Pics from Irishtown Archaeological Survey

Archaeology is great for all ages!

Getting our hands dirty while screening for some artifacts.

We're a stylish crew.

Archaeology Gothic

It was so great to have help from people of the Plaquemine community, like Cassie and Andrew, and learn about their city's history.


About Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site

As a distributary of the Mississippi River and a route to the heartland of Louisiana through the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Plaquemine was used as a navigable artery centuries before the age of European exploration. From the early 1700s, Bayou Plaquemine served as a commercial transport route, promoting settlement and economic prosperity in southwest and northern Louisiana via the Atchafalaya, Red and other rivers. The Plaquemine Lock was designed by Colonel George W. Goethals (1858-1928), the assistant to the chief engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Goethals later gained distinction as chairman and chief engineer of the Isthmian Canal Commission for the design and construction of the Panama Canal. When completed in 1909, the lock was significant for having the highest fresh water lift of any lock in the world -- 51 feet -- and a unique engineering design that utilized a gravity flow principle. The gates were later modernized by the installation of hydraulic pumps. The lock served its purpose well by providing a short-cut from the Mississippi River into Louisiana's interior. By 1925, Bayou Plaquemine had become the northern terminus of the Intracoastal Canal system. Increased river traffic during and after World War II put a severe strain on the lock's capacity and demand increased for a larger lock at Port Allen. In 1961, a larger set of locks began operating at Port Allen and the Plaquemine Lock was closed after 52 years of service. Thirteen years after closing the lock, the Corps of Engineers supervised the construction of the present levee across the mouth of Bayou Plaquemine at the Mississippi River, giving the historic old structure greater stability and providing flood protection, while closing off access to the Mississippi River through Bayou Plaquemine. In 1972 the Plaquemine Lock structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, an honorary designation for significant historic sites. In addition to the lock, the area includes the Gary James Hebert Memorial Lockhouse, which serves as a museum and visitors center. Hebert worked to prevent the destruction of the lock by the Corps of Engineers and campaigned to have the area preserved as a historic site. Facilities also include a stylized adaptation of the Lockmaster's house which provides open-air pavilion space to display various water craft used when the lock was operational.
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6 Responses to Pics from Irishtown Archaeological Survey

  1. That looks like alot of fun! Did you find anything cool?

  2. It was! We are going to finish up the survey next year; you should come =D

    We did find many artifacts dating to the time period of the Irishtown communiuty. Lots of ceramics, wine/beer bottles, butchered animals bones (pigs mainly), doll parts, gaming pieces…so much!

  3. Wow. I definitely want to come next year!

  4. Pam Melder says:

    Do you mind if I borrow the pics? I’ll give you full credit on my facebook!

  5. Hey Pam =)

    Of course you can!

    Also, I have posted all the pictures from that day on the site’s facebook page. Add the Lock as a friend and have all the pics you want =)

    -Kathleen M.

  6. Pam Melder says:

    Kewl! I’ll do that. Thanks :-)!

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