Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Discoveries at the Castro Adobe-August 2010

Karen Hildenbrand, State Parks Archaeologist, has been working with volunteers on the cocina (historic kitchen) at the Castro Adobe. They have been attempting to locate the original footprint of the bracero (masonry range) in the cocina. She is also interested in the details of construction of the earthen floor in the room.

In the 1960s, the cocina was paved over with concrete in order for use as a formal garage. In early August 2010, the concrete was removed and the top of the earthen floor was exposed. It was here that Hildebrand exposed the stone perimeter foundation and the layers of the earthen floor. See Photo #1 (overall site) and Photo #2 (stone foundation).
She also appears to have found the location of the bracero which was built directly on the smooth earthen floor. In Photo #3, Karen points to the location of the bracero adjacent to the north wall. It was approximately 6-feet long and the width has yet to be determined. This is important because now these measurements and locational data can be used to reconstruct the bracero for interpretive purposes.

Hildenbrand also found two other important historic features in the room. Trenches were dug along the south wall of the cocina which exposed holes for square posts. The use of these posts are not clear, although it most likely relates to the cocina being used early on to board horses. The posts may have supported a storage area for the hay or some other equine use.

The other feature is a trash pit relating possibly to wagon storage and definitely to repair of early automobiles. In the trash pit, volunteers found two metal steps for a carriage, car repair debris, old newspapers and oil along with wood and various other discarded objects. Photo #4 shows the trash pit.

Work continues at the cocina so stay tuned for another update!