Laying Out Notley Young’s Plantation

Sep 26 2010

Notley Young King Plat Detail

N. Young Plantation: Detail of King Plat showing area around the Mansion.

In the mid 1790s, after the new city had been surveyed and streets marked, the dwellings of all the original land owners were surveyed and located on the “King Plats.”  These early maps now provide the best information as to where buildings were located, but, unfortunately, the maps only give the barest of details for re-creating the landscape.  The above detail from the King Plat for Notley Young’s Plantation is an example of what is typically plotted: building location, its size, and construction material.  Note that the existing roads and driveways are not marked, only where the new streets will eventually be located.

The King Plats for Young’s Plantation, however, are more detailed than most.  They indicate where fences, gardens and some fields were located.  In addition, there are two Plats that appear to have been done by different surveyors and perhaps at different times.  Between them, the number of buildings match, but their locations vary in places.

N. Young Plantation: Detail of King Plat showing slave area.

What has been most helpful to this effort is that they each have legends that provide different information.  The one above colors the buildings to indicate three types:  Mansion and related buildings (red); Slaves (black); Stables and Barns (blue).

Notley Young Key

The other Plat’s legend (shown right) gives the construction material and size for each building.  Between these two Plats, we have been able to pull together a reasonable speculation as to what purpose the buildings may have served and, from that, how they may have looked.

From this we create a more comprehensive base map where we can try and vet ideas for where roads, driveways, paths, trees, fields and vegetation could be placed.

We also use written descriptions of the Plantation from the time period to fill in the gaps.  One of the important descriptions for Young’s property, found by Phillip Thomas of the IRC,  is  The Mansion and Family of Notley Young, by George Henning, 1912.  This is published in the Records of Columbia Historical Society of Washington DC, pages 1-24.

Below is Draft #2 of a base map for Notley Young’s Plantation. Click on the map to see a larger image that you can also zoom into.

Below are the two King Plat Surveys that this map is based on, along with the written history mentioned above.

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