2 Mysteries Solved

old pottery

B. Ruth suggested I contact the Museum of Appalachia about the old piece of pottery The Deer Hunter found. I did-they put me in contact with Gene Purcell. Gene was a friend of John Irwin Rice (founder of the museum) before the Museum of Appalachia was ever founded and has aided greatly in the Museum’s development.  Over the years, Gene has volunteered at the museum, served on it’s Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Board of Advisers.

This is what Gene had to say about the piece of pottery:

Your item is not a milk crock it is a rundlet. A rundlet is a closed crock with a small hole in one end near the edge for a spigot and somewhere on the side would be a hole to fill it. A rundlet is a one piece enclosed crock used to dispense water, cider, wine or any liquid, most of the time it would have a small wood spigot to dispense what ever was in it. These were not real common in Appalachia more so up north, but most all potters in the area made them just few in number.

sword scabbard

Remember the sword scabbard I found back in the summer? I ask Gene to take a look at it and see if he could tell if it was from the Civil War. This is what he said:

From your photo I can’t see if it has a curve or not it appears to be straight if so that rules out a Calvary saber but if it is 29″ long and straight that fits the 1860 staff officer sword used in the civil war but continued in production many years after on into the 20th century but still a great find.

The scabbard is straight and it is 29 inches long-so maybe-just maybe it is from the Civil War-and how cool is that!!


p.s. Remember me mentioning Guitar Man (my oldest nephew) had a meeting with Yale for a scholarship? He found out his week-he was accepted for a full ride at Yale-I mean they’ll even pay for his way home once or twice a year. Not bad for a boy raised in a holler in the Southern Highlands of Appalachia uh? Seems it was only yesterday he was asking Auntie Titter to take him to pet Old Paint the horse. To say I’m proud of him-is an understatement.


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  • Reply
    December 14, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Congratulations. That is wonderful about your nephew!!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2009 at 9:06 am

    So cool! I am glad you got some answers! What lies in those objects’ future?

  • Reply
    December 6, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I’m glad the Deer Hunter brought this home and that we got to learn something.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    You nephew has done very well for himself and I can see how proud you are of him. Give him my congratulations.
    What great find. How blessed you are to have the scabbard that is possibly from the Civil War. What stories it could tell. I would love to explore your region along the creeks and woods to see what treasures I could find.
    Wishing you a great week.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Interesting stuff you found out about your findings. Don’t ya just love when someone can tell atleast a little about something that has been lost for centuries.
    Way to go, Guitar Man!!! Look forward to your future, but always remember where you came from. It’s home.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 5, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    PS…what is even more weird is that you posted the results of the find on my birthday…oh my!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 5, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    I am so glad you found out about your pieces…in my e-mail that I sent you, after rereading it was sort of spooky…wonder if I saw that “goober” in another lifetime…

  • Reply
    December 5, 2009 at 11:00 am

    wow…my boys would have a field day with that….and Yale….OMG, how damn smart is that kid? lol

  • Reply
    December 5, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Congratulations to your nephew. My son went to college and majored in civil engineering. That’s great that you were able to find out about those artifacts. I’m always thinking about who roamed our land before us.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Steve-his major will be in Mechanical Engineering. I think he chose Yale because their Engineering Program specializes in what he wants to do eventually.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    December 5, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I’m so happy for your nephew!!!! I enjoyed our chat yesterday. Time just flies when we talk. I liked what you said about walking down the road your family has always walked. I love that you take pride in your heritage. Too many people want to be something or somewhere else. You know what’s important.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    December 5, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Congratulations to your nephew. You have a right to be proud. I look forward to following his future.
    You post today is very interesting with identifying the finds. Very nice.

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    December 4, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I can only imagine the excitement shared by everyone in the holler about your nephew going to Yale on a full scholarship! Brilliant!
    And the news of the finds is so interesting, Tipper! I’ll be fun to see what else the Deerhunter will find. Wonderful to have someone of such stature to help you in your finds too! :))
    Have a wonderful weekend, Tipper~!

