Week 1, Day 1

We travelled to Pollak Vineyard in Greenwood to meet Dr Stephen Brighton and his team of students from the University of Maryland. Dr Brighton has been studying the culture of Irish immigrants in the eastern US and was invited to the Greenwood area by members of the Clann Mhor Irish history group. Clann Mhor has been researching local census and tunnel project records from 1850 to 1860, to find details of the lives of the 2000 or more Irish workers who were recruited to build the Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel from 1860 to 1868.

Ask your kids about anthropology and archeology, the study of humans and artifacts, as well as paleontology, the study of bones and fossils (think dinosaurs). Did you know there is a museum of trains in Clifton Forge? It is full of railroad project records for research.

Campers watched the students at work, digging soil in research pits or units, sifting the soil to find scraps of porcelain from dishes, a clay pipe, horseshoes, and other evidence of home life. Two old barns on the farm were used as a duplex house and a barracks for single men workers.