Discovering Late Victorian East St. Louis: Urban Archaeology and the New Mississippi River Bridge Project
Historical Archaeologist, Illinois State Archaeological Survey
Between 2009 and 2012, teams of archaeologists from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) conducted large-scale excavations in East St. Louis as part of the New Mississippi River Bridge Project. The recovered artifacts and information, combined with archival research, are yielding new insights into the history of East St. Louis, particularly about the daily lives of working-class individuals and families from the time when the city was a booming transportation and manufacturing hub. The project’s path cut through former residential neighborhoods and remnants of the St. Louis National Stockyards, which lead to the recovery of thousands of artifacts from privies, cisterns, wells, and cellars. This presentation examines the excavation and material culture associated with this Late Victorian East St. Louis working class neighborhood.