Breanne Taylor


Areas of interest

Historical archaeology, historic boom towns, saloon/red light archaeology, and the politics of gender and class in western towns.


  • MA: Heritage Resource Management M.A. Candidate
  • BA: Portland State University, 2010, Anthropology
  • Fort Vancouver Field School, 2008

MA Theses in HRM: Breanne Taylor, 2020

Material Culture and the Social Dynamics of Residential Life at a Company Town: Archaeological Investigations at the Fairfax Townsite (45PI918), Pierce County, Washington, USA


Dr. Catherine D’Andrea, Professor, Supervisor
Robert Kopperl, Archaeologist, Willamette Cultural Resources Ltd, Committee Member
Dr. Ross Jamieson, Associate Professor, External Examiner
Dr. Dana Lepofsky, Professor, Chair


Fairfax, Washington (site 45PI918) was a thriving, company-owned mining and lumber town that operated between the late 1890s and 1941. The material assemblage and documentary record of Fairfax substantiate that, like most company towns in the western United States, the place was an ethnically diverse, male-dominated, paternalistic, and isolated settlement shaped by the social dynamism of residents and their access to opportunity and to the material world. Initial archaeological investigations at Fairfax reflect the everyday lives of working people in a western Washington industrial town. This thesis attempts to identify the ways in which residents utilized and connected to the material world and how concepts of community and division based on race, ethnicity, gender, and class are visible in the documentary and material record. At the intersection of these constructs lies a story untold about the people of Fairfax and what they left behind.


Historical Archaeology, Coal Mining Towns, Immigration, Labor Archaeology, Western Washington, Carbon River Canyon, Class, Gender, Race