Dendrochronological dating of the historic McKenzie Home, Meigs County, Tennessee, USA
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CitationStachowiak, L.A., Schneider, E.A., Rochner, M.L., Collins, S.A., Swiney, C.P., Grissino-Mayer, H.D., Mackenzie, T.G., 2014. Dendrochronological dating of the historic McKenzie Home, Meigs County, Tennessee, USA. Tree-Ring Research 70(1):31-39.
AbstractThe McKenzie Home is a one-story log structure located in Meigs County, Tennessee. The land tract where the cabin was originally built was purchased by the McKenzie family ca. A.D. 1820 to 1828, which makes the suspected construction date for the home sometime after 1820. Our objective was to date oak (Quercus spp.) cross-sections taken from original logs to accurately determine the year when the trees were cut and therefore when the structure was built. We created a master chronology from measurements taken along 12 radii from five oak sections using program COFECHA to first confirm internal crossdating among the measured radii and then using program ARSTAN to create a floating master chronology. Interactive detrending identified two likely disturbances that affected tree growth on all five oaks and these trends were subsequently removed using 32-year splines. The McKenzie floating chronology was then compared with a composite reference chronology created from four oak chronologies located in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. An interseries correlation coefficient of 0.412 (n = 169 years, t = 5.84, p < 0.0001) was obtained between the floating chronology and the anchored reference chronology, indicating a single year of tree harvesting in A.D. 1876. Cutting dates for the five samples indicate harvesting began in the early part of the growing season in 1876 and lasted until the end of the growing season or possibly into the dormant season of 1876–1877. The graphical and statistical crossdating evidence and cutting dates that confirm 1876 as the year of construction matches historical property and district records, which state the land was purchased by E.G. McKenzie, Sr. from his brother on 1 February 1876. The log structure has since been renamed the “E.G. McKenzie, Sr. Home.”