A Greek Whetstone quarry,
In The Woodwright’s Companion (UNC Press, 1981), Roy Underhill quotes a hundred-year-old report by an obscure geologist L. S. Griswold, “Whet Stones and the Novaculites of Arkansas,” Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Arkansas for 1890 III (1892), which describes North Carolina whetstones as the standard to evaluate those in Arkansas.
“On the Salisbury Road in Randolph County, near Deep River, is a bed of similar kind [to McPherson's Quarry in Chatham County], highly valued by the inhabitants” (The Woodwright’s Companion, p. 63).
On “the 29th day of the 8th month in the year of Our Lord 1796,” Levy Pennington of Randolph County sold to George Mendenhall of Guilford County, “for the Sum of Twenty Pounds Hard Money,” 20 acres of land on Deep River “Including the Whetstone Quarry” (Deed Book 8, Page 402).
George Mendenhall was the founder of the Guilford County village of Jamestown in 1800, and owned a number of mill sites and properties in the Piedmont, including at one time the future site of Franklinville. Mendenhall’s heirs sold a partial interest in the tract to a Robert Parrish of Philadelphia, PA, in 1811 (DB 12, Page 301), and another partial interest to Stephen Gardner in 1813 (DB13, Page 271).
The 20-acre whetstone quarry tract was cut off from Levi Pennington’s original tract, sold by his heirs in January, 1805, to William Watkins (DB11, Page 127). The larger parcel was described as 135 acres “in the fork between Pole Cat and Deep River… except a whetstone quarry which has been before supposed to be 20 acres…”
By drawing out the metes and bounds descriptions from these deeds, it appears that the whet stone quarry was (and should still be) located on the north bank of Deep River approximately 3600 feet upstream from its junction with the mouth of Polecat Creek.
If anyone has ever been there, please let me know!