In the summer of 2016, Friends of Greenfield Preston Plantation (FGPP) contracted Hurt and Proffitt (based in Lynchburg) to excavate and recover artifacts from the William Preston homeplace at Greenfield Plantation.
To complete the dig in a short period of time before commercial development of the hill, over 150 people volunteered more than 1,200 hours to assist a small Hurt and Proffitt team with the work.
This massive effort yielded over 12,000 artifacts, with origins spanning from the 1750s, through the Civil War period, and extending to the late 1800s.
Among the most meaningful artifacts include dishware and chamber pot fragments, buttons and cuff links, firearm parts, ammunition, animal bone fragments, and even a piece of medical equipment (a blood-letting tool).
All of these items, considered individually and collectively, provide evidence of everyday life at Greenfield from Colonial times through the Civil War and beyond.
For a comprehensive project, including excavation, conservation and cataloguing, dating and analysis, and report writing, the project’s cost will total $54,000.
Through generous contributions from individuals and community organizations, as well as various preservation grants, FGPP has raised and paid Hurt and Proffitt $32,600.
To date, a great deal of work has been done. Many artifacts have been cleaned, catalogued, and characterized. However, we still need $16,400 to complete artifact processing and comprehensive analysis of the collection.
A final report, to be funded with a portion of this amount, will reveal a story of life at Greenfield during the formative years of Botetourt County and the entire country.
FGPP is now asking for donations to pay for the balance of this project, which will paint a priceless historical picture, never fully understood before.
FGPP is a registered non-profit organization. Checks should be made payable to Friends of Greenfield Preston Plantation and may be mailed to FGPP, c/o Judy Morris, P.O. Box 273, Fincastle, 24090.