Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Named for Lafayette

Fayetteville, North Carolina, was named, after the American Revolutionary War, for Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette, Marquis de La Fayette (aka Lafayette, 1757-1834); he visited in 1825.  In modern times, I've heard the name of the place pronounced anywhere from "Fay-yet-ville" to "Fettville." And let's not forget the "love you long time" clubs and establishments of "Fayettenam" years. Keep in mind that Fort Bragg has been in place since the First World War (initially as Camp Bragg), and is even now home to the 82nd Airborne Division, among other units.   

Above: Sherman's Union cavalry arrive in late winter 1865, here skirmishing dismounted with their Confederate counterparts in the center of downtown.

Working in Texas lately, I've become more acutely aware of the need for constant freshwater supply, and resupply, and durable water infrastructure. Hence, I found these artifacts from the 1825 Fayetteville water system fascinating.

The [Fayetteville water system] used pine logs drilled end-to-end to carry the water. The logs were joined with iron sleeves. The source of the water was Fountainhead Spring, located at the base of Haymount Hill on the western side of town. Water connected from the spring flowed through the pipes by gravity. The weight of the water provided the pressure needed to operate the system.

Some private customers received water directly into their homes or business. Taps on Hay Street served those who did not have a private line. Customers paid twenty-five cents per month for a key to open the tap.  [Display at Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum, 325 Franklin Street downtown]. 

And then there were plank roads and their rougher counterparts, corduroy roads. You probably realize that almost all primary forests in what is now the mainland USA were cut down by modern humans at one time or another, mostly at a rapid pace in the 19th and 20th centuries, often leaving the equivalent of diminished, comparatively spindly "weed forests" -- what we see as "normal" trees in the 21st century.  

Today's Rune: The Mystery Rune.    

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Very interesting about the drilled logs as a water pipeline of sorts. Had no idea of such.