Bayly House Slave Cabin research project

submitted to dorchester banner/Dorchester Tourism Julie Schablitsky, at left, explained to Bob Moffatt and Amanda Fenstermaker the work that her archaeological team plans to do at the Bayly cabin.

submitted to dorchester banner/Dorchester Tourism
Julie Schablitsky, at left, explained to Bob Moffatt and Amanda Fenstermaker the work that her archaeological team plans to do at the Bayly cabin.

CAMBRIDGE — Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area (HCCHA) staff are working with the owner of the Bayly House Slave Cabin on High Street in Cambridge on preservation and restoration opportunities.

Dorchester County Tourism Director Amanda Fenstermaker and HCCHA Manager Julie Gilberto-Brady met with Matthew Daw, from Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, earlier last month to examine and evaluate the structure (pictured above) and determine the feasibility of a preservation project.

Preservation Maryland recently awarded a grant for stabilization of the structure, and plans are in place to document the history of the structure, which is on property owned by Catherine Morrison. It is believed that her main house was floated across the Choptank River to Cambridge around 1750. The Bayly family purchased the property around 1830.

The Maryland Department of Transportation plans to send an archaeological team to Cambridge in September to conduct an extensive site study at the historic Bayly house property at 207 High St.

Heritage Area staff met in June with Julie Schablitsky, chief archaeologist/ assistant division chief of the State Highway Administration, Environmental Planning Division. They explored the cabin behind the main house, walked through the site noting all the property lines and discussed the evidence that could confirm whether the structure definitely was used as a slave cabin.

The archaeological work will include ground penetrating radar to determine whether there is anything that should be excavated, as well as dendrochronology to analyze tree rings in the buildings’ beams to better date the house and cabin. The state highway department is interested in the site because it is on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.

Editor’s note: Photo and article taken from Dorchester Tourism website.

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