DeKalb County research project open to the public

Submitted by Sammy Smith (sammy@thesga.org)

Lyon farmhouse from Lyon Farm flyer 2012

Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division (HPD) is partnering with the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance, Inc. in a public archaeology project at the Lyon Farm in DeKalb County. As part of this project, the public is invited to attend and participate in excavations planned over two weekends—one in the spring and one in the fall of 2012.

If you are interested in participating in the excavations please contact Ms. Rachel Black at the Historic Preservation Division by email at this address to be added to the list. Please note that participation is limited. The spring excavation day is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2012.

According to the flyer announcing this project (accessible online here):

The Lyon Farm was settled around 1800 by a Revolutionary War soldier on land ceded by the Creek Nation. The Lyon family lived on the property until 2006 and farmed there into modern times. Through their occupancy, they encountered native people, owned slaves and worked the land through a variety of farming techniques.

Some accounts suggest the Lyon family slaves lived in the basement of the main house. 1860 census data indicates the Lyon family owned 17 slaves and family accounts say there were in three houses for them located east of the main house. The exact location of these cabins is not known.

The fieldwork has several research goals.

During the first phase of excavation, we will attempt to locate the cabins that housed slaves who lived on the property prior to the Civil War. Once the remains of these cabins are located, additional excavations may reveal more about the lives of the families that called them home. Creek settlements were also reported in the area and there is a good chance of encountering Native American artifacts during the investigations. As a working farm for generations, there is a also a high likely hood of finding interesting clues about past residents.

As mentioned above, please email Ms. Rachel Black at the HPD at this address for more information or to be added to the list if you want to participate in this volunteer activity.