outreach & education
Several interviews with past residents also made a personal connection to some of the excavated objects. For example, interviews with Edna Farmer, who had lived in a rowhouse as a young girl, yielded details about life in the 1920s and 1930s along Wernwag Street. From their excavations, the archeologists also uncovered information about the types of materials used in the original construction of the Wernwag streetscape (sidewalk, curbing, gutter, and road surface). From the richness of the information contained in both the oral histories and the archeological record, new appreciation for this residential community was gained. As a result, highlighting the rowhouse area was recommended, even though the domestic ruins were subtle in comparison to the island's spectacular industrial ruins.
Among the other recommendations made was a proposal to investigate other
archeological sites on the island. As a result, archeologists examined
two sites that were related directly to phase one implementation of the
historic circulation. The plan recommended locating and reestablishing
the roads that had once led to the sawmill and the machine shop, both
of which were destroyed in the 1870 flood. Previous attempts to find remnants
of these structures had been unsuccessful due to the unanticipated depth
of the required excavations. Archeologists finally located both building
foundations under more than ten feet of soil.
The historic roads were then laid out in those areas.
During this very active period of archeological investigation (1992-1994),
park rangers led interpretive tours and posted temporary informational
signs (waysides) related to the excavations of Wernwag Street, the rowhouses,
the machine shop and sawmill sites. This period also coincided with the
park's 50th anniversary celebration (1994), when the park experienced
more than normal levels of publicity and increases in the number of visitors.