Texas Historical Commission
Oncor Electric Delivery Company, LLC (Oncor) and Brazos Electric Power Cooperative propose to construct a new, singlecircuit 138 kilovolt (kV) transmission line (Project) between the existing Oncor Cogdell substation located in Scurry County, approximately 15 miles northeast of Snyder, Texas, east of Farm-to-Market (FM) 1231, and the existing Brazos Electric Clairemont substation located in Kent County, approximately seven miles northwest of Clairemont, Texas. The proposed transmission line would be constructed with one circuit of 138 kV transmission line supported by double circuit 138 kV steel or concrete monopole structures within a 70-foot (ft) right-of-way (ROW). AECOM Technical Services, Inc. (AECOM) conducted a 100 percent pedestrian archaeological survey of the Project ROW for the portion of the Project from the Cogdell substation to the Project midpoint, which covers approximately 14.4 miles (including various potential reroutes). The survey was conducted from October 8 to 13, 2019, requiring 156 person hours in the field. The investigations reported herein were conducted in accordance with Oncor’s Generic Research Design for Archaeological Surveys of Oncor Electric Delivery Electric Transmission Line Projects in Texas (PBS&J 2008).
The survey resulted in the identification and recording of a historic windmill and cistern site (41SC76), two prehistoric lithic scatters (41KT176 and 41KT177), and nine isolated finds (IFs 1 through 9). In addition, two flakes from one previously recorded site (41KT107) were found within the Project ROW. Based upon poor integrity contexts of these sites, the lack of any known associations with significant historic events and/or persons, and because the sites are not likely to yield information important to prehistory or history, each of these sites and the IFs are recommended as not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Furthermore, these sites do not merit designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs).
A single historic-age ranch complex was identified 240 feet north of the Project ROW. The ranch complex with associated agricultural outbuildings was built ca. 1930. The complex contains one single-family domestic dwelling and five outbuildings of various sizes. The resource retains some aspects of integrity, but they are unremarkable examples of a common dwelling and outbuildings. The resources do not convey association with significant historical events or a significant pattern of development. The buildings do not appear to be associated with significant persons in history and lack architectural design merit. Furthermore, the resources are not likely to yield information important to history or prehistory of the area. Therefore, the ranch complex and associated outbuildings are recommended as not eligible for listing in the NRHP.
A geomorphological evaluation of the project area revealed that the Project ROW does not exhibit the pedologic and geomorphic conditions necessary for the deep burial and preservation of cultural deposits. Therefore, no geoarchaeological monitoring of transmission pole emplacement is recommended. Based on the results of the survey, the development, construction, and operation of the proposed Project should have No Effect on historic properties or SALs. It is recommended that construction can proceed without further cultural resources investigations. However, should the dimensions of the Project change, additional investigations may be required. If any unmarked prehistoric or historic human remains or burials are encountered at any point, the area of the remains is considered a cemetery under current Texas law and is protected. Section 28.03(f) of the Texas Penal Code provides that intentional damage or destruction inflicted on a human burial site is a state jail felony. If a cemetery is identified in the Project ROW, all work in the area of the discovery must cease and the THC must be notified by contacting the History Programs Division at (512) 463-5853 and the Archeology Division at (512) 463-6096. Following consultation with the THC, a treatment or avoidance plan would be developed and implemented.
No artifacts were collected during the survey. All correspondence, field records, and photographs generated during field investigations will be prepared for permanent curation at Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL), Austin, Texas.
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