GARS members consider bricks and mortar during fieldtrip

Submitted by Jim D’Angelo (

GARS Howard 032611 Kilns B A sw LORES

Despite the rains the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS) field trip in March 2011 to the Howard Cement Company site and vicinity was fun and profitable.

Guided by the property owner, Ricky Black, and local historian, JB Tate, with information on the cement industry supplied by Dawn Chapman, who is doing her PhD on the 19th century cement industry, and Denis Brosnan, Director of the National Brick Research Institute at Clemson, who is doing physical analysis on early cements, we looked at the two remaining lime kilns (see photos), the ruins of the processing plant, and the adjacent limestone mine/quarry. We also visited the Howard plantation site, now a nature preserve, and looked at the remains of a mill and very large earthen dam (900+ feet long!) on that property.

GARS Hwrd 032611 Kiln A w fcd vse LORES

Because the Plainville Brick Company kilns that we were supposed visit in the afternoon were inaccessible due to the heavy rains, we instead visited another early kiln site on Lime Kiln Creek. As Wayne pointed out, “what a better place to build a lime kiln than on a creek named Lime Kiln Creek!” We also visited the Kingston museum and the Confederate cemetery in Kingston.


JB Tate, owner Ricky Black, and another participant, Trey Gaines, Director of the Bartow Museum, and I are working on a plan to clear and record the Howard site at some point in the near future.  This project would mainly involve Bartow County residents, but I will keep GARS members updated in case any of you would like to participate.