North Hill Site
The North Hill site predates Jefferson’s octagonal retreat. Occupied during the 1770s or early 1780s, there were only a few slave families and an overseer on this part of the plantation at that time.
Archaeologists discovered evidence of a single house at the North Hill site, an erosion gully filled with trash from the house, and a portion of a ditch believed to have been dug to support posts for a fence made of thin, upright saplings. The house, like those found at the newer Quarter Site, was built of logs and probably had a wooden chimney. Wooden chimneys were commonly lined with clay for fireproofing, and pieces of this clay lining were found at both sites.
Slaves had to supplement their food rations themselves, as well as provide the simple furnishings of their homes. Artifacts found in the gully and in the storage cellar at the North Hill include: burned seeds and animal bones, woodworking and farming tools, several silver Spanish coins, and personal items such as buttons, shoe buckles, and beads.