DEXTER, Maine — A shovel, their hands and patience were all it took last week for some Dexter Regional High School students to learn more about the town’s history.
Seated on the ground Friday behind the Abbott Museum, students in Rick Whitney’s History of Maine class patiently searched holes they had dug inside a grid of small squares. The students were on a quest to find artifacts left behind by previous generations.
The small plot of land they were searching was previously connected to the Abbott Mill and in the 1800s was home to a boarding facility. After the facility was torn down in the early 1900s, the lot remained vacant.
“It’s an exploratory dig, but it’s turned out to be a good site,” Whitney said Friday. Whitney, who also is the local museum curator, hoped the exercise would capture the students’ interest in local history and would provide them with the procedures and techniques of doing a dig. “Hopefully, some of the students will continue on digs when they’re in college,” he said.
Kim Weeks, a senior, thoroughly enjoyed the digs that were held Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Her meter square apparently was an ash pit because she found ashes, bones, bits of colored glass, pottery, brick and possibly marble. The marble could have come from the marble works that operated in the 1800s near where the American Legion Hall now stands.
“I love it, it’s so amazing to find what you can find in this dirt,” Weeks said.