The Horne Point site, along the southern bank of the
Choptank River in Dorchester County, Maryland, was part of a 600-acre
tract of land that Richard Preston of Calvert County purchased from a
London merchant named John Horne in 1668. Richard Preston was a prominent
Quaker who was the first delegate to represent “Dorsett” county
on the Maryland Assembly. If Richard Preston ever lived at Horne, however,
it was not for long, because he died in 1669 and willed the parcel to
his daughters Rebecca Preston and Sarah Foorde. Sarah Foorde and her husband
William probably inhabited the original dwelling at Horne Point. Like
his father-in-law, William Foorde was a representative on the Maryland
Assembly in the 1670s, placing the family in Maryland’s landed upper
middle class. William died in 1679, and Sarah later remarried Edward Pindar.
Edward died in the early 1690s, but Sarah continued to live at the site
until at least 1697.
In 1711, Horne was willed to Edward Pindar III from
Edward Pindar, Jr., Sarah Foorde’s son by her second marriage. Unfortunately,
Edward Pindar III died before coming of age, leaving the chain of title
unclear. By 1740, the dwelling at Horne seems to have been occupied by
Elizabeth Taylor, who was presumably the unmarried granddaughter of Sarah
Foorde or the sister of Sarah’s son-in-law, Thomas Taylor, Jr. At
that time, much of the land at Horne and the surrounding area was purchased
by land speculators who then sold it to the wealthy lawyer and legislator,
Charles Goldsborough. Horne continued in the possession of Charles or
his successors until the dwelling burned down around 1770. Charles reportedly
had another home in Cambridge, but if he did not live at Horne himself,
it may have been occupied by a member of his family or a well-to-do tenant.
Spring plowing revealed the presence of the
Horne Point site at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental
and Estuarine Studies in 1975. After the site was surface collected,
excavations took place in 1976 under the supervision Perry Flegel,
the late Director of Archaeology for the Dorchester Heritage Museum.
The archaeological work focused on exposing the dwelling foundation
and determining a timeline for occupation at the site. Brick foundations
accompanied by daub, plaster, and nails were indicative of a frame
structure with plastered walls. Brick foundations outlined a hearth
at each gable end of the house, and the charred remains of a center
stringer running the length of the house illustrated the presence
of a wooden floor.
Artifacts exhibited a wide variety of high-class colonial
goods, including a complete copper alloy tea service with a set of five
tea spoons, sugar tongs, and a mote spoon that date to the 1750s. Small
hinges and a hook found in proximity to this set indicate that it was
in a box when the fire took place. A late 17th-century silver slip top
spoon with the initials “RP” on the handle has been attributed
to Richard Preston. Marked pipes and diagnostic ceramics date the site
to the second half of the 17th century through the third quarter of the
A significant prehistoric occupation was also discovered
below the dwelling. Prehistoric artifacts include lithic tools, a steatite
platform pipe, and a small (4 x 3 5/8 inches) but complete Townsend cord-marked
pot. The prehistoric assemblage dates from approximately 1500 B.C. to
the Contact period.
||Preliminary Report of Excavations at
“Horne.” The Archeolog 32(1):1-41.
The Horne Point archaeological collection is owned by
the Maryland Historical Trust and curated at the Maryland Archaeological