Friday, April 1, 2011

You may know from past entries that I began my career in archaeology working for the City of St. Augustine's Archaeology Division.  Because of my personal history there, I was thrilled to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the City's new archaeology lab this week.  There is a special place in my heart for the work done by the City Archaeologist, Carl Halbirt, and his tireless volunteers.  I'm especially happy when I see good things happen for them, not just because they're so likeable, but also because I know it ultimately bodes well for the future of St. Augustine's past.

A crowd gathers before the ribbon cutting.

Though rainy beforehand, the weather was kind enough to hold off.  We arrived to a great crowd of local archaeologists, volunteers, City staff, National and State Parks staff as well as interested members of the public. 

Mayor Joseph Boles kicks off the ceremony.

Mayor Joseph Boles began the ceremony, recounting the Archaeology Division's long-suffered search for an ideal home.  It took me on a trip down memory lane; for more on that, keep your eyes peeled for my next blog.  In any case, he noted that the city's program would benefit greatly from the space its new home affords. 

Carl addresses attendees.

Then Carl spoke, acknowledging the hard work of the city staff who helped renovate the warehouse to make it sufficient for storing the city's vast artifact collection with climate control, allow for indoor and outdoor artifact processing, and office space to boot. 

He was followed by Dr. Henry Bates, husband of the late Dr. Sue Middeton, for whom the center is named.  Bates noted Middleton's fascination with the local past and concern for preserving it.  Bates was followed by Middleton's daughter, St. Augustine Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline, who spoke to the importance of carrying on her mother's legacy.

The sign unveiling calls upon the agility of participants.

With the sign unveiled and ribbon cut, then the audience piled inside for a tour and reception. In case you missed the tour, take the abbreviated version with the pictures below!

The entryway features artifact displays of excavations past.

Artifact washing and curation area.

Plenty of space for the City's artifact collection!

Just for the day, the analysis area turned into reception space.

Carl has long been the rock star of City Archaeology--and I'll bet now he feels like it!
~~Amber J.

For more information on City of St. Augustine Archaeology, visit:

One Response so far.

  1. Margaret says:

    Very complete coverage of the dedication of the new home of the City's Archaeology Program held on Wednesday March 29. Too bad the St. Augustine Record did not see fit to mention it. Thank you, Amber.

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