Spalding's sugar works site, Sapelo Island, Georgia

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Authors & editors

Crook Jr, Morgan R [Author]
O'Grady, Patricia D [Author]

Publisher Industrial Archaeology
Year of publication 1977 Vol 12 Winter (4) pp 318-336,

Medium Article

Food (non-cereal) processes > Sugar


Scope & contentProduction of sugar and molasses was a major enterprise in the southern United States during the first decades of the 19th century Louisiana was the prime area of the industry, followed by Florida, then Georgia and South Carolina.

Much information is available from documentary sources for this period, however little is known archeologicaly of construction details and material culture associated with the early sugar industry.

Archaeological investigations consisting of structural mapping and exploratory excavation at Spalding's Sugar Works Site or Sapelo Island, Georgia, provides some detail of sugar operations. The investigations were conducted during the summer of 1976 as a portion of a West Georgia College Archaeological Field School under the supervision of Lewis H. Larson, Jr., Professor of Anthropology West Georgia College.

This report represents an attempt to integrate the archaeological and historical record to address questions of the history of sugar operations at the site.

First a brief examination of the economic matrix of which sugar production was a part is made to determine the influence which gave rise to the industry, fostered its continuance, and eventually led to its demise. Next the operations associated with sugar production are examined, looking at their productive advantages and concomitant problems.

Results of the archaeological investigations are then discussed, followed by a concluding section which summarizes the documentary information and recovered archaeological data.

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Accession no. 230689