Monday, October 31, 2011

My Unfortunate Halloween Hunt

Reading back through the blog, it may seem like I get something great every time I go out - but I'm not always quite so fortunate.  Today's Halloween hunt was a perfect example.  I started off with several potential spots in mind in the general area of Swepsonville.  The first was a property on the Haw River that I had recently tracked down which was once the site of the Gilbreth Bridge river crossing.  Readers from Graham may know of Gilbreath Street, which at one time continued straight to the haw from the west to the bridge.  I found a reference to the bridge in documents pertaining to the Kirk-Holden War of 1870, and it appears on the Spoon map of 1893, though the bridge no longer stands.  The area around the bridge is now pasture, perfect for metal detecting.  I introduced myself to the homeowner, who unfortunately wouldn't let me detect the area at this time, but may contact me in the future through the blog.

I drove to my backup spot, a field that I have been waiting to be cleared for many months now.  Much to my dismay, the field was still grown up, so I had no luck there either.  On the way to site number three I had a black cat dart in front of my car.  Now I'm not a superstitious person, but I should have taken it as a sign!

I had received a tip on a house which was supposedly built over top of an old baseball field.  I secured permission to hunt the filed around the house with ease, and quickly started pulling coins.  Unfortunately, they were all modern 18 coins for $.60, and not so much as a wheat penny.  I made one more stop on the way home, a homeowner that has let me detect several times and I've never come away empty handed.  Sadly, there was no answer - out doing Halloween festivities, I'm sure.

Despite all of that, I still had a good time.  It's about the looking just as much as the finding!!  Anyways, I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!  And don't forget to drop me a line with any more tips for new sites or interesting history in the area.  Until next time, thanks for reading, and God Bless!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recent and Upcoming Events

Hey everyone!  I thought I'd let you know, I probably won't have a lot of time to detect in the next two weeks.  Don't worry, I won't leave you without posting - and I'll have a mega-update in mid-November.  I'm getting everything in order to attend the "Diggin' in Virginia XIX" event on the weekend of November 11th.  DIV is an invitational group relic hunt held in or around Culpeper, Virginia.  Hundreds of relic hunters from around the country will be gathered on 500+ acres of Civil War battle sites and long-term camps.  (All sites are on private property with owners permission, of course).  The event will consist of three days of metal detecting, hut excavation, a lecture on the Civil War history of the site, and seminars covering modern improvements in metal detecting technology and techniques.  I can't wait!!  I will have lots of pictures and video to share with you all when I get back, and hopefully some more interesting relics from the War Between the States.

In other news, I attended the monthly meeting of the Triangle Relic Recovery club on Tuesday, which is always a blast.  I got to see some friends and a few new faces, as well as a host of great relics and coins on display.  I was very fortunate to have been voted the "best display" at the meeting (I have an upcoming post planned on my latest budget display project) as well as 1st place for the "best relic" of the month, the Virginia State Seal button with original thread found here at Victory Calls Stables.  I also received second place for the "best coin" category with my 1927 Standing Liberty Quarter.  First place went to Ken with an outstanding pocket spill - three barber quarters found in the same hole.  Way to go Ken! 

I hadn't been paying much attention to year-end-award points, but I did quite well at both this meeting and the last one, which brought me up to second place overall.  I'm still quite a ways behind my hunting partner Brad for first, but it's possible if I come up with a couple of really great finds this month.  I'm going to try!  But the third-place hunter (John from my Bentonville trips) is an experienced and consistent detectorist, and he won't make it easy for me to hold on to 2nd place.  A little friendly competition can be quite motivating!

While I can't get out detecting much until DIV (and during some of the colder months ahead) I'll be focusing my posts on research and previous finds.  I still have a lot of history in my collection that I'd like to share with you all as the months go by.  If there's anything in particular you'd like to hear more about, please let me know in the comments section below or email me.  Thanks for looking, and God Bless!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cannonball Fragment Update

I was finally able to get a positive ID on the large iron piece found at the Battle of Bentonville a few days ago.  We suspected that it might be a cannonball fragment, but there was one thing that concerned me about it.  The fragment I found is obviously rounded on the outside, but the inside doesn't have the same curvature.  This is unlike most cannonball fragments I have seen in the past, which have a uniform thickness and equal curvature on the inside and out as seen in the cannonball example below.  The center would be filled with gunpowder, and a timing fuse placed in the hole would cause the cannonball to explode, sending several large pieces into the massed enemy soldiers.

