Sunday, July 29, 2007

King Philip's War

As a percentage of the male population during the periods, more men died in King Philip's War in 1675-76 than in the Civil War or WWII. The English settlers in southern New England referred to the Native American sachem as King Philip. His name was Metacom. All out war between the Indians and the Pilgrims occurred after fifty years of somewhat peaceful coexistence. Ten percent of the Pilgrim and Puritan men were killed and between sixty and eighty percent of the Native American population in that area died or were shipped out of the country into slavery.

The book is Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick which was published by Viking in 2006, 461 pages.

A new acquaintance brought to my attention this book as we compared reading material while attending a seminar at Wake Forest University a few weeks ago. Afterwards, I read this book and learned much about the settlers in the Plymouth, Nantucket, and Cape Cod areas of New England.

See book image below and have a good week!


Sunday, July 22, 2007


The first three pictures were made while standing in a gully which is a former road bed. During the 1700's this trail was used to settle the southwestern frontier according to a history sheet I found near the grave marker in the bottom most picture.

This modern era marker designates the grave of Capt. Henry Francis, a Patriot militia member who fought against Tories who marched along this trail near Shallowford. The grave and marker are located at the top edge of this gully. This area is known as Battle Branch and marks the spot where a battle involving a militia of around 300 and 500 Tories occurred on October 14, 1780. In February 1781 General Cornwallis and 2500 British soldiers marched this trail in pursuit of General Green. I am paraphrasing this information from a history sheet I found near the grave which was prepared by a geocacher with the handle of "Revwar & Patriot".

My wife, six-year-old granddaughter, and I located this place after we obtained the coordinates from an Internet site called Geocaching. If you're interested in more information, go there and enter zip code 27055 and scroll to the cache called "1700's Interstate". A giant poplar tree is located within a hundred feet of this grave that is larger than the famous poplar in C. G. Hill Memorial Park in Pfafftown, North Carolina.

It was interesting to me to stand in this gully and realize this one time major thoroughfare, in small part, led to the modern era in which we thrive today.

Have a good week!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Proper Flag Disposal

In the United States the proper way to dispose of old flags is to burn them. When a flag becomes faded, torn, or frayed around the edge, it should be replaced with a new one.

In these pictures I am disposing of a faded flag after my wife bought a new one for Independence Day observance and celebration. My experience has been that polyester or nylon flags last about one year outdoors before the colors begin to fade. Cotton material lasts less time. I see some flags flying long beyond when I think they should be replaced. I suppose the gradual deterioration isn't noticed by the owner until the condition reaches an extreme.

Some people take their old flag to an American Legion Post where they are accumulated until local scouts burn them as a troop activity usually on Flag Day. I burned this flag in a fire pit located on my deck.

Flag burning should take place discreetly and in a manner that observers would not consider the action disrespectful or a form of protest.

Have a good week!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Old Tobacco Barn

My wife and I hiked trails recently and came across a structure of which many people of today know little. This log building was constructed sometime in the first half of the twentieth century to cure tobacco. This type of building covered North Carolina's landscape during the period when tobacco was the king of cash crops.

Farmers made more money growing tobacco than other crops. Barns were needed to cure the harvested leaves. Mature tobacco leaves were brought to barns from the fields, hand-bunched in groups of 3 or 4, tied to sticks, then loaded inside the barn to completely fill the space from six feet above the ground to the roof. Heat was added and controlled for several days to bring the leaves to a bright golden color. The process was known as flue-curing.

This old barn is located at the base of Pilot Mountain State Park which is north of Winston-Salem, North Carolina in USA. In the top picture I'm shown recording the coordinates which are: N 36 degrees 20.261 minutes, W 080 degrees 27.515 minutes. Two more pictures are below. This site is along a walking trail on public property. A parking lot is located inside the park about one-half mile from the barn.

A hike to this site would be a good history lesson for young people before time and the elements erase these remnants of times past.

Have a good week!