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Old 04-12-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
Laconic OP
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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.

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.







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...




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



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.


Laconic screwed with this post 04-12-2009 at 09:37 PM
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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An idyllic scene...




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.




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?


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Old 04-12-2009, 05:04 PM   #3
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Beautiful pics, beautiful bike....er, ship matey..
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
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Great pics and report. Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:18 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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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!
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:06 AM   #7
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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;

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.

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.

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.”

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 13th.

Following the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15th, 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.

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.”

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.

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Old 04-18-2009, 10:47 AM   #8
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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.
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!
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:30 PM   #9
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Great report and photos!
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:34 PM   #10
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cool ride
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #11
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You are skilled with a camera, nice stuff!

Seeing your EG makes me miss my RG.
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:41 AM   #12
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Seeing your EG makes me miss my RG.
Time to get another one!
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:07 AM   #13
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Time to Head Home.

I took a little side trip to the west and went up through the Champlain Lake Islands on the way home. I'm ashamed to say I had never heard of this area before this trip (the islands, I mean ). I mentioned it to my dad after I got home. He said his father only went on one trip in his entire life and it was to this area. He said he talked about it for years afterward.

It is a very pretty ride; there appears to have been an effort to keep development to a minimum and there is an abundance of rolling farmland all up through the islands.

While I was passing through New Hampshire I saw this and knew I had to go back for a picture.




Here are a few shots traveling north through the islands.










I stopped here to get a look at Fort Montgomery and to have snack. Here's a link to a website about the fort.

http://www.historiclakes.org/explore/Montgomery.html





In the backgroung here were some guys fishing. The whole time I was there I was treated to a constant stream of profanity. I was in the Navy for nine years and I've never heard anything like it. Those islanders know how to cuss.




This guy was hanging around to see if I dropped anything...




I crossed the border into New York within eyeshot of the Canadian border and headed west to find a place to spend the night.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:32 PM   #14
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You Probably Thought I was Stranded in Upstate New York...

I rode south through the Catskills. Saw some windmills and TONS of other bikes (I only figured out after I got home that Americade was going on that week).






There was some nice scenery along the way...






Had lunch in Sangerfield.





I spent the night in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. The next day turned cold and rainy, so I just got on the I-81 and pushed for home. There's nothing better than having a ratty live chicken truck blow by you at 80+ in a driving rain.

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:31 PM   #15
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Well, I'm back...

But this thread is going to need a name change. There's a new kid in town that will probably become a replacement for the Black Pearl.

Any suggestions?

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