Hogue Site (18CH103)

Introduction

The Hogue site (18CH103), located on the south side of Piney Branch near its intersection with Zekiah Run in Charles County, Maryland, is a Native American hamlet occupied intermittently from the Late Archaic through the 17th century. The site is believed to be associated with the Zekiah Indians and with Zekiah Fort (1680-ca. 1692).

During the colonial period, the Hogue site was part of Zekiah Manor, a 9,000-acre proprietary manor laid out by Charles Calvert, the Third Lord Baltimore, in 1667. The manor is located north of modern-day La Plata and includes part of Waldorf. At the time the manor was erected, Zekiah Indians were living in the area; Calvert directed his agents to interview the Indians about local landmarks when efforts were made in 1673 to resurvey the manor's boundaries. Calvert built a house he intended for use during the summer somewhere on Zekiah Manor; that site has not been found although it is possible that it was on His Lordship's Manor. The Hogue site does not appear to be the site of the Calvert summer house.

The Hogue site resides on land in Zekiah Manor that does not appear to be subdivided and sold until sometime before 1747, when the property was reported in the possession of the Moreland family.

Archaeological Investigations

Excavating shovel test pits, Hogue site (St. Mary's College of Maryland)

American University archaeologist Charles W. McNett visited the Hogue farm in January 1972. McNett noted that the site had been collected by avocational archaeologist R. G. Slattery sometime around 1937; Slattery donated the collection to the Smithsonian Institution (USNM Catalog Number 417531-5). McNett and William Gardner examined Slattery's materials at the Smithsonian and later reported that this site "is one of the few Zekiah Swamp sites with any pottery at all." They noted that the majority of the pottery was sand-tempered and appeared to be Potomac Creek.

The site was formally recorded a little over a year later, in June 1973, by Charles Pettit and Carl Manson. In 1976, avocational archaeologist R.E. McDaniel visited the site with Charles Pettit. In a subsequent letter, McDaniel described two concentrations of artifacts at the site, one considerably larger than the other with the two separated by about 100 yards. They reported collecting "about thirty points and as yet, unknown number of scrapers, blades, and choppers… Point styles run from a perfect Palmer through LeCroy, side-notched, stemmed, and up to the Piscataway. No quartz triangles." The larger concentration contained pottery with "grit or crushed quartz temper."

In 1981, as part of a larger project surveying artifact collections in southern Maryland, archaeologist Jeff Wanser reexamined collections associated with the Hogue site. These collections included materials in the state's possession (now housed at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory in St. Leonard, Maryland), at the Smithsonian Institution, and in the private possession of collectors R. E. McDaniel and Robert Ogle. From this review, Wanser concluded that the Hogue site reflected occupation from the Early Archaic through the Late Woodland (7500 BC-1600 AD) with the bulk of the occupation at both sites appearing to be of Middle and Late Archaic date (6000 BC-1000 BC). Wanser did report seeing a single fragment of colonoware reportedly recovered from the site.

In 2010, St. Mary's College of Maryland conducted a Phase I survey of the Hogue property and the adjoining Steffens property. The purpose of this survey was to identify settlements associated with Zekiah Fort, a settlement that was found the following year in February 2011. A grid aligned with Maryland State Plane was established on the property. A total of 599 shovel tests were excavated at intervals of 50 feet with fill screened through ¼-inch mesh; 322 of these shovel tests were within the boundaries of the Hogue site. All artifacts were retained. In areas where Potomac Creek ceramics were recovered, the shovel test interval was dropped to 25 feet.

Artifacts

The 2010 investigations yielded 940 artifacts from 322 shovel tests. The majority of the artifacts consisted of lithics, including shatter (n=190), flakes (n=466), cores (n=8), tools (n=6), projectile points (n=6), and fire-cracked rock (n=84). Of the six projectile points, only one is complete enough to be typed and includes a possible Bare Island point of quartzite. Native-made ceramics include 14 fragments, including eight Potomac Creek plain fragments, one Potomac Creek cord-marked fragment, one Popes Creek cord-marked fragment, and three unidentified fragments.

The recovery of a single wrought iron nail fragment and three fragments of European flint debitage (one with traces of cortex) along with the relatively large numbers of Potomac Creek plain ceramics suggests that the Hogue site, which appears to have been occupied throughout prehistory, was occupied by Native people in the 17th century. The site may represent a hamlet associated with the Zekiah Indians that Governor Charles Calvert reported were in the area, or possibly a hamlet associated with Zekiah Fort (1680-ca. 1692), located approximately a mile north of the site.

While the Colonial Encounters project focuses on the period between 1500 and 1720, the Hogue site reveals a long history of occupation, an important fact of indigenous life in this region and one that almost certainly shaped the region's colonial encounters.

References

Flick, Alex J., Skylar A. Bauer, Scott M. Strickland, D. Brad Hatch, and Julia A. King. 2012. "…a place now known until them:" The Search for Zekiah Fort. St. Mary's City, St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Gardner, William M., and Charles W. McNett, Jr. 1970. Problems in Potomac River Archaeology. Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Unpublished manuscript on file, Department of Anthropology, American University, Washington, DC.

McDaniel, R. E. "Mac." 1976. Letter in possession of the Maryland Historical Trust, Maryland Department of Planning, Crownsville, Maryland.

Wanser, Jeffrey C. 1982. A Survey of Artifact Collections from Central Southern Maryland. Maryland Historical Trust Manuscript Series No. 23. Maryland Historical Trust and the Coastal Resource Division, Tidewater Administration, Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD.

Further Information on the Collection

The Hogue collection is privately owned and curated by St. Mary's College of Maryland. For more information about the collection and collection access, contact Julia A. King, Professor of Anthropology, at 240-895-4398; email jking@smcm.edu.

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