|Morgan Creek Drainage|
|Some trading Paths converging on Cedar Cliffs on the Haw|
|An out-crop from "Tuscarora Jack" Barnwell's 1721 Map of his|
and the Moores recruiting trips into the back country during
the Tuscarora War.
After passing Meadow Flats, the trail approached Morgan Creek. It could bypass the creek altogether but the more direct route, and the easiest route in all but the most extreme weather. The crossing was at the first falls on Morgan Creek, and this water fall eventually, probably in the 18th century, powered Pickard Mill. The pond behind the mill dam may have been as much as 3/4 of a mile long and may account for the great northern loop of Dairyland Road. The Lower Trading Path passed south of Morgan Creek and recrossed the creek just above the upstream end of the mill pond.
Fords and mills frequently coincide as they required the same geophysical circumstances; a shallow place downstream from but nearby a fall. A fall implies exposed bedrock which ensures a firm substrate for a dam as well as a ford. Pickard Mill dam, in fact, crosses Morgan Greek about fifty to seventy-five yards from likely ford locations. All approach roads are now silted over. Morgan Creek, at Pickard Mill has one more desirable attribute too; below the fall the bottom flares wide, and a broad bottom of a feeder creek provide flats over which a flood can disperse and allow passage even in high water. For all these reasons and because it sat along the path of least resistance between New Hope Creek and Cane Creek, Mark Morgan saw the ford and the mill followed.
Today we see the dam and think it is the beginning of this place but, in fact, the dam was an end point. It expemplified a European ideal, taming a river. Before Mark Morgan saw this site, though, it was well known and a regular land mark for travelers afoot or on horseback in the piedmont. For its more recent history, please, see Dr. William Burlingame's essay on the recent history of the Pickard Mill site on Morgan Creek, Orange County, NC