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Johnson's Ford (3CR0313) Early 19th Century Bridge Remains on Osage Creek, Carroll
County, Arkansas

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Aaron T. Lingelback, Jerry Hilliard, Jared Pebworth
Arkansas Archeological Survey

Research Project

In 2005 the remains of a timber-frame bridge was recorded on Osage Creek in Carroll County, Arkansas.  Through the use of dendrochronology, General Land Office Survey Plats, historical records, and the archaeological record its historical significance can be documented.

Dendrochronology dating techniques have placed the cutting date of the timbers used on the bridge as late as 1838, and as early as 1831.  Analysis of the General Land Office survey plat from 1839 indicates a major road, from Huntsville, Arkansas to Springfield, Missouri crosses the Osage Creek, near this location.  Other historical records mention a road trending, in a northwest and southeast direction, through the approximate location of the site.  Finally, the archaeological record indicates this was a beam type timber- frame bridge compatible with bridges built in the early- mid 19th century associated with mid-continent military roads. 

Mark Twain once said, “mysterious roads are always branching out from it on either hand, and as these curve sharply also and hide what is beyond, you cannot resist the temptation to desert your own chosen road and explore them.”  Since the ancient times, roadways and bridges have been a crucial part of the infrastructure of any nation.  This is true in regards to such a large country as a developing United States. 

As our forefathers marched westward to settle the great expansions of wilderness, early roads became their only means of conveying materials and information, which was essential to the growth and development of our fledgling nation.  As the decades go by, these once treasured means of transportation, dry up, as better roads are constructed and cities develop, leaving them forgotten to the lonely pages of history.

The main goal of this research project is to identify the historical significance of   the bridge and subsequent roadway at 3CR313, Carroll County, Arkansas.  Analysis of the structure and materials using dendrochronology and comparative research on contemporary bridges will provide a quantitative and qualitative date of construction.  The bridge and the corresponding site date at around 1838.  Historical context can place a military roadway within the immediate area of the site, making this bridge a good candidate for a thoroughfare along the military road in between Springfield Missouri and Huntsville Arkansas (see Figure 1).    

Figure 1. 1839 GLO survey plat showing Military Road from Springfield, MO to Huntsville, AR.
Figure 1. 1839 GLO survey plat showing Military Road from Springfield, MO to Huntsville, AR.

The bridge site 3CR0313, also known as Johnson Ford (named for the current landowner), is located southwest of Berryville, Arkansas along the banks of the Osage Creek.  Jerry Hilliard, of the Arkansas Archaeological Survey was notified on September 29, 2005 by the land owner, that a number of large timbers that had been recently exposed on his land along the Osage Creek.  Mr. Johnson believed that they could be the remains of a possible bridge.  The remains were massive hand hewn timbers, some as large as 3.66 meters to 4.57 meters long, (Figure 2)across the 25 meters wide creek.  On either side of the creek banks adjacent to the remains is evidence of an old road trace providing further support that this was a bridge rather than a mill or other structure.

Figure 2. Central gravel bar timbers facing east-southeast.

Figure 2. Central gravel bar timbers facing east-southeast.
Figure 3. Central gravel bar timber showing mortise and tenon construction.
Figure 3. Central gravel bar timber showing mortise and tenon construction.

After initial examination of the structure, we concluded that these were the remains of a timber-frame bridge with mortise and tenon construction (Figure 3). The bridge remnants were covered by gravel and silt; flood deposits had buried the remains creating a constantly wet environment that preserved the wooden mud sills and other structural elements. Recent flooding has created washouts and erosion that exposed the remains first noted by Mr. Johnson, the landowner. Through the use of excavation techniques, further remains were unearthed during subsequent fieldwork at the site.  Unfortunately, all that remains of the bridge at Johnson’s Ford is the foundation. This makes it almost impossible to know the exact type of bridge that was constructed.  However, through analysis of the remains and historical documentation of road construction techniques, we believe that the bridge was a beam type bridge, common to the period.

