Archaeological and historical investigations at the west end of the Martin and Bowie Streets connection, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
Test excavations were conducted in November 1987 by the Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio at the site of a planned relocation of the eastbound lanes of Martin Street in downtown San Antonio. The lots in question were located on the north side of the early town site, and were known to have contained the residence of Thaddeus Smith, the county clerk for Bexar County in the last half of the 19th century. Testing was done by backhoe and by controlled hand excavations. Testing was done in relation to each of the three structures that were known to have existed in the area. The foundations of a house at 409 North Flores Street, built in 1868, were examined to record methods of construction, the structural evolution of the house, and its conversion into a commercial establishment ca. 1927. Part of the foundations were uncovered and recorded of Smith's elaborate 1898 home at 403 North Flores Street. In search for the source of the late 18th-century artifacts from the levels beneath an 1868 house, test units were excavated at 401 North Flores Street in what appeared to be on the 1873 Koch map the back yard of a one-story adobe house. Artifacts recovered there, however, indicated post-1800 occupation. A jacal wall trench was located and recorded at this address. As a result of the comparatively undisturbed nature of the archaeological deposits at 401 North Flores Street, it is recommended that the area bounded by Flores, Salinas, and Rossy Streets and the new location of Martin Street be made a State Archeological Landmark. A number of structures were located in this area in 1873 that undoubtedly represent the first expansion of the town to the north of the plazas.