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Laconic 04-12-2009 03:35 PM

Voyages of the Black Pearl
I'm going to try to contribute something with some redeeming value around here. I can't seem to get my act together with doing big ride reports, so I'll just try to post some pictures and notes as I get time. :devildog

Seeing as it is Easter Sunday, no one showed up for our normal Sunday ride today. That gave me a chance to ride by myself and shoot some pictures of a couple things I've wanted to for several years.

The Black Pearl awaits...

The first stop was the Troublesome Iron Works.

Here we are at the site.

Here's a millstone that's really the only indication there is anything significant here...

There are a few sections of the stone foundations left, but not much else. Many thanks to the folks who dump their trash and deer carcasses here. :ddog

Here's a section of another millstone. The iron works became a grist mill among other things after the war.

It would be neat to think that some of the walls were here when General Greene and his Patriots were here, but I doubt any of this is original to the iron works....

From the Troublesome Iron Works we headed out to do some random cruising.

The cows were out on Hwy. 65...:nod

We stopped by to see the MR. "T" memorial. He had his own mailbox.... :clap

Someone loved that pig.

No encounters here, but we had our eyes peeled...

I found this road today; you can see Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock from the same spot. :thumb

Laconic 04-12-2009 03:59 PM

An idyllic scene... :D

We ventured down Brickyard road, which I don't recall having been on before...

We stopped by this old structure by the railroad tracks and poked around a little. I don't know what this building was; maybe a kiln for bricks?

There were quite a few used spikes laying around in the ballast; I hauled one home, maybe I'll hammer it into a knife someday...

The Pearl awaits...

Further down the road there were more remnants of the past...

Fair weather and following seas all day today. :clap

Once we got back to the Bethany area I stopped to look at this old building. It looks like it might have been a store. There's something compelling about these old, weathered structures.

Does anyone know how warm it was today? :D

#1Fan 04-12-2009 04:04 PM

Beautiful pics, beautiful, ship matey..

syntec4 04-12-2009 04:11 PM

Great pics and report. Thanks for taking the time.

ShimrMoon 04-12-2009 04:18 PM

Thanks 257Bob !

It's nice to see some local pics on this site. I had to work today and I hated not being able to ride. It was a perfect NC spring day.

Laconic 04-12-2009 04:29 PM


Originally Posted by ShimrMoon
Thanks 257Bob !

It's nice to see some local pics on this site. I had to work today and I hated not being able to ride. It was a perfect NC spring day.

I have to agree, they don't get much better! Harsh conditions for picture taking though...

Fear not, there's a lot of spring left! :thumb

Laconic 04-18-2009 08:06 AM

Some History
I wanted to post a little more history about the Iron Works. This is excerpted, added to and edited for brevity without permission from a brochure published by the Rockingham County Historical Society, written by Lindley S. Butler;
<o:p> </o:p>
Speedwell Furnace (locally known as the Ironworks) was important as a crossroads store, polling place and grist mill for nearly one hundred and fifty years. As the site of one of the few colonial ironworks in the state, Speedwell Furnace offers the historian much information about the little known North Carolina iron industry. (It was illegal during the colonial period to smelt iron. Iron was only allowed to be imported from England.) Furthermore, around Speedwell furnace was an important bivouac fortified during Nathaniel Greene’s southern campaign, which led to the final defeat of the British at Yorktown and to American independence.
<o:p> </o:p>
Troublesome Creek became the location of Speedwell Furnace for two reasons – water power and available iron ore. The creek crosses the extreme northern end of a belt of titaniferous iron ore that runs from Davidson County to southern Rockingham County. The ore has too high a concentration of titanium dioxide to be a good source of iron, which may explain why Speedwell Furnace only operated successfully for two years.
<o:p> </o:p>
The first ironworks was established in 1770. The advent of the War for Independence brought a resolution from the Provincial Congress in 1776 “ to purchase and repair the iron works in Guilford County (now Rockingham County) for casting pieces of ordinance, shot and other warlike implements for the use of this Province.”
<o:p> </o:p>
In 1781, during General Greene’s epic retreat to the Dan River following the battle of The (Hanna’s) Cowpens, several roads in the area were involved in the complicated maneuvering by both armies. While in pursuit of Colonel Otho William’s Light Infantry, British Colonel Banstre Tarleton’s Cavalry camped at the ironworks on February 13<sup>th</sup>.
<o:p> </o:p>
Following the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15<sup>th</sup>, the American army retreated to Speedwell Furnace and remained there several days to recuperate. General Greene had chosen the site as the location of a second battle with Cornwallis, whom he expected to pursue. The attack never came, as the British had been badly mauled by the Americans and they were very low on supplies. It is assumed that the forge and furnace were in ruins at the end of the war.

In 1784 Peter and Constantine Perkins attempted to establish another ironworks on the site, but it appears not to have succeeded. It was sold to George Hairston and John Marr, who operated the furnace until 1792. George Washington visited the ironworks during his southern tour in 1791.
<o:p> </o:p>
By 1810 the works had become a grist mill owned by James Patrick. Alexander Sneed reported that “Flour of the first quality is manufactured here, which finds a ready market at Petersburg and Fayetteville.”
<o:p> </o:p>
The Patrick family continued to own a share of the property until after the Civil War. In 1870 the mill produced 600 barrels of flour, 3700 bushels of cornmeal, and the sawmill handled 40,000 feet of lumber. The mill burned and was rebuilt in 1915. It continued to operate under various owners until after WWII, when it was finally closed.

