The survey is part of the historical society’s “Year of Finding History in Mathews County.”
On Friday, Steve Fonzo, historical preservationist for the local firm DATA Investigations, and Anna Hayden, staff archaeologist for the Fairfield Foundation, were at the East River home of Martha Ellen Traband and Bill Brockner to conduct a reconnaissance survey of the house and other buildings on the property.
Fairfield Foundation co-director and DATA Investigations co-owner Thane Harpole was there, as well, along with Forrest Morgan, chair of the historical society’s archaeology committee.
Hayden photographed and mapped the property, showing the location of the house and other buildings in relation to the shoreline, then drew rooflines and other details on a building diagram that came from tax records.
Fonzo made notes on the architectural style and exterior material of the house and wrote a description of the site and the architecture.
The information obtained will be digitized and included, along with the site’s location and parcel numbers, in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ statewide database, Harpole said. If any of the properties visited seem to be eligible for the National Registry, he said, that will be noted. Even properties that aren’t eligible individually might be eligible as a location-based or a theme-based group, he said, particularly Mathews County’s gas stations. He said that a lot of them date to between the 1920s and 1940s.