Ridge, Hocking County, Ohio
Turn Of The Century, 1900
memory of my mother, born October 16th, 1885---
One hundred years ago.
Written by: Estry Wiggins (Wagner) McCluskey - 1985.
historical account which I am giving you will mainly
cover Greenbrier Ridge, Hocking County, Ohio but some mention will be
the areas of Laurelville, Haynes, South Bloomingville, Goose Creek and
Creek Narrows, which surrounded Greenbrier Ridge.
I will not be giving
for much must be given from my memory as a young child. I spent every
my childhood on Greenbrier Ridge and this spot became a little bit of
me. The Civil War was long since over, our country was at peace,
came maybe once a week, and a few people had telephones. At the turn of
century, 2900, here was a place where you could spend a day as
God made it; no hate, no waste, and no bother.
I am Estry Gay Wiggins
and I was born
July 4, 1905, in the original log house of the George W Daughtery
Greenbrier Ridge. My home is Columbus, Ohio and I also own the
homestead. I have two brothers, Glendon A. Wiggins, South Bloomingville
Wayman K. Wiggins now living at Bon Secor, Alabama.
My father was Leland 'Dick" Wiggins. He was the youngest son of Henry
Catherine (Featherolf) Wiggins. He was a rolling stone and by the time
eleven years old we had lived in thirty-four different houses in Ohio
Indiana. By trade, my dad was a barber and an excellent one. At the
time he and
Darryl Haynes were Laurelville village barbers. He had a nice
was always well dressed, even to the point of being a dude. He was an
violin player. When I was about eleven years old my mother divorced him.
Dad had four brothers -
Samuel, Burton and Delano.
Four sisters - One
died young, Carry Wiggins Kennedy, Laura Wiggins Johnson, and Grace
Delano and Etta
(Starkey) Wiggins had
not children. Their home was on the bank north of Rt. 56 at the run up
Bookout. Aunt Grace
and Uncle Omer had two sons, Clarence and Nolan. Their home was in
Daniel and Belle
had five children, Garnet, Wava, Talmage, Twins, Ruth and Naomi. Their
Samuel was married
twice. His first
wife had one son, Rockford. As I remember it, she owned and managed the
hotel at Laurelville for years. I never knew her. The old, landmark,
housed Tommy Mettler's General Store, is now in the process of being
Uncle Sam and his
second wife, Aunt
Mary, has a large family. I can remember the names of the following:
Wayne, Irma, Melvin, Mahala, Pansy, Nina, George, Mildred and Virgil.
home was at the foot of the hill where Grandpa Wiggins lived.
Burton and Edna (Seitz) Wiggins also had a large family. I can remember
Dessie, Raymond, Chloe, Gustav, Vivian, Fay, Magdalene and Carl. Their
back in the first hollow south of Rt. 56 on Salt Creek Narrows road.
Johnson. Aunt Laura
died before I knew her. She and Uncle Richard had four children:
Audrey, Hazel and Thelma (Johnson) Smith. They lived in the area of
Uncle Richard ran a grocery store at Haynes.
Kennedy. She had
four or five children. I can remember these: Porter, Josephus, Mazie,
Hallie. The Kennedys has a nice home overlooking Salt Creek and near
The Wiggins family were
settlers in the Salt Creek Valley area and I believe my great
Moses Wiggins, established the first sawmill on Salt Creek.
Great Grandfather Moses
a few other family members, are buried in a small fenced in family plot
hill at Haynes. Many of the Wiggins family are buried in Mt. Carmel
the Blue Creek Road.
My mother was the
youngest child of
George W. and Matilda (Scott) Daugherty. She had four brothers and four
sisters: Frances, Narcissa, Louie, Abbie, Charles, Alfred (Bud), David
Ilio. My mother's name was Eura Mahala Daugherty.
George and Matilda were
reared and married in the area of Harrisville, Ritchie County, W.
Grandpa was a Civil War veteran, a private, Company E, 6th Regiment, W.
Virginia Infantry. He enrolled as a volunteer August 31st, 1861. Early
1880's Grandpa migrated to Ohio and purchased 42 acres of land on
Ridge, then sent for Grandma and the children who were still living at
Abbie, Ilio and my mother Eura. Mother was four years old at that time.
