Dendroarchaeology and the Dating of a Historic Farm Building on the Summers’ Farm, Summerfield, NC

Authors: Jeffy Summers*,
Topics: Physical Geography, Historical Geography
Keywords: dendroarchaeology, dendrochronology, tree-ring dating, North Carolina
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This dendroarchaeological study determined the age of a historic building on the Summers’ Farm in Summerfield, North Carolina. Several historic buildings associated with 19th century tobacco farming remain in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. However, the structural integrity of these buildings is declining, thus the necessity to determine their age prior to installing architectural-era improvements. Here, I dendrochronologically sampled two historic structures during 2018 including the main house and a tobacco barn, the later which could not be dated. Conversely, northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) cross sections and cores (n=16) were obtained from the main house, dendrochronologically processed and standardized with late wood ring widths strongly (interseries correlation = 0.559) cross-dating with regional (i.e., <100km distance) longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) reference chronology. Based on the estimated building date of 1883-1888, these results: 1) will facilitate the process of applying for National Historic Registry of the farm as an agriculture complex; 2) help farmers and historians learn more about the heritage of Summerfield by determining if the local discourse that surrounds the building is accurately anchored in history; and 3) demonstrate the viability of using different species to accurately cross-date tree-ring patterns.

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