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UK ARCHAEOLOGIST LOCATES 17TH CENTURY MERCHANT'S HOUSE, PLANS EXCAVATION WITH STUDENTS

By Dan Adkins

 

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Linebaugh said the structure was built about 1680 and was destroyed in the early 1700s. Artifacts recovered from the fill within the cellar date from 1730 to 1740. The house was owned by Robert Bolling until his death in 1709, and then by his son Drury until his death in 1726.

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March 8, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) University of Kentucky archaeologist Donald W. Linebaugh has located the original 17th century dwelling house of merchant-trader Robert Bolling in Hopewell, Va. Linebaugh and six UK College of Architecture graduate students in the college's historic preservation program will excavate the site for artifacts during the week of March 11 through March 16. The site is on the Kippax Plantation at 999 Bland Ave., Hopewell, Va. During the 20th century, the property was the dairy farm of the late Stephen and Mary Mikuska Heretick.

Linebaugh said Bolling was married to Jane Rolfe, the granddaughter of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Bolling imported trade goods from England and other parts of Europe and sold them to traders who traded for furs with Native Americans living further inland.

Linebaugh, director of the UK Program for Archaeological Research in the College of Arts and Sciences and assistant professor of anthropology, has been working at the Kippax site since 1981. During his tenure at the College of William and Mary from 1988 to 1997, students and volunteers from the community assisted the excavations.

Since 1997, he has continued his work with help from students and staff at UK. The work has identified a number of plantation buildings, fence lines and features that date from the late 1600s to mid-1800s, as well as evidence of early Native American occupation of the property.

Last spring, Linebaugh and several students identified several large structural post holes with late 17th century artifacts. The post holes were tied to a small brick-lined cellar that had been excavated in the early 1980s and appeared to be part of a large post-in-ground dwelling.

Linebaugh said the structure was built about 1680 and was destroyed in the early 1700s. Artifacts recovered from the fill within the cellar date from 1730 to 1740. The house was owned by Robert Bolling until his death in 1709, and then by his son Drury until his death in 1726. Drury's widow lived in the house until it became the property of Theodorick Bland through his marriage to Drury Bolling's daughter Frances.

A.R. Bolling Jr., sixth great-grandson of Robert Bolling (1646-1709), said, "The Bolling Family Association is delighted that Dr. Linebaugh has accomplished so very much in his search for historical data at the site of Robert Bolling's first home in America. We look forward to his continuing work at this important site."

Linebaugh said the Bolling Family Association plans to visit the excavation site Friday afternoon (March 15).


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