In 2009, crews from the Public Archaeology Facility (PAF) conducted archaeological investigations on the campus of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The excavations produced materials from the early to mid-19th century, which were associated with a gatehouse on the Bech Estate. The area with these cultural deposits was designated as the Rosenlund Gatehouse historic archaeological site. The Bech Estate, also named Rosenlund, was a vast rural estate built by industrialist Edward Bech during the mid-19th century. Marist College continues to use most of the estate's buildings. Additional archaeological investigations were authorized in 2010 to determine the site's eligibility for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The goal this site evaluation process was to obtain a better sample of artifacts so that associations of people and artifacts could be made, and to determine what could be learned archaeologically about the unwritten history of people who lived in the estate's gatehouse. The additional testing recovered artifacts from the mid to late 19th century, but many of the artifacts dated to an earlier occupation of the site. The recovered artifacts provide information on a late 18th early 19th century farmstead occupied by the Van Anden household that existed prior to the establishment of the Bech Estate. During the final phase of excavation, PAF archaeologists conducted data recovery and analysis of the materials excavated. They were able to use the archaeological data to study the socio-economics of Poughkeepsie and the Lower Hudson Valley during a period of massive change, that of America during its early formation.
With this web report, you can browse the results of PAF's excavations and research on the Rosenlund Gatehouse historic archaeological site. The information presented here tells the story of daily life on the early Van Anden farmstead and the later Bech Estate. The results of the study also show how the people who lived on the site fit into a larger social and economic context by seeing what the produced on their farms and household,s and what they consumed.