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Carter County Historical Society plans railroad event

Discusses future plans for dig site

By Jeremy D. Wells

Carter County Times

If you’ve ever been curious about the role trains played in the early growth of Grayson, Olive Hill, and Carter County in general, the next meeting of the Carter County Historical Society might be of interest to you.

That meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on January 26, in the Tea Room at the Olive Hill Historical Society’s Art & Cultural Center, will feature a presentation by Neal Salyers on industrial and railroad development in Carter County.

Salyers, whose works on Carter County history includes “Caves, Counterfeiters, Trains & Moonshiners,” said he was as eager to learn from railroad enthusiasts as he was to share the information he had gleaned from research done for his various works on local history.

The club discussed the possibility of inviting anyone with locally relevant railroad artifacts to display them at the event. They also discussed strategies for engaging with railroad enthusiasts, including those interested in historically accurate model railroad reproductions, to spread awareness of the meeting.

In addition to the railroad presentation Gerald Dyson spoke on the future of the archaeological dig site established on private property last year. Dyson said he is working on potential grant funding to cover the costs of ground penetrating radar, as well as engaging in discussions with other universities to gain access to equipment and those qualified to use it.

“We were digging at the house site, but we know there were (at least) two slave quarters, and a smoke house,” Dyson said.

He also noted that he was told by an individual who had graded the site that – when the site was leveled – the cellar of the original home was still intact. They weren’t able to locate the cellar during the dig, however. If LIDAR or ground penetrating radar (GPR) helped them locate that, though, it could provide valuable information if it was still intact.

They do know they were digging in the area of the original home based on oral tradition as well as pottery shards from the period and other evidence located during the dig.

But, Dyson said, GPR would give the researchers information, “you just can’t get with picks and shovels.”

Using GPR information to locate the cellar, or any of the other structures, would allow the team to focus their search for their next dig, he said.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com



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