Dendrochronological Dating of an Antebellum Period House, Forsyth County, Georgia, U.S.A.
AffiliationLaboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996
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CitationWight, G.D., Grissino-Mayer, H.D. 2004. Dendrochronological dating of an Antebellum Period house, Forsyth County, Georgia, U.S.A. Tree-Ring Research 60(2):91-99.
AbstractWe examined tree rings from cross-sections of shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) timbers extracted from a house in Forsyth County, Georgia, that was reportedly built in the mid-19th Century during the Antebellum Period (pre-1860). Our goals were to (1) determine the probable construction year for the house to help assess its possible historical significance, and (2) create a new long-term reference chronology for the northern Georgia area where such chronologies are lacking. Sections of shortleaf pine were removed from the structure during a renovation project in 2001. Sixteen sections were used to build a floating tree-ring chronology 217 years in length from series that crossdated conclusively with other series both graphically via skeleton plots and statistically via COFECHA. We then statistically evaluated the probable absolute temporal placement of this chronology using several regional tree-ring chronologies from the southeastern U.S. A statistically significant (p , 0.0001) correlation between our chronology and a shortleaf pine chronology from Clemson, South Carolina, anchors our chronology between 1652–1868. Two missing rings are probable in the early portion of our chronology, but we currently do not have a sufficient number of samples to conclusively identify their exact placement. No cluster of outermost rings was found to support the reported construction date of 1851, although the outermost rings on 13 of 16 samples dated before 1851. This new chronology could aid further dating of wood from archaeological sites and historical structures, and establish an initial data set that could eventually provide important new insights about the climate of northern Georgia during the 17th–19th Centuries.