Frances, was married
to Mr. Ellison, and they lived in West Virginia at the time my
moved to Ohio. Aunt Frances has a daughter by this marriage, Welcome
This marriage was bad so Frances divorced Ellison, moved to Ohio, then
William North. She had two daughters, Dovie and Mable, and one son,
this marriage. Aunt Frances died at the birth of Willie. Williewas
the Steel family in the Greenbrier Ridge area. Welcome was about nine
when her mother died, she didn't get good treatment at home, so she
home with Grandma Daugherty, I do not know who took Dovie and Mable to
Since Grandma and Grandpa raised Welcome, she became more like an aunt
My mother married
Wiggins soon after the turn of the century. I, Estry Gay Wiggins, was
4, 1905, and was their first born.
In 1949 I married
Today in 185, I have two children, Five grand-children, and one
great-grandchild. My son, Harold, has three children; Cynthia, William,
Amy. My daughter, Jean Hendricks, has two daughters; Terri and Becki.
married James Krause and she gave me my first great grandchild.
The family burial plot
is in the
cemetery at Chestnut Grove Church on Greenbrier Ridge where the road
Goose Creek and Pretty Run. All in a row is Aunt Francis, Grandma and
Daugherty, Aunt Abbie, Uncle Ilio, Mother and my step-father, Thomas
Aunt Abbie married
and moved to Columbus, Ohio. Uncle Ilio married and moved to Marion,
later returned to Greenbrier Ridge and bought a section of the Walton
These two Daugherty children, who had migrated to Ohio with Grandma and
Grandpa, were laid to rest in Chestnut Grove.
Geo. W. Daugherty farm starts
foot of the big hill in Harper's Hollow, extends east along the road to
Hankins farm of Greenbrier Ridge, south to the Brown farm, west to the
farm, thence north to the starting point.
The Chestnut Grove road
cuts the farm
in half. A private lane, which we call the Warehime lane, cuts the east
the farm into two sections. This lane was opened primarily to give John
exit to his farm. Much feuding existed
between the Warehime's and the Daugherty's over this lane and was
settled by a court ruling. This court ruling stands until the right of
The original log house
along the road on the northeast section next to the Hankins home. It
the ground in the 1890's. The house which still stands was built by
neighbors. It was a story and a half shell of a house, built like a
covered with red tin which looked like brick. The roof was galvanized
nailed to rafters. This type of roof conducted heat in the summer time
you could almost fry an egg in the upstairs. On the other hand, in the
time it was an excellent freezer.
The flooring in the
upstairs was laid
on top of the downstairs rafters. A hole was cut in the floor along the
wall, and a set of steps heading into the downstairs north wall was the
means of exit from the upstairs. Downstairs a muslin curtain concealed
The main part of the
divided into two rooms. A pot-bellied, wood or coal burning stove was
sitting room; no heat in the bedroom. A stove pipe went up through a
in the floor above. A shelf type of Structure stood on the floor
a brick enclosure was mounted on top of this and extended through the
make the outside chimney. The stove pipe extended from the stove,
woof floor, the wood shelf structure, and into the brick chimney.
The floor was covered
with a hand
woven, wall to wall carpet. Portier es made of wall paper, rolled over
pencil, then strung on string of different lengths, made coverings for
A kitchen and back
porch was attached
to the main part of the house. A wood burning cook stove stood in the
the kitchen and beside it was a large wood box. Here again the stove
right up through the metal roof. A can of coal oil and a bucket of
always handy to start a fire.
A 36 x 73 inch homemade
set on the inside wall of the kitchen. It was always kept covered with
table cloth and jelly, preserves, spiced fruit, and maybe leftovers,
on the table. A clean white cloth covered the food.
There were no screens
on the doors or
windows so, at meal times during the hot summer months, we used
branches to fan the flies from the table. Shortly after the turn of the
fly paper became available to hang around in the kitchen. This was a sheet
of heavy paper about 9 x 13 inches,
covered with a very sticky, sweet smelling, substance. The fly was
he tried to land. The paper would sometimes get so black that there was
for more flies.
Grandma and grandpa had
a box type
telephone which hung on the wall. It had a crank which was turned to
number. A code system was used. Grandma's signal was a long, short,
people on Greenbrier Ridge were on a single line and when a call was
everyone on the line lifted their receivers to hear what was going on.
contact anyone outside the party line, or long distance, we had to ring
long to get Central, then she got our number.
Now, let's take a look
outside. There was a fenced in garden lot east of the house. All
were raised in the garden to supply our needs for a year. There was a
sweet corn, tomatoes, beets, turnips, cabbage, parsnips, sweet
potatoes, green beans, Kentucky Wonder yellow wax beans,
and multiplier onions. A long grape arbor skirted
the east side of the garden and this supported Concord and White
grapes. The garden was fertilized with manure from the barn and the
seeds were started early in the spring in a hotbed.
