Patterson Park may be quite tranquil now, but in September 1814 (when it was known as Hempstead Hill), the park hosted “thousands of militia men” as they prepared to defend Baltimore against a British land invasion in the War of 1812.
Baltimore Heritage has begun a month-long archaeological dig at Patterson Park at what they believe were the north and south ends of the War of 1812 entrenchment. (The headquarters were probably somewhere between the pagoda and the Friends of Patterson Park building.)
The excavation, which began Wednesday, has so far unearthed “bricks, mortar, glass, nails, shards of pottery, and a gunflint.” And no doubt countless cigarette butts and dog bones. In addition to artifacts from the war itself, the archaeologists hope to find evidence of Laudenslager’s butcher’s shop, from which Butcher’s Hill got its name.
The open house for the excavation was Saturday, but they’ll continue to dig until May 15. So there’s still plenty of time to show up to the park dressed like Indiana Jones and shouting, “This belongs in a museum!”
For more information visit Baltimore Heritage’s We Dig Hempstead Hill webpage.
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