Settlers from England landed on Roanoke Island (near today’s Manteo, North Carolina) in 1587, but disappeared within three years. In 1937, traveler Louis Hammond found a stone in a swamp outside of Edenton, inscribed with what is believed to be colonist Eleanor Dare’s description of their fate and whereabouts.
At present, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that the chiseled text is authentic and not an elaborate forgery. It tells of an epidemic, and a massacre by natives that left only a few of the original colonists alive.
Brenau Prof. H.J. Pearce, Jr. purchased the stone (in the following called “Hammond Stone”). The artifact has been held at Brenau University since that time. Pearce also purchased about three dozen similarly inscribed stones from Georgia resident Bill Eberhardt in the late 1930’s. Those stones (in the following called “Eberhardt Stones”) have been identified as forgeries since. However, a number of these are also stored at Brenau University as part of the institution’s history.
The Brenau University archive, located in the Trustee Library on the Historic Campus, stores significant correspondence and documents relating to the finds. Inquiries and requests for viewing documents should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no fee for viewing documents.
3. VIEWING THE STONES
The Hammond Stone is in a secure location on campus. It is not available for public viewing. Requests for viewing this artifact are granted on a case-by-case basis to persons who document a legitimate research interest. Requests for viewing, accompanied by a statement of interest, should be sent to email@example.com. This mailbox is monitored by several staff members who will then route the inquiry to the appropriate administrator. If a visit is granted, Brenau will then contact the caller to arrange for a viewing that is free of charge.
The Eberhardt Stones are kept in storage, separate from the Hammond Stone, on the Historic Campus. Requests for a viewing appointment should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no fee for viewing.
4. HANDLING THE STONES
Due to its archaeological value, and to prevent further contamination, the Hammond Stone may not be handled by visitors. During an approved visit, a Brenau representative will place it on a special surface for viewing. The Eberhardt Stones can be viewed and touched as arranged. Due to their considerable weight, they should not be removed from their tables.
5. PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY
Brenau University reserves all rights to imagery and video footage produced of the Hammond Stone and the Eberhardt Stones. Photo and video recording is generally allowed, but proof copies must be sent to email@example.com for archiving. For publication purposes, including electronic media, the Worldwide Web, and social media such as Facebook, Instagram and others, requests for granting a copyright license must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Without written permission from the university, publication of images and video footage is not allowed.
6. OTHER INQUIRIES
For questions about history, research and latest findings regarding the stones please contact email@example.com.
7. POSTAL ADDRESS OF THE HISTORIC CAMPUS
Brenau University, 500 Washington St. SE, Gainesville, Georgia 30501.