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CMVAS presents author Scott Akridge on Searcy's Randall House project

Oct. 4, 2007 -
- The Central Mississippi Valley Archeological Society (CMVAS) will present a special lecture by Scott H. Akridge, co-author of "A Severe and Bloody Fight: The Battle of Whitney's Lane and Military Occupation of White County, Arkansas." Akridge's lecture, "The Randall House: Deconstructing a Log House, Reconstructing a Portion of Searcy's Past," will be held Thursday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m., Room 182 of the ASU Museum.

In the fall of 2006, the White County Historical Society "deconstructed" one of only two known remaining log houses in Searcy. Investigations by members of the historical society, with help from the City of Searcy's Parks and Recreation Division, revealed a double-pen (or dogtrot) log cabin, which had been covered in 1930s-era concrete stucco. The structure and had never been studied, prior to this emergency salvage operation.

Attempts to date the structure ranged from dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) of logs to dating newspapers adhering to walls to using metal detectors in the yard and under the floors. The most remarkable find was in the yard, where a twenty-foot-deep hand-dug well was found near the structure. The well was remarkable not for what was in it, but for what was around it.

As with most early historic sites, the emergent picture of the house and its occupants was surprising. Ultimately, the significance of the project extended beyond the city of Searcy to include the site's relationship to the Civil War and more.

Scott H. Akridge is a resident of Bradford and a member of the White County Historical Society For more information on this and other CMVAS events, contact Dr. Julie Morrow, Station Archaeologist, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro station, Arkansas Archeological Survey.

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