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Archaeological Investigations of the Proposed Convention Center and City Hall Project Area in Downtown Bastrop, Bastrop County, Texas
Center for Archaeological Research
In April of 2008, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) carried out an intensive archaeological pedestrian survey and standing historic resources assessment of the proposed Bastrop Convention Center and City Hall project area for the City of Bastrop, Office of the City Manager. Since the proposed project will impact land owned by the City of Bastrop, a political subdivision of the State of Texas, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Antiquities Code of Texas administered by the Texas Historical Commission.
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the presence and location of any archaeological deposits or standing historic resources by means of reconnaissance walk-over survey, systematic shovel testing, and backhoe trenching within four city blocks of Bastrop’s Downtown Historic District. Concentrated investigative efforts revealed the presence of historic archaeological site 41BP837 and a historic railway depot structure, 41BP839, in the western portion of the project area, adjacent to the railroad. The presence of an historic residential structure was also ascertained on Block 69 in the eastern section of the project area. The CAR recommended that neither 41BP837 nor the historic residential structure on Block 69 are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). However, the CAR recommended the historic depot, 41BP839, as eligible for the NRHP.
The Texas Historical Commission (THC), upon review of this report, concluded that due to substantive modification, the historic railway depot, 41BP839, is not eligible for the NRHP. Furthermore, the THC recommended additional in depth archival research for both Blocks 53 and 69 to determine the exact date of origins of structures shown on the Koch 1887 bird’s eye map. Because this research ascertained that both blocks contained structures dating prior to 1880, the THC recommended that additional testing at the locations of these structures on Blocks 53 and 69 is warranted.
Archaeological survey of the project area was performed under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4867 under contract with the City of Bastrop, Office of the City Manager. Cynthia M. Munoz served as Principal Investigator, with Jon J. Dowling serving as Project Archaeologist. All artifacts and records generated during this field endeavor are curated at the Center for Archaeological Research according to Texas Historical Commission guidelines.
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