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September 8, 2005

Oh, man! It's been over a month since I've changed anything on this site. It's not that nothing's been going on - quite the contrary. I was on vacation for almost three weeks and never got around to posting anything new. So let's play catch up:

The neighbors from hell seem to have moved out. It's probably somewhat related to the big whoop-de-doo the cops had there last month. But it's not because they were arrested. For all the manpower & firepower Anchorage's finest (in conjunction with the DEA) brought into my neighborhood, everyone arrested that morning was home in time for lunch. 

But enough of that. The assholes have moved on to some other neighborhood and are now someone else's problem. Of course, new people have just moved into Disgraceland directly across the street so who knows what the future holds for our block.

Let's get onto WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION

First stop: Alabama & Georgia

I was actually staying in Alabama, but the Georgia border is about 3 miles away. I went back and forth across the border many times while I was there.

One of the big reasons for this trip to Alabama was to check out a piece of land that was once my family's pioneer homestead. A land patent was issued to my family in 1837 for this parcel of land in Chambers County and they lived there until the 1930s.

I was able to find an aerial photo of the property and used it to locate the sites of the house, livestock fencing and the long lost Meacham Cemetery. This photo was the only map I had to work with. 

Surprisingly, I was able to find quite a bit. The land has remained relatively untouched all these years, though it was logged about 15 or 20 years ago. Since then its only use seems to be for deer hunting. 

Most of what I found doesn't really look like much - mostly just assorted rocks. The trick was knowing what kind of rocks you were looking at. At the former site of the house, there were a number of very large rocks. These may have been cornerstones or maybe a hearth. Hard to tell without mapping the area and the location of these stones. These large rocks are only found in the area of where the house used to be. There were also piles of medium-sized  stones that may have once been part of a chimney.

I only found a small piece of the cemetery. Once again, it just looks like a couple rocks in the ground - a couple depressions here and there.  I didn't even find enough to bother filling out the paperwork to get historic status for the cemetery. But I plan on going back next year to find more of it. It's covered by about 2 inches of forest floor vegetation which I will need to rake up before I can find anymore graves.

So I'm not going to include any photos of any rocks here because it just doesn't look that impressive. Anyone truly interested in seeing pictures of these rocks can email me.

 

But here was one of the cooler finds of the expedition. About 300 yards into the woods, different types of plants starting showing up - most noticeably yucca plants and blackberry bushes.

While taking a closer look at the area, we discovered the remnants of a barbed wire fence that was used to fence in the Meacham family's livestock. Many large trees - up to three feet in diameter - had grown around the barbed wire. These large trees had been left alone by the loggers and had barbed wire coming in one side and out the other. 

I found about a dozen of these trees still standing. If my assumptions are correct, there may be a hundred trees like this still out there. But I will have to wait until next year to find out if I'm right.

If you keep pushing past the trees, barbed wire and blackberry bushes there is logging road. 

I believe this road (mostly) follows the old road that the Meachams used for nearly 100 years. I didn't make it much past the logging road during this trip, but that's just one more thing to do when I get back there next year.

Well, there's a lot more photos and stuff to be posted but that will just have to wait. 

 

Comments? Questions? Spare change? 

Send it to Jackie at RanchoSpenardo.com

 

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