At the start of chapter 29 of his Life on the Mississippi (1883), Mark Twain mentions passing by “… what was once the formidable Fort Pillow, memorable because of the massacre perpetrated there during the war … we must bunch Anglo-Saxon history together to find the fellow to the Fort Pillow tragedy.”
This was an old knife found in the yard. Fortunately it still had a little bit of the bone handle with the cross cut design on it. Those get really crumbly and want to fall off. Moreover, it’s difficult to restore/preserve the iron portion of the knife without destroying the bone. I did my best though, and glued the bone to the tang, and also put a sealant on it to stop any further crumbling.
With all of the quarantining going on, I was able to get a little preservation work in on some items which really needed it. First is this really cool lock mechanism from some sort of old chest, or trunk, or strong box. This was found at historic Walnut Grove Plantation just outside Union, W. Va. I wish I knew the story behind it. It cleaned up really nicely.
Another epic, at least to me, document find during this period of near-apoloclypse. The scavenging must go on. This is a 1768 deed from Anthony Van Schaick, his wife, Christina Van Schaick, and what seems to me to be Anthony’s elderly father, Goosen Van Schaick, for a whole lot of land in the area of upstate New York known as the “Half Moon” which was deeded to the Van Schaick family in the 17th century. It’s roughly located in the area known as the “Sprouts of the Mohawk River.” This is where the Mohawk goes over a large falls, and sprouts into separate channels, going around several islands, at the confluence with the Hudson River.
This past Saturday I finally got the ‘ole drone working again, and set out to hit some local spots I had been wanting to photograph from above. Here is the Old Sweet Springs Resort, in the Sweet Springs Valley, which begins in West Virginia, flowing into Alleghany County, Virginia (and much of that portion of Alleghany County, Va. was actually Monroe County prior to its formation).
I was able to find this original document signed by William Ward, from Champaign County, Ohio, dated October 8, 1813. I didn’t immediately recognize the name, but then I realized who this was, and what his connection was to our Greenbrier Valley, and some famous 18th century frontier exploits involving the famous frontiersman, Simon Kenton. …
Solomon Town was a small 18th century Indian village named after an old chief named Solomon. During the Revolutionary War, the notorious Simon Girty lived here, and even brought famous frontiersman Simon Kenton here after saving his life in 1778. This rare double-bladed belt axe was found here. It’s blacksmith forged. The haft is a contemporary replacement.