Utah - BLM Salt Lake Field Office
New! Terrace Archaeological Collections Laboratory Analysis
Part of the Terrace, UT excavations in 2021
January 31-February 4, 2022
Volunteers must commit to entire session
The construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad (TCRR) across the United States was a magnificent undertaking, years in planning and years in execution. Historian Stephen Ambrose said of the effort, “…there is nothing like it…” Reaching west from Omaha to Sacramento, across the vast grasslands of the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the high Sierras, the Transcontinental Railroad cut an impressive swath through Utah, north of the Great Salt Lake. Beginning in 1869 and continuing through the early years of the 1900s, it was the main corridor of socioeconomic growth and development in the western United States.
The portion of the TCRR that passes around the north end of the Great Salt Lake is known as the “Promontory Segment;” it is the longest continuous portion of the original TCRR that remains intact. The Promontory Segment was home to numerous maintenance sidings and two large town sites: Kelton and Terrace; the latter will be the focus of this PIT project.
In 2020-2021, archaeologists with the Bureau of Land Management and the Utah State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) completed excavations at the historic-period site of Terrace, in northwestern Utah. Terrace was a booming railroad town in the 19th and early 20th century, with a large Chinatown. Excavations yielded thousands of artifacts that need cleaning, sorting, cataloging, photography, and data entry. Volunteers will assist with these critical tasks while also learning about historic artifact identification. Organizers will provide all needed tools and supplies for this project. The Terrace, Utah project has made national headlines and will appear in Smithsonian magazine next year – come see what makes this site so special, and help us further understand the history of this town and its people!
Please note: Strict COVID-19 protocols will be followed, including the wearing of masks, social distancing, etc. Additionally, given current national and global circumstances, some aspects of the project may be subject to change. The project leader will notify all selectees should this occur.
Number of openings: 6
Special skills: : Previous archaeological laboratory/curation and/or artifact identification (particularly historic/railroad and/or Chinese) experience helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Project will be based out of the Utah State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) laboratories; Volunteers will be responsible for their own housing/lodging, meals, and daily transportation; Millcreek, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy, and Salt Lake City/Salt Lake City area are full-service communities with a large range of hotels/motels, B&Bs, RV parks, restaurants, shopping, and a full range of other amenities; selected individuals should check availabilities and restrictions associated with COVID-19 as soon as possible; SHPO lab is equipped with all modern facilities
Nearest towns: Cities of Millcreek and Cottonwood Heights, 5 miles; Salt Lake City, 10 miles; Sandy, 10 miles
Applications due: December 20, 2021