This was a boxed in area on the ground, covered with glass. Fresh cow
was in the bottom covered with a layer of nice rich soil. Young
get an early start, without danger of freezing, until planting time out
was a small fenced in area surrounding the house. Our
water supply was an open 30 foot deep well, hewn through solid
supply came from the ground water and rain water from the house roof.
was covered with a wood top. A long rope was attached to a bucket and,
water, we lowered the bucket down into the water then pulled it up when
This is quite a chore on wash day. We kept a bucket filled with water
house at all times for drinking and cooking. A common tin drinking was
the water bucket.
was a cave type milk house just off the back porch.
This was an 8 x 8 foot pit about six foot deep, covered with a wood
small shed on top. The floor was clay, as nature made it. The milk
the nearest thing we had to refrigeration.
barn lot was a series of sheds. Just outside the yard
gate was a lean-to coal shed. This can be seen in the picture of the
necessary element was a leaning, well air-conditioned,
two-holer. The lower back side was open for ease in cleaning.
had a chicken house equipped with roosts and boxes for
laying hens. Chickens ran all over the farm during the day, but at
closed in. Hazards to the chickens were foxes, weasels, and black
was a frightening experience to reach into an egg box and touch a
snake. He loved his eggs for breakfast. The sly fox haunted the hen
night if the dogs were not around, for he loved his chicken.
The granary was the best building on the farm. It was well built, had a
nice wood floor and a tight door.
A covered lean-to was attached to the granary which was used for a
The corn crib was another separate shed.
The old barn had three stalls for horses and a hay mow above. There was
lean-to shed on two sides of the barn to cover farm equipment. This
included a horse-drawn plow, furrow, cultivator, hay rake, mower,
and wagon. Horse drawn corn
were just coming on the market.
In June the field of hay was cut, allowed to dry, then raked up into
As we got to it, these doodles were pitched by hand into the wagon and
to the barn where it was pitched into the mow.
had two horses, old Mollie and Duke. Mollie was old,
nice and gentle and a good riding horse. Duke was a young dapple grey
of fire. Both horses were used for farming.
We had two cows, Daisy and Cherry, ant they were kept in open pasture.
always tried to have one cow giving milk. Calves were sold when they
year old. Rail fences around the farm were not too good, so
occasionally we had
to put a yoke on the neck of the cow or horse to keep them from
yoke in the picture is form a solid piece of wood.
Heavy snow in the blizzard of 1975 brought the old barn down. I
pieces of the harness.
We had a field of wheat, a field of corn, and a field of buckwheat. We
generally always planted pumpkins and navy beans in the hills of corn.
beans got ripe and dry, grandma and I went along the rows of corn,
the beans by their roots, took them to a shade tree, and hulled them
Grandma's apron reached her ankles, the same as her dress, and this
perfect bag to carry beans in.
had a nice orchard and had very few problems with the
wormy fruit. There must have been about ten varieties of apples in the
I can remember the Pumpkin sweet, Belleflower, Ben Davis, Winesap,
Harvest, and a hard sweet apple, Russet, and a real late winter apple.
We had a
couple of pear trees and three or four peach trees, including a white
which has a flavor all its own.
the tune of the facts in this chapter we must add God's
own orchard. Quail were plentiful, haunting the fields of grain, so the
"Bob White" and an answering call was a part of the daily chorus. A
stroll through the pasture stirs up a meadow lark. His sweet song is
to the nerves. In the evening, The Whip-poor-will comes pouring forth
ravines. Occasionally a bird would land on the post of the garden gate
you an exuberant solo. In the middle of the night you might be wakened
weird tremulous sound of an owl. You shiver a little tighter around
all's well! you need not be afraid.
were five means of access to Greenbrier Ridge;
Harper's Hollow Rd., Greenbrier Ridge Rd., Brown Rd. off of Goose Creek
Chestnut Grove Church Roads off of Goose Creek and Pretty Run. Map No.
all of these roads. Harper's Hollow Road is nine miles southeast of
on State Route 56.
No. 2 gives you an idea, as near as I can remember, of
the people who lived there at the turn of the century. They were a
God fearing people. The wayfarer was fed at the table with the rest of
family and was given lodging for the night. If the rest of the house
crowded he slept in the haymow.
