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The Annual Falling Creek Ironworks tour will be held Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 11:00 to 4:00. It was moved this year to coincide with the grand opening of improvements to the park and the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor. For the flyer, Click here. Contact Norma Corbin.

Falling Creek Ironworks Event: What: Explore America’s first iron furnace, the 1619-22 ironworks on Falling Creek. Activities include tours of the archaeological ruins of the 1619-1622 ironworks site and the 1750-1781 Archibald Cary’s Forge and Colonial grist mill.
Also, there are exhibits, costumed interpretation, period music, Native American dancing and performances by Manuel Rodriguez, “The Voice of Mexico.”
A special ceremony will be held at 11:00AM to dedicate the Falling Creek Ironworks Park, and to unveil the new interpretive signs and other improvements at the site and along the Historic Route 1 corridor. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
When: Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Falling Creek Ironworks Park, 6908 Jefferson Davis Highway, Chesterfield, Va.
Information: Parking and admission is free. Parking available at Sherbourne United Methodist Church, 2619 Sherbourne Rd, North Chesterfield, Va.
Details: Bryan Truzzie 804-751-4946


Dendrochronology Results Show Archibald Cary's Forge To Be Timber Source

Timbers that washed out of the bank after two early 2007 storms were tested by dendrochronology to determine their calendar year dates. Oxford Dendrochronology performed the testing. Two cut dates were identified in multiple timbers. The first cut set was in the period 1730-1740 corresponding with Archibald Cary's inheritance of the property in 1750. The second cut set was in the period 1760-1770 corresponding with a rebuild that Cary apparently had done at the outbreak of the American Revolution.

Typically when sawing trees into timbers, the outer sapwood is removed, leaving the desired heartwood. This outer 25± years of growth may be added to the last discernible growth ring to obtain an approximation of the felling date. Archival research was also helpful in arriving at the "best fit" dates for the felling date of the timbers. By taking multiple samples, the problem of re-used timbers is lessened. One much earlier timber that had been salvaged from elsewhere and used on-site could have given a very much earlier date for the site than it actually was occupied.

Dig archaeologists had to be the only archaeologists in the country who would be disappointed by getting a middle 18th century date on such magnificent timbers. They had hoped that the timbers were from the earlier Virginia Company Period. See the write-up for details.

Timbers Exposed By 2004 Floods

Image: TimbersTimbers on the south bank of Falling Creek were exposed recently by two 4"+ rainstorms in the Falling Creek drainage. Chesterfield County employee Ralph Lovern noted the timbers and notified the archaeologists. The thinking was that due to the massive size of the timbers, of which there were several that measured 24" square and one that was 44x36x10'+ in dimension, that the timbers should be from the 1619-1622 venture. It was felt that the large, old-growth forest would have been removed by the time that Archibald Cary built his forge in 1750. Dendrochronology was to be used to determine their cut years, if possible.
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