West Virginia is a really nice state with nice people and a peaceful environment that everyone can enjoy. However, it is not the calm environment that is going to be discussed here because what this article will is discuss something that is far from calming. In fact, it is something very exciting and marks a great achievement in the history of the state itself. The thing that will be discussed here is the historical archaeological site of Reed Farmstead. A place that is filled with stories and artefacts that remind you of a life that leads back the 19th century, it is one of the most popular archaeological sites in all of United States. A lot of people visit here on regular basis to get an insight into one of the most interesting stories of life in the whole area. With a mix of old family stories based around household items and a whole collection of items from the Civil War times, it is a place that everyone must visit at least once. Several excavation projects have been carried out in this area over the period of time and a huge treasure of tools and other artefacts have been discovered here. With so much importance being given to the place and the fact that it is considered a protected site, it is important that we know more about it.
With the site being built as early as the start of the 19th century, the data that has been collected from this place indicates that the first owner of this place was a man named William Reed. His family built this farmstead around that time and in the year 1807 he married a woman named Hannah Musgrove, with whom he spent around 40 years on this farm. According to the data found here, it is indicated that there were six children to the couple who were named Isaac, Sarah, Thomas, William, Elizabeth and David Reed. The family lived there for a long time but in the later years, half of the children left and when William died in 1948, only his daughter Sarah and his son William were still living at the farm. During his life, William was also able to increase the area he owned around the farm to 500 acres. A full inventory of the household items was only shortly available when the house was being partitioned and a tract of 58 acres was created which was given to Daniel Link and Sarah (believed to be Reed’s daughter). All the children had already left the state and settled elsewhere and even the Links sold the property in 1854, two years after acquiring it to Andrew Garrett and his wife Fannie.
The Garrett family was not to have the custody of the farm for too long because Andrew Garrett died only three years after buying the farmstead in the year 1857. In his will, he left the house to his wife and there is some description of the household items too in it. Since the land was a tract right in the middle of the original area of the Reed farm, it was not long before problems started between the two families. The relatives of Andrew Garrett stayed at the farmstead for about three decades after his death, after which they sold the estate to James M. Warden due to a chancery case between the two families.
The research done on the farmstead is quite extensive and the backbone of that research is a two phase archaeological excavation that was done in specific parts of the farm. With careful planning, areas were marked and soon the results of the efforts started showing as the excavators started discovering items like household good, documentation, tax papers and a lot more. It is through these excavations that the history of the place itself was developed and constructed properly. The result of these efforts has been really great and the excavation has resulted in the unearthing of nearly 900 unique artefacts that belong to early 19th century. With advanced technology and a fully dedicated archaeology lab serving the site, it has been possible to properly process and catalogue all the priceless items that have been discovered here. This processing will also be a very important tool for archaeologists when it comes to understanding the function of this site and the accurate history behind its owners and events that may have taken place here.
The Reed Farmstead is an amazing archaeological site that is definitely worth exploring.