Everybody looked forward to Sunday when they could lay their daily
aside, go to church and worship together with the neighbors. The
be a neighbor a little better versed in the Scriptures. Very seldom did
an ordained minister at Chestnut Grove. Occasionally we has all day
and people would come from far and near bearing their picnic baskets.
were all good cooks and the food was beyond description. Desserts were
to pies, cakes, cookies and custards, for nothing else was available.
was a pretty sight filled with happy people, picnic tables and horses
buggies. There were no screeching, howling noises, to distract your
Here he was a man's world. Men voted, but not the women. The man was
the head of the house, but he did not rule the wife. They worked
partners. The children helped with chores on the farm and they did it
willingly. When father or mother spoke it was a foregone conclusion,
you did as
you were told. I did not know of a single case of child abuse on
A girl who succumbed to the wiles of a young man and got pregnant was
outcast in the community, generally. Her parents would look after her
baby, but she never got pregnant the second time. I knew of only one
pregnancy out of wedlock, but the girl later married and made a good
Everybody was happy. Rich or poor, we all lived alike, We raised our
our own clothes; everything we bought was cheap, and we had plenty of
everything we needed. We visited the sick and looked after those who
assistance. Our gifts to the sick might have been a glass of jelly, a
butter, or a loaf of fresh home-made bread. The thing which counted
the love and kindness which accompanied the gift.
land was in grain or pasture land, and fenced in with
rails fences, "Stake and rider" we called them. Only the steep banks
along the gulley's were left in woods. Large patches of blackberries
raspberries dotted the pasture land. Blackberry bushes were a horrible
get into because of their hooked briers.
Native trees were sugar maples, sorrel, shagbark hickory, pignut, black
beechnut, chestnut, sassafras, jack pine, hemlock, white and black
dogwood, redbud, witch hazel, sycamore, willow, cucumber trees, box
mulberry, wild cherry and tulip poplar.
In the spring of the year the redbud with its lavender blossoms, and
dogwood with its white, made a
necklace around the woods.
spreading chestnut tree was a sight to behold and, oh
how the squirrels relished the chestnuts in the fall of the year. It
was a very
painful experience to walk barefoot under this tree and step pm a dry
Shredded roots of the sassafras tree made delightful
had to be dug in March while the sap was down.
Sap from the sugar maples was collected in early spring. Trees were
drain was put in the tap, and a bucket was hung under it to catch the
a quantity was collected, it was boiled down to make maple syrup.
Hickory nuts and black walnuts were gathered in the fall of the year
went into cookies and cakes. Chestnuts were also gathered to be roasted
open fire during the long cold winter months. Chestnuts had to be
before placing in the fire because the intense heat would cause
up and the chestnut would explode. Heat made the nutmeat soft and
of the Ridge
at Route 56, which is a two lane
gravel road, we will take the one lane Harper's Hollow road and amble
foot. We cross a narrow gauge railroad track which emerges out of the
then we will take our time crossing the old iron, wood bottomed Queer
bridge. If we are careful we might see a turtle, water snake, or a
fish in the clear pool beneath the bridge. Suddenly a startled frog
the water. This pool was also an ideal swimming hole.
Just across the bridge was the home of Jesse Kitchen and his family. I
know these people.
About two hundred yards on up the road, nestled in the woods along the
the right of us is an old tumbled down log house. My mother and dad had
in this house at the time my mother was carrying me. Dad abandoned my
while they were living here so mother had a sale and moved back up on
with grandma and grandpa. It was thus that I was born in the old home
ever lived in the old log house after mother left.
There were no other residents in the Hollow. However, it is a treat
measure to walk another mile up the Hollow road. To the left of us is
wooded steep hills, to the right is the creek, and we are walking on a
dirt road etched with buggy and horse shoe tracks. An old rail fence
edge of the woods to our left, if we can see it through the lush growth
feet high ferns and mountain laurel.
On the steep hillside we can see a variety of woods flowers, some in
few of these flowers are the trillium. wild iris, blood root, adders
Jack-in-the-pulpit, columbine, devils bit, Jacobs ladder and wild
Nestling in beds of moss, or twining over moss covered rocks, is the
arbutus, partridge berry and rattlesnake plantain. Along the stream we
observe purple, white and
violets, bluebells, sweet Williams and Goats beard. Everywhere is
vegetation unspoiled by human hands.
The creek begins to meander in close to the hill so the road drops down
the stream bed and we now have to pick our way over the small rocks,
shallow pools. Our approach disturbs Crawdads, tadpoles, and minnows,
scurry for safety under the flat rocks.
A huge rock appears ahead of us and half of it is jutting out in our
bottom road. This was a hazard to us if we were traveling by horse and
buggy was top heavy and tipped easily, so it was necessary to stop the
this rock, get out of the buggy and hold it while the horse pulled t
around the obstruction.
