The Gott’s Court Site (18AP52) is located in an
area of Annapolis, Maryland that is bounded by Northwest, West, and Calvert
Streets. In a 1718 survey of Annapolis, the area consisted of three lots
owned by the Carroll family, who rented out and later sold the parcels.
Development of the lots in the 18th and 19th centuries consisted of mixed
use residential and commercial buildings. Artisans and store owners settled
there, including Philip Syng and his family who ran a silver and brass
foundry, and the Golder family who had a dry and wet goods store. Additionally,
Hunter’s Tavern, which was later called the Western Hotel, was located
on the parcel from the late 18th to the late 19th century, and commercial
stabling facilities were present throughout this period.
In 1907, a new owner developed the parcel into
an alley lined with framed row houses. This residential community,
known as Gott’s Court,
was an African American enclave surrounded by commercial enterprises.
As the first half of the 20th century passed, the introduction
of the automobile began to change the landscape of the area. Gott’s
Court was bordered by several auto stalls and an automotive building
by 1930. In 1952, the residences gave way to cars completely when
the City of Annapolis tore them down to make way for a paved parking
Archaeological excavations took place at Gott’s
Court prior to the construction of a parking garage to replace the 1950s-era
paved lot. Phase I excavations were undertaken by Archaeology in Annapolis
in 1989, and Phase II and III excavations followed in 1991 and 1992 under
the direction of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates. Over 100 features
were identified, spanning the period of occupation of the site.
During the Phase II/III project, select features were
chosen for intensive analysis. Feature 1103, a cellar, and Feature 1305/1311,
a kitchen midden, were selected for analysis of the 18th-century occupation.
Feature 0801, a well, represented the 19th century; and a sheet midden
associated with the early 20th-century Gott’s Court row houses represented
the final phase of habitation at the site. These features were the subject
of faunal, floral, and ceramic analyses.
Archaeology helped clarify patterns of occupation at
the site, which provides a window into the development of Annapolis as
a whole. The collection of over 21,000 artifacts is a diverse assemblage
representing over 200 years of material culture in Maryland’s capital.
Court Finding Aid.htm
The Gott’s Court archaeological collection is owned by
the Maryland Historical Trust and curated at the Maryland Archaeological