Robinson Terminal South Excavation Update: Wolfe Street and The Strand

In August 2017, Archaeologists from Thunderbird Archaeology continued their excavations at Robinson Terminal South. They just about wrapped up work in the north part of the site and began to excavate along Wolfe Street and the location where The Strand used to cut through this block.

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Note: The information on this page reflects the state of knowledge when this update was written. Information may have changed. 

Wolfe Street and the Strand

August 2017

Wolfe Street

Archaeologists from Thunderbird Archaeology have just about wrapped up excavation in the northwest corner of the Robinson Landing site. They have continued their excavations in the central portions of the site, including the bakery and bulkhead complexes. They also have begun to dig in the south of the block, including here along Wolfe Street. Visible to the left in this photo are a row of building foundations fronting on Wolfe Street, in the background along S. Union Street is another building foundation, and in the foreground is a building originally built along The Strand. As these foundations are uncovered, the archaeologists are also uncovering the narrow alleyways and small yards behind these buildings. By the turn of the 20th century, these earlier residential dwellings had been replaced by a more industrial landscape.


The Strand

Archaeologists have also discovered the remains of The Strand itself as it cuts through this block. As the port town expanded eastward into the river during the late 18th century, a new passageway or road was created to the east of Union Street. Property descriptions from the last decade of the 18th century indicate that a “space of ground” had been created and left open along the water’s edge to facilitate movement along the waterfront. Throughout the 19th and into the 20th century, The Strand cut through this block from between the building at 2 Duke Street and Pioneer Mill, south to where it ended at the intersection with Wolfe Street. By the 1920s, The Strand only extended as far as the end of 2 Duke Street, where it was reduced to a narrow recess between 2 Duke Street and the Robinson Terminal South warehouse in the late 1930s or early 1940s.

In this photograph, archaeologists have just come down onto the top of the southern end of The Strand as it runs into Wolfe Street. Here, the street was paved with flat stones, perhaps as a way to help keep this low-lying, river-adjacent city street from turning into an impassable quagmire (like the one seen here after a summer rainstorm).

the strand