The outdoor education facility:

On an average school day in the fall or spring, between 11 and 18 high school students travel to the Center for Archaeology/BCPS to perform research employing the methods they have been reading about in their elective archaeology course. The students receive an hour long, on-site orientation and demonstration lecture and then they have an experience excavating for 1 hours. The students  also undertake a 1-hour cultural landscape walking tour where remnants of Oregon town are viewed and various aspects of life in a furnace town are explored. The pig iron manufacturing process is explained at the furnace crucible ruins, everyday life experience is investigated at a reconstructed tenant house museum and period labor practices are addressed while viewing iron ore and marble quarries. Students also learn about and compare artifact assemblages recovered from tenant house sites and those from the yard of the Manager/Iron Master’s house.

High school archaeology elective students listening to teacher-archaeologist George Brauer during the field orientation session held prior to the excavation exercise.

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The development of the archaeology education curriculum parallels the evolution of the Center's research program. This is how a portion of the integrated curriculum/ research project has operated to date:


  • High school Archaeology students, Gifted and Talented Summer Program students, and teachers taking the in-service continuing education program excavated a tenant house site and then processed the recovered artifacts. This field and lab work took several years and involved many classes and programs.
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(Top left) One of the eleven tenant houses at Oregon Town circa, 1890's.
(Top right) Using the historic photograph and foundation evidence, students rebuilt one of the tenant houses (the white two-story building).

(Bottom) Town well. The bottom 6’ of fill held artifacts.
  • After completing excavation of the tenant house, high school industrial art students drew up blue-prints for a reconstruction of the structure using excavation information and historical photographs recovered by summer program students researching at the archives.


  • High school woodshop and masonry class students then reconstructed the house and re-appointed the house foundation stones. This reconstruction process took four years and involved several shop classes.


  • Media communications students videotaped the process for a student documentary that aired on the school district's educational cable TV channel.


  • The reconstructed tenant house serves as a Baltimore County Public Schools museum. Named after a resident of Oregon, the Peter Goff Tenant House Museum displays artifacts excavated and restored by students alongside period antiques and replicas typically found at Oregon Town.


Recognition (Archaeology):

  • Society for American Archaeology
    2001 Award For Excellence in Public Education
    'Recognizes institutions or individuals who bring about an improved public understanding and appreciation of anthropology and archaeology'.
  • Archaeological Society of Maryland
    1999 Patricia Seitz Memorial - Teacher of the Year Certificate of Excellence
    For 'Outstanding Role In Fostering An Understanding Of The Discipline Of Archaeology Among Students'.

Recognition (Education):

  • National Association of Gifted Children
    2001 Curriculum Study Award
    For the BCPS' Third-Grade Archaeology GT Curriculum.
  • The National Council For The Social Studies (NCSS)
    1995 Program of Excellence Curriculum Award
    For 'Outstanding Social Studies Programming in the Nation'. For the CFA/BCPS program, 'Archaeology and Critical Thinking'.
  • The Maryland Council For The Social Studies
    1994 Outstanding Programming Award
    For Outstanding Social Studies Programming in Maryland

Recognition (Other):

  • Better Homes and Gardens
    1999 Honorary Mention
    'National Reconstruction/Restoration Competition'. For the Peter Goff Tenant House Museum project.




The reconstructed tenant house serves as the Peter Goff Tenant House Museum. The artifacts on display inside the museum represent the thirty-year period of occupation at Oregon Town.


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