Kinchen Taylor’s estate papers include two plats. One laid off his widow Mary Blount Taylor’s dower. The second divided his remaining land into two large parcels:
In some ways, Taylor’s old lands have not changed dramatically. Pine forest and tilled fields still predominate the landscape; far northern Nash County remains rural. Nonetheless, Taylor and enslaved workers like Green and Fereby, who walked and worked it intimately, might be pressed to recognize his property.
I-95 — a far cry from the path shown in the plat — roars with traffic just west of Taylor’s acreage, hauling truckers and tourists from Maine to Florida. If you tilt your head sharply to the right, you’ll see that Fishing Creek, crawling across the top of the screen, still follows the same general course. Beaver Dam Swamp, however, has been dammed just below its confluence with the creek, forming a small body called Gum Lake. The watercourse of the swamp, probably largely drained, is barely detectable as an undulating line of taller vegetation angling southwest from the pond. Lost somewhere in its tangle of canes and catbrier is the Old Mill shown on the plat.
On the other side of Beaver Dam swamp, to the far right of the Google Map view, is an industrial hog farm, identifiable by the white structures with adjacent dark lozenges — barns holding up to 2500 hogs a piece and the lagoons that capture the stupendous quantities of waste they produce. This perhaps would have startled Kinchen Taylor most, as his hogs would have been free-range until time for fattening. (And it should startle you, too, as this is huge, nasty business.)