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!


10 Degrees: Cold & Sunny at Snakey Point

Some kind of duck was still swimming in the part that was not frozen.

Some kind of duck was still swimming in the part that was not frozen.

Beautiful blue sky over Snakey Point.

Beautiful blue sky over Snakey Point.


The eagles nest across the Point. I saw one flying above the water.

With the binoculars I could see a white head moving around in the nest.

With the binoculars I was pretty sure I saw a white head moving around in the nest.

The grasses were dazzling with the sunshine on them.

The grasses were dazzling with the sunshine on them.

The Town of Littles

It is  going to be another frigid January night of subzero temperatures.  Our house is insulated.  We have good replacement windows and a good furnace.  I sleep under an electric blanket.  Tonight I am thinking about another house in the 1920s coal mining town of Littles, up in the far northwest corner of Patoka Township here in Pike County.

Joyce DeJarnett Truitt is a regular commentor on my blog.  She has shared fascinating memories of the area, such as her Grandmother seeing ghosts in the old Ingle house.  We have become friends through email.  Joyce has a book in the Pike County Library genealogy department, “The Ford DeJarnett Family”.  I just saw an out of print copy of it for sale on the internet at Abe Books for $135.00!!  One story is that her great grandfather Ford DeJarnett built two buildings facing each other, in case one caught fire the family could just move into the other one.   Joyce was born in 1927 to Lowell and Golda Christmas DeJarnett at Littles in one of the coal mine company houses.  This past week she sent me this photo of when she was a little girl growing up in there.

l to r:  Joyce Dejarnett; John Beard, her cousin; and her sister Ruth.

l to r: Joyce DeJarnett; John Beard, her cousin; and her sister Ruth.  John was the son of Leonard Beard and lived in another company house.

They lived in the 4 Row Houses, the house on the end.  It was a company house owned by the Littles man. I look at the pictures of these old clapboard houses and wonder how they stayed warm in the winters.   I guess you slept by the stove, shared a bed and piled on the quilts.  My Grandma grew up in such houses in Muren.  She  said they “built walls” out of cardboard and newspaper and whatever they could find to help insulate.

There is not much there when you drive through Littles now.  If you don’t know where Littles is, you would never know you were driving through it.  Don’t confuse it with Glezen, formerly known as Hosmer.

Geological Survey map 1902.

Geological Survey map 1902.

Littles was named after the man who formed the Littles Coal Company, S. W.  Littles of Evansville.  The Littles Coal Company worked here from 1887 to 1928.  It was a deep mine, complete with a tipple and mule barns.  The Company houses were built in rows.  Four Row was east by the two room school building.  Yellow Row was on both sides of the road through town.  Nine Row was south along the ridge above the mine.  Littles had a general store, a post office, a barber shop, a doctor’s office, and a hotel and depot.  A board walk ran between these buildings at the foot of the hill because of flooding in the low lying area the town was built on.  The church to the east still stands, rebuilt after a fire.  A few of the old houses still stand.

Stay warm tonight my friends.

A Winter Night & Remembering A Summer Morning

A few weeks of snow and ice and a little cabin fever has started to set in.  Christmas activities have been postponed or cancelled the past couple of weeks.   The Winslow Christmas Parade was rescheduled for tomorrow,  which I like that it is closer to Christmas.  I only hope the rains hold off for it now.

A little over a week ago looking north up my street.

A little over a week ago looking north up my street at the Methodist Church.

Tonight I am remembering an idyllic summer morning  in September.    I was invited by the Lamey’s to ride along on the 6th Annual Antique Tractor Drive and take some pictures.  I rode on a tram car with some other fine folks out enjoying the blue sky and rumbling of tractors.  It was such a peaceful morning wandering through the countryside of Pike County.  Each year with the help of Pike Central’s Art Department they put together a dvd with the history of the area we are driving through.  

Ordering information is in this blogpost:

I only rode for half of the trip.  We started in Hosmer or Glezen (whatever you prefer to call it), down through Littles, trailed around to Sugar Ridge, a little stretch up the highway then off of 1/2 Mile Hill, back to the Line Road, a drive thru at the nursing homes,  and down around until we ended up at Hornady Park for lunch.  

I would like to share my photos with you and maybe you can imagine the warm summer sun shining down on you this fine winter night.

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Support For The Barrett Memorial Library History Center

The Library Board met once again on a  Saturday morning and voted once again to give the old library building to the County.

