Archaeological research at Riverside has been focused on the numerous outbuildings that once surrounded the main house during the 19th century. Plantations and farms typically included a variety of outbuildings that supported domestic and farm work, such as a kitchen, smoke house, washhouse, icehouse, outhouse, barns, sheds, and slave and tenant houses. None of the outbuildings at Riverside survived to present day. The identification and interpretation of the former outbuildings at Riverside has been an important part of understanding the life at Riverside during the nineteenth century and telling the story of the people who lived and worked there.

Since 1995, archaeologists have used information from an archaeological survey, historic documents, and oral history to locate former outbuildings. Research of these buildings is conducted during an ongoing educational field trip for school children called “Building Blocks of History.” See for more information on how to participate.

Through this program, archaeologists have investigated several buildings, including the detached kitchen, the washhouse, the slave/tenant house, a barn, and brick kiln. See for more information and images.

Archaeological research at Riverside has become an important element to Riverside’s interpretation and presentation to the public. Through educational and public programs, visitors get to experience ongoing research and participate in the evolving interpretation of Riverside’s history. The information collected from the archaeological investigations is used to help understand the 19th century landscape of Riverside and to aid the interpretation and reconstruction of former outbuildings.