Thursday, January 15, 2009

Comings and Goings

Jim and I have been thumbing through the Port Tobacco Times abstracts the last couple of days. So far, we have gone through the first 3 volumes dating from 1844-1875. In them we have the usual suspects of advertisements, court cases, election results, marriages, obituaries, as well as all the 'comings and goings' of people in and out of the town.

Some of this information will help us fill in the blanks of our title searches, giving us new names to search for. It will also help us compile a database of all the people who worked in the town but didn't necessarily live within the town.

And then there are the humorous parts of the newspaper. Such as the story of the County Commissioner who went to stay at the "Canal Hotel" in a room with lattice of iron, the "Canal Hotel" being the jail. There are mentions of contracts put out for the bridge to be put up over Port Tobacco Run. By the looks of the materials ordered, it was a shabby bridge when finished.
Advertisements for the hotels, houses, lots, stores, and who was staying in them, who bought them, or leased them.

There is one entry for a house and lot to be sold that we should easily be able to identify if we find it on the ground, " to be sold PT store house and lot on square facing courthouse, large, good store room, stone basement under whole room, kitchen, house used for grocery and countung room, tobacco barn, and stable." It will be hard to miss a 'stone basement' when we are excavating.

This is just the beginning of our research into the newspaper abstracts. Once we compile our database, we will be going back to the newspapers on microfilm to see what else we can find.
Most of the issues during the Civil War aren't in the abstracts. They may be gone for good or just hadn't been put on microfilm at the time of the publication of the abstracts by Roberta Wearmouth.

- Peter

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