Archaeologists Digging For The Past At House Of Paul Revere’s Cousin

BOSTON (CBS) — Archaeologists are looking to dig up new artifacts at a house once owned by Paul Revere’s cousin in the North End.

The City of Boston Archaeology Program is looking at a space by the Pierce-Hichborn House for the first time. The house was built in 1711.

At one point while Nathaniel Hichborn lived there, his cousin, Paul Revere was his neighbor, according to City Archaeologist Joe Bagley.

“They would have been able to see each other. We’re wondering if Paul Revere came over with a teapot or anything else — if he made a bell and left it here, that’d be really nice,” he said to WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

The history in the area goes beyond Paul Revere, though.

The archaeologists started digging diagonally through the front brick path in the property on Monday. The 1860’s 31 North Square Building foundation they were searching for was located relatively quickly.

On Tuesday, the group said they would be focusing on the area behind that foundation to see if they could find “the 1676 burn layer and a piece of window lead with Moses Pierce’s maker’s mark.”

Moses Pierce was a window glazier, he built the brick home on the property in 1711. He lived there and ran his business from the building.

Before that, there was a wood house owned by John Jeffs. It burned down in 1676, the Program said.

They believe the house was constructed by bricklayer Ebenezer Clough, who also built a house by the Old North Church.

Hichborn did not purchase the house until 1781. It stayed with the Revere family until 1865.

piercewichbornhouse Archaeologists Digging For The Past At House Of Paul Reveres Cousin

Pierce-Hichborn House (Photo Courtesy: City of Boston Archaeology Program Facebook)

A piece of Chinese porcelain, a shard of window glass, and the stem of a 19th-century tobacco pipe were also found Monday.

Our work will determine what if anything significant survives under the current brick pavement and make recommendations if additional archaeology will be needed,” they said on Facebook. 

Bagley even said the location could have once been home to Native Americans.

The archaeologists are working with The Paul Revere House.

They welcome visitors to stop by the dig weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The work will continue for about three weeks.

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