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Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Jamestown Rifle Makers and geocaching

Levin Stack Cabin circa 1800
I grew up on the East Fork of Deep River, part of the region where, between the late 1790's and 1900, a number of long rifle makers lived and worked. A plaque names about 80 men who were known to have their own rifle-making businesses along Deep River from Jamestown headed northwest. Today if you visit Gibson Park, located along the East Fork of Deep River, you can see an old plank house, built around 1800. The original house was a log cabin. It is supposed to have been built by Levin Stack, one of the rifle makers in the area. It is the only remaining house from that era.  Another renowned gunsmith was James Sampson. He lived further north along
Long Rifle makers
the river and the paralleling Mill Road. When I first moved to this area as a young boy the main road paralleling the river was called Sampson Road (now Tarrant).

The greenway runs along the west side of the river and is great for biking and hiking. Throughout this area there are old foundations to homes that dotted the landscape prior to the Civil War. There were a number of mills along the river for grinding grain but some were for turning lathes and were associated with the rifle-making industry. I've looked for at least one geocache near on of these foundations. Rifle production was big until after Civil War. It began to decline rapidly and the numerous mills and homes along the East Fork began to decline.

There are several ways to get at the many geocaches in this area. You can park in Gibson Park and work your way south along the west bank of the East Fork of Deep River until you reach the Jamestown Golf Course. One of Music Pirate (GC1VGYT). It's been out a while but it was a fun one. It took me two tries to find it but when I did, it was well worth the hunt. Another fun hunt is Gigawatt (GC18K3J), one of the older geocaches in the area. It is located near where high tension power lines come through, thus the name.
Batter Up!
my favorite caches is

The rest of the park is populated with picnic shelters, baseball and soccer fields. One of the geocaches I found is called Batter Up! (GC4JA6B). I found it in spite of the muggle animal control officer sitting in his truck taking what seemed like a very long break.

Be sure to bring your bike when you come. The greenway is great and the caches are many.

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