What seems to be in question is if the County wants it.   The only Council or Commissioner member who has said anything about it is Jeff Nelson and he does not want it from what I have read.  I hope the County thinks long and hard about this.  I hope they make the decision to refuse the offer of the building.   They will be the ones who will be remembered for giving away the  history of Pike County.  They and the Library Board members who are voting against it.

Forever our history  will be gone from us.  Never will we get it back.  What a loss it would be.

I am just hoping for a change of heart in all of those involved.  Those that we elected and put our trust in to make our decisions and spend our tax dollars in our best interests.

I received this very lovely email today.  Just think how we could progress and move forward with our history and genealogy if we had the resources.

Dear Rose,

I stumbled across your blog this morning and was thrilled to see that someone has taken such a devoted interest not only in preserving Pike County’s history, but keeping it local and available to the community. I grew up in Pike County so its history is near and dear to my heart. In fact, it’s why I’m writing to you. I am currently getting my PhD in History at the University of Kentucky and my research is on coal miners and their families in Indiana, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky in the 1890s. Until I saw your blog, I had actually assumed that Pike County’s records were already up at Indy since many Indiana counties have sent their records there. That said, I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your efforts at keeping the library issue and Pike County history alive. Without your blog, I probably would have never known where to look for Pike County sources. Thank you!

 Also, I realize I’m a bit late to the game on the Barrett Library and I’m no longer a Pike County resident so I doubt anyone would care much about my opinion, but if there is any way I can help keep these documents in Pike County and open to the public, please let me know. Residents should be able to have access to their own past and that simply can’t happen if these records get sent to storage or Indy.
All the best,
 Dana Caldemeyer
I receive many such emails.
 One summer a few years back a lovely couple from Washington State arrived on my doorstep unannounced.  They were retired.  They spent their summers driving around in an RV working on their genealogy.  We talked for hours.  They stayed at Prides Creek and visited the library and local cemeteries.
Here are some recent blogs  from Jared in Arkansas,  researching his  Richardson family history in Pike County.
Read the comments others have left on my blogs in support of the history being kept here.  Many are people from out of state who travel here to find their history.
Library Board Members:

Donna Poehlin:   Voted against the History Center

Phillip Elkins:  Board President:  Voted against the History Center

Anisia Burkhart:  Voted For the History Center

M. Frank Ropp:  Voted against the History Center

James Dickerson:  Voted for the History Center

Sandra Ficklin:  Voted for the History Center

Robin Whaley:  Voted against the History Center

County Commissioners:  

Brian Davis

Jeff Nelson

Ryan Coleman

County Council :   

Max Elliott

Joe Sutton

Greg Willis

Myreon Krohn

Dennis Bishop

Randy Harris

Greg Mangin

Let’s see if we can change some minds and hearts to support the History Center!

A Trip to Patoka National Wildlife Refuge

My Momma and I decided to walk the trail at Maxey Marsh yesterday.  It was drizzling some rain then the sun popped out.  The fall colors were glowing.  It was gorgeous.  We drove the roads at the newly opened area of the Sycamore Land Trust.  My Momma had not been out there for years,  since it had been the old curvy Massey Road.  We talked about the man who had all of the old cars in sheds and truck beds that Dad used to trade with.  I wanted to share the photos of our outing.

Driving through the Ayrshire Road Barrens.

Driving through the Ayrshire Road Barrens.


The field on my brother’s farm.

I'm sure this Marsh has a name.  It was across the road from Snakey Point.

I’m sure this Marsh has a name. It was across the road from Snakey Point.

I like the tree and the colors.


Snakey Point Marsh

Snakey Point Marsh

Snakey Point when the sun came out.

Snakey Point when the sun came out.

Roads in the Sycamore Land Trust area

Roads in the Sycamore Land Trust area

Old Perlina Whitman's Barn

Perlina Whitman’s Old Barn

On the way home.

On the way home.

From the Sycamore Land Trust Page:   The Columbia Mine Preserve is now open for public use and enjoyment! Visitors are welcome to engage in passive recreational uses, including hiking, bird-watching, and photography. A Grand Opening Ceremony will be held on November 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

My friend Amber hosts a blog with nature photos taken around here.  Check it out at :

Barrett Memorial Library History Center

I am reposting this blog because the time is drawing near for the Library Board to make their decision concerning the empty Barrett Memorial LIbrary building.  Next Tuesday, October 8th the Board meets at 5:30 pm at the Petersburg Library Branch.  If they are going to keep this building standing and not tear it down, please let the Genealogical Society have a chance to make it work.  At least they have an opportunity to provide some income with their services.  If we give it to the County Commissioners it will  become one more building for the taxpayers to maintain with no source of income.  Then our records will go to the basements of several organizations in Indianapolis and not be available to the people of Pike County and the researchers coming to Pike County looking for their ancestors.   Genealogy is becoming more and more popular.  It would be a shame for Pike County to go in reverse instead of moving forward with the top notch Genealogical and Historical Societies they now have.

