Friday, August 28, 2009

Hand Drawn Maps

One of the finds in the John H Gibbs papers is a collection of hand drawn maps. I requested copies of two. I can't really reproduce them here. I haven't secured permission to do so.

One of them is easy to read. It marks a trail from "Milam", on "B.Dam" [Beaver Dam Creek] along the "Brushy Fork" of Beaver Dam Creek, by "David Henson's" house and field, across an unnamed creek, then between a "Bacon Shed" and a building belonging to "Old Man Henson", up a "steep hill" for "3/4 mile" to a building identified only as "B.S.S." and then down "slippery" creek to Cane Creek. These are places I know. I've driven part of this route. But there are other notes on the map I may never figure out. At the top of the steep hill is a note to "take left". At that spot his trail crosses a straight line noted only by the initials "S. P."

The other map is from another direction. It tells how to get to Tom Garrett's house using a path that runs by the John Carroll's house. The handwriting is practically illegible. But I can make out certain notes like "keep all right hand [illegible] after you leave old field", "Ridge Road" and a building labeled as a school. This one will take more time to figure out.

2 comments:

Ardis Parshall said...

I don't suppose there is anybody in the world better able to make sense of the maps than you are, Bruce. Seriously -- not empty flattery. Certainly nobody else has sought to identify the members of the church and the mob and their extended families as you have, as well as their relative locations. Maybe a boy scout from the area would recognize the hills and creeks and whatever, but he wouldn't have a clue to the families of the 1880s that Gibbs would have chosen to mark.

I can't guess what it will be, but I do guess that this won't be a matter of you merely making sense of the maps. Eventually the maps will tell you something that you didn't know, maybe help you identify someone mentioned in diaries or letters or news accounts because you'll discover the unnamed person is living on the route the elders would have taken -- something.

BruceCrow said...

It may not be empty flattery, but it is flattery none the less. :)Thanks.

I realized what the straight line labeled "S. P." in the first map is. It matches roughly the county line between Hickman and Lewis county. The S.P. must refer to something else unrelated to the line.