On January 12, 2006 a group from the Arkansas Archaeological Survey met with the land owner, and conducted our investigations (AAS Site file Hilliard 2).  After an initial tour of the site, we discovered the remains of timber mud sills along the north bank and central gravel bar of the Osage Creek that had previously been under water and sediment, but had been exposed by the drought of the winter of 2005 and subsequent erosion caused by localized flooding.  While no longer present, Mr. Johnson had noted timbers from the south bank of the river which had been removed due to subsequent flooding.
As we unearthed remains on the north bank, the construction technique of the foundation of the bridge became clear.  Large hand hewn beams and mud sills were embedded in the north bank and central gravel bar of Osage Creek; a similar foundation was probably located on a south bank of the creek.  The large beams were embedded in the north creek bank and gravel bar, parallel to each other with intersecting cross-beams to stabilize the structure (see Figures 4 and 5).  While the vertical supports are not intact, mortise holes for vertical supports and some wooden pegs were present at the site.  Timbers were labeled with stamped numbered aluminum tags, which are used to reference the timbers while mapping.  An electronic Total station was utilized with data points collected that were later downloaded into a Surfer mapping program (Figure 6).  Along with the Total Station map, there were four detailed hand drawn maps that were produced in the field by archeologists Jerry Hilliard and Leslie Walker.

Figure 4. North side timbers facing south.
Figure 4. North side timbers facing south.

Figure 5. Drawing of timber remains on north bank.
Figure 5. Drawing of timber remains on north bank.

Figure 6. Map of site area produced with total station.
Figure 6. Map of site area produced with total station.

On January 26th 2006, we returned to the site joined by Dr. David Stahle, Distinguished Professor Department of Geosciences University of Arkansas, who took samples of several white oak timbers for tree-ring dating.  Portions of six timbers were removed with a chainsaw and four increment core samples were taken with a hand borer.  These samples (see Figure 7) were then taken to University of Arkansas’s tree-ring laboratory, where Dr. Stahle could perform further analyses. 

Figure 7. Dr. Stahle examining cut timber 129.
Figure 7. Dr. Stahle examining cut timber 129.

In addition to taking samples for dendrochronology, a large trench was dug with the use of a backhoe parallel to the upstream or east side of the bridge.  This was done in order to investigate planking that was discovered along the central gravel bar of the creek (Figure 10).  These planks were placed to prevent the river current from eroding the mud sill support of the bridge (see Figures 8 and 9).  These planks were beveled at one end and then drove into the ground at least a 30cm deeper than the mud sill.

Figure 8. Section of planking showing beveling.

Figure 8. Section of planking showing beveling.
Figure 9. Detail of vertical planking on central gravel bar overlooking west.

Figure 9. Detail of vertical planking on central gravel bar overlooking west.
Figure 10. Drawing of central gravel bar timbers and vertical planking.
Figure 10. Drawing of central gravel bar timbers and vertical planking.

On the north side of the creek, more planking was discovered during hand excavation of the area (Figure 11).  This set of planks was set perpendicular to the parallel mud sills, and was attached with machine cut nails.  No wire nails were recovered indicating the construction and subsequent repair was done prior to their common usage, or before around 1890 (Davidson 2003).  The wood planking provided a platform for rock fill, which helped to hold the sills in place forming a solid foundation for the bridge.  This would have been especially critical during times of flooding when water would have covered the bridge supports. Charred wooden planks in the fill were also uncovered during the hand excavation of the north bank suggesting that the bridge probably burned (see Figure 11).

Figure 11. North bank mud sills facing south.
Figure 11. North bank mud sills facing south.

Our preliminary interpretation, due to its timber frame construction, was that the bridge should date to the early to mid 1800’s.  Tree ring dating allowed us to obtain a more concise data of construction for this bridge.  Dendrochronology can be used to fill in the gaps in the historical record (Stahle 4).  Tree-ring chronologies are set against a master record, which is compiled at the University of Arizona tree-ring laboratory (Stahle 6).  Two distinct tree-ring dating regions are present in the Ozark Highlands.  The first is in the Ozark Mountain Range in northern Arkansas, and the second is in central Arkansas’s Ouachita Mountains.  These chronologies are distinct from one another, among the same species of trees (Stahle 6).   

While tree-ring dating is accurate in its applications in archaeology, chronological errors can occur (Bannister 508).  Dendrochronology can provide the date of the tree’s last year of growth, i.e. when the timber was cut, but it does not indicate when the timber was actually used in the structure.  These dates, however, can be cross-referenced with other sources, to provide a more exact date.  Dendrochronology analysis has conclusively placed the bridge construction between 1831 and 1838.

