Clermont Farm Held Historical Re-enactment of the Surveying Profession
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Posted by: Journal News
Guests at Clermont Farm enjoyed a special presentation by Duane “Doc” Brown, of Gerrardstown. Brown portrayed John Lonem, a surveyor who accompanied George Washington on over half of the surveys in the northern neck of Virginia for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Brown’s presentation was held inside Clermont’s historic 1917 timber-framed bank barn.
Dressed in period costume, Brown explained how John Lonem first met Washington in the fall of 1749. Washington and Lonem completed surveys in what is now Hardy County. They set up their surveying camp along Lost River. Because of excellent field book records kept by Washington, it is noted that on Oct. 19, 1750, 18-year old Washington and his crew surveyed 353 acres, which is now Clermont Farm.
Later, Washington and crew surveyed land in Hampshire County, with more than 30 men. Guards were armed with rifles to protect the surveyors from “hostile natives.” By April 26, 1750, Washington and his crew had completed 49 surveys of the surrounding area including Morgan and Jefferson counties in West Virginia. From July 1749 until October 1752, Washington and crew had completed 189 surveys, totaling 67,800 acres. During Brown’s presentation he demonstrated surveying tools, including the Surveyor’s chain or Gunter chain, used during Washington’s time.