Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cotton Patch Hill and Crooked Creek

Crittenden County is full of beautiful county scenery.  There are hills, and streams, valleys and knobs.  Many have unusual and mysterious names.  As I looked at the old maps, I can't help but wonder where the names originated from.  There must have been a reason behind the names.  Some I have found the answer, some I have clues on and some I will never know.

One such of these with an odd name, and one can't help but wonder where the name came from, is Cotton Patch Hill.

 Cotton Patch Rd. runs off of S. R. 654 N not too far from Mattoon, to S.R. 387, what we always called the Dam 50 Road.   It runs all along the top of the hill.  A beautiful drive any time of year. 

The story written many years ago in 1908, by an old gentleman that was having his 93 birthday, is that in the early 1800's a wild fierce woman, named Mrs. Clayton settled on this hill.  She built a cabin, hunted wild animals, and cleared and fenced about an acre of ground which she planted cotton.  Mrs. Clatyon was always armed to the teeth with bowie knives and guns.  After living on the hill a few years she went away as suddenly as she came.  But she left behind her legacy as the hill was named "Cotton Patch Hill" for the little patch of cotton that she left behind.  

This picture of Cotton Patch Hill was made Jan. 31, 2013 from a high spot on the Fords Ferry Road.

The history runs deep in the old Crooked Creek on Fords Ferry Road.  Once the location of a covered bridge, today it is spanned by a modern concrete bridge.  In years past it was a favorite place for picnics and family gatherings as the large rocks were an inviting spot to have a seat and eat a picnic lunch.

Just from common thinking I would think it was named for it's crooked path through this part of the county.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Orchards of The Past

Have you received your Spring fruit, vegetable and flower catalog in the mail this year?  Many years ago they were a much looked forward to mail item, for garden seeds and fruit trees were purchased this way.  Green houses as we have today were not very easy to get to.  Thanks to the Amish community, we now have several green houses that we can visit come spring planting time.

Crittenden County farmers had many orchards and I'm sure they supplied the families with many jars of fruit during the long months that fruit wasn't in season.  There were also several orchards that grew apples for the market.  A well known apple orchard in Marion belonged to Dr. Frederick W. Nunn.  He even had a sorter which would automatically select the different sizes of apples.

 In 1926 Nunn Orchard was known for it's fine varieties of Starks Delicious, Red and Golden, the Winesaps, and Black Twig, (don't know what kind that was). 

There were family orchards located all over the county.  One large family orchard was located in the Tolu Area, and was known as Dan Stone's Apple Orchard.

This is a wonderful old picture of the Stone Orchard near Tolu, that was made in the early 1900's.  You can see some of the apples in the crate, and basket. 

Back row, L-r: Pete Watson, D. C. Watson, Bonnie Watson, Jack Mason, Alice Turner, Carrie Stone, Dan Stone (owner of the orchard),   Dan Watson, and Sally Watson.  (Sally has some apples in her hands)
Front row: Hub Watson and small boy is Bill "Bug Eye" Stone.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chapel Hill School 1931

Some old history from one of the many one-room schools we used to have all over the county.   Such an important part of our county, these schools of long ago.  A vital part of the community, not only for learning, but for just bringing the community closer together as a family.  It's a lonesome feeling now thinking of these days of yesteryear.
 Chapel Hill School Group 1931-32
Front row, L to R:  Zula Walker, Donald Nunn, Roy Beshears, Tommy Collins, Kevil Nunn, Kenneth Conger, J. C. Nunn, Thomas Nunn.
Back row: Gladys Nunn, Belba Walker, Opal Walker, Hilda Long, Hatley Long, Ina Long, Wilber Beard, Elba Walker, Rudel Nunn, Teacher.

Feb. 2, 1931 - Chapel Hill School News:  The Chapel Hill School closed its seven months session this week with a short program.  Attendance awards were given to three students, Wilbur Beard, Gladys Nunn and Donald Nunn, who were present every day during the school year.

Students at Chapel Hill, with Rudell Nunn as teacher, have won a number of honors during  the past scholastic term.  At the county fair they received a $5.00 prize from the Board of Eduactino for having a hundred per cent attendance at the fair.  At a spelling contest held last week Marvin Collins, of the seventh grade, won the privilege of representing the county in the county spelling bee to be held in Marion.  Other winners by grades are as follows:  First-Tommy Collins; second-Donald Nunn, Third-Kenneth Conger, Fourth- Ina Long, Fifth-Thomas Nunn, Seventh- Marvin Collins.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Marion Music

This is a great old picture postcard of one of Marion's early brass bands.
The Marion Silver Cornet Band.

The picture was probably in the early 1900's.  It was made by the side of the old Court House.  The post card was published by J. H. Orme. Marion, Ky.

The names are Emmit Koltinsky; Chas. A. Moore; Wm. Clark; Ira Sunderland; W. L. Venner; Dr. F. W. Nunn; Waston Davis; C. P. Noggle, Director; J. C. Wallace; Jas. T. Travis; Elmer Franklin.

Through the years Marion had many community bands.  They were an important part of the community, although not much history was ever written about them.  Only some great old pictures of the different groups, and many times, there would be no names to identify the members.  What a shame this history is lost from us.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Marion Post Office 1905-1917

This building located on East Carlisle St. is one of oldest original buildings left in Marion.  

It was built after the devastating fire of 1905 that destroyed all of the business section of town.  The towns people wasted no time in rebuilding, for it was re-opened in in the fall of that year.

The section on the right with the blue doors was the new Post Office.  You can still see the words Office Building about the doors.  The section on the left at that time was one large room and it was the well-known Haynes and Taylor Drug store.  Upstairs were more office suites.

This post office served the Marion area for several years until 1917 when the new post office down the street was built and ready for business.  The mail capacity just got to large for this building to handle, so the new one was much in need. 

The last business that has been in located in this historical building has been a dry cleaners, it was known for years at Marion Dry Cleaners, and was run by the Hicklin brothers.   Frank Pierce now owns it and it has been renamed Coach's Cleaners.  Mr.Ronald "Tink" Hicklin, who is in his 90's still works part time at the cleaners. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 1937 Ice Storm

January 9th, 1937 Marion and Crittenden County was hit by an ice storm.  This ice storm preceded the historic 1937 flood. 

 A picture of Main Street and the ice covered and broken trees around the old Court House.

Some information about this ice storm from the Jan. 15, 1937 Crittenden Press. 

A half inch coating of ice which covered utility wires and trees in Marion and Crittenden County Saturday night did an underestimated amount of damage.

Dozen of electric wires went down from midnight Saturday until Sunday afternoon, hundreds of telephone poles fell or were broken off.  Street were littered with tree limbs which had snaped under the weight of the ice and yards represented a shambles with highe trees ruined.  All limbs were stripped from some trees, leaving only the stump while other split down the center an dleft nothing.

Old residents term it the worst ice bark they ever saw.  Telephone lines on the Sturgis, Princeton and Salem highways were matte and those not broken were sagged several feet.   Of the twenty-eight farm lines going out of Marion only one was left Sunday, that was to Chapel Hill, nearby.

The worse damage as far as Marion people are directly concerned was the damage done shade trees.  Trees that have been watched and guarded incessantly for five, then, twenty-five and even fifty years were wrecked beyond salvation.  Practically every yard in Marion represented a brush pile. (I thought an unusual statement, as broken and destroyed trees aren't what they worry about now, but Marion at this time, must have been concerned about their shade trees.)