Skip to main content
Start of main content

A road project uncovered a historical archaeology site and one family’s connection to it

April 02, 2024

Stantec began a historical archaeology project for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) when the agency discovered numerous archaeological sites along FM 455 in Denton County. TxDOT was widening FM 455 when it came across the remains of the Tom Cook Blacksmith Shop. A freedman, Tom Cook operated the shop in the late 1800s in the town of Bolivar, located along the Chisholm Trail and a route for cattle drives. Stantec archaeologists and TxDOT saw the opportunity to turn the discovery into a community archaeology project by enlisting residents and Tom Cook’s descendants in its excavation and research. The historical and community archaeology project offers insight into the life and work of Tom Cook, who was a successful businessman and prominent community member. Tom Cook’s great-great-grandson helped excavate the site and provide valuable historical information about his ancestor. Tom Cook’s shop is the only African American-owned blacksmith site ever excavated in Texas.

  • Doug Boyd

    Doug is a senior archaeologist based who primarily works with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and their Archeological Studies Program.

    Contact Doug
  • Alexander Menaker

    A senior archaeologist who has worked across the Americas and Caribbean, Alexander brings nearly two decades of archaeological and historic research experience in all levels of survey and testing to every project.

    Contact Alexander
End of main content
To top