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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grandma Lived in Hatley Holler

Well, a few days ago I wrote about the formation of Watauga Lake and how it displaced the town of Old Butler and many of its residents. My grandparents and a lot of my other relatives were included in this move. At that time in 1942 a series of interviews was conducted with residents of Old Butler and surrounding area prior to their homes and farmland being swallowed up by the progress of building Watauga Lake. Some people chose to relocate to other places while others moved their entire houses to new locations. The town of Butler was relocated to its present location approximately ten miles from Mountain City.

One of the interviews that was done at the time was with my grandmother. Here is some of the things I learned from that interview. She actually lived in a place called Little Milligan and a short distance up Hatley Holler. She was 67 years old. Her family was all grown and married except for my father.

My grandfather had died about three years prior and she lived alone with my father who was single and never had been married. He had recently joined the Army at age 38 This was right before World War II.

Her daughter lived about a hundred yards away. When everyone moved her daughter relocated to a place called Stoney Creek, a few miles from Elizabethton.

She took care of her house and had a small vegetable garden. No mention was made of her raising crops but the interview did mention my grandfather had been a farmer. She was born and raised in that area and I know my day went to school there but at some point she and my grandfather had lived for a time in Johnson City but had moved back to Little Milligan.

My grandmother relocated to near Mountain City just across the hill from my other grandparents. This was where I was born. She was a midwife and delivered all of my brothers and sisters except two.

In reading some of the interviews I came across a lot of local history and facts I did not know. I find it more interesting to read about the way things were instead of how things are today.

It was a simpler life in a simpler time. I wouldn’t mind going back to a time like that ---if I could take my computer with me.

In the words of my father “That’s it For Today”.

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