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Friday, September 18, 2009

My Birthplace

Well, when I was in Mountain City one of the things I had on my "to do" list was a visit to the house of my birth. I have told and retold the story of my birth and how I got my name and I just wanted to see if the house was as I remembered it.

It was in the mid forties when my mother and dad bought the house. It is my understanding that it was co-owned with my Granny Holloway. She owned a "place" in Hatley Hollar at Butler and when the TVA was buying up the property to make way for Watauga Lake her place was one that was in the way and had to be moved. The TVA bought her land and she invested it in the twenty acres on Shupetown Road known as the "Shupe Place".

The house in Hatley Hollar was torn down and moved to Shupetown Road and the lumber used to build the barn. Getting the lumber there was quite the process. Because the house was down in the holler the lumber had to be dragged by horse and sled up to the main road and then it was transported by horse and wagon some 10 to 15 miles to the new house. The barn was built from this. Quite a few family members as well as some neighbors helped in the hauling and the building.

My memories of the house itself are not very clear. I remember the porch. It seemed we were always on the porch. It was raining one day and my sister and I were playing on the porch and I pushed her off the end right into a mudpuddle. I also remembered the house had a fireplace. When my sister and I were small I had my favorite pair of shoes. One day my mother put my shoes on my sister. Evidently I was upset about it because I bit her toe right through the shoe. .

I also remember walking home from my other grandparents house just across the hill. I spent a lot of time with them and my great grandma who also lived there. My mother and dad would come and take me home and a couple hours later my great grandma would send my brother over on the horse to get me. I can remember riding across the hill on the horse. We always had to stop by the spring to give the horse a drink of water and to pick up apples.

I didn't know if anyone still lived there so I coerced my sister June to making the trip to see the house. The photo on my header is the house as seen from Shupetown Road. The house itself is located about a quarter to a half mile off the secondary road. The lane is narrow and continues to get even smaller. The wooden bridge across the creek had been replaced with a concrete one.

This field used to be a field for growing beans, corn, tobacco etc.
Lane gets smaller as you get closer
Underbrush covers the road
The house
The lady that currently owns the house was very gracious and told me to take all the photos I wanted. She added it probably didn't look the same because her late husband had done extensive remodeling to it. To me it didn't matter I was standing in the place of my birth.

She also explained there were a set of twins born in her bedroom with no doctor in sight. She was amazed when I told her there were five of us kids born in the house and my grandmother, a midwife, had delivered us all. She exclaimed, "Granny still lives here".

She says the neighbors had told her what a great person my Granny was . She says the house was so clean you could practically eat off the floor and nothing was ever out of place. She says that she hears my Granny walking from room to room upstairs and if the kitchen is the least bit messy she can hear her slamming the cupboard doors in the kitchen. Sometimes she will be looking for something she can't find and then she will turn around and it is right there. She also told me the barn had been standing until a giant windstorm last winter blew it down.

The Barn

This was a huge chestnut tree in the yard. It could have been the tree my sister and I were sitting under when we had our photo taken some 60 some years ago.

I had a look around. It still looked the same but it was different. The garden place was gone and the huge front yard we had was shrunk to almost nothing. The porch was cement and crowded with many unused items. The field behind the house was overgrown. There was one thing that wasn't different.

"Granny Still Lives Here"

In the words of my father, "That's it for today".


Rick said...

Great blog, Jenny, one of the best I've read all week. A wonderful story with nice pics!!

Gypsy said...

How wonderful for you to go there and to find out your granny still lives there!

Doug & JoAnn said...

Fillmore sends you a BIG birthday hug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!