David Melson

Picturing the Past 57: Trip to the country

Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010, at 7:22 AM
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  • David, age clouds the memory, but as best as I can remember there were two distinct businesses on the Highway in Rover in my childhood. One was what we most usually recognize as Carlton's Store. It was just about where Kingdom Road forks off of 41-A North, and then there was what I recognize as Simpson's Service Station. It was just about where Kingdom Road comes back into 41-A North. If I remember correctly a Mr. Puckett ran a peddler wagon possibly out of the store we call Carlton Store back in the mid-40s. I can remember my Grandmother exchanging eggs to him to buy me a Coca-Cola, and we would then draw a bucket of well water just for the purpose of cooling my Coca-Cola. Good memories and good days for a young boy.

    marnold1118, as I was looking back this morning in Dick Poplin's "History of Rover and the 10th District of Bedford County" I found some information and pictures on pages 80-82 about toll gates in that area.

    The first week-end Camp-Out for me in the Boy Scouts was at the Farrar farm in Flat Creek. Three things come to mind for me---first time to cook and eat crawdads---first Snipe hunt---and first experience with a "dumb bull" at the hands of the Farrar boys.

    By the way, my wife and I were married at the parsonage of the Rover Baptist Church in 1960 by the pastor, Bro. E.A. Rich.

    Thanks David for two more great pictures.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Apr 20, 2010, at 8:25 AM
  • leeiii, I'd like to see the toll gate pix. Could you scan those pages and zap them to me? You have my address. Dick Poplin was an in-law of my aunt Milbrey's, and we were friends -- I assume he'd be OK with that.

    I have a couple of photos of a Boy Scout camp in about 1923, attended by my dad and five or six other Shelbyville boys his age. The one captioned with all of their names might be of interest. The camp was at Ridgetop -- I guess that's Robertson County. He talked about the drive to Ridgetop in Model Ts (or similar cars) with an elevated gas tank in the rear, and gravity-fed gas lines. There was a hill about three miles north of Goodlettsville that was steep enough to level the gas lines, and stop the flow. So these cars had to back up the hill, putting the gas tank higher than the engine as required.

    -- Posted by razyn on Tue, Apr 20, 2010, at 12:25 PM
  • leeiii, Reading your comment you bring up a name that I have read and heard often. E. A. Rich was one of the charter members of Shelbyville Mills Baptist Church. The first pastor was Jehu Rich. This is the link to the history of SMBC.


    -- Posted by redddj on Tue, Apr 20, 2010, at 4:08 PM
  • redddj, Yes, he was at Shelbyville Mills back in the 30s before I was there. He was my Pastor in the 40s and 50s at North Fork Baptist Church and I believe that he went from there to Rover Baptist Church.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Apr 20, 2010, at 4:52 PM
  • David, my grandfather Haskell Gowen, bought the John Ray farm with the log home and 2-story smokehouse in 1930. I have a copy of The Bedford County Times dated Oct.29, 1940 with a front page story of a trail ride from Flat Creek School to the Haskell Gowen Spring. The 50 or more riders were met by 20 more folks from Shelbyville who arrived by car for the luncheon served on the grounds. There was also a meeting of the county Bridal Association and main topic was the association's taking over of the farm and allowing my grandfather to stay on the farm and pay the taxes and provide upkeep. This was previously done with the Eblen farm, it was stated. A focal point of the farm was Ray's Pool, which was fed by a "blow" spring from a cave on the property. The article mentioned that the lovely valley was once the site of a 3-storied mill, which was used as both wool carding factory and grist mill. It also said the log home was known to be at least 123 years old and believed much older. That would put the date of building as 1817. I find that hard to believe. Maybe someone else can give their thoughts on that.

    I remember visiting the cave as a child, but we had to hike to it around Lake Elaine. By then the log home had been moved to a new site on Kingree Rd., just beyond the American Legion building. It was moved and restored by Bayard Tarpley for his family home.

    I believe Lake Elaine is now privately owned, but for years it was popular fishing lake. As teenagers, Cookie and I drifted on the lake in a fishing boat to work on our suntans! I'm not sure we fished! Maybe she will jump in the discussion with her family stories of the lake.

    -- Posted by dianainnc on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 7:55 AM
  • My father and a professor from Harding College who was John Ledbetter Sr's son-in-law, bought the Gowen farm in 1948 and developed Lake Elaine.

    At that time it was opened to the public for fishing, and remained open until about 1952 or 1953. I have wonderful childhood memories of the lake and the freshwater spring, with it's breathtaking waterfall, fishing with my Dad, and roaming the hills with my sister.

