~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~

The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.

I am in search of my family.

I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.

I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.

~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~

Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.

Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.


"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."

~You live as long as you are remembered.~

"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown

"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."


Arrowood Family

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Great Grand-daughter of Steve Arrowood,
Grand-daughter of Becky Arrowood Kendrick.


She is the third great grand-daughter of Welzia Arrowood~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Candolier

Isn’t it strange how a certain smell or sight can invoke memories?

Fresh popped popcorn.

The smell of popcorn transports me back in time to the sticky floor and the velvet seats of the movie theatre. The Webb Theatre was downtown still, even in my early adulthood, having seen it’s heyday when my parents were young.

Magic carpet style, I am transported with one whiff of the buttery, unmistakable smell.

The things and objects from our childhood evoke that same sort of magic.

Grandma’s house had the smell of roses. It had a wonderful undercurrent smell, that was there, no matter what. She used a rose sachet and a rose smelling spray, that she loved.

Unmistakably, Grandma.

She had a ‘candelabra’ of sorts, called a ‘candolier’ that was made of molded plastic. It had seven or eight candles that held flickering bulbs that emanated a soft light of welcome in the front picture window at the Holidays. It’s bulbs were painted red and orange, sort of like a candle’s real flame.

That candle in the window was the sign of welcome that every kid looked for.
I can remember spying that glow from the driveway and running the walk of the front yard to get to the door first.

Christmas time transformed her house into a wonderful place. Holly strung from every door frame and lights were everywhere. It was special for a kid. Grandma’s love made it so.

I went to an indoor “yard sale” of sorts, recently. A church ran facility.
The tables were endless and the piles of junk were tremendous. The very sort of place my Dad would have loved to search for 'treasures'.

I started down each aisle, looking, and enjoying seeing things that reminded me of the past.

Old style wooden school desks, just like the ones that I sat in during my grade school years.

I was taken back to the wavy tiled floor of the old Central Elementary where I began my schooling.

The smell of chalk board erasers. The old doors to each classroom were huge and towering to a small kid. The transoms imposing over each one, open to allow the air flow into the class. The old building had a charm all it’s own. My grandmother had begun her schooling there as well, so it was a treasure of a schoolhouse.

Next stop down my own “memory lane”, I spied an old sewing chest filled to the brim with treasures.
I found a tiny pair of scissors that would do just perfect for me, when I needed to snip the threads of some of my needlework. I fingered through the threads and bobbins and my heart went back again, to grandma and her sewing notions that were always close by her.

The smell of the cotton thread was a memory in and of itself.

I ventured on and down an aisle of shelves that held old Christmas decorations. I had to smile.
There were hand made ornaments, no doubt made by tiny, thick fingers, but made with love.
There were painted reindeer and Santa's, there were ceramic ones and plastic ones.
Most were jumbled or tarnished, some were broken and not so pretty anymore, but once they were magical through a kid’s eyes.

Russ appeared at the head of another aisle, holding something aloft triumphantly, and smiling.

I headed toward him.

In his hand he held 'Christmas Magic'.
A wonderful treasure.

It was a candolier.
Not just any old candolier, but one very much like what my Grandmother had in her front window.

No bulbs. Old style plastic, maybe even Bak-e-lite.

There were the familiar ‘drips’ of ‘wax’ down each candle made of hardened plastic. The cord was old, the plug in was not shaped the same as those of today. It was complete with an old cardboard piece that fit snuggly up into the base, covering the wiring.

I slipped away in thought, quietly, and I could hear Grandma saying, 'now be extra careful when you plug that in, whatever you do', 'Do NOT “Elexocute” yourself'.

Grandma had a way of taking words and making them her own; her own whimsical version. I can still see her smile as she said it.

The only thing missing was the strand of plastic holly that she had woven in and out, between each candle.

No problem with that, easy enough.

Christmas is here. :-)

Christmas in Gastonia, NC. Main Street 1954~

Friday, December 18, 2009

Memories of Dad at Christmas Time~

Dad was such a fun, unique personality.

We went to Mexico in the summer of 2002 and stayed at a resort in Playa Del Carmen, a sleepy little town that lies just south of Cancun. We explored the “Avenue Cinco” in Playa and Dad was just elated to be there. He marveled at the ingenuity of the Mexican architecture, even down to the pedestal beds at the resort. He ventured out ahead of us, each morning before daylight, eager to see what he could see.

He was always so fun to be around because he welcomed each new happening in life as an exciting new door to open. I saw the place anew through his enthusiasm and joy, simply being there was joy to him.

I wish that enthusiasm for life for everyone, to greet the morning sun with an anticipating smile, with the wonderful prospect that the day holds, stretched out before us, like a dazzling gem. Each day is a new page to turn, a new chapter to begin. That next day begins the rest of our lives. God gives us this gift every morning. A new food to try, a new experience, like jumping off a ledge into a ceynote without a thought....Dad was really into life and never failed to try new things. Even eating cactus, pan grilled..grin.

