The Project

The Wiawaka Project is being conducted by Megan E. Springate as her PhD dissertation research. She is a doctoral student in historical archaeology in the Anthropology Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. This is a collaborative project, which means that the Wiawaka community is helping to shape what the project looks like, including the research questions asked, conducting research and fieldwork, and directing the goals of the work. More information about the collaborative process will be provided as the project progresses. The project is committed to supporting local and woman-owned businesses for our various supplies and other project needs.

There will be archaeological fieldwork opportunities over the next several years and people will be welcome to come and learn first-hand about doing archaeology and history. Dates and other information about these fieldwork opportunities will be announced here on the website.

One of the goals of the archaeology project at Wiawaka is to look at the experiences of those who worked at and visited the site. Some questions related this include: which areas of the Wiawaka property were used more than others, and how; did visitors and staff use different areas of the site or did they mingle; how was segregation by gender at the site enforced, and was it consistently enforced; and did class or social status affect how visitors used the property. Archaeology can also clarify historical details about the site, including when the United States Hotel was built, whether the grounds were used as a garrison in the French and Indian Wars (as suggested by tax records from the turn of the twentieth century); and the location and footprint of the original Pine Cottage.

Please feel free to contact Megan Springate about the project or with any reminiscences of time you or your family spent at Wiawaka. Her email is meganspringate ATSIGN gmail DOT com. She can also be reached c/o Anthropology Department, 1111 Woods Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742.

The Wiawaka Project would not be possible without the generous support of many individuals, agencies, and organizations. Many, many thanks to all the volunteers who helped in the field and the lab.

Financial and in-kind support has come from:
  • The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Harvard University, Dissertation Grant 
  • Center for Heritage Resource Studies, University of Maryland
  • Maryland Highway Authority
  • New York State Museum
  • University of Maryland, Graduate Summer Research Fellowship
  • Vassar College, Department of Anthropology
  • Wiawaka Center for Women
  • Joseph Zarzynski and Pat Meany

The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Harvard University