Last week I went on at some length about the dilemma of what kind of history to write and how to decide on what to write about next. In response, a friend calling himself Pendanticus sent me this ‘quotation’ (teasing me about using ‘peak’ instead of ‘pique’):
“One’s interest in a subject peaks and wanes. An outside force piques one’s interest.”
Cute, but quite true about ‘outside forces’, especially in the case of this week’s post, in which an outside force in the form of a query about the old Prall tannery south of Sergeantsville led me to an odd discovery. One of its owners was a certain Cornelius H. Barber. While digging up some records about him, I discovered something very surprising and intriguing. I also (re)learned a very important lesson about doing research.