Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Detecting Report: The Old Morrow Field

Among the earliest settlers to this area was William Morrow Sr. and his wife Jane Parks Morrow.  William was born in 1734 in Ulster, Ireland, but immigrated to either Pennsylvania or North Carolina, before eventually relocating to the area known as Oaks, NC sometime between 1750 and the Revolution.

The circa 1855 home of William's son, William P. Morrow, still stands on Sax Beth Ch. Rd., and is unavailable to detectorists.  The original William Morrow homestead, located nearby, burned sometime prior to the Civil War.  I obtained permission from the land owners where the house once stood to detect the property last year, and it never fails to produce a few colonial or early American items, as well as some later period finds with a bit of patience.

I spent just an hour searching the site yesterday, and found several interesting items.  These included two early flat buttons, the most common period find on the site.  Made of copper or copper alloys like tombac, these flat buttons would be attached to clothing with a looped wire shank.  Occasionally they are designed on the front (particularly the older 18th century buttons), but often have markings on the back of the button around the shank.  These can include laurel wreath designs, and maker or quality marks.  The quality marks, found on many early 19th century buttons, refer to the quality of the gold gilt applied to the button, and often include phrases such as "extra rich", "double gilt", or "best colour".  Buttons of this style have been used throughout the middle 1700's and early 1800's, declining from fashion going into the Civil War period.  The larger of the two buttons found yesterday has no markings, but the smaller cuff button does appear to have a barely visible wreath pattern around the shank.

The other interesting piece from yesterday's hunt is this small convex copper oval.  It has a square shaped peg, bent over.  I believe it may be part of an early cuff-link, though I'm not sure on the ID.  I was surprised when I began cleaning it to find writing along the edge.  Although some letters are clearly visible, the words are difficult to decipher.  I have posted several enhanced images below the fold - feel free to make your best guess about what this item might be, and what it says in the comments section!

1 comment:

  1. There appears to be a monogram in the center of the piece. Or maybe just a decorative motif. The letters all seem to be abbreviations.

    Stuff like this would keep me up all night! LOL!