Park Authority

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

703-324-8700
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035

Jai Cole,
Executive Director

artiFACTS

Welcome

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Museum Collections are home to more than 5,000 museum objects (chairs, quilts, baskets, machines, clothing), thousands of archival items (photographs, maps, letters and other documents) and upwards of three million artifacts (archaeological discoveries such as spear points, pottery). They are the stories of Fairfax County.

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Writing in the Walls

By Daphne Ahalt and Tyler Ball, M.A.

Archaeologists assess many different types of artifacts and historic records to best determine the age of a feature or site. Artifacts are clues that, with research, can provide the archaeologist with context when interpreting historic events and the timeline in which they occurred.

Writing in the Walls

While monitoring the demolition of an abandoned house in Fairfax County, CART archaeologists Tyler Ball and Robin Ramey found newspapers lining the space between the exterior and interior walls. The newspapers were in great condition and included publication dates, publishers’ names, and in some cases reporting on important historic events. The newspaper dates range from 1923 to 1926, just prior to The Great Depression.  The dates on these artifacts helped archaeologists better define a timeline for when the walls of the house were constructed and gave them a clue as to who occupied the site at that time.  The people who built the house used the newspapers as low-cost insulation once they had read them and caught up on the latest news and sporting events. 

Writing in the Walls

This month’s artiFACT is a page fragment from the October 5, 1924 edition of The Sunday Star (Washington, D.C.).  The fragment contains part of a picture of the Washington Senators baseball team after they won the American League pennant. Archaeologists found a copy of the original newspaper page in the Library of Congress’s digital collections. The complete page provided more information about the events that were missing from the recovered portion of the page. Tyler digitally overlayed the page fragment (tan-colored) onto a scan of the original complete newspaper page to create a picture of our artifact as it was when it was whole.

The original image of the baseball team was featured in the Graphic Section of the Gravure Supplement on the October 5 newspaper. The Senators would go on to defeat the New York Giants in seven games to win the club’s first World Series Championship. Also featured in that Sunday’s paper were box scores and game reporting, and full-page comics of the era including Bud Fisher’s Mutt and Jeff.

This newspaper served more than one purpose and revealed information about life in the 1920s. To read the complete newspaper page as it appeared in the October 5, 1924 edition of The Sunday Star, visit Chronicling America on the Library of Congress website.

