The Lincoln Home Master Plan calls for the re-creation of the historic scene, circa 1860, at the intersection of Eighth and Jackson Streets (National Park Service 1970:31) (Figure 1). This re-creation would encompass the Lincoln Home and the adjacent corner properties. Changes would include the reconstruction of three houses and three barns, and the relocation of the Corneau House.
As early as 1975, planning was underway to reposition the Corneau House (HS-2) from its present location adjacent to the Abraham Lincoln home to its original site on Lot 16, Block 6 of the Elijah Iles Subdivision. These plans include the reconstruction of the Corneau barn and privy, the fence surrounding the property, and other features of the cultural landscape.
About the same time, a discussion began concerning the probability of intact subsurface structural remains surviving at the original position of the Corneau House (Calabrese 1976). Most of the debate centered on the existence of the basement of a later house and the extent of damage that may have occurred to deposits associated with the Corneau House.
A 1977 magnetometer survey of the lot recorded several magnetic anomalies on the property (Weymouth 1978). By synthesizing information from Sanborn insurance maps and the results of the magnetometer survey, Weymouth produced a final map displaying the possible relationships of the structures to the recorded anomalies (Figure 2). This final map suggested the possibility of intact remains of the Corneau House. Unfortunately, no excavations were conducted in follow-up to the magnetometer survey to confirm or reject the interpretation of the survey. From 1978 to 1995 the status of the Corneau House remained unchanged.
In anticipation of the relocation of the Corneau House, a crew from the Midwest Archeological Center conducted exploratory excavations between August 29 and September 1, 1995, in an attempt to determine the original locations of the Corneau House and Barn. The artifact collection and associated records that resulted from this project (accession MWAC-631 and LIHO-205) were returned to Lincoln Home National Historic Site after analysis was completed at the Center. A list of recovered materials is presented in Appendix A.
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