Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The Turner House (PEM.49) is an early 19th-century house in Pembroke, standing on land owned by the town. In order to assist the town’s Historical Commission in developing long term management plans for the property, the Fiske Center conducted a shovel test pit (STP) survey of the areas around the house. We excavated 50 x 50 cm STPs at 33 locations, two of which were expanded into larger excavation areas. Most of these test pits confirmed that use of the property in the late 20th and early 21st centuries had completely disturbed the historic deposits in most areas. In some locations, the historic deposits were probably removed when the topsoil was sold. The areas south and east of the house contained no intact deposits; the area north of the house had only isolated areas of possible preservation. West of the house, however, we found a buried mid-19th-century ground surface in four excavation areas at ca. 60 cm below the modern surface. This contained a small collection of sheet refuse, including ceramics from the second third of the 19th century. One excavation area was expanded to explore large field stones that may still be in place as part of a wall or foundation. No intact Native deposits were found, although the STPs did uncover a projectile point, 44 flakes, and 107 pieces of shatter (many likely not cultural), primarily in modern layers disturbed by the late 20th-century landscaping activities. Historic fieldstone walls also survive and were mapped. The project also included documentary research to establish the chain of title for the property and to transcribe probate documents for John Turner Sr., and John Turner Jr., the late 18th and early 19th-century owners of the land.