Started in January of 1999, the Association has since then evolved into a self-sustaining institution. From incorporating and acquiring IRS non-profit status, to creating a basic web site and establishing an Advisory Board and liaison with Trading Path social, cultural and political communities the Association has steadily striven toward autonomy. Acquiring a Board of Directors (2002) was a major step, and the Board, now moving into its third generation, is poised to take charge of the institution’s destiny. Even as it made strides toward institutionalization, the Association executed basic research; inspired local preservation groups, tested grant submissions and continued the process of creating alliances with Trading Path related communities. In its early years the Association established popular, political and academic support in Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia, and among American Indian communities and it has now satisfactorily demonstrated broad support for its endeavors.
Since 2002 the TPA has actively pursued research contracts, experimented with various publicity materials and public outreach programs, aggressively recruited volunteers, and engaged in preservation at numerous historically and archaeologically important sites along the Trading Path. We’ve reinterpreted a town’s history based on its roads (Louisburg, NC), written the history of the land engrossed in a major development (“Lawson” in Union County), and mapped the stream crossings and identified the oldest roads in one county (Davidson, NC). We have mapped trading Path remnants from Petersburg, VA, across NC, and into SC, and now we’re campaigning to preserve these artifacts.
Starting in late 2007 the TPA took the lead in developing a “Migration Trail” matrix in NC. This is a sub-component of our Trading Path Trails project begun early in 2007. The first migration trail in this matrix, the proto-type so to speak, will be the Great Wagon Road (GWR). We expect to have that project well in hand in 2008 and should complete the GWR in 2009 by which time we plan on having at least two more trails in progress.
While the main project of the TPA remains finding and protecting remnants of England’s first frontier, the TPA Board of Directors have as their primary task the retirement of the TPA start up debt. Both projects will make dramatic strides in 2008.