by Bernard K. Means

Today, September 2, 2013, is Labor Day in the U.S. and I thought I’d look back and see what Edgar E. Augustine and his field crew were doing on this day back in 1936.  Well, they weren’t excavating.  In a problem that recurred with too much frequency, one WPA project (#2321) was completed, and Augustine was waiting word on another.  In a letter dated Sepetember 2, 1936, Augustine wrote to his former crew chief, Bob Colvin, that:

2321, as you doubtless know, is dead and we are awaiting, with our mouths open, the announcement of another project. By all means, we hope to have the pleasure of your presence on such an undertaking

Augustine was not being idle this day, even if he was not being paid.  Rather, he was arranging for artifacts uncovered from the Hanna site to be put on public display in Ebensburg, noting that “you have the vis[i]ble remains of the oldest occupation yet discovered in Pennsylvania.  This fact has been authenticated and can be freely advertised.” The Hanna site was a multi-component site, of which the most archaeological visible occupation was associated with a Monongahela Tradition village.

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An interesting aside is that there was some talk of Augustine going to Cambria County, Pennsylvania, as part of a WPA project.  This did not happen.