We pick our way along for about a half mile more and come to a spring
hill to our left. This was always good for a nice cool drink of fresh
water. Here the road swings up out of the creek and we are again on
At this point a narrow private lane breaks off to our right which leads
the home of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw on Greenbrier Ridge. I can remember Mrs.
her two daughters, Leo and Myrtle, (My
I never visited their
home that I recall.
Getting back to the Hollow, the road now takes off through an open
as the hills ahead close in at the Hollow stream, we begin a very
upward and we skirt the hill to our right. We notice now what the
is full of pretty little gurgling waterfalls. We emerge from densely
hills and face the "big hill" leading up to the intersection of
Greenbrier Ridge. To the right of us is the northwest section of the
Daughtery farm; to the left of us is the southwest corner of the Walton
both farms in pasture land.
The "big hill" is quite a pull for man or beast. On its ascent there
are rest spots for horse and buggy so that the pill was taken off of
while he rested.
Half way up the hill we pause to drink in the beauty of a hillside
the now deep gully, to our right, is the pasture field of the Daughtery
Tucked over against the hillside is a large open spring and a well worn
leading in from two sides. This is a source of water for two cows and
horses. The hillside is dotted with patches of wild blackberries.
pasture is a field of red clover. The Greenbrier Ridge road separates
fields from the rest of the farm.
We end our trip up Harper's Hollow road as it is a short climb now to
intersection. We will return to Route 56.
Ridge Road and The Old
leave Harper's Hollow and from here on the east through
South Bloomingville steep wooded hills rose to the left of us. The
waters of Queer Creek flow very close to the right of the road, and
is the hill which is known as Greenbrier Ridge.
At the first dirt road ot the right of Route 56 we turn and cross the
gauge railroad track, then a narrow bridge over Queer Creek. To the
us, back against the hill, was the home of Charlie Shaw home I believe (My Great Grandpa).
was a very close
friend of my mother. I recall when Dollie died mother was pallbearer,
and to my
young mind this was something very mysterious.
Now we start almost straight upward on a very long, narrow, steep hill.
right of us is a deep rocky ravine adorned with hemlocks, oaks and
laurel. To the left of us the hill rises upward to new heights.
huge rocks form open caves and above the rocks are more hemlocks and
Thick beds of bright green moss nourish pink lady slippers in
hill is very different from the Harper's Hollow hill.
At the top of the big hill, and to our left, was the old Vandegriff
never knew these people. About half a mile further south on the Ridge
at a sharp bend in the road, was the Walton home surrounded by some
acres of farm and pasture land. This house was a mansion and in my
Walton's had four grown children. I remember three; Clarabelle, Ettie
Frank. Frank ran a small grocery store on the land adjoining Chestnut
Ben and Laura O'Hara lived in the next home to the left of us but their
was not visible from the road. A long private lane led back to their
O'Hara house and barn were both built of logs. Their family was large.
to school with three of them; Leota, George, and Henry. They had an
deep dug well and its depth struck me as awesome. It was framed in on
rope and bucket was on a roller and was lowered into the well by a
Traveling on the south we come to the intersection of the Harper's
to the right and Brown road to the left. Since Brown road is a through
Goose Creek we will turn off here and meet the residents. The road
hill. As we reach the peak we can now see the Daugherty homestead to
To the left of us id the south side of the Walton farm and we see a
wheat almost ready to thresh.
At the top of the knoll is the Hankins log house. Jim and Rachel
two wonderful old people. Since I was born on the fourth of July, in
Daughtery home, Mrs. Hankins always remembered me with a birthday card.
At the top of the Goose Creek hill was the last farm. This belonged to a
widow women by the name of "Teen"
Chamberlain. Her husband, Charlie died before I was born. They had two
children, Carl and Alma. "Teen" was a haughty widow. When she went to
town she put on her largest hat and all her finery. She would race past
grandpa's house in her buggy, laying the whip to her horse, and raising
clouds of dust on the dirt road. She was a heavy set woman. At home she
barefoot and was not too neat. She was a little bit on the cruel side.
To the left of the road is the southeast corner of the Walton farm, and
start down a long steep hill to Goose Creek. Maggie Starkey lived at
bottom, and across the Creek and the Goose Creek road her son, Bill
lived. He was a mail carrier.
Now, we will go back up to the Ridge to the forks of the road and start
again. Just over the hill, and to our right, is the private lane which
called Warehime lane. This lane led to the Elzie and Maude Warehime
the John Lee farm. Mr. and Mrs. Lee were nice old people and lived
had one grown married son. Mrs. Lee smoked a corncob pipe and this was
novelty to me. My grandmother and some of the other older folks chewed
home-grown tobacco. Grandma planted a patch of tobacco in her garden
so that she could have tobacco in her apron pocket.
