Texas Historical Commission
Between July 2016 and February 2018, archeologists from AmaTerra Environmental, Inc. (AmaTerra) conducted two phases of an intensive survey at Stinson Municipal Airport in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Specific dates of field survey were July 18–22, 2016 (Phase 1 of survey), December 11–13, 2017 (Phase 2 of survey, geophysical investigation), and January 15, 2018–February 1, 2018 (Phase 2 of survey). The Area of Potential Effect (APE) includes approximately 30 acres of proposed land redevelopments and 500 linear meters of proposed storm sewer outfalls. The archeological survey was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 7711. In addition, archeologists monitored geotechnical cores and sign installations within archeologically-sensitive portions of the airport on July 14, 2017, January 21–22, 2019, April 30, 2019, and May 1, 2019. All of the monitored excavations were devoid of archeological materials.
Archeological survey investigations consisted of pedestrian survey, geophysical remote sensing (ground penetrating radar and magnetic gradiometer), and the mechanical excavation of 52 trenches throughout the APE. Field archeologists observed landscape modifications associated with the various uses of the property since the early twentieth century. One site (41BX789, the Paupers’ Cemetery) was revisited and expanded and one mid-twentieth century site was newly-documented (41BX2221). The Paupers’ Cemetery was established in the 1920s as a component of the San Jose Burial Park. Archeologists observed wood and bone fragments within the southeast corner of the Land Prep property that are likely associated with the Paupers’ Cemetery. Using surrounding negative Gradall trenches, the Principal Investigator defined an avoidance zone where additional unmarked burials are most likely to be located. This avoidance zone is the proposed expanded boundary of Site 41BX789. As a result of the current archeological survey, investigators did identify scant physical remains attributed to 41BX789. Because survey was intended solely to establish the site’s most likely boundary while physically impacting the site itself as little as possible, more detailed excavations (not conducted under this permit) would be required to formally determine National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and/or State Antiquities Landmark (SAL) eligibility. Accordingly, the Principal Investigator recommends 41BX789’s NRHP/SAL eligibility is “unknown.” AmaTerra recommends that construction within 41BX789’s expanded boundary should be avoided whenever possible or closely coordinated with reviewers at the San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation and Texas Historical Commission if avoidance is impossible. Site 41BX2221 is associated with the military use of Stinson between the 1930s and 1960s. Due to a lack of intact preservation coupled with abundant disturbance, AmaTerra recommends that Site 41BX2221 is not eligible for listing as a State Antiquities Landmark or Historic Property.
Based on the results of AmaTerra’s field investigations and the City of San Antonio’s commitment to bypass the avoidance zone of Site 41BX789, the Principal Investigator concludes that construction for the Land Prep and storm sewer outfall project components is unlikely to impact significant intact archeological deposits and should proceed with no further cultural resource coordination. In addition, archeological monitors conclude that geotechnical coring and sign installation did not impact significant archeological deposits and no further work is warranted No artifacts were collected during this survey. All records and photographs generated during archeological investigations will be permanently curated at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory.
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