In late 1862, Confederate Capt. John W. Mallet designed a new type of "internally segmented" exploding round ball which used a polygonal cavity inside the ball instead of a spherical one.  When the fuse ignited the gunpowder, the shell would fragment at the weak points in the shell wall producing a larger number of smaller fragments, which was meant to increase the damage to enemy troops.  The resulting fragments are rounded on the outside, but flat on the inside.  Each fragment will have a uniform shape determined by the geometry of the polygonal cavity, the most common being a pentagon shaped fragment.  This is the fragment I found, and a cross-section of a complete polygonal cavity shell is shown below.

The polygonal cavity cannonball was used exclusively by the Confederacy, and is fitting with the location it was found - alongside a line of fired confederate bullets at the site of a Union advance.  This type of shell was used only later in the war, and was the most commonly used Confederate cannonball in the 1865 Carolinas campaign.  Recall that the battle of Bentonville took place in March of 1865.  The complete ball measured 4.62 inches in diameter, and would have been fired from a smoothbore Napoleon 12 Pounder cannon, shown below.

With all of that history in technical terms above, it's sometimes necessary to step back from the academics and think about a recovered artifact in more personal, human terms.  It's hard to image the devastation that such a large exploding fragment could cause to the human body.  It's hard to imagine the fear of stepping out from the woodline and walking across that field, shoulder to shoulder, with rifles firing at you and shells exploding overhead.  It's hard to imagine the courage, on both sides of the battle, of risking and often losing life and limb to defend what you believe is right.  It is hard to imagine that this piece of iron which I hold in my hand was fired with the intention of taking another human life, and it is entirely possible that it was successful in doing so.  It is truly a humbling experience.

Special thanks to TheCannonballGuy over at TreasureNet for help in researching this article.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Detecting Report: Back to Bentonville Oct 21

John, Brad, and I went back to the Battle of Bentonville to detect a few sites where John has permission to search.  We had a really great day with a lot of fun and some really cool finds.

We started off at a site we searched on our last trip down, but a different section of the field.  John started off the day with a fired Confederate Sharps bullet right out of the gate.  I called it a three-ringer in the video, but when he cleaned it up, it turned out to be a sharps.  John also got the base from a Williams cleaner bullet from this field.  I recovered two bullets there, the first being a fired and slightly deformed 58 caliber three ring Minie ball.  The second was a really nice one - a fired Confederate Enfield bullet that struck something hard straight on.  I also found a small roundball from a buck-and-ball shot, and a large piece of iron that may or may not be an artillery fragment.  You can see it much better at the end of the video, and any thoughts on that are welcomed.

What I find most interesting is not just what we found, but how those objects support our understanding of what went on in that field almost 150 years ago.  Union forces were moving in to attack the Confederates, and would have emerged from the woods and advanced across the open field.  In the open, they took Confederate fire from the opposite woodline.  This Union advance was where we were detecting yesterday, and found several fired and struck Confederate bullets.  As the Union troops moved across the middle of the field, they dropped several of their own unfired bullets, either from a pouch as they got ammunition to load or dropped by a casualty of Confederate fire.  This middle section of the field is where we detected last time, and recovered several unfired 58 three-ringers.

After lunch we went on to a second site, where John believed there may have been a small camp.  We knew it would be either feast or famine at that spot, and unfortunately we came up empty.  So we tried a third and final site that we knew would produce better, a peanut field where the plants had recently been dug up to dry.  Detecting in between the rows, we did manage some nice finds.  Brad got his bullet for the day, a fired three ringer.  John got a nice variety of finds, including a 69 round ball, a fired Confederate Enfield bullet, and an 1888 Indian Head penny.  I picked up two more dropped three ringers in this field as well. 

I also got a small lead piece there, which at the time I believed was a carved bullet.  It turns out that what I have is the finial used for closing a leather percussion cap box.  Union issued percussion cap boxes came with brass finials, but many confederates used lead finials.  I've included a picture of a confederate percussion cap box for sale at which shows how the lead finial attached to the cap box.  I really like this find a lot!

