At a ceremony held at the capitol on Mar. 9, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin presented Doug Hylton, president of the Greenbrier County Historic Landmarks Commission, with a grant for $5,000 for planning and development. The grant was applied for by the GCHLC to provide a study of the “Senator Robert Boone Property” located at Organ Cave. This property was part of the Tristram Patton landgrant. Patton was born in County Tryone, Ulster Plantation, Ireland about 1758 and came to America about 1777 at the age of 19. Tristram Patton taught school several years in Philadelphia, and while living there served in the Continental army, as was a member of George Washington’s bodyguard. He came to Greenbrier County some years after the Revolutionary war. Before coming to Greenbrier her persuaded his younger brother, Robert, to join him, telling him America was “rife with promise.”
In the Old Greenbrier County court records, June 26, 1798, Tristram and Robert were granted leave to make an incursive survey of the lands whereon they lived. From this it is known that they lived at least three years on their lands on Second Creek. There is also a record in the court house at Lewisburg of Robert Patton receiving a warrant from Governor Lee, in 1797, for land on the Greenbrier River. Apr. 21, 1797 is found record of his marriage to Eleanor Gray.
Tristram and Robert owned a large tract of land on Second creek, whereon was a powder mill. They divided their holdings, Tristram taking most of the land, and Robert the remainder and the mill. Patton’s powder mill was below Hamilton’s mill and on the site where Curry’s mill was later erected. About 1800, Robert Patton and one of their slaves were in the powder mill when an explosion occurred, which wrecked the mill and killed both men.
Tristram Patton owned a large grist mill and a saw mill just above Hamilton’s mill, about a mile above the powder mill. He spent thousands of dollars building races and building and rebuilding dams, because of their being washed out by floods. He owned about 2,000 acres of land on Second creek and near Mt. Pleasant church. While he gave his attention to his mills and other matters, his farming was carried on by his son and his slave, “Old Shaderack.” He also owned Meshack and Abednigo known as the laziest negro for miles around, superintended the farming in Mr. Patton’s old age. He taught the boys how to work, while he lay in the shade and slept. For some time Mr. Patton held the office of high sheriff.
The Senator Robert H. Boone property is part of this landgrantand is located on the site of the Tristram Patton home. “We hope to have a thorough study of the house and outbuildings to determine the age and place the property on the National Register of Historic Places”, says Doug Hylton. Boone was senator representing Greenbrier County in 1921-22. “The grant will allow a study of this landgrant property,” says Hylton. “We want to take the original property and overlay it with current properties so we know how the Patton landgrant lay on the area, how the property has changed and identify significant structures and sites of the mills.”