The Partnership for Response & Recovery has conducted a Phase I archaeological survey of the Houston Lake Dam, located in Houston County, Georgia. The purpose of this work was to provide an inventory of archaeological resources that may be subject to adverse impacts from construction activities associated with repair of the dam. The dam at Houston Lake was one of nearly 40 impoundments that were breached during the Alberto Storm of July 1994, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing funds to Houston County for repair of the dam. Because Federal funds are involved, this study was undertaken for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and other Federal regulations that require consideration of the effects of Federal undertakings on cultural resources.
Houston Lake has a long history, and it has played an important role in many lives over at least the past 150 years. From its beginning as a purely commercial milling enterprise, through its development as a recreational center beginning in the early twentieth century, to the construction of the country club and golf course in the mid-twentieth century, Houston Lake is an important site in Houston County.
Five cultural resource sites were identified during an earlier, preliminary reconnaissance of the dam, including architectural features associated with the dam (9HT105) and four archaeological sites represented by surface scatters of prehistoric and historic material 9HT103, 9HT104, 9HT106, and 9HT107). The present Phase I study focused on the latter four sites. Prehistoric material was recovered from Sites 9HT103, 9HT104, and 9HT106; however, there was little or no evidence that prehistoric deposits had survived in well-preserved archaeological contexts. Historic artifacts were recovered from all four sites. The recovered artifacts suggest that the deposits may have accumulated from the early- to mid-nineteenth century through the present. The contexts of these deposits were for the most part related to events associated with the construction, use, and recent destruction of the impoundment. Given the limited information potential inherent in these contexts, none of the sites appear to retain sufficient values to be considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

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The Georgia Archaeological Site File

UGA Laboratory of Archaeology

1125 Whitehall Rd

Athens, GA 30602-4702