Other artiFacts

Fingerprints at Union Farm
Fingerprints at Union Farm
A Delicate Shard Down on the Dulin Farm
A Delicate Shard Down on the Dulin Farm
One Small Rocket from Fairfax County
One Small Rocket from Fairfax County
A Symbol of African-American Faith and Tradition
A Symbol of African-American Faith and Tradition
The Scent of Flowers in the Air - a bottle of cologne from the 1800s
The Scent of Flowers in the Air
More Cowbells for Fairfax County
More Cowbells for Fairfax County
The Axe of the Archaic: A Stone Tool that Shaped Fairfax
The Axe of the Archaic: A Stone Tool that Shaped Fairfax
Colonoware and Culture: Fairfax County History Left in Clay
Colonoware and Culture: Fairfax County History Left in Clay
A Bottle of Liquor at Newgate Tavern, 1787 Tells Tales of the Past
A Bottle of Liquor at Newgate Tavern, 1787 Tells Tales of the Past
A Shoe and a Bungalow – Sears, Roebuck & Company’s Fairfax County Footprints
A Shoe and a Bungalow – Sears, Roebuck & Company’s Fairfax County Footprints
Snail Mail Served Key Role in US History
Snail Mail Served Key Role in US History
Fire Cracked Jasper Point
Fire Cracked Jasper Point
School Bell
School Bell
The Bomb that Didn’t Burst in Air
The Bomb that Didn’t Burst in Air
A Very Rare Find
Snowballs in Summer
A Very Rare Find
A Very Rare Find
Grow your History Knowledge with a Pretty Flowerpot
Grow your History Knowledge with a Pretty Flowerpot
Fairfax County Woman was Role Model for Nurses in early 1900s
Home Schooling – 1820s Style
Fairfax County Woman was Role Model for Nurses in early 1900s
Fairfax County Woman was Role Model for Nurses in early 1900s
The Coat Off His Back
The Coat Off His Back
Serve a Slice of History
Serve a Slice of History
A Light in Dark Places
A Light in Dark Places
Old-Fashioned Ballot Box Reflects How Times Have Changed on Election Day
Old-Fashioned Ballot Box Reflects How Times Have Changed on Election Day
Someone Lost Their Marbles, Literally!
Someone Lost Their Marbles, Literally!
Photo or Drawing
Is It a Photo or Drawing?
We Found It! We Found…Clorox!
We Found It! We Found…Clorox!
Tracing the Origins of Silhouettes
Tracing the Origins of Silhouettes
Projectile Point Points to Ancient History of Mount Air
Projectile Point Points to Ancient History of Mount Air
Entertaining with Japanese Imari Ware
Entertaining with Japanese Imari Ware
Putting the Pieces Back Together
Putting the Pieces Back Together
The Curious Tales of a Jacket with No Tail
The Curious Tales of a Jacket with No Tail
Orange and Alexandria Railroad
Orange and Alexandria Railroad
Decoration or Symbol of Resistance?
Cookie Cutters Offer a Taste of History
Decoration or Symbol of Resistance?
Raise a Glass to “Air-Twist” Glass Stems
Decoration or Symbol of Resistance?
History Served Up at Great Falls Grange
Decoration or Symbol of Resistance?
Decoration or Symbol of Resistance?
Fans Serve Double Duty for Cooling and Advertising
Fans Serve Double Duty for Cooling and Advertising
More Than Meets the Eye: The Rigg-Buckley House
More Than Meets the Eye: The Rigg-Buckley House
A 3D Experience from the Past
A 3D Experience from the Past
Turning the Dirt
Turning the Dirt
Before the Era of Prom-posals, there were Dance Cards
Before the Era of Prom-posals, there were Dance Cards
More Than Just a Pretty Face
More Than Just a Pretty Face
A Wintery Look at Historic Green Spring
A Wintery Look at Historic Green Spring
Mystery Metal Pieces Keep Archaeologists Guessing
Mystery Metal Pieces Keep Archaeologists Guessing
A Christmas Day Wedding Gift that Gives a History Lesson
A Christmas Day Wedding Gift that Gives a History Lesson
Poking into History with Straight Pins
Poking into History with Straight Pins
A Summer Wedding for Clark House's First Residents
A Summer Wedding for Clark House's First Residents
Innovative American Art Form Made Art more Affordable
A Thimble Sheds Light on the Lives of Women in History
Innovative American Art Form Made Art more Affordable
Innovative American Art Form Made Art more Affordable
Newspaper Discovery Shines Light on Suffragette Movement
Newspaper Discovery Shines Light on Suffragette Movement
Ellanor C. Lawrence Time Capsule
The Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Time Capsule
Dried Sediment Ready to be Examined
Glass Beads Provide Connection to Our Past
Frying Pan Meeting House Bible
Meeting House Bible
Tin Glaze Ceramics
Tin Glaze Ceramics
Lincoln Portrait
Lincoln Portraits Enjoyed Popularity in America’s Past
Staffordshire Slipware
The Origin of Staffordshire Slipware
Christmas Quilt
Christmas Quilt has Ties to Dranesville Tavern
Violin
Milling and Music in Fairfax County History
Hand-Wrought Nails
Hand-Wrought Nails in Early America
Family Gazette
Newspaper Provides Insight into Past Residents of Green Spring
Stoneware
Stoneware Offers Insights to Time Periods and Activities
Sully Car
Photo Prompts Cruise Down Memory Lane
Gun Flint
Gun Flint
Buttons
Buttons Attach us to History
Church Pew
Church Pew Offers Lesson on County’s Cultural and Racial History
Tobacco Pipe
White Clay Tobacco Pipe
Agate
An Agate & The Grange
Glass Fragments
Glass Fragments Provide a Window into the Past
Child’s Tea Set
A Child’s Tea Set
Colonial Hinge
Hand-wrought Colonial Hinge
Commencement Invitation
Floris Vocational High School Commencement Invitation
Colonial Padlock
Colonial Padlock
Silk Top Hat
Silk Top Hat
Tobacco Promotional Pipe
Lorillard’s Tobacco Promotional Pipe
Long-distance Education before the Internet
Long-distance Education before the Internet
Fire Screens
The Purpose of Fire Screens
Broken Glass
More Than Broken Glass
Sully Mirror
Reflections of History
Cryptic Note
Mysterious Object, Cryptic Note
Tobacco Pipe
Sully Tall Clock
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