Heritage, Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 1991 Page: 11
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construction will disturb the soil. In
other areas we will sample randomly in
accordance with professional archaeological
Among the pounds of glass and
ceramic shards, buttons, bottles, and
other objects from the excavations, a
few artifacts stand out. One is a uniform
button embossed with a star and the
words Republic of Texas. Another is the
well-preserved body of a brass "sewing
But the most mystical discovery is an
iron arrowhead found buried to the hilt
in the end of one of the logs in the main
house. As yet Karen's research hasn't
unearthed evidence of an Indian fight
around the homestead, but since hostile
Indians were active in the Austin area
after the house was built, an undocumented
incident is not out of the question.
Indians often made metal arrowheads
from scavenged metal or obtained
them by barter from white traders.
Despite the fact that restoration of
this remnant of early Texas has no
public funds, Mike and Karen Collins
are committed to carrying it out so that
information and materials will be available
for future research and study.
* A meticulous daily log is kept of all activities.
*Standard archaeological techniques of
screening and documentation are followed.
*Areas to be covered by structures are
mapped and photographed.
*A video record has been made of
interviews with several older Austin
residents who have recalled details and
incidents about the house and the previous
The project is a wholesome example
of what can be done with private means,
volunteer help, and support from
neighbors and public officials.
"It didn't start out as a sharing
venture," Mike said, "but it has worked
out that way. Assistance, information,
and moral support have arrived from
many sources. Benefits have not only
come to us, but also to the neighborhood
and to those participating. Support from
neighbors, the Travis County Archeological
Society, Delta Tau Delta, public
officials, and many interested individuals
has been invaluable to us," he said.
The Collinses have shared
themselves by including others-and
R.C. Harmon, president of the Texas Archeological Society, carefully examines soil in one of the
archaeological units being excavated at the site. Harmon and members of the
Travis County Archeological Society have donated thousands
of hours to the archaeological phase of the renovation.
An inside view of the attic of the main house shows the horizontal tie beams that are attached to the
rafters with wooden pegs. Above photos courtesy of the Collinses.
the community-in their adventure.
"Benefits flow both ways," Mike said. "In a
way, the project is being shared with all
Texans, as the site will be preserved
indefinitely. Also, we are donating all
artifacts to the state of Texas for research and
When renovation is complete, the
place will have the general appearance it
had in the nineteenth century. Subtle
modern improvements needed to make the
place liveable and comfortable will not
intrude on the historical character of the
HERITAGE * SPRING 1991 11
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 1991, periodical, Spring 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45424/m1/11/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.