Of the ten samples that David Stahle took during the second visit to the site only three provided cutting dates (Figure 12). While samples were taken from the remains from the north bank and central gravel bar of the bridge, the three samples that had positive dates were all taken from the central gravel bar.  The first and most accurate of the three, was a hewn white oak timber cross section sample taken from timber #121 from the central gravel bar, this dated to 1837 for its cutting date.  The second was from cross section sample from timber #122, which is a round white oak timber.  This sample dated to 1831, but this date is tentative.  The third is a cross section sample from the hewn white oak timber #123; the date of 1799 however, is not conclusive, due to unclear frost ring analysis.

Figure 12. Dr Stahle taking core sample from timber 114 facing west.
Figure 12. Dr Stahle taking core sample from timber 114 facing west.

19th Century Military Roads and Bridges:
During the early part of the nineteenth century, the United States was in a period of western exploration and settlement.  As these early pioneers pushed westward, simple paths and trails became established roads.  The War Department in the early 1800’s     recognized the need for frontier roads, and used treaties with the Native Americans to ensure passage for the settlers as well as allow the U.S. government to build roads in the frontier (Nelson 1).  However; the government did not really set aside funds for the construction of these roads, nor did they have the constitutional power to even build military roads until the 1820’s (Nelson 2-3).After the War of 1812, congress realized the need for an efficient system of military roadways, and in 1824 Congress approved the first military road in Arkansas, which went from Memphis, Tennessee to Little Rock, Arkansas.  By 1834 construction had begun on at least 13 roads throughout the territory, one of which went from Fayetteville to Jackson, Arkansas (Nelson 9).  The road from Fayetteville traveled east, through the Ozark Mountain Range, and possibly through Huntsville, where GLO records from 1839 indicate a military road, from Huntsville, Arkansas to Springfield, Missouri (Figure 13). 

Figure 13. 1839 GLO plat with road and bridge location shown in red.

 Arkansas had a particularly high concentration of military roads during this period in American history due to the fact that there was a high concentration of “Indian” raiders on the borders, as well as a growing concern with the turmoil between Texas and Mexico (Nelson 10). Even though these roads were built for military purposes, socio-economic benefits were very apparent.  Citizens of the region were charged with most of the actual labor involved in the construction of these roadways which provided much needed income to the poor settlers as well as allowing for further commerce expansion to the region.  As the population grew so did its need for roads.

These early military roads laid the foundation for further growth, for which the benefits are quite apparent in Arkansas, as well as Michigan and Florida, which had a similar build up of roads in the early nineteenth century (Nelson 10).  In 1836 plans for a military road and fort system stretching from the upper Mississippi River to the Red River were in progress.  The portion of this Great Military Road relevant to the Osage River bridge site, (3CR0313), ran from the Spring River, Missouri to Fort Smith with construction well under way by 1841 (Nelson 14).  The road from Springfield to Huntsville including the crossing over the Osage River was probably a small portion of this road system.

In a letter from the head of the U.S. Topographic Corp, instructions for constructing road and bridges in Arkansas were made (Williams et al. 34-36).  The letter states that:

[January] 27th

1826LT. F. L. Griffith U.S. A. WASHINGTON D. C.

SIR, You have been selected to superintend the making of a road from a point on the West Bank of the river Mississippi, opposite the town of Memphis in the state of Tennessee, to Little Rock in the Territory of Arkansas, authorized by an act of Congress approved the 31st of January 1824. -Enclosed is a copy of the report of the Commissioners who surveyed the route, with a copy of the plot of the survey.

The road is to be opened in reaches staked out as straight as practicable, keeping a view the general direction of the survey, in the ascent and declivities of hills, and other localities, which cause a necessary deviation from a straight line. It is to be at least twenty four feet wide throughout and all timber, brushwood, and other rubbish or impediments, are to be removed from it. And all holes within its limits are to be filled with earth. The stumps must be cut as low to the ground as practicable, their height in no instance to exceed two thirds of their diameter; they should be hollowed towards the centre in cutting them to retain the rain and moisture. Marshy or swampy ground must be causewayed with poles or split timber, from five to eight inches in diameter at the smallest end, laid down compactly, side by side, across the direction of the road the 'causeways to be eighteen feet wide, secured at each side with heavy timbers or riders firmly and securely staked down. Ditches four feet wide and three feet deep are to be dug on each side of the causeways, and the earth and sand taken there from to be thrown upon the causeway so  as to render it convex or highest in the centre-and if the swamps or other grounds be of such a nature as not to afford earth .sufficient to cover the causeways at least eighteen inches in the centre and six inches at the sides, a sufficiency is to brought from other places-At proper distances in long causeways, or through very wet ground, open. Log bridges are to be constructed to let the water pass freely through Where any separate causeway shall exceed seventy yards in length, it must be open in the centre or at each distance of seventy yards, to the width of twenty feet.

