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  1. #1
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,689
    48 times

    FLORISSANT, Mo 1789 Church gives up the relics

    FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) -- Archaeologists have uncovered coins, dishes, bullets, Indian jewelry and other remains of an 18th-century Catholic church rectory in suburban St. Louis, said to be one of the oldest in the Midwest.

    The remains were discovered recently below a half-foot of dirt at a Florissant park, the result of a three-year excavation project of the area surrounding the former St. Ferdinand Catholic Church.

    The 18th-century church's remains were found at Spanish Land Grant Park in Florissant, a suburb of St. Louis which the French settled in the 1760s.

    "This is very significant," said Joe Harl, vice president of the Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis, a privately owned center involved in the dig. "This is the first time anyone has intensely studied an area surrounding a church in the St. Louis area."

    The city of Florissant sponsored the archaeological dig as part of the Lewis and Clark celebration. The $50,000 project, financed with public and private funds, is scheduled to end Oct. 1. Six archaeologists helped uncover about 10,000 items at the park, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

    "This means a lot for the city," said Gretchen Crank, head of a committee of Florissant residents helping to oversee the project. "We are now finding facts instead of hearsay."

    The artifacts likely will be stored at the Museum Support Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia and eventually be available for public display in Florissant and possibly throughout Missouri, Harl said.

    Built in 1789, St. Ferdinand was one of the first churches in the area. Historians said French settlers used the log church until 1821, when they built the nearby St. Ferdinand Shrine. After the shrine was built, the old log church was used for rental property or was occupied by priests until it burned in 1836, officials said.

    Archaeologists have had difficulty locating remains of the church. They have found impressions in the dirt from three posts belonging to the church, Harl said. The rectory, or priest residence, was built about the same time as the church.

    The recovered remains include fish bones and fragments from plates, cups, bowls, pipes, wine bottles, bullets, silver coins, Indian jewelry items and coffins.

    "The kinds of things they have been finding there are consistent with that time period," said Vergil Noble, archaeologist for National Park Services in Lincoln, Neb., and a French colonial settlement expert. "For anything of this era to survive in an urban setting is certainly unusual. Certainly, any physical remains would be quite important for improving our understanding of the settlement of St. Louis."

    One 18th-century French plate was one foot in diameter, and has to be glued together by archaeologists. It contained green arches.

    "There were a lot of different serving dishes found," said Mayor Robert Lowery, whose administration has been a backer of the project. "They are able to discover a lot about the types of foods that were served. There were a lot of soups and broths. ... We are able to now know a lot about our city. This is of great historical value."

    ------

    http://www.belleville.com/mld/bellev...s/15573582.htm
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2
    us
    Jan 2006
    Missouri
    Ace 250
    973
    7 times

    Re: FLORISSANT, Mo 1789 Church gives up the relics

    Good grief! I work in Florissant!

    How cool! Gonna have to check that out.

    thanks, gypsy!

    HH
    Nan

  3. #3
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,689
    48 times

    Re: FLORISSANT, Mo 1789 Church gives up the relics

    Great ! Take some pictures !
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  4. #4
    us
    Jan 2006
    Missouri
    Ace 250
    973
    7 times

    Re: FLORISSANT, Mo 1789 Church gives up the relics

    Well, duh! Me, that is, not you.

    I did find the spot on Google Earth - right down the street from where I work, no less... St Ferdinand, aka Graham Rd, aka Hanley (this is St Louis, where every "big" street has at least 2 names, more likely 3... goofy town, anyway).

    I'll try and get up there early tomorrow and at least take some pictures. Maybe even talk with someone and find out more.

    I'm so glad you posted it!

    HH
    Nan

    Actually, I printed out the article and shared it with the boss; she was tickled to see it and told me where all the activity was. She's lived there for decades, and her shop is in a Victorian home saved from demolition by the local historic society (that house is why the freeway "jogs" right there). Anyway, there's not much historic stuff going on in that town that she doesn't know something about!




  5. #5
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,689
    48 times

    Re: FLORISSANT, Mo 1789 Church gives up the relics

    She sounds like the friend to have. Make sure she tells you where all the great sites to hunt are,including her yard. Thats really cool that you are right there.Cant wait to see the pics!
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  6. #6
    mchamby

    Re: FLORISSANT, Mo 1789 Church gives up the relics

    Very nice article gypsy glad you posted it.
    Mchamby

  7. #7
    us
    Jan 2006
    Missouri
    Ace 250
    973
    7 times

    Re: FLORISSANT, Mo 1789 Church gives up the relics

    I haven't forgotten, but found that they're pretty much only there on weekends, the rest of the time it's all covered up. Didn't get there before work today, wound up staying late at work (ohhh, the folks that show up 5 min before closing, then stay for 45 minutes!)

    Anyway, I'm planning on heading up there tomorrow morning and just - seeing what can be seen, I guess.

    HH
    Nan
    p.s.
    They're only doing a small corner of the property, not the center - where Google Earth appears to show original location of one or two buildings.



  8. #8

    May 2005
    669
    26 times

    Re: FLORISSANT, Mo 1789 Church gives up the relics

    I'm not surprised. Don't know if people who live in Florissant can detect there, but they don't allow people not from Florissant to be in their city parks for any reason. They have a sign saying be prepared to show ID as proof of residency. I'm guessing the archaeologists could've got that law passed? HH, George (MN)

 

 

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