Texas Historical Commission
Under TAC Permit 4347 Hicks & Company undertook archival research and National Register eligibility archeological testing of a historic limestone well (Site 41WM1157) in the US 79 right-of-way in Williamson County, Texas under Texas Antiquities Permit Number 4347. The project was sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), for regulatory and management purposes under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Antiquities Code of Texas (13 TAC 26). Archival research was conducted in order to establish the history of ownership and land use for the property. Research revealed that the well was likely built during the 1870s by Carl Engstrand, a Swedish immigrant closely affiliated with the Palm Valley community. Testing involved mechanical excavation around the well to a depth of 2.74 meters (9 ft.) below ground surface in order to expose it and document its construction technique. Then the well was truncated and archeologists excavated the fill by hand to a depth of 3.84 meters (12.5 ft) below ground surface, screening and saving all artifacts. The remaining two meters (6 ft), unreachable by hand investigations due to the constricting interior of the well, were excavated mechanically. The artifacts from the well represent unstratified mid-twentieth century farm household debris. Neither the well nor the artifacts within the well are considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or for listing as a State Archeological Landmark (SAL). A representative sample of the diagnostic artifacts and all project related records and photographs will be curated at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL).
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