“Do you dig Grover Cleveland? Doing History Through Archeology” is the topic of the keynote address next week at the Memorial Association’s Annual Conference.
The conference will take place at the , on Saturday, March 10, at 9:30 a.m. The conference is open to the public; a donation of $20 covers the events and luncheon, which will include Mrs. Cleveland's famous coffee cake.
Proceeds will support the conversion of the carriage house into a visitor center for the more than 6,000 visitors who tour the Caldwell site annually. Advance registration via email@example.com is appreciated, but not required.
James Lee, of Hunter Research, New Jersey's leading cultural resource research firm, will present and discuss the process of surveying the grounds of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace and the findings he and his team dug from their ground sample trenches.
“Although I see myself as the hands on field director, the research is guided and often shaped by the historical records we turn up before the shovels and sonar beams hit the ground,” stated Lee in a release.
The Birthplace dig will help identify where outbuildings once stood, including the footprints of an earlier carriage house, a well, and perhaps barns. It will also help reveal where the gardens once were. The research will enable the Friends Organization and the state to interpret the site and aid in the restoration of the carriage house.
Lee's address will be followed by lunch and docent-led tours of the birthplace, a state-owned historic site.
Local Boy Scout Alex Rosa from Troop 6, West Caldwell/Caldwell will be awarded the rare Archeology Merit Badge at the conference opening for his work on the dig. Troop 6 will provide the color guard for the ceremony.
Chris Bannon, the site's photographer, will supplement the talk with images taken during the process. For the first time, the artifacts recovered and some of the equipment used will be displayed to the public.
The Grover Cleveland Birthplace is a New Jersey State Historic Site managed by the Division of Parks and Forestry on the Dept. of Environment. The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association is New Jersey's oldest friends organization, formed in 1913 to preserve the birthplace.
Both the New Jersey Historic Trust and the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association financed the visitor's center project through matching grants.