More research to be done at Minot Avenue site

Aug 3, 2020

If the town wants to build a new Public Safety Complex on Minot Avenue, the site would need to be further explored and excavated by archaeologists before construction could begin.

Archaeologist Craig Chartier, who first studied the site about 15 years ago, dialed into the Historic Commission meeting on Monday night to briefly share his thoughts on the project.

The Public Safety Complex would house the Wareham Police Department, Emergency Medical Services, and, potentially, other town departments or the Wareham Fire District. The committee studying the possible facility has identified a parcel of town-owned land on Minot Avenue between the Brandy Hill and Depot Crossing Apartments as likely the best location for the facility. The committee is also considering the Decas School, set to close in 2022, but that location is far less central in town, and EMS would need to keep an ambulance stationed elsewhere to keep response times down. 

Chartier said that the land was surveyed in the past when a previous committee was looking for a new location for the police station.

At that time, he dug a number of test pits throughout the site to get a sense of whether there were areas that seemed especially significant. He found a number of items that indicate there could be significance to the site, including indicators of fires, stone shavings from tool carving, and some other indicators.

The site overall -- stretching from the school to areas across where Minot Avenue now travels -- is known to be a site used by Wampanoags during the summer in the 1600s. 

Chartier said that based on what he found before, he believes a more intensive survey will be required by the state before construction could begin.