    I would love to know if my Dad bought the land from the Gowen's or was there someone that owned it between the early 40's and 1948. At the time, my Dad and Mother purchased it, the log house was unoccupied.

    When the picture is enlarged, it looks like there are power lines running to the house. I thought that this was interesting, because in the early 40's there was not many rural farms that had electricity.

    -- Posted by cookie on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 8:40 AM
  • I think I'm right to say that part of the building in still standing across from Rita's consignment store which used to be Harville's. I think both end additions are gone and the center part is still there. My dad and Mr.Simpson, I think his name was Earl, were friends and I remember going there as a kid.

    -- Posted by sixtysomething on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 1:43 PM
  • Sixtysomething,

    I just goggle mapped that building and agree with you. I'm not sure but I think the one addition is still there with a "new" roof that makes it strait across. I tried looking for the house, but the only older one near-by doesn't quite look like the one in the picture.

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 6:29 PM
  • The peddler came by our house every Friday and the Big R.C. Cola and a bag of salted peanuts

    was my favorite treat. Now that was the good ole days.

    -- Posted by Cal t on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 10:08 PM
  • I agree with sixtysomething and Sharon 2. Google 4330 U.S. 41 Alt., Unionville (I know it's Rover, but Google goes by mailing addresses) and look at the building with flatbed trailers in front. Compare the window (and its ledge) and the door at far left, then swing the view to the left of the store and look at the white house in the distance. Looks like the same house but with the chimney removed since the 1950s.

    -- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 10:35 PM
  • I was trying to figure the house out and wondered if it might be the same house, it's at about the right spot, but missing the chimney.

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 11:24 PM
  • Sharon 22

    I just made a trip to Rover to take a look at the old garage and your right about the addition on the right side still being there. Only the one on the left is gone, and a new roof has been installed. Funny how much larger the building looks in the picture than in person. I also think you may be right about the house.

    -- Posted by sixtysomething on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 11:27 AM
  • I remember going with my Grandfather to Rover to buy calves in 1943 and recall there was a Feed Store and other old frame buildings which looked like a Wild West Movie....My Grandparents had a 200 Acre Farm on Manire Road (In the Family since 1835) and I remember a Horse Drawn Peddling Wagon that I believe came from Rover.....

    -- Posted by FlaDon on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 5:37 PM
  • I love to read all the information in the

    Picturing The Post. CAN you tell me anythign aout Poplins Crossing? I see it pop up occasionally and can't find much info on it.

    -- Posted by wonderwhy on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 5:40 PM
  • Poplin Crossroads (once a thriving part of the community) has all but been destroyed now by a faster way of life. The Old Columbia Highway crosses Halls Mill Road at a place that once was known as Poplin Crossroads. There used to be a store known by various names through the years, but mostly just as Crossroads Store. On any given Saturday or days when it was too wet to plow you could scare up a game of Checkers or a game of Rook there while you caught up on all the gossip. It has been a while since I have been through there, but I think that the store is long gone. Crossroads Store like most other country stores of the day had anything you could ever want. If they did not have it, then you did not need it, or you needed to make do with baleing wire and sack string. wonderwhy, thanks for helping me to bring back another pleasant memory from the past.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 6:09 PM
  • FlaDon, whom might your grandparents be? My parents house is on Manire and I live in the Cedar Grove community.

    I have enjoyed all these pictures of the past, but I believe this one the most since it's in my neck of the woods.:)

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 7:02 PM
  • My Aunt and her Husband ran the Crossroads Store in the 1970's and 80's and the building is gone now...These Country Stores were almost "Community Centers" in the Old Days....leeiii, do you remember when you had to "ford" North Fork Creek to get to Poplins Crossroads from US 41A ???

    -- Posted by FlaDon on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 7:19 PM
  • Sharon22, My Family's Home was just West of the "Haynes Place"

    -- Posted by FlaDon on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 7:26 PM
  • Without giving much away, is/was the house between the Haynes and the creek or the other direction. I am directionally inpaired when looking at google maps at times, but if I had to guess, might your grandparents old homestead still be there?

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 8:25 PM
  • Sharon22, The Homestead include Wilson Creek on the West Boundary...

    -- Posted by FlaDon on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 8:52 PM
  • FlaDon, No I can not say that I ever remember fording the creek to get there. However, we usually came in from Roy Moore Road and crossed the creek on the old iron bridge at my Uncle Jim Russell's or we came in from Halls Mill.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 8:57 PM
  • FlaDon, know just where you are talking about. I love the history of this area.

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 10:18 PM
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