Barrett Farm, MA Projects  

Colonel James Barrett was the commander of the Concord area militia on the eve of the American Revolution, and Barrett's farm became the focus of the British military in mid-April, 1775. A column of soldiers left Boston on April 18th, determined to seize arms and munitions stockpiled in various places in Concord, including the Barrett Farm. The British failed to locate Colonel Barrett or the weapons. Along the way, the soldiers became involved in the battles of Lexington and Concord, the opening skirmishes of the American Revolution. Barrett Farm is now the focus of a major restoration project by Save Our Heritage, a Concord-based non-profit organization. Part of the restoration includes archaeological excavations conducted by the Fiske Center, the results of which will help to interpret the historical development of the house lot and contribute to the restoration.

The most significant results of the 2007 excavations are the discovery of buried cobble pavings around the house. Many of these paving sit on top of artificially raised ground surfaces and a buried A horizon dating to the late 18th century almost a meter below the modern ground surface, indicating that in Col. Barrett's time that landscape around the house would have looked quite different. In raising the ground surface and setting the paving, the late 18th-century and early 19th-century Barretts participated in a campaign of "rural improvement" that affected households across Massachusetts.

We also discovered and tested a mid-19th century primary ceramic trash deposit containing at least 49 ceramic vessels, most dating from the 1820s to the 1850s, and probably associated with a period of transition between two different Barrett households. There are also substantial early 20th-century sheet middens associated with McGrath households who owned the property from 1905 to 2005.

Barrett Farm Technical Report (13.5 MB)

Cell E


Cobble Paving