The Dig at Sappington House


Archaeological tools for the dig at Sappington HouseThe Dig at
Sappington House

2019 – The fourth and last year of the dig at Sappington House

Thursday, May 30 to Saturday, Jun 15, 2019


All are invited to the dig at Sappington House

The dig at Sappington House - For students

The hands “behind” dig at Sappington House

That includes students interested in enrolling in the archaeological dig program, kids from kindergarten to middle school coming to visit the kids activities area, families and adult visitors, groups

The dig at Sappington House is free and open to the public

Dates and times for high school students enrolled in the archaeological dig program
Thursday, May 30 to Saturday, Jun 15, 2019
10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays, that is daily except Sunday and Monday

Dates and times for kids and adult visitors
For kids
visiting the dig activities area, Saturday, June 1 – Friday, June 14, 11:00 noon to 2:00 pm
For families and adults visiting to view the dig, Saturday, June 1 – Friday, June 14, 11:00 noon to 2:00 pm

The schedule
Thur, May 30 – Dig set up
Fri, May 31
Sat, June 1
Sunday and Monday, no digging
Tues, June 4
Wed, June 5
Thur, June 6
Fri, June 7
Sat, June 8
Sunday and Monday, no digging
Tues, June 11
Wed, June 12
Thur, June 13
Fri, June 14
Sat, June 15 – Dig wrap up, no more digging

The dig at Sappington House - For students

Historic Sappington House
1015 S Sappington Road
St Louis, MO 63126 USA

The dig takes place at Historic Sappington House in Crestwood
1015 S. Sappington Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63126
Phone: 314-822-8171

On Grant’s Trail
at Sappington Road
See directions to Sappington House
at Crestwood Elementary School across the street or in parking lot at Reco Industrial Drive. Please leave the parking lot at the Barn for restaurant patrons and Grant’s Trail bikers


For High School Students enrolling in the archaeological dig program, 9th to 12th Grades
May 30 – June 15, Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10:00 to 3:00 pm
No dig on Sundays or Mondays. 13 days total. Full attendance recommended, but scheduling conflicts are accommodated. No fees to students or families.

Program funded and designed by Archeological Institute of America, St Louis Society.

The program: A service learning program, partial university level archaeology field school. Students work under the guidance of professional archaeologists and teachers. Integral parts of the program are; personal journaling, diagraming, recording finds; interacting with the teachers, archaeologists, fellow students and visitors to the site. Students, teachers and archaeologists work together in a casual atmosphere of cooperation, research and learning.

The experience: Meet archaeology as both an art, and a science. Get hands-on with archaeology, its ways and its thinking. Fun, challenging and educational.

Next step for interested students: To apply or get more information, call or email dig coordinator Steve Hanpeter: 314-918-1617,; or SappingtonHouse Resident Manager Sally Cakouros at 314-822-8171,



For kids from Kindergarten to Middle School visiting the dig activities area
June 1 – June 14, Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11:00 to 2:00 pm
No activities on Sundays or Mondays. Free. Come as a family or a group. No reservations required. For groups, making reservations is best.

Activities: Hands-on simulated dig. Find simulated artifacts. Record and draw in free field guide. Immerse yourselves for one to three hours. Watch and talk to archeologists and students actually working. Visit pond. Dig activities are free. There is a small charge for the optional tour of Historic Sappington House; kids $1, adults $5.

The experience: Meet archaeology as an adventure. The simulated dig and observing the dig at Sappington House gets the kids hands-on with archaeology, its ways and its thinking. Fun, challenging and educational.

Groups are encouraged to notify SappingtonHouse Resident Manager Sally Cakouros of their desired visiting schedule

For more information and group reservations: Call or email dig coordinator Stephen Hanpeter: 314-918-1617,;or Sappington House Resident Manager Sally Cakouros at 314-822-8171,

Visitors are invited to come visit and view the work taking place on the dig at Sappington House. They can see the progress, and talk to the archaeologists, students and teachers.


Volunteers are needed. For more information, contact dig coordinator Steve Hanpeter: 314-918-1617,

Who does the actual “down in the dirt” digging?
The dig at Sappington House is an archaeological dig for select high school students
to do the excavation under the guidance of professional archaeologists. The students are recommended by a teacher at their. Two high school teachers work along side the students as guides to the experience. Two professional archaeologists from the AIA St Louis Society will also be on site to guide the students, instruct them in the ways of archaeology and to help them enjoy this educational summer experience.

All are invited to come watch
Please come to watch and enjoy the fun
, feel the fascination! 
The dig is not just for the students, it is for the general public to watch and learn right along with the students. The dig will be of interest to anyone from anywhere, but it will be of special interest to those in the Sappington-Concord area, which covers the area of the Lindbergh Schools in South St Louis County.

What to bring
Bring your lawn chairs. Bring your curiosity and sense of fun. Be ready to cheer on the students and staff.

What is expected to be found during the dig?
The dig is expected to produce small items that were broken, lost or discarded over the years. Items of higher value and usefulness would have been passed on or re-used over the years, so are not expected to be part of the findings of the dig. However, small things such as bones and bits of broken ceramic items may speak of everyday life in a way that is not recorded in historic documents from the day.

What happens to items found during the dig?
Items that are found during the dig will eventually become part of the collections of the Sappington House museum. After processing; cleaning, photographing and cataloging the items, they will become a permanent part of the Sappington House collections. These items, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, will add to the knowledge of everyday life for the early Sappington families that lived on the site, as well as all the generations of Native Americans before them.

See more about the finds from the dig at Sappington House.