marcopolo27 04-18-2009 09:47 AM

Thanks for sharing this!
A beautiful part of the country and what must be a great place to ride. I hate to admit that I've been THROUGH NC far more times than I've been TO it - and worse, usually it's been in a cage on 95 making time to get someplace "important." I'm going to have to make myself a pledge that next time it'll be on 2 wheels and off the slab. :deal
Thanks for the historical material - both the photos and commentary. Fascinating stuff - and it's always great to be able to see some history that's not behind a velvet rope, encased in plexiglas, and locked up in a museum! :clap

Dessert Storm 04-18-2009 11:30 AM

Great report and photos!

misterk 04-18-2009 11:34 AM

cool ride :1drink

BikePilot 04-18-2009 11:35 AM

Very nice:clap

John Spartan 04-18-2009 12:00 PM

Thank you for the report. The historical details about the Ironworks were fascinating.:thumb

Stuntman 04-18-2009 12:34 PM

I love ride reports that bring history to light! Thanks for sharing!!!

Pastor John 04-18-2009 02:45 PM

Excellent ride report! Great looking Ultra!

Laconic 04-20-2009 06:05 AM

Yesterday, Ronnie, Jerry and I visited the John H. Kerr Dam.

John H. Kerr Project
John H. Kerr Project was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, and is now operated by the Wilmington District.
Construction was authorized by the seventy-eight Congress on 22 December 1944, with work commencing in March 1947. Completion date was early 1953.
The primary functions of John H. Kerr Project are flood control and production of hydroelectric power. The Project also provides benefits such as wildlife resources, forest conservation, and public recreational uses. Besides the control of floods, the project provides other benefits downstream from the dam through the regulation of flows for pollution and maintaining river levels for fish spawning. Twenty feet of storage is reserved for flood and is designed to control the largest flood on record.
Kerr Dam generates an average of 426,749,000 kilowatt hours per year, which is sold to local power companies for local consumption. Since construction Kerr Dam has prevented over $385,638,000 in downstream flood damages.
At the beginning and early stages of construction, the project was called Buggs Island Lake. Buggs Island is the name of the Island immediately downstream from the dam and was named after Samuel Bugg, an 18<sup>th</sup> century pioneer. The name of the project was changed to John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir by the eighty-second Congress in 1951. John H. Kerr was a Congressman from North Carolina who was instrumental in Congress authorizing the construction. The site was selected for the strong solid granite foundation needed to support the heavy concrete and the availability of rock for construction.
The John H. Kerr Project consists of a dam, powerhouse, and switchyard. The Dam is of the gravity type composed of the spillway, intake, and non-overflow sections, an earth-fill wing, and saddle dikes. It was built in 53 sections called monoliths. The joints between the monoliths were sealed to prevent leakage.
A grouting tunnel was built in the dam from end to end following the contour of the bedrock. In this tunnel, holes were drilled into the bedrock and concrete was forced under pressure to fill all cracks and crevices in the rock and between the rock and concrete. Drilled Holes were left open to relieve any water pressure that may seep between the concrete and rock. The tunnel also removes any leakage between expansion joints. Total leakage into the tunnel averages between 7 to 10 gallons per minute.
Twenty-two floodgates were built in the overflow section. Any floodwaters in the reservoir above the elevation 300 feet are either sold as electrical energy or spilled through these gates.
Erosion is prevented at the toe of the spillway by deflecting the floodwater upward in a trough called a bucket. Retaining walls were built on each end of the spillway to direct the flow of the discharged water.
Six sluices were built in the base of the dam. These were used to discharge a minimum flow of water downstream during impoundment that was required for about six months during construction.
Water to drive the turbines flows through penstocks into a scroll case. The water then passes through the governor controlled gates into the turbine and is discharged into the tailrace through draft tubes and tunnels that deflect the water upward.
The turbine is connected to the generator by a shaft 35 inches in diameter. There are seven generators capable of producing up to 227,000 kilowatts of pollution-free power and two generators used for in-house power production. The speed at which the large units rotate is 85.7 RPM. The large turbines produce 45,000 HP and small turbine 17,000 H.P at 90-foot head. Plant efficiency averages about 83%. Each large generator is rated at 32,000 kilowatts and the small one at 12000 kilowatt. The Westinghouse generators produce electricity at 13,800 volts that is conducted by copper conductors to the transformer. The transformers step up the volts to 115,000 volts and the electricity is conducted by copper wire through tunnels to the switchyard. Here, all electric powered generated is conducted onto a common high voltage bus and from this bus six transmission lines transmit power to the Virginia Power and CP& L power companies. Fifty-eight per cent of the power sold goes to Virginia Electric Power Company and forty-two per cent to the Carolina Power and Light Company. About one half of the power is transmitted to various government preference customers such as rural Cooperatives.

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Power Generation
The bottom or " Dead Storage" portion of the reservoir remains full at all times in order to provide the minimum water pressure necessary to operate the power plant. The middle or " Power Storage" portion is used for the production of electrical energy and for regulation of stream flow below the dam. The top or & Flood Storage" portion is reserved for storage of flood waters and will remain empty most of the time.

Stored water may pass the dam in three ways, namely: (1) through the powerhouse turbines by means of large conduits or penstocks, (2) over the spillway which is controlled by 22 large tainter gates, and (3) through 6 sluices at the base of the dam. A flip bucket at the foot of the spill way dissipates the destructive energy of the water and prevents erosion of the foundation of the dam. Concrete training walls direct the flow of water into the river channel below the dam.

To generate hydroelectric power, water from the reservoir flows through the gate-controlled penstocks, rotates the turbines in the powerhouse and discharges through the draft tubes to the river channel below. The turbines are directly connected to generators which produce electric power. The electric current is increased in voltage by large transformers for transmission away from the project.

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