Scott County Historical
Scott County, Virginia
Mildred McConnell's Scrapbook Articles
A section near the Clinch River at Dungannon has been the site recently for an archeological dig. Col. Howard McCord, former staff archeologist for the Virginia state Library along with several volunteers from the Archeological Society of Virginia have been conducting the dig.
Artifacts unearthed there indicate that the Indians had a village near the site.McCord said the group had found a broken spear point approximately 8,000 years old and another about 3,000 years old. He based his statement on the shapes used for the spear heads which will be carbon-dated later. He said several posts had been found at the site indicating that the Indian village had palisades around it.
The site, located where a new river bridge is being built is sandy and wet, making the slow task even slower than normal. On Monday of last week they uncovered their first burial site.
McCord said that most Indian families buried their own dead near where they lived and did not have a common burial ground as most people though. He said this appeared to be the case in this instance.
Periwinkle shells at the site indicate that the tribe depended largely upon theriver for food. He said they caught the fresh-water snails and boiled them in clay pots. To this they added corn, or whatever roots, herbs, and nut meal they had and the result was something like a Mulligan stew.
The group found several pieces of pottery which had very little decorations.Most of the shards were almost perfectly smooth inside and out.
Spearheads found covered such a wide period of time leading McCord to believe some of the relics may have been left by a band passing through.
McCordand his volunteers left the area last week but several freelance individuals continue to work the site.
DUNGANNON - An Indian who died 400 or 500 years ago is the subject of conversation in this community again today.
When a group of archeology buffs, headed by Col. Howard McCord, begandigging on the site of a proposed new bridge across the Clinch River recently, it created some interest, and a number of people came out to watch. And when that group found the burial place of the Indian man Monday, the crowds swelled quickly to watch as the archeologists carefully unearthed the bones.
McCord, who was resident archeologist for the Virginia State Library from 1963 through 1976, was commissioned by the Virginia Department of Highways to do the digging into the past. He was joined by a number of volunteers from the Archeological Society of Virginia.
Although there is still a lot to know about the Indian that group found here, alot was immediately apparent. The man was about five feet tall, and probably died of old age, since he had some missing jaw teeth, and his skull was intact.
The story of the find here brought up memories for a Kingsport man who was employed to help construct the steam generating plant at Carbo in nearby Russell County.
"We dug into a whole cemetery of dead Indians as we were getting ready to pour the footers for that big plant," the man recalled.
"The bones were just as white as could be when we first uncovered them, but when we tried to lift them, they just fell apart like ashes."
"I really can't remember what all we did find there, but I do remember that all but two of them were buried the same way this Indian at Dungannon was."
"Those two were buried sitting up, and someone said that was how they buried their chiefs ... I don't know. They all seemed to have a bed of those periwinkles, and there was more poured on top of them. I guess there's Indian relics around that place today, but the state said it had no record of them being there."
The man said a pot chipped from stone was found there, but added that he never did know what happened to it. "I don't know what the Indians did with those type pots, either," he added.
That's why members of the archeological societies get so upset when they know "pot hunters" have been digging in sites where Indian relics may be
"Our whole reason for digging the relics are so we may learn about the forgotten history of this country," said McCord.
"Almost nothing was written about the Indians in the early days of this country, and absolutely nothing before that. The past is all there for an archeologist to read, if he can get to it when it has not been disturbed. Once it has been disturbed, the history value is destroyed."
The Flanary Historical Site Dungannon, VA
The Flanary Historical Site is on the left bank of the Clinch River on State route 65, east from the town of Dungannon, Scott County, VA., called Osborne Ford until 1890, then named Dungannon. This Site is the most pre-historical resource In Scott County.
An archaeological excavation on the site by members of the Archaeological Society of Virginia in 1977 was prompted by highway construction. The Virginia Department of Highways had chosen the same site to build a bridge across the Clinch River, as used for the early seventeenth century crossing, called Osborne Ford. Archaic and Woodland materials showed intermittent occupations for about 8000 years, with a palisaded village occupation during the Late Woodland Mississippian Period. Finds include portions of a palisade, one circular house pattern, and the first definitely Mississippian ceramics thus far reported in Virginia. The final use of the site was as late as AD 900 -1600. Most of the unexplored site remains. The excavation work was limited to the actual right-of-way. (Howard MacCord, Sr., Archeology Society of Virginia, Quarterly Bulletin Volume 34, Number 1, September 1979). The site was recorded on the State Register of Historic Places on Sept. 16, 1982, and the National Register of Historic Places July 7, 1983.
Not only the Indian Village is important, the land itself, and a log house is significantly historic. A land grant to James Alley for the land is signed by Patrick Henry, governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, dated 20 June 1780. (Land Office Grant Book Q, page 157).
The two-story log house, (Dated ca. 1830, Mike Pulice, Commonwealth of Virginia , Dept. Of Historic Places) housed Osborne Ford Post Office 1832-1890. (Home Spun Stuff by Roy V. Wolfe, Scott County Post Offices, page 41). Circuit Superior Court was held in the Post Office by Judge Benjamin Estill. (Martin's Gazetteer of Virginia, published in 1835) (History of Scott County by Robert Addington. Page 274).
Osborne Ford was a Clinch River crossing used by Daniel Boone as he traveled the trace from Castlewood on hunting trips to Kentucky, from Moore's Fort. The trace later became Fincastle Road, known as the Kentucky Path, and joined the Wilderness Road group at Stock Creek, near Natural Tunnel. Settled in 1772 Porters' Fort was within 0.5 miles of Osborne Ford. Porter was given permission to erect a mill on Fall Creek in 1774 In 1777, Benge and a band of Indians captured Polly Alley at Osborne Ford, and Jane Whitaker at Castlewood. ( History of Scott County by Robert Addington, page 85). Francis Asbury, the first Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a famous Circuit Rider crossed the Clinch at Osborne Ford, after performing a marriage of John Alley and Mary Porter in Castlewood. (Asbury journals of 1790). On 15 April 1832. Daniel Ramey was authorized by court to establish a ferry at Osborne Ford. (History of Scott County by Robert Addington, page 143).
The Clinch Riveron the west, and Falls Creek on the east meandering to the Clinch, at Osborne Ford, was a home to the Indians. Alley by land grant, bought by investors, and sold during bankruptcy after the Civil War to the Cox family, inherited by the Flanary family.
Avery significant historical site in Scott County and Southwest Virginia,.
Thegoal of the Corporation to restore and preserve this SWVA Historical Site, in Scott County and Southwest Virginia.
The Flanary Historical Site was Incorporated 2 June, 2004, and has 501-c-3 Tax Exempt Status. 1.66 acres leased, May 2008 to Flanary Historical Site, Inc., with another eight acres pending.
Betty F. Salyer
Nickelsville, VA 24271