Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Virginia


Mount Fair

Walnut Level: Corner block (38.186698, -78.688795)

Felling dates: Winter 1815/16

Site Master 1706-1815 (Tulip poplar) HQFx11 (t = 5.2 SOTx345; 5.1 UNAR; 5.1 HQFx7; 5.0 OMBx1).

Two buildings were sampled here – the main house and the log cabin. All of the timbers sampled were of tulip poplar. This species is very problematical with ring boundaries very difficult to distinguish and much of it either too fast grown or too narrow. From the main house, four joists and a trimmer were sampled, one had only 10 rings and was therefore unsuitable for analysis. Two of the joists were found to have originated from the same parent tree, and were combined to form a mean which was used in the subsequent analysis. This was found to match with two of other timbers and were combined to form the 110-year site master HQFx11. This dated with the other Headquarters chronologies spanning the years 1706-1815. As all four dated samples retained complete sapwood to the bark edge, all were found to have been felled during the winter of 1815/16. This clustering of felling dates would suggest a construction period during 1816, or possibly a year later.

Mount Fair

Walnut Level: Cabin (38.188757, -78.698979)

Felling dates: Undated

The log cabin on the other hand had very short ring sequences with an average ring width of 3.38mm, more than triple that from the main house at Walnut Level. A total of eleven samples were taken from nine timbers, and all but one of these were successfully cross-matched together to form a 48-year site master HQFx12. However, despite the good replication, this chronology failed to match conclusively with any of the Headquarters site masters, or any other local or regional chronologies of any species. Until more work is done in the area, this site master is not likely to date. However, the cross-matching did show that all of the matched timbers were felled in the same year, and that they were felled in the winter season.

Miles, D W H and Worthington, M J, 2008 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Headquarters Farm Smokehouse, Brightberry Farmhouse, Walnut Level, and Mount Fair House and outbuildings, all in Browns Cove, Crozet, Albemarle County, Virginia’ unpubl ODL archive report 2008/39




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Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230