When the time came, Dad was not ready to let life go.

I guess none of us are. He loved living. We all have a time allotted for us to be here on earth, and I suppose that God in his wisdom decided that Dad’s time had passed. We do not know how many days we are destined to live, this very day may be our last. We must remember this and live each moment as if it were the very last.

No regrets.

Dad whispered to me in his final moments. I hear it sometimes, when I am just about to fall asleep. I hear that whisper when I am sitting at my desk at work. When I am miles away in thought, working on something, that small whisper will somehow find me.

He said,“ I don't know how much longer I can do this”.

He was clinging to life, desperately hanging on with all his might. He did not want to let go. He did not want to leave us, despite the pain. That invisible thread that holds us here on this earth..once it slips from our grasp we slip over to the other side, and we are gone. Dad had a hold on that string, holding tight.

He was not quite ready to let go of his grasp. That haunts my heart and I guess it always will. Struggling as he was, he still did not want to leave us all. That was pure strength. Strength of Heart. Strength of Spirit. Strength of Faith.

Dad was always taking care of those that needed taking care of. He bathed my Mom's father near the end of his life, when dementia had it's ugly grip on the man. Dad did above and beyond what many son-in-law's would have done. He simply saw the need and stepped up to the plate. He extended that same selfless kindness to countless others. Breakfast to an elderly man that lived alone. A flowery apron brought to an older lady that had very little that was "pretty". Age did not matter to Dad, neither did the color of the person's skin, or how much they possessed in this life. If there was a need for a 'hand', there was Dad to extend it.

Steve was not an openly religious man, not one that attended church services regularly, but he was of God. God's love showed through him, without a doubt.

Sometimes rough around the edges, but the heart was made of gold.

Godspeed toward the place where all happy, blessed souls in Heaven gather at Christmastime.

May Angels Surround You In Heaven, Dad.

I miss you.

Scenes of Christmas in NC ~ Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Belmont, NC

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, North Carolina

(Click on the pictures, to get larger, better ones!)

Christmas Tree of Orchids

Tell Santa What You Want

Wall of Orchids

A Flash of Purple

Lighted Walkway

Mossy Orchids

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides to see the Lighted Gardens

Monday, December 14, 2009

Angel Of Maupin Row ~ Reecie Arrowood

Reecie Arrowood

The Angel of Maupin Row
By Eddie Le Sueur
Printed in the Johnson City Press

Reecie Tipton was only 18 when she fell in love with Theodore Roosevelt Arrowood.
She was so impressed with the young Brethren Church circuit preacher that she married him, leaving her Limestone Cove home for a life of service to others.
Though the Arrowoods had seven children — Mary, Teddy, Betty Lou, Joseph, Henry, Nancy and Brenda — they did not depend on the five churches he served in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee for their living.
Brenda remembers waking up to her mother singing in the kitchen as she made her husband’s breakfast each morning in time for him to get to his full-time jobs at Southern Maid (Foremost) Dairy and Tri-Cities Beverages in Johnson City.
While Theodore was away preaching, Reecie started taking their young children to services at the Salvation Army. Theodore would join them on Wednesday nights when he was home and, before long, he “fell in love with the organization,” Henry said.
According to Henry, the Salvation Army held a tent revival that lasted a lot longer than they planned and Theodore was one of the preachers brought in to keep things going.

That revival led to the establishment of the outpost in the Johnson City community known as Maupin Row. Theodore gave up preaching on the circuit and he and Reecie joined the Salvation Army and started serving the many families in that area.
Brenda, their youngest daughter, remembers her parents as strict but with lots of “love and happiness."

“Momma was the fourth of eight children and had a humble beginning. They grew up in Limestone Cove in Unicoi County. She quit school when she was 13 and got a job in a laundry to help out her family."
“Momma loved all the people that attended the church. They were a part of our family and momma always treated them like her children. She would scold them when they needed it and love them no matter what.”

Brenda was a member of her mother’s nursery class and recalls her always having a “flannel board” to which she would affix the pictures of biblical figures and events. “All the children would sit in our child-size chairs around the small tables and listen to every word. We got to eat buttered toast while we listened.
“That was probably why we were so quiet, our mouths were full. Momma was involved in the Home League (the women’s program), Sunbeams and Girl Guards” (groups similar to Brownies and Girl Scouts). Reecie taught the girls how to make a bed and properly set a table, among other things.

“Whenever and wherever momma was needed, she was there. If someone in the church was sick and needed help, she and a group of the women of the Home League would go and see what needed to be done, whether it was cleaning or bringing food.
“Momma would also look out for neighbors too. Many times she sent food to an elderly couple that lived behind us.”

