Historic bottles halt construction: 1870's bottles found buried - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Construction halted after historic bottles were found buried in Florence

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FLORENCE, Ariz. - A construction site for a park in Florence has turned into an archeological site after a mysterious discovery was made by work crews.

They were in the process of digging up the area, but instead they unearthed a treasure that may be more than a century old.

The discovery halted construction on a park being built in Florence. Crews were working behind the Silver King Hotel built in 1895. When they came across broken glass and discovered a path of beer and whiskey bottles buried about a foot below ground. The bottles may date as far as the 1870's.

Florence Senior Planner, Gilbert Olgin, dusts off a mysterious find, a pathway of upside down bottles discovered by construction crews building a park behind the hotel.

"They determined the bottles you see here are over 100 years old that are worth saving," said Olgin.

The discovery has halted construction for three weeks. The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office and the Arizona State Museum suggested hiring an archaeological firm to evaluate the site.

"Most of the bottles are whiskey bottles, they do have all kinds of markings on them; there are a few wine bottles and medicine bottles," he said.

"I think it's exciting, of course if you did anywhere in Florence, you never know what you're going to find," said Chris Reid with the Pinal County Historical Society Museum.

Florence is one of the oldest towns in Arizona and has more than 120 registered historic buildings.

The future for the bottles is unknown.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to keep some of them for display here for people to see," she said.

"When we started back up they're going to ask us to have an archaeologist on site while we're doing construction. They also want us to possible re-design the park to accommodate this and have it more for view for people to see," said Olgin.

A footer was discovered at the site, possible from the Florence Hotel that burned in 1894. Crews also found an old gun cartridge.

The City still hopes to figure out what happens with the finds, and they hope construction can resume within a week or so.
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