Maude Warehime was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hankins. "Else" and
Maude had a large family. Floyd, Audrey and Violet were around my age.
was younger and there were some other children.
The Ridge road is now cutting through the middle of the Daughtery farm.
after we pass the Warehime lane, and to our right is the one-room Greenbrier
School. Late in the eighteen
hundreds my grandfather had deeded this acre of ground to the School
Next was the Elijah and "Lise" Brown farm to the left and the Fannie
Chamberlain place to the right. Lige and Lize had two children, Alva
Florence and they were my age. This couple had several children but
Fannie Chamberlain was a sweet old widow and the mother, or sister, of
Chamberlain. She had a hard life and very little of this world's goods
somehow she managed to raise two grandchildren, Marie and Ramel Eades.
Over the next hill, ant to our left, was the Pearl and Ettie Lowery
had one son, Artie, quite a bit older than me.
At the next bend in the road was the Tom Mills family and I can
their son, Elmer.
At the next bend in the road was the Jim Mills home. A road took off to
right here which led to the farm of Sade Mills and Karns. Sade Mills
children, Jake and Charity. Karns had three lovely grown girls, Olie,
Around the next bend in the road was the Wine home, I think.
As we reach the end of the Ridge road the Chestnut Grove Church and
stand directly before us and we must turn down to the Goose Creek Road
left, or the Pretty Run road to our right. We have completed our trip
days were happy days. We received our educations in the one-room
Ridge Scholl built in 1891.
Our teacher, John Strarkey, taught grades one through eight. We were
fundamentals to help us make our way through life; the three R's,
riting, and rithmetic". Mcguffey readers, grades one through eight,
standard in Ohio. All reading was wise sayings or stories with good
learned how to spell. It was very gratifying to come out best in a
Pupils walked to school. Some walked from Goosecreek, Salt Creek,
and Route 56, and, for some this entailed a walk of about four miles up
down hills, through rain, snow or sleet. If Goose Creek or Salt Creek
flood stage they didn't get to school. Children came to school in
groups. If older children were needed at home during plating or harvest
they stayed home to help. Pupils never got out of hand in the one-room
for if they did the rod was laid to them, and they got the second
they got home. However, there never seemed to be any trouble at
The teacher was respected, and was generally a man. A woman teacher had
to be a
maiden lasy so she taught until she was married. The teacher boarded
family living near the school and so became almost a part of the
classroom accommodated about thirty-four pupils
and the welfare
and education of those thirty-four pupils was the
first consideration of the teacher. They gave extra time when needed
shared lunch with pupils who did not have enough lunch to eat. Salary
teacher was very little, so their motives in teaching was LOVE of the
were playing in the lives of young people.
Looking at the floor plan of Greenbrier School, there was a recessed
a cloak area on either side of the door. There was a door at each end
the classroom. Just inside one classroom door
was a stand with a
water bucket and a dipper for all to use. Each
day it was the responsibility of one of the pupils to walk out to
Daugherty's and fill the bucket with fresh water for the day. If one
chickenpox everyone got it. In the middle front of the classroom was a
for the teacher's desk and chair. A set of world maps hung on the wall
side and directly behind was a blackboard.
A potbellied stove, coal bucket, poker and shovel, was in the center of
room, exposed stovepipe rising up to the roof and outside chimney.
school desks, ranging in size from small to large, surrounded the stove.
In school houses like this the great fathers of our country got their
toot, toot! Here comes Old Pokey crawling along on its
narrow gauge tracks skirting Queer Creek. The engineer brings it to a
Harper's Hollow road to let a passenger off. The bell rings on it brief
then toot, toot, chug, chug, slowly it starts for South Bloomingville,
end of the day's journey. It's origin was up near Circleville. It
through Wyandotte, then lumbered along, first on one side and then on
other, of Salt Creek on its way down, stopping at nearly every dirt
crossing. It was a real experience to ride Old Pokey with its hard
Its energy was given by coal from the coal
car hooked on
behind the engine. As the fireman shoveled the coal
in, the black smoke and cinders belched out of the smokestack and this
back into the coach right into your eyes, if you had the window up.
My two brothers and I got off Old Pokey at Harper's Hollow crossing
went to grandma's. Sometimes we would walk from the crossing up and
pick a bouquet
of wild flowers and ferns for grandma as we walked along. I remember
when grandma brought ols Molly down for us to ride. Molly was getting
years and when we three children got mounted on her back she took a few
then down she went throwing us in a puddle of mud.
