Religious and Recreational Items Recovered

Crucifix found in the section closest to the Convent/Chapel building
Miraculous Infant, Jesus of Prague
Heart necklaces

Poured bisque doll head
Frozen Charlottes

Religious Artifacts

Religious items by location

The fact that the Academy was a Catholic school that included a special Chapel building and convent, suggested that religious items should be present along with the other refuse recovered from the privy.

A graph of religious items based on their location within the privy indicated that rosary beads were more numerous than any of the other items.  The number and locations of the beads suggest that they were likely owned by most students and teachers and that they were conveniently disposed of wherever they happened to break.

Crucifix items were only found in Unit C (closest to the convent/Chapel building).   Medallions (Miraculous Infant, Jesus of Prague A-142, and Christ U-103) and silver heart necklaces (probably representing the “Immaculate Heart Order”) were found in Unit A (nearest the dining hall).

Why would heart necklaces and medallions be found in the privy section nearest the kitchen/dining hall and not near the Chapel/ convent building?

As was discussed above in the “Personal Living” section, it is likely that much of the personal hygiene activities (bathing, face washing, etc.) took place in the kitchen/dining building.  This structure housed a kitchen and laundry area.  Sanborn maps depict a large kettle mounted on a brick firebox that would have been used to heat water for laundry.  As the kitchen would have had both hot and cold water available early in the morning and late in the evening, it would have been the natural place for both students and nuns to take baths and conduct other personal hygiene activities.

Medallions and heart necklaces were likely worn all the time and only removed during bathing.  Their removal in the kitchen/laundry area would have increased the chances that they would break or get lost in this area… thus their final location in the privy section nearest the kitchen building (Unit A).

A large crucifix would have been worn primarily by nuns on outside clothing.  These articles of clothing would have been changed more often in their personal dormitory rooms located in the Chapel/convent building.  It is logical that breakage and loss of these items would have occurred more regularly at that location… thus their final location in the privy section nearest the Chapel/convent building (Unit C).

Other religious items included a small porcelain bell with cross design and a plaster-robed figure with bare feet (unidentifiable).

Holy water bottle
Rosary beads

Recreation Items

Whenever a group of kids get together, there will always be toys.  The graphs at right suggest that most recreation activities took place west of the privy (the direction of the Chapel building).   A sandbox feature was discovered west and north of the privy and associated with the Immaculate Heart Academy.  All jax and marbles were found in Unit A and may suggest indoor recreation took place in the dining hall during rainy days.

Although it is difficult to assign gender values to particular toys, at least three of the classes of toys listed on the graph are suggestive of girl related activities (jax, dolls, toy dishes).  Marbles and toy weapons (gun and hatchet) are frequently listed as boy related items.  The “bike” listing on the graph is associated with spoked wheels originally believed to be from a tricycle, however, it is more likely that they were from a real or doll’s baby carriage.  The existence of a boy’s school northeast of the privy indicates that boys were in the area, however their use of the Immaculate Heart privy and their interaction with girls from the Academy is unknown.

Not listed in the graph are two harmonica pieces; one from Unit A and one from Unit C.

Porcelain doll parts appear to represent the majority of recreational items recovered.  Most doll parts were poured bisque head pieces of the type manufactured in Germany during the 1890’s (Coleman 1986:143, 463).  Some of these pieces had embossed lettering; “8 Germany”, “..…any”, “D & Kuep/5.oa”, and “250”.   Also recovered were pieces of 4 Frozen Charlotte dolls (Coleman 1986:445).  These dolls were very popular and were manufactured by C.F. Lauer (1887) and possibly Oscar Strasburger & Co. (1880).

Related to the doll parts was the recovery of a doll feeding bottle.  This tiny blown, two piece mold “C. B.” bottle even had measurement graduations embossed on the side.

Dolls baby bottle

Toy dinnerware included 2 bowls, 3 cups, 9 saucers, one plate and one sugar bowl.

Two marbles were recovered from Unit A.  Both were unglazed clay marbles and were likely manufactured during the 1880-90’s (Webb 1994:19, 90).

One steel jax piece was recovered from Unit A (A-231).

A steel toy six-shooter and a small steel Indian-style tomahawk were recovered from Unit C.

Two harmonica pieces were recovered, one brass (C-86) and one zinc (A-230).

Unusual items included the clay articulated jaw of what appeared to be a canine animal or alligator (C-77) and the broken piece of a poker chip (A-232).