In Search Of Transpine

Sugar’s ancestor was Colonel Alexander James Lawton.  He’s found several references to where the Colonel is referred to as “Alex”, like in the papers of Benjamin Spicer Stafford.  Every time we’ve talked about him, we’ve always called him Alexander James.  Like at the family reunions, the organizers divide the attendants up into groups depending what child of Joseph and Sarah Robert Lawton they descend from.  There’s only one other family that descends from Alexander James, and they descend through his youngest child, Edward Payson Lawton.  In the papers of Benjamin Spicer Stafford, he refers to this person as “Ned”.

I love this so much, this finding of these little facts that personalize these long-deceased people.  “Alex”.  “Ned”.  I. Love. This.

There are other references that we’ve found that refer to Transpine Plantation  being part of the larger Mulberry Grove Plantation.  I don’t know why one plantation would be part of another one.

Which brings us back to the enormous oak that we saw.  Live oaks mean something here.  Many times they define an allee, or lane, to a house, like a driveway.  A lone oak?  I don’t know specifically.  But it means that someone was there.  It brings a humanness to the spot.  We’ve seen one other oak that was bigger, and that’s the Angel Oak.

In some of his reference materials, Sugar saw where Alex Lawton had a small house, basically cabin sized, built for his mother Sarah Robert Lawton to live in during her later years, and it was built at Transpine.  The enormous oak we saw was next to a little house, and he wondered if that would be the location of Sarah’s house.

We wiggled all week in anticipation of going back to see the tree up close and to measure the house.

*****

We drove past, and saw yet something else that we had missed in all our previous passes.

IMG_5274

 

It’s less than 20 feet from the dirt lane.  What is it?

IMG_5263

We wore our rubber boots because we have no idea what we might step into.

 

IMG_5264

This building is all cattywampus. I told him not to go in there because it was going to fall down around his ears. I wouldn’t go in at the same time in case it collapsed. Somebody would need to be able to call 911.

 

IMG_5265

To the right of the door.

 

IMG_5266

To the left of the door. Perhaps this was an old store.

IMG_5267

Okay…
I’m leaning in the door at approximately the same angle as the left wall. This place is scaring the bejesus out of me.

 

IMG_5268

The left side of the building.

 

IMG_5269

Part of the support system holding up the front porch.

We walked along the left side of the building, and Sugar said, “Don’t step on that skull.”  I said “huh”, and looked down and saw that I was indeed stepping on a skull.  Just a skull, no skeleton.

 

IMG_5270

IMG_5271

The back wall has completely fallen away from the building. See the sunlight coming THROUGH the building?
My apologies for being to antsy to allow the camera to focus clearly before I made this shot.

IMG_5272

I manned up, and skittered inside the building to get a detail of the wall support.

 

IMG_5273

And when I turned, I saw a chimney suspended in the air.

I skittered back out, and we decide to get back in the van to head toward the enormous live oak.

But first.  The morning sun slants through the trees.  We are facing south, and there’s a half-allee of live oaks on our right.

IMG_5260

IMG_5261

IMG_5262

 

Further along this lane is the enormous live oak.  I was still jittery about the ambiance at the old building, and I didn’t have my wits about me to remember to take a photo of the tree with a real-life frame-of-reference, like a person.

IMG_5275

But see that tiny building to the left of the tree? That’s about 22′ wide by 34′ long.
Are you getting a sense of how big this tree is?

 

IMG_5276

IMG_5277

IMG_5278

This long horizontal branch has broken away from the tree, although it is still attached.

We turn onto the field lane, which is between the house and the field, and stop to have a bite of early lunch.

 

IMG_5279

That mass of greenery is the house.

 

IMG_5280

This is a zoom shot of the previous view. See the walls of the house under all the greenery?

 

IMG_5281

IMG_5282

Sugar brought his machete because of all the vines. He’s chopping and whacking a path for us.

 

IMG_5283

IMG_5284

Dear God, that’s a widow-maker hanging over his head. I was as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but he wasn’t worried.

 

IMG_5285

IMG_5286

IMG_5287

IMG_5288

IMG_5289

IMG_5290

IMG_5291

IMG_5292

IMG_5293

IMG_5294

IMG_5295

IMG_5296

IMG_5297

IMG_5298

The house is not the right dimensions to be Sarah’s house at Transpine, but perhaps it was here once.  Regardless, Sugar named the live oak “TransOak”.

Then onward past what we believe to be the original location of the house at Mulberry Grove which was burned by Sherman.  There’s a lane which is marked No Trespassing, but the road map shows that it is a public road.

Yes, we did drive along it.  And took photos out the driver’s side window.  Some are zoomy, some are not.

 

IMG_5299

IMG_5300

IMG_5301

IMG_5302

IMG_5303

IMG_5304

IMG_5305

The gate to the driveway to the house.

IMG_5306

IMG_5307

Further along the lane, we come to more fields.

 

IMG_5308

IMG_5309

IMG_5310

Peanuts!  My father used to plant peanuts.

Sugar agreed to go again to the Lawton Cemetery so I could take some photos of headstones to confirm that this was indeed the Lawton Cemetery that Mama Florrie said it was.

And that’s another blog post.  (Spoiler:  she was right.)

 

Tags: , , , ,

4 Responses to “In Search Of Transpine”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Great pictures, Ruth, and interesting discoveries even if they weren’t exactly what you were hoping to find.

  2. leo lawton Says:

    On page 168 of Kith and Kin it is stated that Transpine was the summer house of the Mulberry Plantation. Somewhere in the back of my head, which isn’t reliable any more, it seems that maybe the home of Thomas Oregon Lawton that died in the past few years may have lived at Transpine?

    • ruthrawls Says:

      You are thinking of “The Pineland”, not to be confused with Pineland Hunt Club. I should add that to my google map.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers

%d bloggers like this: