Professor Barbara Heath from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville discussed the recent findings of the Archaeological dig that took place at the plantation of English born settler Colonel John Mottrom who established the plantation in the early 1600’s and lived there until his death in 1655.
The archaeological dig started in 2011 and revealed a number of new items and clues pertaining to what life was like at Coan Hall during that century.
Coan Hall was the place where John Mottrom lived with his family but was also the community center for Chicacoan for a number of years.
There’s not much information about where John Mottron and his family came from originally but information shows that Mottrom was in Charles River County, which is now the York River. In the 1630’s and early 1640’s there was a John Mottron who owned land in Middlesex County and there is much debate whether this is the same John Mottrom that started the Chicacoan Settlement or another John Mottrom.
“We’ve been doing a lot of analysis of the seeds and the mechanical remains that were excavated and it seems that by the 1670’s and the 1680’s the people at Coan Hall were heavily invested in wheat agriculture as well, Heath said. “Wheat is an interesting thing to think about because most historians talk about wheat coming in around the 18th century and the transformation that wheat agriculture caused, people who were growing tobacco were working year-round using a gang-style labor system. People who were growing wheat had certain harvest periods and certain planting periods,” Heath added.
“Chicacoan was the only English political entity in the Northern Neck until the late 1640’s when another political community was established north of Northumberland in Westmoreland County.”
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo 7/18/18