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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

Georgetown Independent School District (GISD) has proposed the Willrae Tract project where school facilities will be constructed south of Florence, Williamson County, Texas. GISD retained Terracon Consultants, Inc. to conduct a systematic, intensive pedestrian survey of the approximate 100-acre project area. Because GISD, a political subdivision of the State of Texas, sponsored the project, the proposed undertaking is subject to compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas and oversight from the Texas Historical Commission. In addition, the survey meets the standards for compliance under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, should a US Army Corps of Engineers permit be required for the project. The cultural resources survey was carried out under Texas Antiquities Permit Number 8232, issued to Ann M. Scott, PhD, RPA, Principal Investigator. Fieldwork was carried out by Project Archeologist Caitlin Gulihur, MA, and Jacob Hooge, MA, under the supervision of Dr. Scott. Records from the project will be curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University.

The 100-acre project area was considered the Area of Potential Effect (APE). Survey of the APE consisted of systematic pedestrian coverage, including discretionary shovel tests. The work was carried out on December 20-21, 2017. Forty-four shovel tests were excavated in areas that had less than 30 percent ground visibility or placed in areas previously undisturbed. Cultural materials were observed in two shovel tests. As a result of the survey, two historic-age sites were recorded, 41WM1386 and 41WM1387. Site 41WM1386 consisted of historic-age features, including a well/cistern and a concrete foundation; artifacts included glass fragments, ceramics, bricks, metal flatware and tool, and metal scrap. The majority of the artifacts appear to date from mid-20th century, with some dating from early-20th century. Little potential for buried deposits was noted when the site was recorded. Site 41WM1387 consisted of historic-age features, including a collapsed chimney and a well/cistern; artifacts included glass fragments, metal scrap, metal cans, and ceramic sherds. Artifacts appear to date from the early- to mid-20th century. Limited potential for significant buried deposits was noted when the site was recorded. Neither site appears to maintain integrity and substantive research value. Deed and historic research did not substantially link the sites to significant events or individuals. Neither site is recommended as eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL).

Given the absence of eligible historic properties within the APE, it is Terracon’s recommendation that the proposed project be allowed to proceed as currently designed. In the unlikely event that human remains or previously undocumented archeological features are discovered during construction, construction should cease in the vicinity of the remains and Terracon, the Texas Historical Commission’s Archeology Division, or other proper authorities should be contacted.

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