Why do the dig?
The dig will add to our understanding of everyday life in our region. After the finds have been analyzed, a report will be created by the AIA St Louis Society on the findings of the dig and their significance. The report will be available to the public as well as the Sappington House museum archives and the Sappington-Concord Historical Society archives.

The rich archaeological heritage of St Louis and Missouri
Besides being fun and exciting, the dig may turn our attention to what other possibilities await us at other sites through out the St Louis Metro region and through out the whole state of Missouri. Both areas are rich in the history and culture of Native Americans as well as early European settlers.

Contact Stephen Hanpeter, president of Sappington-Concord Historical Society, at 314-918-1617 or by email at

See South County Times article on the dig at Sappington House, published June 10, 2016.

See photos of the 2016 dig;
Day one
Day two
Day three
Day four
Day five
Day six
Day seven
Day eight
Day nine
Day ten

Goals of the dig

The mission of the Sappington-Concord Historical Society is to collect, research, educate and share history of Sappington-Concord area. Therefore the goals of the dig at Sappington House are to:
• Provide an extraordinary experience in history and science for the twelve high school students from the participating high schools
• Provide educational opportunities for visitors and the public to learn about archaeology and history of Sappington-Concord and surrounding South St Louis County area
• Contribute to the historic record for the Sappington-Concord area

The four sponsoring organizations

The dig at Sappington House is a coordinated effort of the following four organizations:
•  Sappington-Concord Historical Society
•  The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) St Louis Society – see web site or web site
•  The Sappington House Foundation – see web site
•  The City of Crestwood, Missouri; Department of Parks and Recreation – see web site

All of the sponsors of the dig are excited to be able to offer this fun and educational experience to the children and adults of the South St Louis County area. It is their mission to educate and inspire kids and adults to personally experience history, and in the case of archaeology, to feel the excitement of science too.

Why do an archaeological dig?

The idea of doing a dig at Sappington House started with Michael Fuller. The AIA St Louis Society had done quite a few digs for kids in the St Louis area over the years. Michael thought the Sappington House would be an ideal location to give students a real hands-on experience with archaeology. The Sappington House was built just after the Louisiana Purchase, is a prime example of Federal style architecture and the house has been well cared for over the years.

Stephen Hanpeter, former president of SCHS, saw the dig as an opportunity for the Sappington-Concord Historical Society (serving the area of the Lindbergh Schools which includes the Sappington House across the street from Crestwood School) to carry out its mission of researching, preserving and sharing the history of the Sappington-Concord area. Education too is part of the organization’s mission. The dig at Sappington House involves Lindbergh High School kids learning about archaeology and the history of their area. Adult and child visitors to the dig also had the chance to learn about the same things.

The Sappington House Foundation which takes care of the house along with the owners of the house, the City of Crestwood, both saw the archaeological dig as a way to promote better understanding of the house and its history, as well as bringing visitors to the house to learn about the Sappington’s and their role in the history of the area. Of course the Sappington House museum will be the recipient of the artifacts found in the dig and the benefactor of the research done.

The 2016, 2017 and 2018 digs produced many archaeological finds relevant to the history of the house, especially the discovery of the summer kitchen foundation along with the relics and remains which tend to verify the building’s use in preparing meals. The dig gave a number of high school students a hands-on experience with archaeology and historic preservation. Visitors to the site saw archaeology in action with their own eyes and were able to learn more from the displays and activities set up for them. The Sappingtonton House Foundation has gained much in understanding the history of the house and the people living there. The same for the Sappington-Concord Historical Society. The actual items found in the dig will become part of the Sappington House museum’s collection.

Who is who in the archaeological dig at Sappington House

Leaders in the participating organizations include the following:
•  The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) St Louis Society – see web site or web site
President, Ken Williams

•  Sappington-Concord Historical Society
Former SCHS president, Stephen Hanpeter
The SCHS board of directors and officers
The SCHS dig at Sappinton House committee, led by Rachel Azzara

•  The Sappington House Foundation – see web site
The Sappington House Foundation board, President Denise Lutes
Sappington House Historian, Enid Barnes
Sappington House Resident Manager, Sally Cakouros

•  The City of Crestwood, Missouri, Department of Parks and Recreation – see web site
City of Crestwood Mayor, Greg Roby
Manager of the City of Crestwood Parks and Recreation Department, Denise

Other organizations and individuals
Perhaps it needs to be said that other organizations and many individuals besides the four sponsoring organizations listed above are contributing to the dig at Sappington House. They are contributing time, talent, resources and money.

• Archaeologists managing the dig
Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis, Inc.
2812 Woodson Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63114
Phone: 314-426-2577 FAX: 314-426-2599 E-Mail: Website:
Principal Investigator, Robin Machiran
Assisting Investigator, Joe Harl
Assisting Investigators

• Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site for hosting the November Student Presentations in 2016 and  2017

• SCHS members contributing funds to the dig

Student Presentation: Experiences and Findings

Reports on the archaeological dig at Sappington House by the students; their experiences and their findings.
Hosting the event in 2016 and 2017 was Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site at 7400 Grant Road, St. Louis, MO 63123

See quotes from the students’ presentations.

See the excavation exhibit page.

See posting by Lindbergh Schools on the student presentations

See SunCrest Call newspaper report on the presentations

See photos of the student presentations on November 20

Archaeology resources for kids and adults

For kids and adults
Archaeological Institute of America – Introduction to Archaeology

For kids
Project Arch-ae-o is a web site for kids to have fun with the archaeology of Cahokia Mounds.

For the dig students
Documents on the Sappington House and the Sappington family – resources for dig students

Resources from Dr Micheal Fuller – Frontier/Historic Sites
         Missouri Archaeological Society