The Shays’ Settlement Project is the first formal study of the ruins of a fortified 18th century settlement located in the mountains near the New York/Vermont border. The settlement was founded by Captain Daniel Shays and his fellow refugees after they fled from Massachusetts following the uprising he lead in 1787. Incredibly, this piece of lost American history lay hidden and untouched for over 200 years. The archaeological study began in April of 2013, and is still on going. The project is being supported by The Forestland Group, an independent timberland investment organization that owns the land and who is also committed to its continued study and preservation.
The Shays’ Settlement Project is being lead by Steve Butz, an educator, writer and archaeologist. Steve gained his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell University, has taught at the college and secondary school level for 20 years, and has written numerous books on the subjects of science, technology, and history. He has also created a public education project involving the settlement, conducting a summer archaeology field school at the site. So far, 89 students from Vermont and New York have participated in the program, learning techniques in archaeological fieldwork, surveying, mapmaking, and digital imaging by taking part in the scientific study of the settlement. The discovery of the settlement has revealed a lost piece of American history, and is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Vermont today.
Steve Butz is available to give lectures on the project, which weaves together the tale of the present day archaeological investigation; the story of Shays’ heroic life as a captain in the Continental Army; his role in the infamous rebellion that bears his name; the founding of the settlement, and his impact on American law. Steve is also currently writing a book and developing a documentary film about the project.