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The Plantation: Geophysical Characterization of a Possible Homestead, 2001

 Item — Small Collection Box: 5, Envelope: 1
Identifier: Series-210

Scope and Contents

Photocopy of a report written for the Colorado Historical Society and Jefferson County Open Space in 2001 by geophysics team members Holly Hindle, Simon Payne, Angie Southcott and Amy Walker to help in understanding the remains of a possible homestead site on Open Space property near Centennial Cone. (25 pp.)


  • 2001


Conditions Governing Access

Archives collection material is non-circulating, requires staff retrieval and is available for use by appointment in the reading room.


0.10 Cubic Feet (1 Volume in small collection envelope/box)

Language of Materials



From the introduction (edited): Jefferson County Open Space recently purchased land at the edge of Gilpin County, a small section of which holds evidence that the area may have been the site of an old homestead. The site contains several structures that are visible above ground. The most prominent structure appears to be an old fireplace. On the west side of the fireplace is a small enclosed structure made entirely of rock slabs. About 20 meters away, on the other side of the fireplace is a three-sided barn that has partially collapsed. Northeast of this barn, approximately 30 meters away, is what looks like an old corral. This corral has four sides, was constructed from logs and has barbed wire surrounding it. The site also contains a range of smaller features; one of particular interest is a small u-shaped stone structure approximately 1.5 meters in length and width located to the east of the barn.

Meg Van Ness, archaeologist for the Colorado Historical Society, requested the help of a geophysics team to explain the site. The fireplace is not an ordinary fireplace: it is approximately 3 meters tall and is facing a depression in the ground. The structure that is made of rock slabs is too small to have been lived in. There is no obvious evidence that people lived on the site even though there are obvious structures on the surface. Van Ness hoped to find a trash pit because from this she would have information that would help ascertain who had built the structures. She also hoped to find any other structures that are not visible above ground, such as a privy.

There is no evidence of a trash pit on the site. The location of the fireplace is troubling because it faces a depression in the ground. The site, known as "The Plantation", is a homestead from the mid-1800s located near Centennial Cone in the Ralston Buttes quad. The site is rumoured to have been settled by slaves.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Found in the Archives with no documentation other than a sticky note stamped "Received Dec. 9, 2003, Archives and Records Management." No transfer memo or deed of gift found.


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Jefferson County Archives Repository

3500 Illinois Street
Suite 2350
Golden CO 80401 United States