We had a great time preserving some history, and I hope you enjoyed reading about it!  Until next time, thanks for reading, and God bless.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Detecting Saxapahaw: 200 Year Old Tombac Button

Hey ya'll!  Since finding an old building site with James on October 8th and detecting it with the Raleigh boys on October 15th, I just had to go back to see what else was beneath the earth!  So I went out there today to see what I could find, and came up with some neat relics to share with you.  The best of the bunch actually came from a mini-hunt when I tried to search the area yesterday evening, but the cows decided they wanted the spot and sent me packing. 

The best find is a large flat button, slightly bigger than a half dollar.  It's made of a material called "tombac", a brass alloy made with a large amount of copper and 5-20% zinc.  The result is a highly durable button which resists corrosion.  The back has a raised cone shaped base where a copper or iron shank would have been soldered on.  Tombac buttons were used for both military and civilian purposes, and were mass produced in the late 1700's.  To think, a 200+ year old button just a few inches down in a cattle field near Saxapahaw!  I love this hobby!  I know both the Morrows and the McIvers lived quite close to this field in the late 1700's, and could account for its origins.

In addition to the pictures, I also created a video of today's search.  I did something a little bit different, so I hope you like it!  Let me know what you think in the comments section below!  Thanks for looking, and God Bless!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Detecting Report: Saxpahaw October 15th

Friday's outing was full of history and excitement, but the finds came up a bit short.  Thankfully I had a bit more luck yesterday.  I will be carpooling with three of my friends from the Triangle Relic Recovery club to the November "Diggin' in Virginia" relic hunt, so we wanted to get together for some detecting time before we go.  Dwight, Josh, and Jim drove in from the Raleigh/Durham area to detect the Webb farm and several adjoining properties.  Josh and Jim were both testing out new detectors which are meant to help with the highly mineralized Virginia soil, and while the red clay around Saxapahaw isn't quite as bad as Culpepper, it's probably the best local approximation.

We started off on the area of the Webb Farm where most of the Civil War era relics have been found.  The good news is that I was apparently quite thorough in my previous searches here.  The bad news is that even with four of us (including a TDI and a GPX4500) we had trouble finding signals.  It was still fun, though, comparing the signals we did get and finding out all the ways iron can trick your detector!

The next spot was on a cattle farm on Sax Beth Church Rd. where several other friends and I had previously stumbled upon a patch of coins ranging from 1904 to 1920.  The last ones to come out of the area had been quite deep, and almost didn't register on my DFX.  I was curious to see what the other detectors could find, and sure enough Jim's GPX was the only one to snag another coin - his very first "V" or Liberty nickel.  It's also the oldest coin of the day, produced between 1883 and 1913, but 80+ years in the ground rendered the date unreadable.

We then moved over to the spot James and I had discovered on October 8th.  There were considerably more targets in this area, and we all walked away with some misc brass.  Over the course of the day Dwight pulled a very cool pocket knife, and Josh recovered a brass bridle buckle and some other horse tack.  I dug another 19th century brass toe plate near the building spot, my second from this area.

I'm very pleased with my find of the day, though.  As I removed the dirt from within the plug of an iffy signal, I saw a small silvery disc.  Honestly, my first thought was "Dang, just a dog tag!" before I realized what it was.  It's a 1927 Standing Liberty quarter, my first ever recovered with a metal detector.  This is a coin I've been wanting to check off the list for a long time now, and I'm very happy to have found it!  I know there's more good things to find at that spot, and I'm excited to go back once we get some more rain.

Thanks again for Josh, Dwight, and Jim for coming down, I had a great time, and I hope you did too!  We'll have to get out together more often, it was a blast!

Friday, October 14, 2011

In Search of "Pioneer" William Bradshaw

In response to my call for old property to search, I got an email from Lane Watson of Lane Watson Photography, telling me to check out some old farmland near his home.

Rewind all the way back to 1804.  Thomas Bradshaw drafted a deed for his son, who genealogists have taken to calling "Pioneer William".  The deed transferred 100 acres on Meadow Creek in Haw River, bordering the lands of Jonathan Thompson and William Bradshaw Sr. (Thomas' brother), from Thomas Bradshaw to his son Pioneer William.

William (1783-1852) is listed in his father's household in the 1810 census prior to serving as a teamster in the war of 1812.  He is then listed as head of household in the 1820 census.  During this time, William had a son (also named William) and was likely wed, although there is no record of the union.  William's second marriage was to Elinor “Nelley” Turner in 1823.  Nelley passed away in 1825, probably in childbirth with her son (confusingly enough, also named William).  Pioneer William then married Mary Ann Brewer in 1827.  Their eldest son was named Thomas Lafayette Bradshaw, born in 1935.

