Fall in the State Forest

We took a drive out to the State Forest for this years Fall photos.

One day the Old Iron Bridge at Survant will be gone.  The county will be moving it to Petersburg as a walkover bridge.  I am glad they are preserving it, rather than seeing it end up in the scrap heap somewhere.

 

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A stop at Augusta Lake

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Waterfall at Augusta Lake

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Augusta Lake Reflections

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Reds

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Old Iron Bridge at Survant

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River and the Old Iron Bridge

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Old Iron Bridge Fall Colors

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Old Iron Bridge

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River Rocks and tracks at Survant

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Fire Barn

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Old Fire Tower

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Fire Tower Colors

Forest Path

Forest Path

Miller Newsstand in Winslow

I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours this week with Jackie Willis Houchins and her brother, Gary Willis.  They grew  up in Ayrshire.  We swapped stories and Jackie shared some of her memorabilia and photos with me.

This photo is of Doctor Miller’s brother, Herschel P. Miller and his wife, Louise, who ran a newsstand on Main Street in Winslow.  They were both deaf and mute.  He was nicknamed “Deefie”.

During a cold wave in 1943, he was found dead from exposure on a street in Winslow.

Miller Newsstand

Last Day at Winslow United Methodist

Today is the last service at Winslow United Methodist Church on the corner of Lafayette and Cherry Street.  There is a good crowd for a sad day.

 

 

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The Dispatch did a nice article on the church this week.  It was established in 1832 meeting in the school building.  They built the first church on the corner of Walnut and East Center in 1866.  In 1890 that church burnt down.  Two years later a building was built at the current location.  In 1921 funds were raised for the current brick church building.  It was dedicated in 1924.

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Winslow Methodist Church 1908.

An interesting thing to note.  The parsonage pictured here beside the church was moved by the Dedman family to East Center Street.  It is the current rental house that the Eagles own.

 

 

Old Massey or Loveless Cemetery: A Guest Post

My friend Amber Ball and I met almost two years ago.  We have wandered all over this area taking photos and seeking stories.  The Patoka River Wildlife Refuge is our favorite haunt.  Amber also writes a blog and posts the most amazing photos.  You should check her out here, and links are always posted to the right of my blog.

Last weekend amid our busy lives we found time to visit a local field of sunflowers and enjoy the waves of yellow that attract butterflies and birds.

Sunflower field

Sunflower field

My July was so hectic and Amber has graciously offered a guest post for my blog.  Last fall we went in search of the Old Massey Cemetery, sometimes known as Loveless Cemetery.  Here is her blog post about that day.

 

An Anniversary, And An Interesting Find
In the summer of 2012, I came across a beautifully written blog about the history of our area (you can find it HERE), and struck up what has become a great friendship with the writer.  On our first outing together was just over a year ago; we struck out to try and find a small cemetery that didn’t exist on any maps; the historical websites listed a couple of interments, but no coordinates on how to find it, so we set off with only a general suggestion of the area from someone who claimed to have come across the stones years before.  Needless to say we were unsuccessful; but that trip has opened the door to dozens of other excursions and finds that I otherwise would never have viewed, so I am extremely thankful for it :).

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Last weekend at the Columbia Mine ceremony, I noticed two lakes on the map named Loveless Lake and Old Massey Lake that were not too far from the area we were originally searching, so I asked refuge manager Bill McCoy if he knew how the lakes had gotten their names, and that we were searching for a cemetery with a similar name.  To my surprise, he said he knew exactly where it was!  He pointed out the location on the map I had and I immediately pulled out my phone and sent Rose a text so we could set up another excursion.  Inexplicably, the area is next to a lake named Indian Hill Lake (because of an indian burial mound in the area), and NOT next to Loveless or Old Massey Lakes, but we were determined to find it for once and for all.

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So today, despite the falling temperature and the gusty winds, we set out for parts unknown.  Down the road to Indian Hill Lake and around, we were excited to see lots of deer, coyote, and even bobcat tracks!  There were several dead fish in the water, and lots of spots around the edge where large fish had been hauled out, scaled, and eaten.  Every ten feet or so, we came across turtle shells, crawfish shells, catfish heads, and all manner of carnivore leftovers.  We followed some animal paths for a ways around the lake but had to forge our own for quite some distance, and I can tell you with great certainty that the briars are alive and well around there!  But finally, we got around the point of the lake to the area we were looking for, and we entered the woods.

