FOUNDATIONS

The footprint of an old tobacco barn, with the New Road beyond

We got to poking around (again) around the edges of this semi-permanent feature down the valley and around the bend from the house. We were told by an long-time resident of Goose Creek that this was once a tobacco barn; and by others that a man and his son lived here, the latter killing the former.

Whatever the story, there was once an old cast-iron stove there, that is now in pieces.

Maybe it was used to keep the cabin’s residents from freezing in the winters of the late 1800s. Maybe it was used to create more heat than our cold valley could muster, to dry tobacco.

Whatever its use, its end was by fire, paradoxically, indicated by the overheated distortions visible in pieces like the one on the right, that identifies the stove as a Woodland, No. 32.

We plan to do more extensive hunting in the fall, when an old blog friend brings a metal detector to the task.

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fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

2 thoughts on “FOUNDATIONS”

  1. Fred … I received a new metal detector for last Christmas. I placed all the required batteries in it, went out in our back yard and tested it. It worked great! In fact, there was more signals evident than I was willing to dig. I haven’t used it since, however, I would sacrifice some of my body to help you on your adventure and I think that is what would happen if I tried. Good Luck!
    Clarence

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