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Henry Bibb Project

Bibb dig yields trove of artifacts

History Center plans October events
to clean items found

Staff Report

BEDFORD, Ky. (October 2005) – A project to uncover archaeological clues to the life and times of Henry Bibb in Trimble County continues in October as part of a grant-funded program conducted through the Oldham County History Center.

Henry Bibb Dig

Photo by Nancy Theiss

Above, volunteers remove artifacts from
the underground during the Aug. 27
Henry Bibb dig in Bedford, Ky.

Several volunteers gathered Aug. 27 at the former Gatewood Plantation in Bedford to work on the dig, which is being led by archaeologist, Jeannine Krinebrink and Nancy Stearns Theiss, executive director of the Oldham County History Center. Theiss has been named manager of the Bibb project. Krinebrink brought with her five archaeologists to help with the dig.
“We started out a little slow – the ground wasn’t plowed deep enough, so with the quick help of Trimble County Judge-Executive Randy Stevens, the ground was quickly plowed deeper and we were able to proceed along,” said Theiss.
In all, 28 participants showed up to work on the dig, Theiss said.
“People were very eager to help and worked very hard,” she said. “Fortunately, it was overcast so we didn’t get too hot.”
Raymond Simpson and Buddy Bell brought metal detectors, which helped to locate caches of metal items more quickly. The group collected several hundred artifacts, Theiss said. Photos of the items were to be posted in the coming weeks on the website: www.oldhamcountyhistoricalsociety.org.
Local school groups helped with the dig on Sept. 15.
The next step is cleaning the artifacts found at the site, so Krinebrink has suggested that the group schedule a “cleaning” artifact evening sometime in October. The date of Oct. 5 has been tentatively set for this event. For anyone interested in joining this activity, Theiss said they will be organizing a potluck supper during which volunteers can help clean and catalogue the artifacts that were collected.
“The History Center will furnish barbeque and buns,” Theiss said.
So far, the group that has been working with Louisville-based Underground Railroad researcher Diane Coon on collecting more data on Bibb and slaveowners. The group has come up with some new information. The data and the artifacts will greatly enhance local educational programs, Theiss said.
The final date the groups will come together is Oct. 26, when they will be meeting in Bedford, courtesy of Stevens.

• For more information or to join this effort, contact Nancy Theiss at the Oldham County History Center at (502) 222-0826.

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