Then came unexpected news two weeks ago: Archaeologists for the state had unearthed 25,000 artifacts from a Fishtown property once owned by his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, the butcher Godfrey Remer.
In six pits used as 18th-century Dumpsters, they found such household items as a painted pearlware bowl from England, a chamber pot, a fractured teapot. They dug up a bone button, a domino, a piece of a flute-like recorder.
They unearthed scraps from colonial meals: apple seeds, a peach pit, fish bones. And in undisturbed layers of earth, they chanced upon stone points from spears and arrows, probably wielded by Native American hunters 1,000 years ago.