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    December 4, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Congratulations to Guitar Man for making the grade. Way to go!
    Tipper, that was some great information you shared about your finds. I would not have thought to do as much research as you have. I love your history lessons, they are always enjoyable. xxoo

  • Reply
    December 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Congratulations to Guitar Man! Good for him.
    I love walking over our farm and finding arrowheads and old pieces of Native American pottery. Plus any other stuff I can find too. Just think, at one time, long ago, someone else was living right here where I walk.
    It is nice you had someone to help identify your “finds”.
    It was interesting to learn about them.
    Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    steve a in florence ky
    December 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Tell us what will your nephew study? What are his plans that caused him to pursue Yale?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 4, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Wow!!! Guitar Man is going to Yale. That is remarkable, wonderful, stupendous. Congratulations. He must have been working toward that for a long time.
    Tipper, it’s nice that you have a “source” now to have things Identified and dated. You just never know what else might turn up.
    Wonder how they kept the inside of that rundlet jar clean and free of mold?
    Glad you got both items identified.

  • Reply
    Terry Stites
    December 4, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Tipper, this is way better than “Antiques Roadshow”! Isn’t the best when you can find out what something truly is?
    A great big congrats to Guitar Man.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    You find the coolest stuff. I was close on the pottery. Glad you got an experts opinion on it.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    December 3, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Major congratulations to your nephew! Yale will be lucky to have a mountain boy!
    Rundlet — I love it when I learn something new! Thanks, Tipper!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Old things like y’all found keeps
    all of us rooted to our past,
    and,that is GOOD!!

  • Reply
    Shane Moad
    December 3, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Wow, I bet Deer Hunter was excited to when he came across these items. What great things just to stumble on, to think of all the history behind them is a thrill in itself. Congrats to Guitar Man, that will certainly be a weight off his shoulders, a fully paid trip to his future, way to go!
    Sorry Tipper you have not heard from me from “Down Under” for awhile, I have been reading when I can, been busy in the studio of late…..anyway, its good to be able to sit and write to you and a big hello to all the other Acorns out there!………………..Shane

  • Reply
    December 3, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Interesting to know what the piece was. I have seen unbroken ones, but not in that style. I guess our common place plastic water coolers are pretty everyday by comparison.
    Wonderful for your nephew! It takes a lot of work to achieve well enough to be considered, and how great that he has been awarded the scholarship. I am sure you are very proud of him, and I know he will do well. Wow!

  • Reply
    trisha too
    December 3, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    oh my word, this is amazing! isn’t it awesome to hold something old and wonder about who used it?
    we have some ancient faience (forerunner of glass) beads from ancient Egyptian times–they aren’t rare, or particularly valuable, because there were so many made, but they predate Christ!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Congratulations to your nephew!
    I’m glad you found out what the crock was used for.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    That is a great achievement for Guitar man, a free ride at one of the best schools. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    December 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    What a neat find. I’m glad you were able to get the mystery solved about the pottery. What an intersting bit of Appalachian history.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    December 3, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Wow, how cool that you found out what they were and that one is probably from the Civil War!
    Congratulations to your nephew! That is awesome!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Wow, Tipper, I’m glad you found out about your ‘finds’. The rundlet is interesting, as is the sword scabbard. So neat to think about who they once belonged to!
    Congratulations to your nephew!!

  • Reply
    Farm Chick Paula
    December 3, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    That is some awesome info about the piece you found, Tipper… and the Museum of Appalachia is such a wonderful place- we live 2 miles from it!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I’m kinda a civil war buff myself and that is really cool about the scabbard.
    My great great grandfather was with the union calvary at gettysburg and survived.
    Very cool Tipper, thanks for sharing what you found out.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    December 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Tipper: What neat finds they turned out to be. Congrats to Guitar Man on his accomplishment.

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