Friends of Greenfield Preston Plantation (FGPP) held an awards ceremony Thursday, May 18 at the Fincastle Fire Department where donors who gave in excess of $100 were awarded a medal engraved with the original William Preston plantation house.
The medal was designed by Michelle Snare and Danny Kyle. About 50 persons were at the meeting and FGPP awarded about 90 medals.
The purpose of the fundraising efforts was to pay for the continued work being done by Hurt and Profitt to clean and categorize the thousands of artifacts found on the original site where the historic slave quarters once stood at Greenfield.
From the combined effort of professional staff from Hurt and Proffitt, Poplar Forest, other professionals, and all the volunteers, over 12,000 artifacts were recovered before and after the slave quarters and summer kitchen were moved from their original location to what will become the Greenfield historical preservation area at Botetourt Center at Greenfield.
Some of the artifacts are as small as straight pins used for sewing (much like what’s used today). Other pieces include kaolin clay pipes used for smoking, parts of plates, bowls, tea cups, glass bottles, etc. used in the kitchen and for dining, and chamber pots.
The group needs to raise an additional $13,000 to complete the categorizing so that the complete understanding of the ages and uses of the artifacts may be known.
There are metal pieces that need professional conservation, bone fragments that need to be examined and identified, plate fragments that need to be cross-mended, and more. Finally, a comprehensive report of the artifacts will be compiled.
These artifacts may date to within 20 to 30 years of the earliest European settlement in this area, and the oldest known site in Southwest Virginia. They can tell much about the economic and subsistence patterns of some of Botetourt’s early Euro Americans and African American inhabitants.
FGPP members expressed their “deep gratitude for all who have donated funds for the completion of this work.”
Donations are still being requested, and may be sent to FGPP, P.O. Box 43, Fincastle, 24090.