Where the Past Is Present and the Arts Are Alive

Fredericksburg Unearthed: The Ellis-Bell Archeological Site


April 8 – October 14, 2013
Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, Document Gallery

The Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center will be hosting a series of exhibitions to display some of the exciting artifacts unearthed this past year at two very different archeological sites within the Fredericksburg city limits. The first of these exhibitions, Fredericksburg Unearthed: The Ellis-Bell Archeological Site, opened on April 8 and features artifacts from the construction site located on William and Winchester streets.

Last November and February, the local arts, archeological, and academic communities were all thrilled to learn of the early 19th century stoneware being unearthed at the construction site, indicating the possible presence of a rare pre-Civil War urban stoneware kiln. Although no intact pieces from the kiln are known to exist, local potter and founder of LibertyTown Arts Studio, Dan Finnegan, created full replicas based on the sherds found at the site which are on display in the exhibition, along with many of the original artifacts. In addition to the stoneware, the exhibition explores the site as a reflection of the Fredericksburg economy over the past 200 years. From a potter’s kiln to a pickle factory, and from a “mom and pop” hardware store to upscale condominiums, each layer of history at the site parallels the evolution of the local economy.

Come take a look at what was found, and watch out for our next Fredericksburg Unearthed archeology exhibition, dealing with the Princess Anne Street courthouse site, sometime in 2014.