The Arrowoods lived on the end of Lamont Street nearest downtown and the bus station. The Veterans Administration was at the other end of the street.
Brenda said many World War II veterans would get off the bus downtown and walk up the street on their way to Mountain Home.

“They would knock on our door asking for something to eat. Momma would always fix them a sandwich. Apparently word of her generosity spread because more and more people came by. She always took care of them.”

Betty recalls, “We went to church on Sunday and I was always bringing someone home with me. Mom said, ‘Bring them on over... we’ll put another tater in the pot.’ ”
“We had a sign in our home, ‘The Lord Will Provide.’ Momma lived by that sign,” Brenda said.

“We were not a wealthy family but we were blessed,” Betty said. “Some of the best memories I have are waking up to mom singing while she was preparing my dad’s breakfast.”

The Salvation Army salary barely covered the Arrowood’s out-of-pocket expenses so Theodore kept working regular jobs to provide for his family.

“He had to be at work for the dairy company at 4 or 5 a.m. so she was up fixing his breakfast. I honestly don’t see how she did all the things she did.

“We were not allowed to go to the movies because they were of the world.
“Finally, when I was 11, my aunt talked my mother into letting me go. It was ‘Gone With The Wind.’ I was so excited I could hardly contain myself,” Betty said.

“I am thankful for the Christian upbringing by my momma and daddy. That foundation has kept me solid. In these difficult times, if my momma was still alive, she would say, ‘Praise the Lord anyhow!’ ” Brenda said.

Betty again echoes her sister’s heartfelt sentiments.

“We had a good life because of the way that we were raised. None of my brothers and sisters ever got in trouble — not in bad trouble, anyway, except with mom and dad.
“Today, even though my children are grown and I have four grandchildren, my desire is to be the kind of mother, grandmother, witness and friend that earned my mom the title of ‘angel,’ ” Betty said.

Before retiring, Reecie became a full major. Her title “angel” became eternal when she rejoined Theodore in 2003. She was 91.

Though the old Maupin Row outpost no longer exists, it remains vivid in the memories of thousands of people who were helped there.

So too is the memory of the kind faces of the pair who made it happen.

“Theirs was a partnership in Christian service,” Henry said. “They epitomized servanthood.”

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Preacher Man named Theodore ~

Theodore Arrowood

By Eddie Le Sueur

Theodore Roosevelt Arrowood climbed the steps to the podium.
He stood, motionless and silent before the throng. Those preceding him had exhibited their talent for song, dance and country music, and now it was his turn.

He grasped the makeshift podium as the bespectacled announcer exclaimed, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, Theodore Arrowood will preach for us.”

The orator took a deep breath. “My b-b-beloved brethren,” he stuttered to a start. “I am a unlarnt, hard-shell Baptist preacher, of whom you’ve no doubt hearn afore, and I now appear here to expound the Scripters and point out the narrow way which leads from a vain world to the streets of Jaroolsalem.”

The crowd roared to laughter and applause for the 12-year-old speaker, their fellow student from the Poplar Station community of Mitchell County, N.C.

Theodore was following in the footsteps of his beloved father, Sam. He had watched and listened, and rehearsed his recitation for over a month, according to his own son, Henry, who recounted the story of Theodore’s bravest moment nearly a century before.

“He thought he was ready, but when all those eyes focused on him, he was scared,” Henry said. “The fear of making a fool of himself and embarrassing his father was excruciating.”

When Theodore reached the end of his sermon, the audience sprang to its feet, clapping and whistling.
“Little Theodore” was a hit. But they had no idea where his newfound courage would lead.

Though he might have been scared when he started, Theodore became comfortable behind the podium. In time, his voice would ring out to believers, and the depth of his commitment to them, and the needy, would be difficult to measure by modern standards.

Theodore was ordained as a Brethren Church minister in 1936 and preached a circuit of five churches — plus a sixth on that hard-to-cover fifth Sunday — in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee for the next two decades.

He did not depend on the churches for his livelihood. Instead he also worked full-time jobs at Southern Maid (Foremost) Dairy and Tri-Cities Beverages in Johnson City.

The path of his preaching led him to Reecie Tipton, one of eight children from a family in Limestone Cove, and they were married when she was 18. The Arrowoods had seven children — Mary, Teddy, Betty Lou, Joseph, Henry, Nancy and Brenda.

In the early years, Reecie would pack up their children on Saturday and travel with him to wherever he was preaching. Over time, that became too hard to do and she reluctantly let him “go it on his own,” Henry said.

Theodore and Reecie found another calling, almost by accident.

Reecie began taking their children to church at the Salvation Army while Theodore was away.

Soon he joined them on Wednesday nights, and before long “fell in love with the organization,” Henry said.

“It started with a tent revival that was supposed to last one week, but the crowds kept growing night after night. Because it lasted so long, other preachers were brought in to keep things going. Daddy was one of them.

