There’s less than two weeks to go until a cemetery beautification project will be taking place in Jefferson (aka Codorus), and your help is needed. You can read up about it in a recent story I wrote. If you can spare a few hours to help, let me know.
Simple chain or important artifact?
On one of my final visits to former teen hangout Shady Dell, I was given permission to gather any pieces of memorabilia I might find around the property. At that time it was in the process of being sold, and it was unclear what the new owners would be doing with the property.
While exploring the loft of the old barn, I saw an item hanging from a beam that was calling out to me. Naturally I recovered it to share with my readers.
What jumped out to me about the chain was the unique U.S. emblem found between two iron links. I immediately thought it must be military in nature, and the quest to learn more was on.
It didn’t take long to determine exactly what the mystery item was: a United States Cavalry trace chain. Merriam-Webster defines a trace as: either of two straps, chains, or lines of a harness for attaching a draft animal to something (as a vehicle) to be drawn.
I found several of the links are deformed and appear to have been stretched out. This was hanging over a trapdoor when I found it, so was something heavy hung on it at one time or was it damaged as shown during use by the military? Whatever the cause, great force had to be exerted to cause this anomaly.
I’d love to find out the age of this chain but online resources were not very helpful. As far as I know, there were no early veterans with a connection to Shady Dell so how did it come to be hanging there? Perhaps a military expert such as local Civil War author and researcher Scott Mingus could offer his expertise on the chain’s use and age.
What say ye Scott?
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