What was life like on the Texas prairie? That’s a question being asked and hopefully answered as the Doss Heritage and Culture Center announces an exciting partnership with Weatherford College, Tarrant County College, the Texas Historic Commission and Tarrant County Archaeological Society to explore and excavate one of the historic cabins that will be part of the Pioneer Cabin Park on the site of the Doss Center. The Newberry Cabin is one of the six cabins that will be a part of the Pioneer Cabin Park at the Doss and is the only one that has never been moved from its original site. This makes it a perfect opportunity for an archaeological dig to determine what life was like during the log cabin era in Texas.
The Newberry Cabin was donated to the Doss Heritage and Culture Center by the Doss and Knight Families. While its full history is still being discovered, land records show that J.D. Newberry acquired the 160 acres of land where the cabin is located in about 1880. It belonged in the Newberry family until three years ago when the Doss family purchased the property. “Since this cabin is located on its original site, we wanted to work with Weatherford College to create a project for students to document and study the site for archeological and historical artifacts creating a hand-on opportunity to get field experience,” said Amanda Edwards, Curator at the Doss.
Project partner Weatherford College is offering an introductory archeology class for students to get the hands-on experience that Edwards described. The class was first offered for the fall 2016 semester and will be offered again in the spring of 2017. Its instructor is adjunct professor, Katrina Nuncio.
“The archeology students in my current class at Weatherford College are getting to experience this project from the very beginning. They will soon be helping to determine which areas we will excavate,” Nuncio said.
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Laurie Gouge, Department Chair of Physical Sciences at Weatherford College said the Newberry cabin project provides an incredible opportunity for Weatherford College Physical Sciences Department.
“Our students are not going to merely visit an exhibit in a museum but rather they are going to be the contributors – a very rare and incredible opportunity in this day and age,” Gouge said.
The Pioneer Cabin Park at the Doss Center had its groundbreaking in February of 2016. The project has completed initial water line installation. Planning and construction continues and the goal is to have at least one cabin on site by the end of 2016. Fundraising efforts continue through the 1849 Club according to Dean Hungate, Managing Director of the Doss.
“In 1849, you could build a log cabin in Texas for $75,” Hungate said. “We are asking for our community to rally around the Pioneer Cabin Park at the Doss by donating $75 to be a part of the 1849 Club. We’ve raised over $6,000 and appreciate everyone who has made a gift towards the cabin project. Information on the 1849 Club is available at the museum during regular business hours or on our website.”
For more information on donation opportunities, contact the museum at 817-599-6168.
The mission of the James and Dorothy Doss Heritage and Culture Center is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of Parker County through cultural and educational events that raise awareness and pride in our western heritage. For more information, contact the museum at 817-599-6168. The museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016. Look for special events and activities throughout the year.