A couple of times when we made our annual summer trip to the hills we
the train at Kingston, then grandpa met us there with the horse and
was thrilling to ride behind a horse that knew his way home. The clop,
his hoof beats on the road was music to the ears. The buggy had
fasten over the front in case of rain. Then too, in cold weather we
stone or brick, covered it with wool, and laid it at our feet to keep
when we went out in the buggy. We also had a good wool lap robe to
us. The horse had different shoes for winter weather. On long trips he
be watered and fed. Villages had watering troughs and hitching posts to
accommodate them. Oats were the bill of fare for the horse when he was
At the turn of the century we had four means of travel--- walk,
horse and buggy, or train. The fastest we could go was a gallop by
Everyone participated in entertainment. About once a year Greenbrier
a play and pupils would speak pieces. Box socials were held in one room
schools. Ladies prepared the box dinners and the men bid on the boxes
with the lady of their choice. There were square dances at South
in the Redmen's Lodge Hall. We had good fiddlers
and an evening of square dancing was exhilarating.
On Sunday the young folks got together in groups and walks miles to
Young children found a world of wonders in nature in their daily life.
Christmas time we went out and cut down our own tree. We popped corn,
spent hours stringing it on thread for decorating our tree. Our
was beautiful in its simplicity.
clothing was simple and comfortable. Women wore handmade
muslin chemise. Men and women wore one piece underwear, with a slit in
for the "bottom dump". During the winter months men, women and children
wore two piece long flannel or wool underwear for the warmth and we
allowed to change to lighter weight underwear until the first of May.
knee length socks and stockings were also the order of the day. Dress
for women was to the ankles. High top button shoes were in vogue. My
top button shoes were beautiful, I thought. They
were black patent
leather and had a red tassel at the top. Now
button shoes were hard to fasen by hand so most she stores furnished a
hook. In the winter time we carried a muff to keep our hands warm when
out for special occasions. Women had long hair and they anchored their
with elaborate combs and ornaments. During the hot summer months we
pretty fans to help make us comfortable.
The early 1900's was the passing away age of long hair, beards and
for men. Barber shops had come into existence and they did a thriving
Men were glad to have short hair and to be clean shaven. For home use
a straight edged razor and it was an art to shave without doing a
job. Men wore stiff starched collars and cuffs on their white shirts.
were fastened with fancy cuff links.
about health problems? We had a doctor at South
Bloomingville, the only one within miles of us. He was not too busy at
all sicknesses was diagnosed at home and home remedies were used to
ailment. A midwife delivered babies. However, the doctor delivered
occasionally and made house calls o bedridden people and gave them
assistance. I heard that once the doctor preformed an appendix
operation on the
table in the kitchen of a patient, using hot water to sterilize his
instruments. The operation was a success. The doctor used whiskey for
Grandma and I would sometimes spend a Sunday afternoon in the woods
blood root, yellow root, ginseng and rattle root, all medicinal plants.
Pennyroyal was plentiful on the farm and we pulled this up by the root
dried it for medicine. Bark from wild cherry and the peach tree was
the tea used for ailments. Gog fennel and tobacco juice were used for
ache. Turpentine was used on open cuts. One teaspoonful of coal oil and
helped sore throat and cough. These are just a few of the home remedies.
had regular daily chores. Monday was wash day and it took
the whole day. Water had to be drawn from the well and heated on the
fire. Two galvanized tubs were used, one for washing clothes and one
rinsing. One by one each piece of washing was rubbed and rubbed on a
board, then wrung out by hand and tossed into the rinse water or
clothes were put in a copper boiler with chips of homemade lye soap,
came out whiter hand snow. Lye soap was never used on colored fabrics
were not color fast. It was almost a tragedy if a colored piece got
white clothes by mistake.
was the day to iron and this was an all day chore.
Everything had to be ironed. White shirts were especially tedious to
because the collars and cuffs were starched to give the material body.
two sad irons for ironing. We built a fire in the wood cook stove and
the irons on top. When they got hot we were ready to start. The handle
of the iron
got as hot as the bottom so we had to use a potholder. When the first
cold we placed it back on the stove and used the other iron until it
was mending and sewing day. Socks and stockings
were darned until they were no more. The foot pedal sewing machine had
come on the market, and grandma owned one. We didn't have to make
bonnets or dust caps by hand.
was cleaning day. We used a straw broom and dust
pan to sweep and clean up our floors. We had a hand woven carpet, wall
in the sitting room and when we started sweeping, the dust raised up in
At least once a year we had to take this carpet out, hang it on a line,
beat the dust out with a carpet beater. Wood floors were all mopped.
was baking day, and our appetites were whetted as we scented
the aroma of homemade bread, cookies and pies coming from the kitchen.
