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State Archaeologist to Search Sherwood Island for Historic Artifacts

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The public is invited to attend Dr. Bellantoni’s free lecture and his walk-about inspection tour on May 22 at 10 AM. In addition, Professor Ernie Wiegand will exhibit local Native American artifacts.

The Friends of the Sherwood Island State Park will provide coffee/donuts to the public and offer a review of their historic materials starting at 9:30 AM at the Nature Center.

Sherwood Island State Park is named after Daniel Sherwood, who settled in that area in 1761. Daniel and his wife Catherine Burr and their family farmed onions and potatoes and harvested oysters on the site. After the Connecticut State Park Commission was formed, the first parcels that became Sherwood Island State Park were acquired for the state in 1914.

Searching for traces of human presence in the park, Dr. Bellantoni will make a short presentation about his findings and research to date.

In anticipation of the 100th Birthday Celebration of Connecticut’s State Park system, the Friends of Sherwood Island State Park will install new educational panels on the history of the Sherwood family holdings which formed the core of the state’s first designated park. 

Park Supervisor Jim Beschle said the park will display historic images of Sherwood Island which roughly correlate between today’s landscape and various original farm buildings. But before interpretive signage can be installed for the history walking tour, an archaeological survey must be conducted to verify the locations of houses and barns. 

Preparing for the centennial commemoration, Bellantoni will assist Beschle and the Friends with initiating an archaeological confirmation of the site of the original Sherwood family holdings. Wiegand will be directing excavations at the Park in May and June.

Bellantoni will also discuss the significant Native American presence in coastal FairfieldCounty and other historic occupations of Sherwood Island.