1850 Census showing William, Mary Ann, and Thomas Lafayette Bradshaw

Thomas L. Bradshaw did not pass away until 1914, and thus his name appears on the 1893 Spoon Map of Alamance County, near Meadow Creek and bordered by the lands of various Bradshaw's and Thompson's.  Not far from where this house appears on the map, the Bradshaw Family Cemetery lies nestled amongst the trees, containing the final resting place of William Bradshaw and his second and third wives, along with two of William's sons killed fighting for the Confederacy and several other family members.  I believe that Pioneer William lived here prior to 1825 (and perhaps his parents as well, going back before the 1804 deed).

William Luther Spoon Map of Alamance County, 1893

It was here that I was being asked to investigate today with modern technology to search for traces of the past.  I started off around a depression where an outbuilding likely stood, but besides some age-whitened lead, came up empty handed.  I had intended to search some of the fields, but tall grass made it difficult to get good depth.  None-the-less, I recovered a number of fishing related items along the edge of the pond.

At this point, I asked for (and was given) permission at a neighboring house, which was believed to have been built around the turn of the century.  The results here included a few wheatback pennies going back to the 1920's, a chipped glass marble, and a large number of cut nails dating from the mid-late 19th century.  I'm unsure if this was the original home site of T. L. Bradshaw (or Pioneer William), but the topography and the age of the trees suggest it is plausible.  The Spoon map is inconclusive in this regard - the house on the map appears further south east in relation to Salem Church Road, but it lines up with the standing ca. 1900 house in relation to Meadow Creek.  I hope to obtain permission to search the area south-east of the standing ca. 1900 house in the future, to determine if it is a possible location for Pioneer William's house.

While I wasn't able to locate anything to date the site specifically, I still consider the day a success.  I got out to enjoy the beautiful weather, added a few things to my collection, and met some great people.  I was also able to learn more about our locale history, and share that with you all.  I'd like to thank Lane for emailing me the tip, and Terri Bradshaw O'Neill for the research help.  With the landowners' permissions, I will certainly be back to investigate this area, because there is a lot of ground left to cover.  Hopefully someday I will be able to prove the location of the original settlement of Pioneer William Bradshaw.

Thanks for reading, and God bless!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

To Grid or Not To Grid

Yesterday was a local history blog, so today I promised a little something for the detectorist audience.  I'd like to offer up my opinion on search patterns, something of a response to PulltabMiner's blog post "On how our hunting mode affects our perception."

I'll start off by agreeing with Pulltab on one point - sticking to a grid pattern is DIFFICULT.  The natural inclination is to wander about your site aimlessly, flitting about like a lost little bumblebee.  Pulltab then goes on to extol the virtues of working a dedicated grid pattern.  And again, I won't disagree with him, it does have many benefits.  That being said, my philosophy is much more fluid than "to grid or not to grid".  In my eyes, the grid versus random search pattern is best decided by two key factors:  area and time.

I'll use some extreme examples to illustrate my point.  First, lets say we're talking about searching your own yard, a historic home on 1/2 acre.  You've got basically unlimited time to hunt a small area - to get the most out of it as efficiently as possible, use a three way grid pattern.  Tight overlapping swings in one direction, then turned ninety degrees, and finally on the diagonal.  Believe it or not, that half acre can keep you occupied for a really long time, and you're still likely to miss some of it.

On the other extreme, take a fifty acre historic fairgrounds an hour's drive away.  Does it really matter if you grid or wander? Not really. There's no "bad" ground at a site like that, and as long as you don't go over the same path multiple times, you'll cover the exact same amount of ground randomly as you will gridding.  Here I'd probably recommend a random search pattern until you get a hit, investigate the area more closely, and if you find more good hits THEN you can grid the area.  A perfect example is the dense grouping of finds in a much larger farm field in my October 8th detecting report.

Of course, most of your sites won't be either of these extremes, but somewhere in between.  All I'm saying is, don't be so hard on yourself if you're not a gridder - but gridding is a great technique that you can use to make the most of your sites.  Or maybe this is just my rationalization to remove the guilt from my all-too-common random wanderings!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Local History Notes

Hey everyone!  Today's post will be a few updates for our local readers, while tomorrow I will have an article geared more towards detector enthusiasts. 

