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In response to a request by the Union Planters Bank of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, conducted a Phase I archaeological survey of a parcel of land situated at the southeast corner of Cowart and West Thirteenth Streets in the downtown area of Chattanooga. The purpose of the survey was to determine if archaeological resources potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places were present on the parcel, consonant with provisions of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Documentary research on the property was limited to inspection of readily available historic maps and fire insurance plats of the property that illustrated the nature of improvements or other land uses through time. The cartographic overview permitted identification of features for targeted excavation in the field. Research suggests that the property was vacant until the mid-1880s. A small structure at the southeast corner of the project area is illustrated on Sanborn fire insurance maps in 1885, and an historic aerial view of 1886 also depicts the structure. The building was a warehouse associated with the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad. This structure was razed c. 1888 and two new one-story utility railroad structures were erected along the tracks situated south of the project area. These structures were associated with the Alabama Great Southern Railroad. These two structures were razed by 1917 and the project area remained vacant until 1954- 69, during which period a small tin-clad utility building was erected on the railroad frontage of the lot. Archaeological survey of the parcel consisted of the excavation of three backhoe search trenches at 10m (33') intervals across the width of the trapezoidal lot. The trenches were two feet (0.6m) in width and carried to a uniform depth of five feet (1.5m). Unstable soils and groundwater flooding of the trenches prevented detailed recording of soil stratigraphy and features. Two limestone wall foundations and one abandoned 24" ceramic sewer line were encountered during the testing. The wall foundations appear to be associated with the c. 1885 railroad warehouse. Soil stratigraphy was dominated by deep accumulations of coal cinder and clinker, and deposits of mixed, redeposited clays and brick rubble.


Dept. of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)




Archaeology -- Tennessee -- Hamilton County; Antiquities; Archaeology; Hamilton County (Tenn.) -- Antiquities


Chattanooga (Tenn.); Hamilton County (Tenn.)

Document Type



ii, 17 leaves



Call Number

F444.C4 C68 2002


A phase I archaeological survey of a parcel at the Southeast corner of Cowart and West Thirteenth Street Chattanooga, Tennessee