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Fairfield Lake State Park Archaeological Survey, Freestone County, Texas

FairfieldFairfield Lake State Park covers 14,600 acres in Freestone County, located approximately five miles northeast of Fairfield, Texas. The land was acquired for lease by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) from Texas Utilities in the 1970s. In an effort to begin building an inventory of sites, a cultural resource survey of the park was conducted by Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) in 1996 under the direction of Dr. James E. Corbin. The SFA crew recorded or revisited a total of 34 sites within the park's boundary. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, this initial assessment was never completed. In 2008, TPWD contracted the Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS) to complete the project. CAS revisited and reassessed each of the 34 previously recorded sites, recorded an additional site, completed the report, and finalized the analysis and curation of all documents and artifacts recovered in 1996 and 2008.

Archaeology present within Fairfield Lake State Park represents occupations of prehistoric and historic cultures. Of particular significance are the 19th-century historic farmsteads and homesteads. These sites most likely contain remnants of Reconstruction-era tenant farmers, who are often underrepresented in archaeological research in Texas.