In 2001, GRA was asked by the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) to conducted a documentary and archival search at one of the nation’s earliest locomotive production sites in Paterson, New Jersey.
The industrial complex had appeared on various plans and drawings since the 1840’s, and in early 19th century photographs. GRA researched historic references to the structures in order to facilitate future mitigation and preservation planning. Evidence indicated that the foundations of the oldest building in the complex currently lie beneath a modern courtyard.
Archeological monitoring of the project site during renovation of several buildings erected in 1881 produced documentation of a boiler (below) in the basement of the old office building shown at upper left. The boiler represents a unique example of an adapted technology by the late 19th century locomotive manufactuer, with its locomotive style boiler surrounded by a fire brick insulator (a substitue for conventional wooden lagging). In the interest of historic preservation, the NJCDC has stabilized the boiler and left it in situ. Additionally, mechanical excavation in the course of construction exposed the partial foundation of an 1836 wheel house (below) built to utilize the canal system finished that same year. The upper and lower raceways of the canal were an industrial innovation of their day, providing hydromechanical power for mills along its path.