The hills on the route are to be dug down and wound round in such a manner as to make them practicable for carriages or loaded wagons. All streams, branches, Creeks, lagoons and rivers, except are to be bridged in the most substantial manner-if not more than ten feet wide with strong and permanent log abutments for the floor beams to rest upon-if more than ten feet wide with staunch frame bridges built upon trestles or arches none of which are to be more than fourteen feet apart-the main timbers of the bridges are not to be less than twelve by twelve inches, squared & hewed, & where uprights are twenty feet in height, measuring from the mudsill to the cap sill, they are to be fourteen by sixteen inches squared and hewed- The mud sills are to be logs not less than two feet in diameter hewed on the upper and lower sides, the bark to be taken off the other two sides, and to extend ail least four feet at each end beyond the exterior sides of the uprights-the uprights are to be firmly secured into the mud sills and cap sills by mortises and tendons with two pins in each, and to be firmly braced with timbers of five inches squared and hewed with mortises and tendons pinned in like manner. The floor beams of the bridges are to be four in number, one on each side of the bridge resting at each end on the cap sill, and immediately over the uprights and the others between them equidistant from them and from each other-The flooring of the frame bridges is to be of sawed plank three inches thick or of hewed puncheons from three to five inches thick the other bridges may be covered with split or hewed puncheons of the same thickness-the bridges are to be twelve feet wide in the clear-that is twelve feet measuring from title' exterior sides of the cap sill-the planks or puncheons are to be securely pinned to be beams at each end-no timber is to be used in the bridges, either under the water, or exposed to the air, but that which is known to be durable.

The bridges are to be built so high above the water that no part thereof from bank to bank shall ever be exposed to danger' from the highest freshets-Good and staunch hand rails are to be affixed to the bridges. Such small streams as are never deep enough in freshets to obstruct carriages in passing, and have firm sandy bottoms, with firm banks, may be dug and left as fords.

The structural remains documented during field work are consistent with the Army regulation for the construction of bridges described in the correspondence.  The mud sill timbers that were excavated were approximately 35 (1.15 ft) - 40cm (1.31 ft) wide hewn timbers with mortise and tenon joints, with the decking  made of hewn planks 7.5 cm (3 inches) wide.  According to an interview with Dr. Larry G. Pleimann Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Civil Engineering at the U of A, the dimensions of structural remains are consistent with the type of bridge described in the correspondence above.  He went on to say that with the type of material used and the structural components that are in the archeological record, Dr. Pleimann suggests that the bridge was probably a beam type bridge that is easily capable of spanning the 25 meters of the Osage Creek (Figure 14).

Figure 14. Example of a beam type bridge.
Figure 14. Example of a beam type bridge.

 While the above rendering of the beam type bridge is compatible with the bridge on Osage Creek, the Pier would have consisted of four or more upright timbers and could have been boxed in.  Due to the lack of structural remains it is impossible to tell exactly how the piers would have looked.  The vertical planking shown in the diagram would help to prevent erosion from under cutting the main piers of the bridge; these could have extended a substantial distance up the piers.

General Land Office and Other Historical Records:
General Land Office records can be very useful in determining the locations of early 19th Century roads, however, errors are not uncommon in the GLO plats from the original surveys.  Corners were set with the use of rock piles and witness trees, which were often mislabeled and the species of trees were frequently misidentified.  The surveyors who conducted these surveys walked across the terrain over mountains and rivers, which did not always produce straight lines.  When conditions were not ideal, errors were made (Chaney 29).  Another major problem with GLO records is false surveys.  It is known that some surveyors worked as fast as they could walk, and then later just filled in the records as they say fit (Chaney 30). 

One case of a fraudulent survey is that of Moon Lake, in northeastern Arkansas.  The original GLO survey indicated a major lake within their survey area, but later investigation showed that there was no lake in the immediate area at the time the survey was conducted (Chaney 30).  Generally speaking, most GLO surveys were fairly accurate, which does not rule the use of plats in research, but shows that cross referencing is required when dealing with historical maps.

The 1839 General Land Office Survey Plat for Township 20N and Range 25W place the military road Osage River crossing from Huntsville, Arkansas to Springfield, Missouri, within a reasonable distance and at the proper trajectory for the bridge at Johnson’s Ford (Figure 15).  Cross referencing the GLO field notes and survey plats with modern topographic maps, satellite imagery, and field exploration, has concluded that the road could not possibility be at the location that is specifically indicated on the GLO Plats. 

