unnamed cave 60, historic graffiti

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These signatures are only a couple of feet from the other inscription, " U.S. Survey, July 5th, 1891". One of my friends is a historical researcher.He looked in a local census for that year and did not find anyone matching these names. That might be partially explained by the fact that at least "W.S. Winn" was from Winchester, Kentucky.

They mystery was solved by Clifford Nelson, geologist and historian with the U.S.G.S.

"I regret that Henderson, Thompson, and Winn do not appear in the USGS Annual Reports for 1890-91 and 1891-92. In the late 1880s, the USGS mapped topographically and geologically several quadrangles in the Chattanooga area and published them at 1;250,000 in the 1890s as part of the folio Geologic Atlas of the United States, but no member of your trio is listed on these map sheets as a topographer or a geologist.

Instead, the biennial Official Register of the United States for July 1, 1891, lists your trio among the employees of the U.S. Engineer Department at Large's Division of the Tennessee River (led by Lt. George W. Goethals, C.E.) then stationed at "The Suck": William C. Henderson (born in Maryland and working as a chainman at $40/month), James I. Thompson (born in Tennessee and a laborer at $1.20 per day), and Walter S. Winn (born in Kentucky and a levelman at $75/month).

The Library at USGS-Reston has a copy of Diamond Drilling at Muscle Shoals, Tennessee, written by a Walter Scott Winn (1869-?) and published, as Army Engineers' Professional Memoirs, v, 9, no. 44, in 1917. Perhaps he is the "Winn" of your 1891 "U.S. Survey" as well."

Cliff Nelson

Clifford M. Nelson, Ph.D.
Geologist and Historian
U.S. Geological Survey
950 National Center
Reston, VA 20192


title unnamed cave 60, historic graffiti
date yyyymmdd hr:mn 2009:02:01 05:51:41
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flickr_agent alan_cressler

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