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Loudon’s Past Revealed in Historic Cabin

Cabin located in rural Loudon countyA dilapidated structure located on a remote farm in Loudon County could hold clues about Loudon’s African-American and German-American eighteenth-century history.

During a six-week field study in summer 1999, Dr. Christopher Fennell’s University of Virginia anthropology student team excavated 20,000 artifacts including parts of a 19th-century percussion rifle, bottle glass, tools, toys, potential gaming pieces, sewing implements, clothing remains and iron wares.

Perhaps the most striking artifact found buried under the cabin’s floorboards is a clay skull inscribed with a cross-line motif and four initials. It’s said to show the influence of German-American and African-American religious and cosmological belief systems.

“My best interpretation is that it was created by a German-American,” Fennell said. “But, like the Holy Cross, it can mean different things to different people.”

Many of the artifacts are on long-term loan to the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in Neersville.

The Demory cabin is located on private property and is not open to the public.

Source: Loudon Times Mirror

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