Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Little History

It's funny how growing up in different parts of the United States leaves Travis and me remembering vastly different parts from our U.S. history classes. Missions, the Gold Rush, the railroad, and even the Zoot Suit era seem to ring clearer in my mind, whereas Travis can manage to rattle off names and dates of the Civil War that sound vaguely familiar to me. I guess for good reason. The Civil War took place in Louisiana and that history is still present in so many ways here in Baton Rouge, including Spanish Town, and even 765.

{Spanish Town}

As you can see in the sign above, Spanish Town was developed in 1805 by Carlos de GrandPre for the Canary Islanders to continue living on Spanish owned soil when their original home in Galvez Town (20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge) was taken in the Louisiana Purchase. It is now the oldest neighborhood in Baton Rouge and still includes some architecture from the early and mid 1800's. A few blocks away are the Pentagon Barracks, built in 1823 on the site of the British fort that began in 1779. In 1810 the British turned the land over to the U.S. and it became an assembly point for American troops. The U.S. expanded the site and built the barracks, along with an arsenal depot to serve the southeastern states. The area remained a military post until 1861 when the state of Louisiana turned it over to the Confederacy, becoming Fort Williams shortly after. Once the Civil War ended the Barracks became owned by Louisiana State University and today they house the office of the Lieutenant Governor and are apartments for state legislators. 

All this is to say there is alot of history here and it's not a huge surprise what we found in our front yard:

{three ringer}

Months ago there were rumors that a neighbor had found a Civil War button in his yard - a rare one - that was worth a good bit of money. It wasn't the next day that groups of people came hunting around Spanish Town yards with metal detectors, searching for a piece of history (and money) for themselves. Travis and I happened to be out front when a two men and a boy came by our house and asked to do just that. Travis allowed them, under the condition that the first bullet they find on the property was his - anything else was fair game. It was a deal and detecting they went. The younger boy was scouting out the front yard and it seemed he wouldn't find much more than some nickles and screws, until we finally moved the metal security sign. A loud beep. The kid started digging, and less than an inch under the dirt sat a bullet. A "three ringer" from the Civil War era to be exact. He was absolutely ecstatic because this was his first "three ringer" and he needed it to add to his collection. Sadly, a deal is a deal and the poor guy had to give it up. So the bullet sits in our living room, a little piece of history that leaves us wondering what we might find if we looked under the house...

Spanish Town history
Pentagon Barracks


Mom and Dad said...

That is awesome! History is especially interesting when it is in your own neighborhood & front yard! We can't wait to see the bullet!

Patrick said...

VERY cool ... makes the mind wander through the folks who have journeyed through that property.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'd get a metal detector if I were you guys!

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