Madame John’s Legacy: 1971 Excavations by Richard Shenkel and UNO

In 1971, Madame John’s Legacy was one of the first historic period sites in urban New Orleans to be systematically investigated, when the subdiscipline of historical archaeology was still in its relative infancy. These investigations, carried out by Richard Shenkel of the University of New Orleans, were primarily intended to help understand the construction chronology of Madame John’s. While it was known that the present incarnation of Madame John’s was constructed just after the 1788 fire had damaged or destroyed an existing structure on the lot, it was unclear whether or not this new construction was on the exact footprint of the older one. It was also unclear whether the building that was destroyed dated from the Spanish era, or whether it was the same one maintained by the Widow Pascal in the French era as an inn.



628-632 Dumaine Street, New Orleans, LA