Figure 15. Modern hill shade topographic map showing digitized GLO road and bridge location in red.
Figure 15. Modern hill shade topographic map showing digitized GLO road and bridge location in red.

If the road crossing over the Osage River followed the plat exactly it would have gone straight over a 75-foot bluff, very impractical by even today’s standards, and most improbable by the standards of the 1830’s.  As it is shown on the plat, it is only approximately 1.19km from the actual site of the bridge remains.  The most logical placement for such a substantial bridge is along the military road to Springfield; there simply are no other period pioneer roads in the immediate area.  Further supporting evidence that this is the 1837 crossing are the deeply embedded road remnants visible on the creek bank.  Also of note is that the remains and road remnants crossing the river trend at the same orientation (northeast- southwest), as that of the road shown in the 1839 GLO map.

Historical records from what is now Carroll County, Arkansas, from the early part of the nineteenth century, are spotty at best.  During this period, Carroll County did not have a working newspaper.  Most accounts of life during the 1830’s were taken from oral traditions and local legends and do not usually record the mundane things in their communities.  They usually tend focus on the tragedies and triumphs faced by individuals, leaving out other historical information like who constructed transportation ways and manufacturing facilities in their area. 
Although the date the bridge and roadway fell out of use cannot be determined, the presence of charred remains indicates the bridge was burned either before or after the bridge collapsed. (AAS Site file supplemental Hilliard 1).  One possibility is this occurred during the Civil War when many bridges, mills, and structures were destroyed throughout the Ozarks. Official records from the Civil War mention a skirmish along the Osage Creek.  The fighting ensued on the 16th of April 1864, and became known as the Affair on the Osage Branch of the King’s River Arkansas.  This battle was documented in correspondence to the commander of the District of Southwest Missouri, Brigadier-General J.B Sanborn, from the Union Second Arkansas Cavalry (LA and Trans MS Chapter XLVL 888).  In the report from Col. John Phelps, he stated that, “They were foraging on the Osage Branch of the King’s River, Carroll County, AR, and were attacked on the 16th instant by the guerrilla Cooper and a band of some 80 to 100 men. 

Unfortunately these reports do not mention the exact location, or the destruction of a bridge.  Some evidence of Civil War era artifacts were reportedly found by relic hunters in the vicinity although no evidence of a skirmish can be documented.

The discovery of timber frame construction elements on the Osage River are the earliest bridge remains thus far discovered in Arkansas.  The timber-frame bridge at Johnson’s Ford and associate roadways played a significant role in the early development of Carroll County Arkansas and surrounding areas.  As a military road in the early 1800’s it would allow incoming settlers to find a safe and convenient means of transportation.  Roads like this one were intended to move troops into the area to stabilize conflicts.  During the Civil War it would have been a thoroughfare for both the Union and Confederate troops active in this part of the Ozarks.

The General Land Office survey plat records from 1839 show a major military road from Springfield, Missouri to Huntsville, Arkansas within a reasonable distance from the archeological remains of Johnson’s Ford.  An old road traces from either side of the creek shows the general direction of the road trending in the same orientation as that of the road platted on the GLO.  Dendrochronology analysis of samples indicates a cutting date for at least one of the timber sills to around 1838. 

Johnson’s Ford, 3CR0313, is the remains of an early nineteenth century bridge, across the Osage Creek, in Carroll County, Arkansas along what is known as the military road to Springfield, Missouri. The road trace on either side of the creek banks at the bridge remnants are evidence that the remains are of a bridge rather than a mill or other structure.  The bridge is made with mortise and tenon construction techniques, comprised mainly of white oak timbers. 

The bridge would have been 25 meters across and a width of around 5 meters or more. Comparisons to other bridge designs from the same time period have similar spans, but due to the lack of remaining structural components, the actual style of the bridge could not be determined since only foundation elements remain.  However, based on the time period and remaining elements, the bridge in question was likely a beam type bridge.  According to Dr. Pleimann, the beam type bridge would have been sufficient to span the crossing and support the amount of traffic that it was intended to carry.  This bridge type and the remains are consistent with engineering plans available for early-mid 19th century military bridges.  

