J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Archeology at Boston’s Oldest House, 31 Jan.

The South Boston Historical Society and the Friends of the South Boston Library are hosting a talk at the end of the month called “Digging Up the Dot: The Archaeology of the Oldest House in Boston.”

Ellen Berkland, archeologist with the city’s Department of Conservation and Recreation, will discuss recent work near the James Blake House in Dorchester.

That house is the oldest structure in modern Boston, built about 1661. However, it’s been at its present location only since 1895, when the Dorchester Historical Society moved it about 1,200 feet to preserve it. The Blake House is also Berkland’s home.

The Dorchester Historical Society has a webpage on archeological work at the site. Here’s an article from 2007 on the preservation of the Blake House, and additional information from the Dorchester Atheneum. The photograph above, showing the house in 1930 with a fence that no longer stands, comes from the Boston Public Library’s Flickr collection. Finally, here’s a conversation with Berkland.

So now we’re prepared for her talk at the South Boston Library, 646 East Broadway, starting at 6:30 P.M. on Monday, 31 January. Admission is free, and there will even be refreshments.

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