Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Looking for Lots

April and I received a very interesting note from Carol Cowherd today. Carol, after reading a posting about the Indian King Hotel last week, revisited the land record information that she had been compiling. With singular resourcefulness, Carol developed a graphic model (a provisional map) of how the lots were laid out between Burch House and the village green.

I'm afraid a full schedule of work, some related to Port Tobacco and some not, will keep me from carefully reviewing the Cowherd Hypothesis for several days, but at first glance it looks promising. Specifically, we might have a location--on the ground--for the Indian King Hotel, a blacksmith shop, and a stable, all dating to the middle of the 19th century. A reason why it requires some time to evaluate the hypothesis is that we have shovel test pit data for this part of town collected back in 2007, and it would be foolish not to include those findings in such an evaluation.

Sure, we have the 1942 map drawn by the late Mr. Barbour showing where he thought these sites were located, but we are trying to create a clear paper trail that demonstrates why we think a particular site is located at a specific spot on the ground. Without that trail, we risk perpetuating errors and we make it more difficult to win those scarce grant funds necessary to insure continued research at Port Tobacco. In preparing an application for funds to test a particular site to answer specific questions, we want to be able to point to our existing research to justify the proposed work.

Thank you Carol!


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