Life and Labor in the Industrial Frontier: Archaeology of the Samuel Adams Limekilns, Santa Cruz, California

Lecture | November 15 | 12-1 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

 David Hyde, University of California, Berkeley Department of Anthropology

 Archaeological Research Facility

Beginning in the 1850s a lime extraction and processing industry took root in Santa Cruz County, California, supplying the American West Coast with a critical construction and manufacturing material. Over the subsequent 70 years, the industry shifted from being comprised of number of independently owned and operated operations to being monopolized by a single regional conglomerate. Throughout this same period, the industry attracted a diverse population of immigrant laborers whose roles and positions shifted over time. This specific social and economic history positions the Santa Cruz limekiln industry as a particularly interesting location for the broader examination of the impacts of industrialization and the implementation of modern industrial management practices on the lifeways and social relations of wage laborers in the American Far West. This brown bag talk focuses on recent archaeological investigations at one of these sites, the Samuel Adams Limekilns, where these questions are being explored. While analysis is ongoing, this talk aims to outline research objectives, methods, and initial interpretations at the Samuel Adams kilns while highlighting the broader impacts of industrial archaeologies that attempt to situate wage laborers as “social workers” (Casella 2005).