial understanding of the fundamental socio-cultural problems 
leading to the Civil War. 

Site Visitor Plan 

Visitors to the Mcintosh Sugarhouse site should find their 
visit interesting and informative at several levels. First, they 
should be able to experience the historic ambience presented by the 
ruined tabby walls and surrounding natural areas. Secondly, the 
visitor should be provided sufficient information to tour the ruins 
and understand the historic background of the site. Thirdly, park 
personnel should make available guided tours that offer specialized 
instruction regarding the ecological situation at the site, the 
history of plantation economy, the technology of sugar manufacturing, 
the activity areas at the site, and the factors involved in abandoning 
large scale sugar production in the Georgia Coastal area. 

Given the character of the site it is not recommended that 
large interpretive exhibits be constructed at the sugarhouse. 
Instead, small signs or exhibits that have a minimal intrusive impact 
should be employed if any such interpretative devices are installed on 
site. Ideally a brochure with a site map and interpretive narrative 
could be developed for visitor use. Even though a brochure might 
provide a litter problem at the site, the benefits derived by 
maintaining the ruins in a natural state may outweigh the cost of 
regular clean-up at the site. 



113 



Tours of the site, either self-guided or with a guide 
provided by the park, should begin at the area north of the mill room. 
If a new path is constructed to bring the visitors from the new 
parking lot through the woods, signs could be spaced along the trail 
that describe the ecological setting of the sugarhouse. Also, 
descriptions of cane planting, tending, and harvesting could be used 
to begin the interpretation of the sugarhouse. 

At the area north of the mill room general background 
information regarding John Houstoun Mcintosh's involvement in sugar 
production should be brought to the attention of the site visitor. A 
brief discussion of the technology involved in sugar manufacturing, as 
well as the activites associated with bringing the cane in from the 
fields should occur. 

From this area, site visitors would proceed into the mill 
room. Interpretation of the mill room should include a discussion 
about milling technology and the shift from animal to steam powered 
mills. From that discussion the slotted windows and second story door 
can be explained. Then, while the visitor's attention is focused on 
the tabby walls, a description of tabby construction could occur, 
pointing out the nature of the tabby, the form type building, and the 
fact that the mill room was constructed separately from the rest of 
the building. 

When the visitor moves from the mill room to the boiling 
room, discussion of tabby construction should continue by noting 



114 



specialized treatment of the north and south walls of that room. Then 
a detailed description of the boiling room activity should be 
presented. An effort should be made to relate the north porch 
activity areas (service pit and chimney) with those of the boiling 
room (furnace and boiling pans) . Also a discussion of the reported 
patent Mcintosh received for clarifying the cane juice would be 
appropriate to the interpretation of this room. 

The curing room can be discussed briefly, pointing out the 
two areas where wood floors had been installed at the time the tabby 
walls were constructed. While pointing out the loading dock doors the 
guide can remind the visitor of the factors involved in plantation 
economy . 

Once the visitor moves back out of the ruins, a summary of 
the demographic, technological, economic and environmental 
relationships of the site, plantation, and market could conclude the 
interpretation of the ruins. Also, the location of the well, lack 
of evidence for use of the south porch, etc., could be presented as 
part of the summary. 

Management Recommendations 
Management recommendations that can be made for the Mcintosh 
sugarhouse fall into two classes. They are the deterioration of the 
ruins and archaeological integrity of the site through natural 
processes and the destruction of the ruins and archaeology by site 



115 



visitors. 

With regard to natural actions the following recommendations 
are made: 

1. Removal of all trees and other plants growing on top 
of the walls. This should reduce destruction of the 
tabby by root action and plant related chemical 
erosion. Once the plants are removed, any effort to 
cap the walls should be accomplished only after the 
capping material has been matched to the structural 
properties of the tabby. 

2. Removal of all trees and shrubs inside and near the 
ruins. Beyond the potential for these trees falling 
and destroying the walls, root action has created 
severe damage to the archaeological component of the 
site. When the trees and shrubs are removed, they 
should be cut near the ground with the stumps and 
root systems allowed to decay naturally. A licensed 
forester should be consulted to select the trees 

for removal and the best methods for their 
actual removal. 

3. Measured drawings of the ruins should be completed at 
the earliest possible convenience. These drawings 
should be accomplished to document the ruins as they 
exist today and to document further deterioration of 
tabby (see appendix). 



116 



4. Careful monitoring of the lower portions of the north 
and south walls in the boiling room should determine 
the general stability of these eroding walls. If the 
erosion must be repaired, it is suggested that any 
repairs be textured to resemble the tabby, but not to 
the extent that the repair not be recognizable as a 
modern addition to the ruins. 

5. Any effort to patch or cap the tabby walls should 
only occur if the chemical properties of the original 
tabby can be matched. A professional in building 
restoration should be consulted before any such activity 
proceeds. 

For disturbances that result from site visitors, these 
recommendations are made: 

1. Restrict motorized vehicles from the general area of 
the ruins. In the past, vehicles have inadvertently 
damaged the walls and archaeology at the site. 

2. Close the site at sunset. Studies have shown that 
major vandalization of historic ruins occurs at 
night. 

3. Prohibit climbing on the ruins. 

4. Construct wooden stairs or ramps over the door sills 
to reduce erosion from continued stepping and standing 
on them. Construction of such devices should be 



117 



designed to provide as litcle visual impact as 
possible. 

5. Move the picnic tables away from the ruins and provide 
adequate trash containers to keep site litter to a 
minimum. 

6. Request cooperation between local, state and Navy law 
enforcement officials to monitor activity at the site. 

The Mcintosh sugarhouse is a most important cultural resource 
that can be appreciated and enjoyed by site visitors from around the 
nation. At the time archaeological testing was conducted, the 
archaeological component of the site was in remarkably good condition. 
It is hoped that the ruins and archaeology at the site continue to 
exist in their present, or improved, condition for future visitors and 
researchers alike. 



118 



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Clark, John W. 

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1956 The people of Puerto Rico, a study in social anthropology. 
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121 



Stubbs, William C. 

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1978 Sugar and the underdevelopment of Northeastern Brazil, 
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1830 Camden County, microfilm. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

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of Georgia, College of Agriculture, Agricultural 
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Wagley, Charles 

1971 An introduction to Brazil. New York: Columbia University 
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Wharton, Charles H. 

1977 The natural environments of Georgia. Atlanta: Georgia 
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Wol f, Eric R. 

1982 Europe and the people without history. Berkeley and Los 
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122 



APPENDIX 



Measured Drawings with Recommendations for Stabilization 
of the John Mcintosh Tabby Sugar Mill ^ 



Lee Meyer 
Architect 



Brad T. Smith 
Project Director 



Photography and Graphics 
Michael Day 

Graphics 
Tia Jones 



1984 



Smith, Brad T. , Lee Meyer, Michael Day, and Tia Jones 
1985 Project Manual for John Mcintosh Tabby Sugar Mill Ruin. 
Camden County Recreation & Parks Department, Camden County, Ga 
and Lee Meyer Associates, Savannah, Ga. 

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