STEELE CREEK NEWS
Presentation on Stonecutters at Steele Creek Presbyterian Church
Dan Patterson will give a presentation on Sunday, April 7 at 2:00 PM
at Steele Creek Presbyterian Church on the craft of gravestone
carvings as practiced by the extended Bingham family and especially
on those stones that still exist in the graveyard at the Church.
After his talk, Dr. Patterson will lead a walk through the graveyard
to view the Bingham stones there.
Newcomers to Steele
Creek will enjoy hearing about how things used to be in the
community when it was first settled in the 1700s and also enjoy the
art of the stone carvers of the past.
Dr. Patterson is an expert on early folkways
of the North Carolina backcountry with a specialty in the early
tombstone carvers of Mecklenburg and surrounding Counties. Dr.
Patterson's presentation will focus on his new book The True
Image: Gravestone Art and the Culture of Scotch Irish Settlers in
the Pennsylvania and Carolina Backcountry.
Daniel W. Patterson is Kenan Professor
Emeritus of English and Folklore at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill. A lifelong student of early North Carolina life and
folklore, he is the author or editor of nine books. His most recent
book, The True Image: Gravestone Art and the Culture of Scotch
Irish Settlers in the Pennsylvania
and Carolina Backcountry, tells the story of the Bingham family
of stonecutters in Pennsylvania and North Carolina from 1730 well
into the 19th century. In it he gives a comprehensive history of the
stone carvers and their work, illustrated with photographs of over
200 stones that were taken by Dr. Patterson over many years – it
sometimes took hours to photograph one stone, getting the light just
right to be able to read the inscription and see the intricate
carvings. Many of the stones he studied can be seen today in various
Mecklenburg County cemeteries.
permission of Jim Williams.
But this book does much more than that. In describing these
early settlers and their craft he tells a story of life in early
Mecklenburg that goes beyond the names and dates to paint a
picture in great detail of how life was lived. In doing so he
brings these characters to life for us in a well-rounded
The April 7 presentation will be at
Old Steele Creek
Presbyterian Church, 7407 Steele Creek Road, and is sponsored by
Steele Creek Historical and Genealogical Society and
Mecklenburg Historical Association (MHA).
Additionally, on Monday evening, March 25, Dr. Patterson will
address the dinner meeting of the MHA. His presentation will
focus on life in old Mecklenburg as lived by the early Scotch
Irish settlers such as the Bingham family. The public is invited
to enjoy dinner with the MHA or attend only Dr. Patterson’s
presentation at no charge. See details on Page 5 of the
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