Sunday, December 21, 2008

Incomplete Survey

The PTAP team has prided itself on its extensive survey coverage of Port Tobacco, having excavated well over 400 shovel tests and surface collected many acres to the south; however, there are holes in our coverage, one of which became clear this weekend while I was searching through the land records.

I found a series of six deeds dating between 1863 and 1881, all referencing the same two lots with essentially the same words:

"All of those two lots or parcels of ground situate, lying and being in the Village of Port Tobacco in the said County, running from the street in the rear of the Court House and the P.[rotestant] E. [piscopal] Church, back to Port Tobacco Run and lying between the lots of Mrs. Rose A. Stewart on the North, and the County jail and jail lot on the South."

The 1880 deed adds the following language:

"Together with the Improvements thereon, consisting of a Mill house, and the steam saw, grist, and bone mill."

In short, there was a road running behind the courthouse and Episcopal Church foundation that may be the level terrace that the crew constantly remarks upon, along the west side (stream side) of which there was a steam powered mill that ground grain, cut wood, and ground animal bones, probably for fertilizer. This area remains unsurveyed from the jailhouse lot northward, including Rose Stewart's lot which probably was the Smoot House or Hotel. Yep, we got lots to do.


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