Today’s herb garden.
by Richard Senate
When the Herb Garden of the historic Olivas Adobe was restored and expanded years ago it was decided that a rustic wooden fence be placed around it to protect the plants and set it apart from the rest of the grassy patch on the east lawn.
John Whyman, the go to it guy the rec department used at the time, was hired to dig the post holes for this split rail fence. It was hot work that summer day and as site manager he checked on his labors over the hours it took him to scoop out the post holes. In his work, several feet down, he started to come up with strange things. They were long, some almost a whitish color, shaped like a Baby Ruth candy bar.
Being trained in archaeology, he knew what they were at first glance. Corpalites! Human droppings. These were remains left here from the Olivas Family. This told him that the Olivas Herb Garden grows on the former location of the Olivas Privy.
Now we know why the plants grow so well. If we had done more chemical analysts, we might even know what they consumed over a century and a half ago.
They were divided into two privies. One for men and one for women. As most could not read—they were delineated by a hole cut in the door to resemble a sun (for men) and a half moon (for women). As the women took better care of their units—they tend to survive, giving the false impression that all privies had a half moon.