A large percentage of the materials recovered from the outhouse were kitchen and
diet related items.  These included plates, serving and eating utensils, bone, shell,
and even organic items.

Graphs of the locations of various types of bone provide insight into the locations of
eating activities.  Most bone was mammal (beef, pork, etc.).  Mammal bone was
concentrated in Units A and C.  Food related items were expected in Unit A, as this
unit was closest to the kitchen/dinning building.

But why Unit C?  It appears that the nuns and some of the patients in the infirmary
preferred to take their meals in the Chapel building.  
This would explain the high weights of certain types of bone in
Unit C (located closest to the Chapel building).  This was true
of mammal bone, eggshell (probably from hard boiled eggs), and
bird bone (mostly chicken).  However, fish bone was found
almost exclusively in Unit A.

One possible explanation is that mammal and chicken meat
can be cooked and eaten cold at a later time with no fear of
spoilage.  The same is true of eggs.  Thus, these types of foods
were more likely to be transported from the kitchen to other
locations for consumption.  Fish does not fall into this category
and was not a likely candidate for consumption away from the
kitchen/dining area.
Site maintained as a public service by Archaeological Research, PO Box 1353, Lucerne, CA 95458.
Contact: dr.john@wolfcreekarcheology.com
Eating Materials Recovered
History and Prehistory of Lake County
and Beyond
Dinnerware

Most dinnerware was of heavy utilitarian stoneware and cream ware.  
As indicated in hall).

An exception to this trend is seen with dessert bowls and salad plates
(see below).  These appear to have been disposed of in the part of the
privy closest to the Chapel building.  As was seen with “portable”
foods listed on the previous pages, it is possible that these smaller
dishes were used, broken, and disposed of by patients in the infirmary
or nuns located in the Chapel building.

Virtually all the fancy “Victorian” style wares were found in Unit C
(closest to the Chapel building).  This suggests an attempt by the
nuns to bring a little of the “Victorian” era into their lives and
further suggests that they ate in the Chapel building, separately from
the students.
It is interesting to note that a few pieces of Chinese porcelain and
stoneware were also recovered.  These included “Four Seasons” and
polychrome condiment dishes, pieces of both blue and white and
celadon rice bowls, pieces of food and liquor jars, a medicine vial, and
large shipping jar that had been painted green and converted into a
planter.  A green abalone shell was still in place blocking the drilled
drain hole inside the jar.

Most Chinese items were found in Unit A, (closest to the
Kitchen/laundry area) suggesting that a Chinese person was employed
for one or both of these activities
Maker's Marks

marks represented wares from 20 different companies.  The number of
pieces from each suggest that pieces from the Thomas Furnival &
Sons company were the most popular followed by John Maddock
products, Johnson Bros., and J&G Meakin.

Some pottery marks are confined to just a few years of manufacture
and can assist in determining the age of the deposit (years of privy
use in this case).  Obviously a piece of ceramic with a particular mark
can be manufactured many years before it ends up broken in a trash
pile.  However, it can’t end up in a trash pit before its year of
manufacture.  Using this law and the span of years of each maker’s
mark, brackets have been placed on this graph that represent the most
likely span of years that the privy was in use.  We know that the privy
already existed in 1888.  And the privy must have still been in use in
1906 to have contained a Maddock & Co. bowl.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Organic Material

Marine shellfish remains were also found in the privy
vault. Although 15 species were represented, the most
abundant by weight was Pismo clam (tivela).  The next
most abundant by weight were oyster and cockle
(clinocardium).  Both were popular shellfish in the early
20th century diet.

Organic material recovered included charcoal along
with various seeds and pits.  Most were recovered from
Unit A (near the kitchen area).  Identifiable seeds
included squash seeds, peach pits, cherry pits, and
corncob pieces.

Eighteen pieces of flatware were recovered, including 3
table knives, 2 forks (three tine), 3 standard spoons,
one teaspoon, one serving spoon, one butter knife, and
6 handles missing the business ends.  Flatware handles
were of wood (6), steel (6), copper (5), and bone (1).

Also recovered was a rusty piece of metal that appeared
to be the end of a frosting applicator.
Pottery marks recovered and years of
manufacture
# of
Pieces
Reference
Powell & Bishop (1876-78)
1
Godden 1991:509
Charles Meakin (1870-82)
1
Godden 1991:426
Sebring Porcelain (1900)
1
Lehner 1988:414
E. Walley ? questionable (1845-56)
1
Godden 1991:644
W.H. Grindley & Co. (1891-1914)
1
Godden 1991:294
A.J. Wilkinson Ltd. (1896)
1
Godden 1991:672
K. T. & K. Warranted (1872-1904)
1
Lehner 1988:238
K. T. & K. Granite (1872-1904)
2
Lehner 1988:239
Henry Alcock & Co. (1891-1900)
2
Godden 1991:27
John Edwards (1880-1900)
2
Godden 1991:231
H. Burgess (1864-92) formerly T. & R. Boote
2
Godden 1991:116
T. & R. Boote (1890-1906)
2
Godden 1991:84
Wood & Son (1891-1907)
3
Godden 1991:689
Edward Clarke (1865-77)
3
Godden 1991:147
Thomas Hughes (1860-94)
4
Godden 1991:339
John Maddock & Sons (1880-96)
4
Godden 1991:406
Maddock & Co. (1906+)
6
Godden 1991:406
J. & G. Meakin (1890+)
7
Godden 1991:427
Johnson Bros. (1883-1913)
7
Godden 1991:335
Thomas Furnival & Sons (1818-1890)
19
Godden 1991:263
Davenport (1793-1887)
1
Godden 1991:189