Antebellum Outdoor Artifacts
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The Heritage Site wall includes stones from what was known as "Emancipation Wall". According to oral tradition, E.P. Williams stood on this stone wall to read the Emancipation Proclamation. Valley residents, black and white, came by mule, on foot, and in wagons to witness this historic event. Involuntary servitude became illegal when Congress passed the 13th Amendment in 1865. This picture is of the old stone wall found at the original cabin site.×
Millstones were used to grind corn into grits and meal. The late Dr Tom Lumsden explained how the stones were shaped: At the upper end of Sautee Valley is a small stream known to the early settlers as Mill Rock Branch. Adjacent to it is an exposed ledge of tough gneiss rock. This formation was known to the pioneers as Stair Step Ledges. From it, they quarried rock used to shape mill stones, which were extracted by drilling a series of holes in a circular pattern, about four (4) feet in diameter into the rock. The holes were inclined toward the center at an angle of about 45 degrees and drilled to a depth of 18 to 21 inches. Into these holes were inserted implements known as gads. Gads were long tapered tools which when placed in the prepared holes were struck in succession: first this one, then this one, and then the next one, then that one, and the next one. As this pounding proceeded, the stone would finally give a shiver and break loose from its bed. It would then be placed on a sled, hauled down the road, loaded onto a wagon and hauled to the mill. At the mill site, special hardened steel hammers, known as mill picks would be used to shape the grooves (lands) and ridges which formed the working faces of the stone. ×
Large black iron pots were used for soap making, scalding hogs and cooking over an open fire. Resting on a stack of hand-made bricks, this cauldron was donated by a direct descendant of slaves who lived in Nacoochee Valley and settled in the Bean Creek Community after emancipation.
Bricks: In 1859, E.P. Williams completed the White County Courthouse in Cleveland, Georgia. Bricks fabricated by slaves were used in the construction of the Courthouse and the county seat of justice.×
Enclosed by 19th century fencing, this garden is based on the historical documentation of plants grown by slaves to supplement their diet or used for medicinal purposes.×
Appearance of cooling vat upon excavation at the original site.
The late Dr Tom Lumsden explains to Allen Stovall that this stone trough was hand-chiseled by slaves. Dairy products were stored on the shelves of this early refrigerator. Cool water kept butter, cream, and milk fresh for the Williams family. This stone vat was found at the original site of the cabin.
With an interest in blacksmithing Dr. Tom Lumsden could trace back to his boyhood in the Nacoochee Valley he envisioned the craft being demonstrated on the SNCA campus. He collected the contents of a complete farm blacksmithing shop from the Ethridge family, and those tools will be used in the shop recenty constructed at the Heritage Site.×