New sign coming for Memorial Field about artifacts found

Posted 7/24/19

A third commemorative sign will be joining the two that now stand at the entrance to Memorial Athletic Field in Port Townsend.

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New sign coming for Memorial Field about artifacts found

Posted

A third commemorative sign will be joining the two that now stand at the entrance to Memorial Athletic Field in Port Townsend.

After artifacts including a human bone were dug up by crews installing new lights at the field, Jefferson County has agreed to work with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to install a commemorative and educational sign at the field, said David Brownell, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

“Right now we are waiting for the archeologists at Equinox Research and Consulting International to complete their report on the artifact analysis,” Brownell said. “Once we have that, there will be a sign that will have educational facts about the village, history, archeology and what we found there.”

Memorial Field, and much of downtown Port Townsend, was once the village of qatay, where members of the S’Klallam tribe, such as Chief Chetzemoka, fished and lived.

So far during screening, a host of artifacts were found including a human foot bone, ceramics, mammal and fish bones, glass, metals and some pre-contact items such as lithics, or stone tools, that are likely Native American, Brownell said.

Since Memorial Field was built in the 1940s, a plaque was placed outside to commemorate Jefferson County veterans in World War I and World War II. It wasn’t until the Chetzemoka Trail opened on June 29 that any signage at the field indicated the history of Native Americans at the site.

The creation of the new sign, which will be bigger than the Chetzemoka Trail sign, is part of the county’s mitigation for digging up the artifacts.

“I think it’s a good idea and we support it,” said Eric Kuzma, assistant director at Public Works.

The mitigation plan also included the screening of the artifacts and the creation of a management plan to outline how future projects can avoid accidentally disturbing Native American artifacts.

A portion of the cost of the sign will be partially covered by a state Recreation and Conservation Office grant the county received for the lighting project and the following archeological screening process. That should cover about 45% of the cost, Kuzma said. The rest will be paid for by county funds.

The archeological report is likely to be completed by late August, Brownell said, and he thinks the sign could be up by this fall.

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Marge Samuelson

Just out of curiosity what is the large round object in the photo in this article? No where in the article does it say what this artifact is.

Is it Native American?

Sunday, July 28
Justeks Hale

Face, lip and fillet (mouldings) of muzzle band on cannon bore.

Sunday, July 28
Marge Samuelson

Thanks for the clarification. The photo of the sign at the entrance of Memorial Field taken at a peculiar angle. Rather misleading.

Sunday, July 28