Unearthing the Edenton Tannery: A Colonial Industry

Do you really know everything about the town you grew up in? Are you aware of all its secrets and rich history? Archaeology has always fascinated me, especially marine archaeology. While researching artifacts discovered in and around the Albemarle Sound, the Chowan River, and nearby lands, I stumbled upon numerous research papers from the mid-seventies. These papers detailed a colonial site in my hometown of Edenton that I had never heard of in my 30-plus years living there – the Edenton Tannery. In this post, we will dive deeper into the historical significance of the Edenton Tannery and uncover its hidden stories. What is a tannery? A tannery is a place where animal hides are tanned, or treated to be converted into leather. As the act of tanning itself could possibly induce a nefarious odor due to the substances used…

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