As the roads became more advanced and traveled, inhabitants of the region would use them for commerce and post roads.  This allowed for a drastic boom in the population and eventually economic growth.  These simple paths through the wilderness would eventually become routes for the free trade of ideas and allow a group of individuals to become a unified county.  Roads are the veins of a nation, and its travelers are the blood that flows through them.  Without blood they will not survive, but when the needs of the people are met, a nation will grow strong and healthy.      

Works Cited

Bannister, Bryant
1962 The Interpretation of Tree-Ring Dates, American Antiquity 27:4 508-514
This article describes errors that occur in the interpretation of tree-ring dates within the archaeological record.

Bannister, B., William Robinson
1975 Tree-Ring Dating in Archaeology, World Archaeology 7:2 210-225
This article describes the relationship between Dendrochronology and Archaeology.  As well as its regional variation and further implications of the field.

Campbell, E.G.
1938 The U.S. Military Railroads, 1862-1836: War Time Operation and Maintenance, The Journal of the American Military History Foundation 2:2 70-89
This article describes some maintenance procedures used to help keep timber frame railroad bridges in working order during the Civil War.  This will give me a better understanding of bridges in the relative time period.

Chaney, Phillip L.
1990 Geographic Analysis of the Presettlement Vegetation of the Middle Fork of the White River, Arkansas: A GIS approach, Unpublished Masters Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
This Thesis gives detailed descriptions of using GLO field notes and applications of these records.  As well as identify errors in the GLO record and describe the methodology used in GIS research.

General Land Office Records of the Original Surveys of Carroll County,
Arkansas. Recorded at the County Clerk’s Office, Carroll County, Arkansas

Hilliard, Jerry
9/30/2005 Site Form for 3CR0313. Arkansas Archaeological Survey
Detailed description and methods used during the survey of the site in question.  This includes hand drawn maps, preliminary findings, and location of site. (This information is exempt from the Freedom of Info Act, do not duplicate or distribute without the expressed permission of the A.A.S.)

Hill, Forest G.
1961 Review of The American Civil Engineer: Origins And Conflict by D. Calhoun. Journal of Economic History 21:1 92-94
Hill reviews Calhoun’s thoughts on the development of Civil Engineering in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  He especially focuses on the people that were civil engineers during this time.

Jurgetski, William M., Kathleen H. Cande, and George Sabo III
1996 Farms in the Forests: A Study of Late Historical Domestic sites on the Ozark and Ouachita National Forests, Arkansas. Arkansas Archaeological Survey. Project #958 Final Report
Lists many documentary sources for the Ozark and Ouachita regions of Arkansas.  The appendixes give addresses and phone numbers for local sources of historic documents and instructions for tracking down GLO information.

Meier, Hugo A.
1957 Technology and Democracy, 1800-1860, The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 43:4 618-640.
With the advent of new technologies such as advancements in Civil Engineering helped to change the way that Americans travel.  This helped to further roadways during the Western Expansion.

Nelson, Harold L.
1955 Military Roads for War and Peace – 1791-1836, Military Affairs 19:1 1-14
This article describes the build up of military roads built by the War Department in through the early eighteenth century.  As well as the problems faced by these early road builders, and some of the Federal Bills enacted to fund the projects.  

Official Records of the Civil War
1864 Louisiana and the Trans-Mississippi. Chapter XLVI  889-890
The official records of correspondence to Brigadier General Sanborn 

Peyton, Billy J.
2002 To make the Crooked ways Straight and the Rough Ways Smooth: Surveying and Building America’s First Interstate Highway. Proceedings of the National Symposium on Civil Engineering History 195-218
Historical Account of the production of an early highway west, in the early 19th century.  As well as descriptions of early road construction of the original Cumberland Road.

Stahle, David
1979 Tree-Ring Dating of Historical Buildings in Arkansas, Tree-Ring Bulletin Vol. 39
This paper gives a background into Dendrochronology, and describes the procedures used as well information on the difference of geographic regions in the use of tree-ring analysis.    

Watson, Richard L. Jr.
1948 Congressional Attitudes Toward Military Preparedness, 1829-1835. The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 34:4 611-636.
This article concerns the build up of troops and funds approved by Congress from 1829- 1835.  This includes the formation of the Corps of Engineers, who were responsible for the care of roads and bridges.

Williams, C. Fred; et al.
1984 A Documentary History of Arkansas, University of Arkansas Press. Fayetteville, Arkansas.  34-36.
This book is a collection of letters and manuscripts from colonial to contemporary times.  This includes government and personal correspondence, to various individuals involved in Arkansas history.


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