Monday, 8 February 2016

Barb Wire Revisted

Last summer, I did the analysis of all my barb wire samples.  The results of which, show that there is a lot of variety in the barb wire that was used by the Kern County Land Company and their successors.

The ones I was able to identify based on the Hagemeier guide:

The wire itself is not the only artefact is produced during the construction and maintenance of a barb wire fence line. It could also include the securing method (fencing clip, nails, wire, ect) and the remnants of the spool, such as the spool handles pictured here:

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Original Name of Harris Ranch

While checking-up on a detail of Amos Jean and Charlotte Harris, I discovered that now included the World War II Draft Card collection. Luckily, Amos Jean Harris's card was available. The place of residence line of the draft card informs that Harris Ranch was named Deep Cup Ranch by the Harris family.

World War II Draft Card from

Monday, 11 January 2016

PHD Submitted

Expects some changes over the next couple of months. 

I submitted my PHD on the 4th of January, now I am waiting for a date for my viva, which will be within the next couple of months. Very exciting. In the mean time I am working on publications, and doing some major updates to this Blog. 

In case you needed proof!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Barb Wire

Perhaps if I actually write something, even if short I will get back into the swing of things.

Currently trying to figure out all of my barb wire typologies. I live and breath the Harold Hagemeier Barbed Wire Encyclopedia. I thought barb wire was pretty bland, but the more you look at it the more you see there is HUGE amount of variety. It is a huge help. To give you an idea of how many when Hagemeier observed between 1853 and 1959 there were about 450 patents taken out of barbed wire in the USA. That is quite a few, and does not include foreign patents (no idea on this one).

Identification is not easy either. The one pictured above was identified by me as a Glidden Long and Short point barb and by a pro as a Glidden Viscous Long Barb. Guess we will get there in the end.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Belonging? Hefting?

For months now I have been working diligently at writing about an Archaeology of Belonging. I finished an early draft of my Belonging chapter for my PHD finally, based on earlier even rougher drafts from a the years as I have developed. I think I have finally sorted what I mean whey I say  that Belonging is a way of not only forming attachments to landscapes but translating those attachments into identity. My four themes on this consists of identity, emotional ties, instrumental ties, and performativity. I will not give away too much here as I really should write it all down for a journal article (finally?).

Here is the interesting part, as I was preparing to give a lecture in a Modern Archaeology course I came across Hefting.

Ollie Douglas of the Museum of English Rural Life blog wrote back in 2012 about this idea of hefting. He describes hefting as "process of intensively herding flocks of upland sheep until they become accustomed to a particular grazing area. Once hefted in this way, such groups retain a kind of homing instinct that lasts across generations."

Continuing his ideas he proposes people can form hefting relationships with landscapes as well. His ideas sound a lot like Belonging. It was a few years back so I will have to find if I can get in touch.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Historical Chapter

Since the last post I have really buckled down and worked on one particular chapter, the historical background. I broke it into several phases to include:

Mexican Ranch - 1840s
Mexican Ranchos Becomes American Homesteads
American Homesteads 1860 to 1890
Kern County Land Company 1890 to 1925
American Homesteads 1900 to 1930
Kern County Land Company 1925 to 1967
Tenneco 1967 to 1989
Post Tenneco 1968 to Present

I think the various phases of occupation of the San Emigdio Hills shows just how important archaeological work can be in that particular landscape. Not only is there numerous Native Californian sites, but several sites relating to the Mexican period of colonisation, as well as many sites for private homesteads sites. Ultimately the Kern County Land Company purchased most of the private homesteads, adding to the overall acreage of San Emigdio Ranch.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sneeky? or Am I Missing Something?

Observe the date on the following image for the Rancho San Emidio plat map:

Kern County Abstract Company. 1916. Abstract of Title to The Rancho San Emidio, Situated in the County of Kern, State of California. Made for The Kern County Land Company, a Corporation, Bakersfield, California. Same image in file at California State Archives.

January 1858 by Henry Hancock deputy Surveyor. Sound very plausible, and I took it for granted the date was correct. That is until I found Hancock's original survey notes. 

Notice that the survey was not even begun until September of 1858. Hancock received his instructions on the first of the month and then commenced survey on the 18th. Last time I checked January does not come after September. That is a nine month difference.