We are proud to announce that the historical marker memorializing Ft. Hatch and the brave men who were stationed there was unveiled on Thursday, February 15, 2018. The marker was co-sponsored by the Cowford Archaeological Research Society and the Jacksonville Historical Society. This marker was almost 5 years in the making, from the test excavation by Cowford Archaeology personnel in the Summer of 2013 to the recent dedication. The idea of the marker was first proposed at One Spark in 2015 and was met with great enthusiasm by all who stopped by our booth to listen.
The placement of the marker brings history out of the classroom and into the real world. We're not done here though. We plan to excavate more of the site to define and document the important activity area.
Long range plans for our group involve locating and documenting the other eight defensive forts built by the Union army around the early city of Jacksonville and placing a similar marker at each site. This is the goal of the Jacksonville Wall Project. Jacksonville was an important port town even 150 years ago and details of its historical significance deserve recognition so future generations will be aware of our roots. Read the Florida Times-Union article about the marker dedication here.
The Cowford Archaeological Research Society is a Jacksonville, Florida based non-profit, tax-exempt (501(c)(3)) group founded by professional archaeologists and concerned citizens to investigate and preserve archaeological and historical properties. All members have a mutual interest in learning about and preserving our non-renewable cultural resources. Membership is open to volunteers with similar interests. We will strive to provide a productive and educational environment for our community's youth to make an impact and perhaps introduce them to a new life changing passion.
The mission of the Cowford Archaeological Society is to advance knowledge of the history & prehistory of northeast Florida through systematic exploration of our non-renewable cultural resources. The ultimate goal is to understand the roles of the individual sites in the larger picture of the area’s (pre)history. This will be completed through field & laboratory research, dissemination of the results to the public and ultimately, preservation of the resources. Our Code of Ethics ensures that our fieldwork and research will be completed to the highest professional standards.
With every modern ground disturbing activity, the potential exists to partially or completely destroy buried cultural material. Cowford intends to decrease potential damage to important sites by investigating them further. Our preferred targeted project areas will be those on private property with little known or under-researched cultural resources containing presumed significant cultural value. Additionally, areas we pursue for research may not necessarily be slated for development but may have been at least partially impacted by past development. Many long-overlooked or forgotten dwellings, activity areas and even forts are located in areas that might not ordinarily be considered by a for-profit company, such as urban lots that are scheduled for demolition or reconstruction where the ground has already been disturbed. The information we gain will be shared with the landowners and become part of the public record.
North Florida is rich in its historical heritage and sharing the findings will help develop a greater appreciation for the background and growth of the area. Funding for our projects will come from the generosity of private or corporate donors and state grants earmarked for historic research.