Brick Sump Feature
The brick "sump" feature was discovered in January 2000 during foundation
grading for the new classroom/office building which is under construction
just south of the old Arsenal quadrangle. The feature is located
approximately 200 feet south of the former arsenal commandant's quarters
(now Benet House).
It contained no artifacts and, because of its location and construction,
it is interpreted as a "beehive" waste water sump (a 19th century
septic tank). The brick top, had orifices through which waste
water from the facilities in the commandant's house drained into the
The brick sump feature is interesting because it is known that many
19th century Americans were becoming concerned with sanitation and
health. The removal of the arsenal from its original riverside
location to the current hill top site in 1827-28 was directly related
to issues of health raised by the epidemic which caused the deaths
of nearly the entire garrison in the first year it was occupied.
of the Brick Sump feature.
Before removal of the top.
The interior of the sump.
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