Thursday, August 14, 2014

Building Our Settlers Farm

To recap, my first white ancestors came to the land around my horse lot in the 1630's. Since then I have had some relative living within a ten mile radius of that horse lot.

We are building a replica of an early colonial farm of the type owned and completely worked by one man, unmarried and recently freed from his indentured servitude. He is my totally fictitious but perfectly accurate ancestor,
Patrick Gwaltney. Close readers of this blog have seen snippets of his life story. (If not you can search "Patrick Gwaltney" in this blog and learn a bit about him.)

In addition to the buildings we already have the kind of Colonial Spanish horse, Colonial Spanish Goats, and Caribbean chickens that he would have had, a along with some hogs that can trace their lineage back to the earliest colonists.

Patrick's farm is the picture frame around our efforts to preserve these nearly extinct horses from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It places these horses in historical perspectives. These horses are part of my family, and every other family that traces itself back to the earliest Colonial period anywhere in the southeastern part of our nation.

It is part of our educational mission. I hope to even have some living history performances here.


Vickie Ives said...

Such a worthy endeavor, Steve. Proud of how Patrick's place is coming along. Lovely work and such a great experience for visitors and friends.

Anonymous said...

These structures have added an entirely different feel to the horse lot..there is a much greater sense of purpose to the looks like a farm.
Back 30 or 35 years ago my grandmother gave me a box set of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books..which I devoured. I still read 'Farmer Boy' once a year in the fall of the year. Laura's books span a whole different experience than what Patrick was likely to have lived, but they do give us a sense of what frontier life must have been like, and for those who read with imagination and reflection, there is much in the way of skill and knowledge to be gained. (Farmer Boy sparked my interest in training oxen and building the yokes necessary to do I learned how.)
Soon we will add the tools and furnishings that Patrick would have found necessary to survive in this young and wild nation, at a time and place where there was very little comfort, and very much danger, which is, at best difficult to teach in an understandable way these days when a cell phone battery dying or the coffee shop opening late is a major obstacle to survival..
One should expect to see the primitive tools a man would need to open the ground and plant a crop and keep it cultivated, tools to hunt, perhaps trap game animals to provide meat, fur, leather, sinew sewing thread, and the somewhat harder materials needed to make better tools in an age where there was no such thing as a hardware store.
There is a large undercurrent of people interested in the skills of primitive survival these days, one which by and large still requires much material and often unnecessary junk that our forefathers would love to have had, but got along without nonetheless..How great a thing it can be to have the confidence to walk into the woods with the clothes on one's back, maybe a knife and a little food, and have the expectation of being able to survive for a week or a year, how great it can be to be the person who can provide sustenance, clothing and shelter, starting with not much more than a few animals at large and a little knowldege, and a whole lot of guts.
There is a point to learning history, and it is not to get a grade in school, the point to learning history is to know where one comes from, a person cannot have a true sense of where they are, and where they are going without knowing where they are from. One learns history to avoid repeating it, to avoid making the mistakes of those who have gone before. I wish every leader in this country had that kind of vision and knowledge, sadly, it is a rare commodity in the human animal.. -Lloyd