Archaeology of a Pleasure Garden
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The site occupation and potential use of the property known as Van Bokkelen’s in nineteenth-century Virginia City, Nevada is analyzed from a historical and archaeological perspective with an emphasis on the archaeology of outdoor entertainment and drinking culture. The site went through several occupations, from Native Americans, Van Bokkelen, the Hildebrand Pleasure Garden, the St. Mary’s Hospital run by the Daughters of Charity, the Storey County Hospital, a period of abandonment, and what is now St. Mary’s Art Center. This project focuses on the Van Bokkelen, Hildebrand Pleasure Garden, and the Daughters of Charity occupations of the site ranging from the early 1870s to 1899. Synthesizing the historical record and the archaeological record, this thesis explores more specific potential uses of the site with artifact and feature descriptions, as well as an interpretation and analysis of the historical record.