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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

Upshur County has applied for a Texas Community Development Block Grant (TxCDBG) Small Towns Environment Program through the Texas Department of Agriculture – Office of Rural Affairs to construct additional new waterline service. This is on behalf of the Union Grove Water Supply Corporation (WSC) to provide first-time water service to 24 households east of the City of Union Grove and northwest to the community of West Mountain in the southeast portion of Upshur County. The TxCDBG is administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the funding is provided by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The project is subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Also, the proposed utilities improvement project will be constructed by Union Grove WSC on land owned and/or controlled by the Texas Department of Transportation and Upshur County. Accordingly, this project also comes under the purview of the Antiquities Code of Texas, as amended, and its implementing regulations. An Antiquities Permit was needed for the completion of this archaeological survey and the preparation of the report of findings.

Upshur County requested an archaeological survey for the Union Grove WSC Waterline project through Tejas Archaeology. The proposed project consists of installing 28,700 ft. (5.44 miles) of waterline in a 30 ft. construction right of way to depths of 3 ft. or less below the surface. The new waterline will tie into existing waterlines of the Union Grove WSC. The proposed waterlines are to be installed in Upshur County road and TxDOT right of ways.

The archaeological survey of the Union Grove WSC Waterline project was conducted with a combination of visual examination of the project area, a pedestrian walk-over, and through shovel testing, along with where possible the examination of any exposed surfaces or cut banks. Shovel testing intensity followed the Texas Historic Commission’s guidelines for shovel test intervals. The archaeological survey investigations completed by Tejas Archaeology consisted of a pedestrian survey, accompanied by the excavation of 117 shovel tests, in the 5.44 mile long by 30 ft. wide construction right of way, which comprises around 19.6 acres. Approximately 5.97 shovel tests were excavated per acre of proposed waterline right of way.

One new prehistoric archaeological site (41UR346, the Moody Creek site), was identified and recorded in the project right of way; it is suspected that the site extends well outside the right of way. The shallow depth of the archaeological deposits at the Moody Creek site, as well as the low density of recovered artifacts—consisting of only four pieces of lithic debris—combined with previous disturbances along the existing

North White Oak Road right of way indicate that the site does not have any potential to contribute to research problems proposed in the Texas Historical Commission’s Eastern Planning Region document (see Kenmotsu and Perttula 1993). It does not warrant designation as a State Archeological Landmark. The portion of the Moody Creek site within the proposed Union Grove Water Supply Corporation utilities right of way does not meet any of the four National Register of Historic Places criteria (36 CFR Part 60.4a-d), nor do its deposits possess archaeological integrity. It t is our determination that this portion of the site is not eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

Based on the results of the pedestrian archaeological survey and intensive shovel testing of the proposed Union Grove Water Supply Corporation Utilities project area, there is the absence of any archaeological sites in the project area that are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places or warrant designation as a State Archeological Landmark (SAL). Taken together with the extent of past disturbances in the project area, it is our recommendation that the proposed project will not have an effect on any sites worthy of designation as an SAL or eligible for inclusion in the NRHP. Consequently, the proposed Union Grove Water Supply Corporation project should be allowed to proceed without further consultation under the Antiquities Code of Texas and the National Historic Preservation Act and their implementing regulations.

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