I'd first like to extend a huge CONGRATULATIONS to The Haw River Ballroom for being given the Carraway Award of Merit by Preservation North Carolina.  Heather and Tom have done an amazing job restoring the dye room at the Saxapahaw river mill into a simply gorgeous music hall and event space, while still keeping the heritage of the historic building.  This was no easy feat, but they have really done a fabulous job.  And if that isn't good enough, the blended drinks at the ballroom's coffee shop Cup 22 are top notch, so be sure to stop in and have one!  Congrats again!

I'd like to extend a special thank you to Doug Williams, a resident of Saxapahaw who has helped me researching the William P. Morrow House just outside Saxapahaw.  You'll be hearing much more about this house in future updates as I feature some of my past finds.  Doug was essential in restoring the circa 1855 house, and in the process came into possession of a book called The Book of Poetry: Illustrated with Engravings on Wood, published by the Presbyterian Board of Publications in the 1850's.  The book was inscribed by Martha A. Morrow in 1856, and research has confirmed that she was attending Edgeworth Female Seminary in Greensboro at the time.  Doug kindly allowed me to take the book to the UNC library system for preservation.  They were very interested in it, and I recently heard back that it has been accepted into the prestigious North Carolina Collection library.  The NC Collection has been instrumental in much of my research of local history, and it feels good to be a part of giving back to them.  Thank you again, Doug, for contributing to our public resource for historic preservation!

It seems like web traffic is picking up a bit, so once again I'd like to invite you all to join the Detecting Saxapahaw facebook page.  Also, don't forget that I can't find old relics without old locations - so if you own older properties in central North Carolina or know someone who does, and would like to talk about having that history featured here, feel free to email me!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Virginia Confederate in Saxapahaw, NC

Hey everyone!  I finished up work today, and had about an hour before I could bring in and feed the horses.  So I asked my wife where I should detect around the farm, because whenever she tells me where to go I end up finding something cool.  "Well I can't now" she said "you've put me on the spot!"  But I pressed the issue, and she told me to head over towards a particular fenceline.  I had found one old coin there in the past (a no-date shield nickel), but it was mixed in with a LOT of ring-style pull tabs.  Sure enough, my hour flew by and my pouch filled with aluminum trash.

I put the detector up, brought in the horses, and passed out hay and grain.  Emily was just finishing up her lesson, and I mentioned in passing that the spot had been a bust.  "I have 15 minutes of light left" I told her "so pick another spot, and make it a good one!"

So I headed out, trying to see how many targets I could recover before the sun dipped below the trees.  The answer turned out to be just one, because what came out of the red clay stopped me in my tracks.  A two piece brass button, which I assumed was likely another Bingham Uniform button.  That's not to say Bingham buttons are common, but the close proximity to the school made it plausible.

I ran inside to clean my find, and was floored by what I saw - Civil War era Virginia State Seal button!!  The device (front image) of the button shows the figure of Virtus standing over the body of a slain tyrant, the Virginia state seal.  Above the seal reads "VIRGINIA", and below "SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS" the Virginia motto meaning "Death Always to Tyrants."  

The back of the button is even more fascinating.  The backmark reads "Kent Paine & Co. Richmond" in a depressed channel.  It was made for a unified Virginia unit prior to the outbreak of the war, but pre-war state seal buttons were, of course, used throughout the war.  The shank is bent, but still intact.  The really unique thing about this particular button is a few strands of the original attachment thread, preserved in the thick clay for all these years.  This is something I have seen on dug buttons in the past, but it is an extreme rarity.  For the collectors out there, this button is Albert's reference VA13A and Tice's reference VA222A3, and a non-dug example can be seen here: front and back.

I know that troops from both sides marched within a few miles of here in 1865, but some of my area metal detecting finds lead me to suspect at least some troops moved across my farm specifically.  This Virginia seal button is a strong piece of evidence in support of this theory.  I feel very blessed to have recovered it, especially here on my own land.  And I'm thrilled to be able to share it with all of you!  Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoyed the story, and God bless!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Detecting Report: Saxapahaw Oct 8th

I got a call last night from my friend James who lives out near Greensboro.  We hadn't been out detecting together in a while and he wanted to search some sites in the red clay around Saxapahaw.  I took him to a field on Saxapahaw Bethlehem Church Rd. (for the non-locals, that would be the road that runs from Saxapahaw to Bethlehem Church!) where the targets in the past have been old, but spaced out considerably.

