Initial Site Visit
    by Katie Watts


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Thank you to Jim Wilson from the UVA Foundation and Will Rourk from the UVA Library for joining us on a walk through the Birdwood house and grounds. After walking around the property, we identified several areas of interest. Jim Wilson mentioned there may have been a Charles Gillette formal garden plan, so it may be interesting to use GPR (ground-penetrating radar) on the garden area to back left of the house. Laser scanning the entire Birdwood home would take too long, given the short timeframe of our summer class. So, we identified the Smokehouse as our desired area to laser scan with Will Rourk next week. As we walked the grounds, we also noticed between the 20th century stone barn and the existing stone slave cabins that there was terracing of the land and noticeable, repeating squares in the vegetation. We are hoping to be able to use the drone to take aerial photos and further explore the possibility of what this land might been used for. We hope to produce something of value for the UVA Foundation, as they determine the future use of the existing Birdwood property.

We also saw an inscription (Gabe Garth June 22, 1844) on the glass window of the 2nd story exterior door of a member of the Garth family (original owners), which is quite amazing and makes us wonder about the people who lived here and what their lives were like.