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University of St. Thomas(UST)
3800 Montrose
Houston TX TX 77006-4626
Room 009, Building 22, Doherty Library
Main No.: (713) 522-7911

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Third Thursday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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Email: lindagorski@cs.com Phone: 713-557-1496

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TAS YOUTH GROUP TO WORK AT THE 1850's TAIT HOUSE

Doug Boyd

When the spring TAS newsletter came out recently, it included information on the 2014 summer field school. But at the time the article was written, we had not yet made a decision on where the Youth Group would be excavating. But now we know! The Youth Group will be doing historical archeology this year, digging around a pre-Civil War plantation house that is nestled in the heart of Columbus. The Tait House is at 526 Wallace Street, four blocks south of the Colorado County Courthouse. The house was built by Charles William Tait (1815-1878), who owned and ran a large plantation in the area.

The house is an amazing piece of history, and it has been in the Tait family since it was built in 1856-1858. It is currently the residence of Ed and Rita Jackson, and they have done an amazing job caring for the house and many historical documents relating to the Tait family history. Rita Tait-Jackson is a direct lineal descendant of Charles William Tait, and she is very excited about us conducting archeological investigations at her place.  

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Tait House, Columbus, Texas

On several past weekends in March and April, folks from the Houston Archeological Society and Brazosport Archeological Society have been to the Tait House doing preliminary investigations to prepare for field school. They have completed some basic site mapping grid layouts, and most importantly, they have done lots of metal detecting that has identified concentrations of historic artifacts almost everywhere around the house. Our excavations will certainly focus some effort on many of the really hot spots. In addition, Rita has also provided us with old photographs and we found a 1928 Sanborn map that shows the locations of several old structures that are now long gone. So we will be targeting these areas for investigation as well.

Not only will there be ample historical artifacts to be found, we hope to find some architectural features to help the Tait family find out what these former structures were. Throw in lots of shade and tours of the magnificent Tait House, and its shaping up to be another great year for the TAS youth!

Many thanks to all the folks who have helped out at the Tait house recently, and especially to HAS president Linda Gorski for organizing everything, to Tiffany Osburn for doing our GPR surveys, and to Tom Williams for compiling all the mapping data for the site.

So help us spread the word....there is no doubt that the Youth Group will have the best DIGS (in so many ways) at 2014 Field School! Please email me (Doug Boyd) at dboyd@paiarch.com if you have any questions.

For more information about the TAS 2014 Field School go to the 2014 Field School section at the TAS Website.