A well discovered near the former site of Fort Dayton in Herkimer has become a golden opportunity for history buffs to try their hands at real-life archaeology.
A corps of 40 volunteers, including CVA Spanish teacher Diana Pett and CVA senior Dakotah Dunham and his father Scott Dunham, have been excavating the well’s contents and then screening the remaining dirt. The efforts have uncovered artifacts spanning the last four centuries.
Abandoned pits and wells have long been used to dispose of garbage and unwanted items. Artifacts from each layer represent another era in American history.
Fort Dayton once stood at the Historic Four Corners and served as one of a series of forts along the Mohawk River during the Revolutionary War. It is best remembered at the site where General Nicholas Herkimer organized 900 members of the Tryon County Militia to help defend Fort Stanwix in Rome. Herkimer was mortally wounded and died 13 days later.