These are our Board Members.  Please send the library an email or give them a call showing your support of the project or stop in and sign the petition.  Also contact the Commissioners,  the County Council  and the School Board who appoint these members.

Donna Poehlin   Appointed by County Commissioners.

Phillip Elkins, Board President     Appointed by County Commissioners

Anisia Burkhart  Appointed by School Board

M. Frank Ropp   Appointed by County Commissioners

James Dickerson  Appointed by County Council

Sandra Ficklin  Appointed by School Board

Robin Whaley  Appointed by County Council.

Original Blog Post with contact information:

If you have been reading my blogs you will know there are two subjects near and dear to my heart, genealogy and history.

Keeping the old Barrett Memorial Library as a History Center combining the Historical Society and the Genealogical Society under one roof should be near and dear to all of us who care about the genealogy and history of Pike County.  The artifacts currently held and future donated artifacts to the Pike County Museum would also be displayed and available for viewing at this History Center.  I would be one of the first to volunteer my time to work there.

I just found out several weeks ago that this project was being brought forward again.  So I attended the Library Board Meeting last Tuesday to show my support.  I did not know this had been an ongoing subject the last few meetings and that the decision was nearly made to not go forward with the project.  Luckily for us, it was tabled until next month’s meeting on October the 8th at 5:30 pm.  These are my observations.

The only objection I thought the board had was  the cost or potential costs for the project.  They all seem to agree the history of Pike County was important.  A feasibility study had been done and it seemed to me that it was entirely possible for the library to fund the project.  Our library is in good financial shape.  Our new director is a recent IU grad and is doing many good things there that are bringing in patrons for new programs. The library is only moving forward, and that includes financially.   Although this wasn’t in the budget and the board is responsible for managing our money as taxpayers, as a taxpayer I can see no reason for the project not to go forward.

If we lose the history of our county, we can never get it back.

The Historical Society records and all of the artifacts housed in the dilapidated building that is the Pike County Museum would be donated to the library.  It is rarely open.  The Historical Society would then be under the library’s authority.  There would be set hours weekly for visiting, including a Saturday for out of town visitors.  If they are not donated to our County library, they will be donated to Indianapolis where they will be put in storage and unavailable to you as an individual to view.  You can ask to see them there and will be told they are unavailable to you.  The same goes for the courthouse record books that will be sent there.  Those books go back to the very early 1800s and will be unavailable to us.

Remember a few years ago the school researched and published a book “The Coal Miner’s Cry”?  What a great research tool and interesting reading that book has been.  I could see many class projects in the future if the records are available here in Pike County for the use of our Pike County citizens.  The kids could learn the skills of digitalizing records.  Write stories.  Do research.  Take the history and records away and that will never happen for our future generations.

I could go on all day.  Here is a link to the feasiblity study.

As you can see, it is doable.  Let’s open it for three years and see if it is financially stable.  If not, then we can always send the records and artifacts to be stored in Indianapolis.  We can always give the building to the county or city at that time.  We can always tear it down at that time.  It’s sat empty for a few years now and cost us more to keep it closed than it would have to open it as a History Center.  What would it harm to keep it a few more years to preserve history?  As a taxpayer, I say give it a chance.

If you know any of the library board members, you can express your support for the history center before next weeks meeting where they decide it’s fate. Phil Elkins, Donna Poehlin, Robin Whaley, Jim Dickerson, Anisia Burkhart, Sandra Ficklin, Frank Ropp.  

To show your support you can, send an email to or call 812 -354-6257 and it will be passed on.

You can even offer to donate artifacts you have and pledge financial donations.

Take this poll and the results will be passed on.  The poll is set up so that no one votes twice.

As always, you can comment below on my blog post.  I am looking forward to the future.  I hope you are too.

The current Pike County Library Mission Statement:  “The Pike County Library exists to provide information and services to people of all ages of Pike County for the purposes of recreational reading, education, reference, and the collection & preservation of history.”