Archaeological dig uncovers historical artifacts

February 16, 2022

During a 3-month archaeological dig to uncover any historic artifacts on the site of the future U.S. courthouse in Huntsville, Alabama, workers discovered brick foundations and several artifacts belonging to the former 1800s plantation house, The Grove.

A team from the University of Alabama’s Office of Archaeological Research uncovered wells, cellars, sidewalks, and concrete pads. The pads were remnants of a three-bedroom structure that was part of a Post-Reconstruction prominent African American community in the early 1900s.

Researchers also uncovered more than 20 artifacts, including glass bottles, wooden toothbrushes, whiteware, ceramics, and construction materials. These findings provide valuable insights into the early history of Huntsville, which was founded in 1805.

The only surviving piece of The Grove mansion itself is a column base from the front of the mansion. It is currently on display at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.

The Grove mansion is important to Huntsville’s history. Between 1814 and 1815, Leroy Pope, a prominent political figure known as the father of Huntsville, built the home. He sold it to Dr. James Manning in 1824, and it stayed in the Manning family until the 1920s.

Courthouse construction is scheduled to start this summer with completion planned for July 2024.

Last Reviewed: 2022-02-17