Archaeology at the Ashbridge Estate

In the summers of 1998 and 1999, almost 200 young people participated in “hands-on” archaeology at the Ashbridge Estate as part of a Royal Ontario Museum summer camp experience.

See The Ashbridge Site, Toronto by Dena Doroszenko. This provides an excellent history of the Ashbridge Estate and a summary of the 1998-1999 digs.  It also mentions that in 1987 and 1988, public archaeology programs in partnership with the school board took place at the west end of the site, where a 20th century residence once stood (now the lawn on the west side of the estate’s driveway).
Excerpt from The Ashbridge Site, Toronto:

The location of this archaeological research was at 1444 Queen Street E., in Toronto’s east end, known as the Ashbridge Estate.  Most Torontonians are familiar with Ashbridge’s Bay, but are not aware of the history of the family for whom the Bay is named.

Sarah Ashbridge left Chester County, Pennsylvania with her adult children and their families to homestead in the new Canadian (then British) territory sometime in the fall of 1792/93…Sarah is recorded as already living on the Toronto property as early as 1794.  Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe, mentions in her diary “some Pennsylvanians living near the Don” (a major river in the eastern part of Toronto) in 1794 and she also noted a visit to Sarah’s log cabin in 1796.  Five generations of Ashbridges have continued to live on the original homestead land up until 1997.  In fact, subdivision and sale of their original 200-acre farm lot did not truly begin until the 20th century.




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