Sunday, September 18, 2011

Welcome to Detecting Saxapahaw!

Hey there, and welcome to Detecting Saxapahaw!

This blog is dedicated to preserving the history of Saxapahaw, NC and surrounding cities and towns through the documentation of research and recovered artifacts.  My name is Tony Stevenson, Saxapahaw resident since 2008.  I had used a metal detector in the past to search for coins and jewelry on beach vacations, but it never occurred to me that it could be used to foster a connection with our history.  That realization came when my wife and I purchased Victory Calls Stables three years ago.  We purchased the property with no indication of what had been there previously (the house was built in 1970), but the sheer magnitude of the massive oak trees caught my interest.  How old were they?  What might they have seen?  Who walked under the expansive canopies?

I began my search for the past at the UNC’s North Carolina Collection reading room, where the curator retrieved a large map drafted by William Luther Spoon in 1893 (there will certainly be a future blog post on the Spoon maps of Alamance County).  It didn’t take long to locate our property, with a small black rectangle indicating a home site with the name “Miss. S. A. Webb.”

My research into the Webb family, a labor of love if there ever was one, has taken countless hours of library and internet research.  A summary of my Webb family biography, as well as a sneak peak of some of the artifacts I will be detailing on this blog, can be found at the Victory Calls website.  Webb family researchers are encouraged to contact me, as I have quite a bit more information and additional pictures which are not yet published on the internet.

I don’t remember exactly when my “ah-HA!” moment came with regards to metal detecting, but not long after I began researching I realized that I could go beyond reading about these individuals and search for an even more tangible connection.  I took my trusty Garrett GTA1000 Metal detector out into the fields around VCS, and the rest (if you’ll excuse the pun) is history.  I have since been a member of both the Triangle Relic Recovery club in Raleigh and the Old North State Detectorists club from Greensboro.  In 2010, I worked alongside professionals from the North Carolina Office of State Archeology and other volunteer detectorists in a systematic survey of the Alamance Battlegrounds historical site (I recovered the musket ball in the above photo from that battle).  I have been detecting at dozens of local historical sites, including homes, fields, churches, and even one private residence on the National Register of Historic Places.  I will be telling many of the stories of my favorite spots and most interesting finds over the coming weeks and months.

Please check back to this blog as I update with information about detecting finds and the people and places that have interacted with them (both present and past).  If you would like to learn about the art of metal detecting, let me know – I’m always looking for new hunting partners.  Some of my detecting colleagues will most certainly be featured in the future as guest bloggers or interviews.

Last but certainly not least, I can’t make exciting finds without exciting locations to find them.  If you live in central North Carolina and would like me to search for your property’s history, please contact me by email ( or through the Detecting Saxapahaw facebook group!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy my work.
Tony Stevenson
Detecting Saxapahaw

No comments:

Post a Comment