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We trudged around the ridge for ten minutes or so with no luck and were starting to think we’d never find it, when I looked down and noticed…vinca, everywhere!  Vinca vine, sometimes called periwinkles because of the pretty blue flowers it has in the spring.  Vinca is often a clue that you’re near an old cemetery; I’ve read that it was planted as a groundcover, to mark the graves of infants, because it has a religious significance, or several other reasons depending on who you’re talking to…but we knew when we saw it that we were close!  After our excitement renewed and we searched just a little farther…

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…and WE FOUND IT!!!   This is the stone of James S. Loveless, b 9-9-1865 d 1-1-1901.  It’s the only stone we found, but we think perhaps we’ll revisit in early spring once the winter weather has mashed down all of the now freshly-fallen leaves, maybe we’ll see others then.  Of last report, there were three stones remaining; but it was so cool to finally find this!  I signed up for an account on newspaperarchive.com to see if there were any mentions of James or how he passed but have not yet been able to locate anything; but I’m thinking I might use some excerpts from those old papers here from time to time because they’re just plain interesting.

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If you happen to be searching for it yourself, here’s a map of about where you’ll find it; it’s on the very edge of Sycamore land, and when you’re standing at James’ stone, you can see the edge of the field that is on the private land just to the west.  The large lake in the center of the photo is Indian Hill Lake on the Sycamore maps.  Once we get a warmer day, I believe we’ll be heading back to see if we can get a glimpse of the deer, coyotes, and bobcats we saw such evidence of on the lake edge…but until then, have a great weekend!!

Edit: If you’re heading out that way and GPS coordinates would help, this should get you close: 38.376707,-87.311335.  Be sure to wear some orange, because the private land immediately adjacent is a hunting camp and they have blinds/stands set up on the edge of the field just feet away from the stone(s).  And be prepared for briars!!!!

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Sled Riding On Pine Needles in the Summertime

Having a tinkerer for a Daddy was fun most times.  He liked junk and liked to make things out of junk.   Which is why I love junk I guess.

He made us things.

I can faintly remember a merry go round he put together for us when I was probably around four years old circa 1964.  My seat was an old tricycle mounted and my little brother’s was an old high chair or a baby walker.  I  can remember him pushing us on that go round one day until we were crying and about to puke.  Me looking over at my baby brother who was screaming and me screaming.

I am sure mostly fun times were had on that merry go round but you remember what you remember from when you were that age.

Flash forward to about 1973.  Now this is summertime fun.  No crying or puking going on.

We had some land.  Daddy had a bulldozer.

He had an old car that he had bought from a guy who was hard up for some cash one week.  It was a big blue boat of a car,  worth nothing but scrap money or to use as a demolition derby car.

Why not let the kids have it for some driving lessons?

Let’s see, I was 12 or 13 at the most.  That would make my brothers about 11 and 9.

Daddy made a racetrack (or that’s what we called it).  He bulldozed a dirt track around trees in the field and woods and packed it down.

Then he put a block of wood under the gas pedal (he wasn’t a stupid man) so we didn’t get to race.  We had something we sat on to raise us up so that we could see over the dashboard.   If I remember correctly Momma strapped a throw pillow over the steering wheel, her version of an airbag.   We had to wear a motorcycle helmet.  Safety first.

I was scared to drive.  Daddy rode with me the first round or two.  But then he talked me into going on my own.  Of course, my brothers were just about to pee their pants with the anticipation of their turn.  They were not scaredy cats like me.

We hit some trees.  It was thrilling to bounce back and  not be hurt.  It didn’t  matter if we hit a tree because that old car was not worth anything but fun.

I dreamed about it not too long ago.   That race track through the woods.

It was one of those rare fun afternoons with the entire family.   The kind you smile about when you remember them.

Like the day we all went sled riding on the pine needles in the summertime.

Our house was surrounded by stripper pits and steep spoil banks.  Huge giant pine trees grew on the banks and shed needles.  The slopes were deep with dead pine needles.

I don’t know how we discovered you could slide down the banks on a piece of cardboard but we did.  One of us probably slid on our butt, saw it was fun and grabbed a box to try out.  We were summertime sledding.

Being kids someone remembered our Christmas sleds.

We had all three gotten plastic sleds for Christmas.  The kind that rolled up.  Just a 3 foot long piece of blue plastic with a red handle on the end.  One of us ran home to get them.   curiosity got the better of  Daddy and Momma who had to check out where we were going with our plastic sleds in the summertime.   They followed out into the woods.

We were laughing and having so much fun that Momma and Daddy actually tried it and sledded with us.  Sledding in the summertime.

The best times are the time spent together.   Remember that carefree joy of being a kid.  Enjoy the summer!

Ayrshire Patoka Collieries Mine

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Joan Woodhull was kind enough to share her photo of Ayrshire Collieries.  It is from a postcard that Ruth Hammond had let her copy years back.

I believe this was originally Ingle Mine #8.

Read more about the Ayrshire Collieries at:

Chapter 18: Ayrshire Collieries Corporation – Dane Starbuck, The Goodriches: An American Family [2001]         Click here

Family, Farming and Freedom:  Fifty Five Years of Writings:  (start on page 6)  Click here.