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Lincoln County Historical Association to offer summer archaeology class

Submitted by on May 22, 2012 – 8:38 pm

The stone cellar is all that is left of the Ramsour house.


The Lincoln County Historical Association will host two archaeology camps in June at the John Ramsour House on River Road just west of Lincolnton. The first camp kicks off June 11-15 with a second camp following the next week. Camps run daily from 9 am – 1 pm.


A stone cellar is all that is left of the Ramsour house which once stood on the site just east of the South Fork of the Catawba River.

It is probably part of the foundation of an “old red painted mansion,” held together with hand-forged nails and built by John Ramsour, Esq (1766-1844), son of David Ramsour (1732-1785) and grandson of the pioneer, Diedrick Ramsour.

David, who was given the land by this father in 1772, had built a log house nearby which had an interior stone chimney and a seven-foot-long fireplace, all traces of which have disappeared.

John’s red frame house was later destroyed by his grandson, Thomas j. Ramsour, who built another frame on this foundation.

Thomas’ second house still stands to the east.


A 2008 visit to the site was very helpful in understanding the use of the property in the past.  Most of the artifacts recovered to this point are from surface collection and correspond to the Late Woodland to Mississippian Period (1200 to 1700 A.D.) occupation period by Native Americans in area.  The ceramic types found were able to be identified are all coarse earthenwares with decorations including rectilinear complicated stamp, curvilinear complicated stamped, corncob impressed, cord marked, incised, and burnished plain.  In addition, several pieces consisted of folded rims typically known as fillet strip rims and they were seen with reed punctuations.  The site looks to be a large village occupation site due to the amount and large size of pieces that have been collected at this point from the surface.

In addition to the artifacts we observed, many more have also been collected over the years in the floodplain area that suggest a multi-component site.  This means that the artifacts relate to several possible occupational periods dating as far back as the Archaic Period (8,000 to 1,000 B.C.), the Woodland Period (1,000 BC to 1600 AD), and up to the Historic Contact Period when the Mississippian people were thriving.



Learn about the history of Lincoln County through the eyes of an archaeologist. This is a hands-on camp focusing on archaeology in the field and the techniques used by archaeologists during excavation. Methods and techniques taught include grid and unit placement, excavation, artifact recovery, and processing of recovered artifacts at a local historic farmstead in Lincoln County. The property has a long history of occupation dating back to the Native Americans, the German settlers in the 18th century, and to the present. Each session is $65, which included snacks, equipment and activities and lasts a full week. Please contact the Lincoln County Historical Association at (704) 748-9090 to register.

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