This archaeology project or "excavation" took place on several historic blocks located on the south side of the Stockton Channel in downtown Stockton. It is called the "WorkNet" project since that is the name of the office building that was built over a portion of the archaeological site. The excavation, or dig, took place in the summer of 2001. Since then, the archaeologists have been studying the artifacts found at this location. This exciting project uncovered information about the lives of everyday people in Stockton 120 years ago, documenting the lives of people seldom found in books or records of that era.
Archaeologists worked for several months conducting research in history books and with old maps to determine who the 19th century inhabitants of the WorkNet project area were and what types of items they used in their daily lives.
Who lived in this part of downtown Stockton?
From this archaeology project, we were able to learn that people began building houses in the neighborhood in the 1860s, and that over the years, the neighborhood continued to grow as stores, restaurants, and saloons were also built. Most of the occupants were families who worked in the nearby grain and woolen mills as clerks and laborers, although several families were associated with the shipping industry. The people who lived in the neighborhood were of mixed ethnicity, including Anglo-American, European, Italian, Irish, German, and other nationalities. Families continued to live in the neighborhood until the 1940s, when industrialization in the downtown Stockton area changed the character of the neighborhood and people moved away. The historic map below illustrates how this neighborhood looked back in the 1870s.
What Happened to the Site?
By the 1950s, the downtown neighborhoods had declined dramatically. The construction of Crosstown Freeway tore down the remains of the houses in the neighborhood and left only the archaeological sites we are able to study today.
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This City of Stockton webpage last reviewed on --- 3/22/2011