Fortunately for us, we managed to find a hot-spot amongst the cows where I now believe a building may have stood prior to the turn of the century.  The first sign was the threshhold hum of the detector dropping out, indicating discriminated targets (in my case, just iron).  One key indicator that we were in an old building site was the presence of broken glass and pottery.  We found several pieces of broken porcelain, thick clear and purple glass, and ceramics mixed in with our metal targets.  The best iron find (even discriminated, you still recover some) was a piece of a large hinge.  I've found hinges before, so in and of itself it was nothing special, but it did serve to cement the idea of an old building site.

We both recovered a fair amount of miscellaneous brass, including a broken harmonica reed, a toe plate from a boot, a lantern wick turner (1868 or 88 patent date), and what I believe to be the brass opening for a knife scabbard.  The small brass two-hole button was a neat find, though I don't know it's age.  James recovered his very first civilian flat button, missing a shank but otherwise very nice.  His button likely dates to the 1830-1860 timeframe, and perhaps a little earlier.

The find of the day was a flattened out Bingham School uniform button.  The site we were searching was within walking distance of the school, which operated at Oaks from 1844-1864.  It has script style "BS" letters on the front with a Scovill MF'G CO. Waterbury transitional (1860-1880's) backmark.  I have heard that buttons with broken shanks were sometimes flattened out for poker chips, though this one isn't perfectly flat like those examples that I have seen, so the damage may be naturally occurring in the ground.  Although this button has none of the original gold gilt remaining, it has taken on the most beautiful green patina, and I'm thrilled to have it in my collection.  This makes my 7th Bingham uniform button (a script coat and script cuff found near Mebane, and four script coats and a block cuff found near Saxapahaw).  I do intend to do a much longer post on Bingham, as a brief history in a detecting report would simply not do it justice.

Thanks to James for a great day out detecting with a friend, and to you all for reading!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Detecting Report: Blue Ridge Summit, PA

I haven't updated the blog in a few days because I have been in Blue Ridge Summit, PA for my brother's wedding (Congrats, Tim and Beth!!).  Despite running around doing all the best-man duties, I did manage to make a bit of time for some detecting.  I was somewhat jealous of all the old farm houses around the Pen/Mar border, but being pressed for time, I simply detected my new sister-in-law's family home which was built in 1949.  The neighboring property (now woods) had contained a riding stable for one of the many resorts in the area from the mid 19th to mid 20th centuries.  Just below the back yard is a still-active rail line which was built in the 1870's-80's to service the resort area.  Lee's troops marched just a few miles from this spot on the retreat from Gettysburg.  While I could have likely found some modern silver coins up by the house, I contained my cold, rainy hunt to the slope leading down to the rail lines in hopes of finding something a bit older.
The keepers from this particular hunt were parts from three different kerosene lamp burners.  I have found a few in the past, but never so many in one place.  Perhaps they had to do with the rail line?  I love finding lamps, because they often have patent dates or manufacturers names on the wick turner which can be dated.  The first of the three (top right) was recovered with the wick turner missing.  The second has a wick turner (bottom right) with writing, but is very worn and I haven't been able to see a date yet.
The third lamp (the two pieces on the left) has a very nice wick turner, identifying it as the "Star" brand by maker Holmes, Booth, & Haydens (HB&H on the turner).  This company operated in Waterbury, CT from 1853 to 1901 making many different copper and brass products.  The back of the turner bears the patent date of July 23, 1872 indicating that this lamp was likely produced in the 1870's-80's and fitting for the timeline of both the nearby railroad and horse barn.  Based on their proximity, I would expect the other two lamps to also date to the late 1800's.  Below is an example of the burner and chimney assembly from a non-dug HB&H Star lamp, found online here.
My oldest dated wick turner comes from the Oaks area near Saxapahaw.  Patent dated 1859 by maker E.E. Jones, it was found at the McPherson family cabin (now belonging to the Teers) on Morrow Mill Rd.  I imagine that site still has a good deal of history left to find, but it has been abandoned for many years, and a large amount of modern trash targets and overgrown weeds makes for some very difficult detecting.