It was a
treat beyond description to cut off a slice of bread just out of the
butter it with chunks of fresh churned butter, and maybe jam or jelly.
was shopping day, if we needed anything. Grandma
shopped at the General Store in South Bloomingville, or the one at
so we had to go by horse and buggy. The horse had to be hitched up.
butter had to be loaded in the buggy as grandma traded these for things
she needed. A huckster wagon, carrying staple goods, came down Goose
once a week. Occasionally we would walk down the Goose Creek hill and
huckster wagon, then we didn't have to make a trip to the General Store.
Saturday night as bath night for all. Water was heated on the cook
stove for a
sponge bath in a galvanized tub. The youngest child got the first bath,
the next, etc., until everyone had a turn.
was the Sabbath Day. Nobody worked.
the last of June and the first of July we picked
raspberries and black berries to sell. Three times a week a peddler
the house to pick up our berries. There were times when we sold them
for 20 cents
In the late fall hogs were butchered. Hams and bacon were smoked in the
house over a hickory wood fire. Lard was rendered in a large iron pot,
open fire. Sausage was hand ground, fried, and packed down in large
in enough lard to cover them.
By the time the snowflakes started coming down the corn crib was loaded
top; the wheat and buckwheat, and oats has all been thrashed and the
the granary were full. The busy thrashing season was over. A traveling
had come by to do the job for you. At thrashing time the neighbors all
one another; the women with the dinners, the men with the thrashing. It
nothing to have a dozen sweat covered men seated at the table for
cannot close this dissertation without first taking a
look inside the fascinating General Store. The potbellied heating stove
the middle of the store. Alongside of this is a large copper spittoon,
bucket, small shovel, and poker. Three men are sitting on the wood
next to the wall, busily engaged in discussing statistics of the day,
trading a few tall tales. They are chewing tobacco, so at intervals,
have a mouth full of tobacco juice, and have time to draw a free
squirt and attempt to hit the spittoon over by the stove.
Hanging from the ceiling is an ornamental iron ball which holds a ball
wrapping twine. THe free end of the twine hangs down over the wrapping
A large scale sets on the one side of the counter. Behind the counter
large roll of heavy white wrapping paper. All cheese, heavily smoked
butter are sold by the pound, wrapped in the paper, and tied with twine.
The owner of the store, and his family, run the store. The owner listed
anything we had for trade, and it's value. You gave him an order for
wanted and he filled the order. A debit or credit slip was made for
visit to the store. Very little cash was exchanged.
In front of the counter is four barrels, each containing staple goods
I remember the cracker barrel especially. Coffee beans, sugar, rice and
beans, were all in bulk, sold by the pound, and put in small brown
Coffee beans were ground by us with our own coffee grinder.
One side of the store is filled with men's work shoes, overalls,
hats, and some wearing apparel. The back end of the store is filled
goods and sewing needs. One wall displays some hardware and assortment
The General Store had anything for sale from safety pins to farm
feed for the livestock.
are all ready for a good night's rest, so we pick up our
coal oil lamp, carefully find our way up the steep stairs, undress, put
nightgown, blow out the light, and crawl into a cord bed.
you ever sleep in one? Wooden pegs lined
the head, bottom, and side rails, and rope was woven back and forth to
base for a straw or feather tick mattress. Now, rope stretches, so the
thing you know you have rolled to the center of the bed, and, try as
you cannot stay out of the center.
think what I have given you pretty well covers life as it
was in the early 1900's. In summing it all up, we had worthwhile work
days, we had good clean fun, and most of all peace and contentment
existence. What we did for ourselves made us almost self-sufficient.
we needed from the rest of the world was salt,
coal oil, shoes. thread and yard goods for clothing.
We had - Fresh vegetables from our garden
- Fresh fruit from our orchards
own cows and milk
- Made our own butter and cottage cheese
- Had our own chicken and eggs
- Raised and butchered our own pork
-Raised corn for feed for horses and cows, and
enough to grind into cornmeal for ourselves
- Raised our own oats- Our own wheat and buckwheat
which was ground into flour
- Made our own vinegar from apple cider
- Dried apples. peaches and corn
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Made jelly, jam and preserves
- Raised our navy beans
- Harvested walnuts, hickory nuts and chestnuts
- Made our own starter yeast for bread and buckwheat
- Made our own maple syrup
- Prepared sassafras roots for tea
- Made our own lye soap for washing clothes
- Made our own clothes
- Cut our own wood for fire
- Took care of most of our medical needs
- Nursed our sick and took care of our parents in
their old age