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Archaeologist Digs to Find How Wing Family Lived

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At first glance, the Wing Fort house of 69 Spring Hill Road in Sandwich may appear to be just another cape-style home, with its symmetry, low roof and centered chimney. But years of renovations to the property conceals its origins as a 17th century home.

Archaeologist Craig Chartier is leading an excavation this summer of the Wing Fort house property in the hope that it will reveal more about the early years of the Wing family who originally lived here. Chartier is sifting through the dirt looking for artifacts that may give insight into the habits and routines of the family over the years.

"It's one of the oldest houses in Sandwich,” he said, “one of the oldest houses in what used to be Plymouth Colony. It was built sometime in between 1641 and 1646 and it's been continuously occupied by the same family since then."

Chartier has been hired by the Wing Family to conduct an excavation of the property. He says the house was referred to as a "fort" because it had been fortified with a stone wall to protect the occupants from possible Native American raids. It's one of the oldest surviving buildings in the country, and many of the artifacts that Chartier is unearthing date back to the Colonial period, or even earlier in some cases.