“A Mr. Range, who was a prominent community leader and philanthropist, was impressed with dad’s ability to ‘speak the people’s language.’ ”

Range saw the need and gave the money to build the outpost in the middle of the Johnson City community known as Maupin Row. Theodore gave up his churches and was commissioned as Corps Sergeant Major, the chief lay officer, and Reecie’s dream was fulfilled when she and her husband commenced their new ministry.

For the next quarter-century, they served the Salvation Army. Theodore became a fixture in the community, especially during the holidays, when he rang the familiar Salvation Army bell, raising money for those in need.

Theodore continued to serve even to his later years, when health problems made it difficult for him to stand. He became a legend as the top collector of charity for the Salvation Army drive and participated in his final one less than a month before he was “promoted to Glory” in December 1994.

Theodore Arrowood was the son of Samuel Arrowood,Jr.

Samuel Jr. was the son of Samuel Arrowood, our 2nd Great grandfather.

Samuel Jr. was a brother to our Welzia.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter Settles Into the Bones

Winter is finally settling into the bones of the earth.

Earth has started to pull her woolen sweater closer around herself, and bow to face the harsh cold winds.

The ground has browned over and the leaves are scattered and dry, floating into the wind, plastering themselves haplessly, against fence posts.

The air takes on a new smell this time of year.

Gone is the sweet hay dried smell from the fields and the sweet apple-like smell from the air. It is replaced with a sharp smell that is hard to describe. The smell of artic air. Cold and metallic.

The cold winds blow over the fields that were green until the very last moment. Autumn is slow to leave in the Carolinas. It hangs on and acts as if it is never leaving. Then with a swoosh and a flurry, it is gone. Winter arrives without much announcement.

The trees, left bare boned, seem almost sad.
Limbs drooping at the prospect of bracing for another brutal assault of ice.

We tend to have more ice storms here, than actual snow. Whatever starts out as snow, high above, will melt and refreeze as it falls, leaving us with the ice. Downed tree limbs and power outages.

Winter takes me back in time to cold days spent with my grandparents. Days before school and holiday days off. The heater was slightly smelly and heated the front room to such a degree that clothes were optional on my young self. My grandparents still bundled up around it, the old bones still very much feeling the cold.

I would come in and head for the heater. I would place my mitten’d hands on it’s warm side. The glow from the heater dancing a red- orange tint on the still dimly lit front room. I can still see Grandma sitting in her rocker by the heater. No socks. Socks were a rare thing for Grandma, much less shoes. She was a free soul. She preferred the feel of the earth beneath her. She wore no shoes for most of the year. Unless she was headed out to town or church, then, on those occasions she would don high heels. She wore snazzy shoes. Always snazzy high fashion shoes, she loved them!

Never the sensible brogans of an older lady, that was simply not her.

The smell of coffee brewing with a chill in the air, takes me to that winter time at grandma and grandpa’s house. The outer rooms of the house were shut off from the main area, and not heated.

The warmer area around that heater and the front room was where everyone gathered. The central gathering place during the holidays.

Christmas at Grandma’s was magic. Magic in it’s purest form.

From the maraschino cherries floating in the red punch to the golden metallic leaves adorning the chocolate cake.

There were glowing Christmas lights in the front picture window, beckoning all to enter in.

There was pure Christmas magic in that house.

It wasn’t about the gifts. We all got something wrapped under the tree, but it was about more, much more, than presents.

It was the magic of love. Pure love flowed through that house. We were all together. We were a family. It was Christmas time. Time to celebrate and gather. Time to be together. All of us.

It just doesn’t get more magical that that.

With all the children, the grandchildren, the friend’s and others that came, we had over 40 each year in that house. With the passing of my grandmother, that magic just never was there again. Grandpa followed soon after losing grandma. An era was over. But the magic will never be forgotten by those that lived it.

Merry Christmas everyone.


The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because
she only had a few, and it was easier to wash aprons than dresses, and they used
less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans
from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for
cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and
sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow,
bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture
that old apron could dust, in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the
men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-
time apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.

Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Missing In Action ~ Linnie

On November 04, 1920, Samuel Arrowood, Jr. and his second wife, Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie" Whaley had a baby boy.

Samuel, Jr. was the son of Samuel and Sarah Ellen Winters Arrowood.

Samuel Arrowood, Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth Whaley Arrowood.

Samuel Jr. was a younger brother of our Welzia, born three years after Welzia.

Samuel, Jr. and Lizzie Whaley Arrowood named their baby boy Linnie.

(Annie Griffith Arrowood, Samuel Jr’s. first wife had passed away on January 09, 1919. Samuel Jr and Annie had thirteen children together, during this first marriage.)

Linnie grew up and married a pretty girl, named Maedell Bradley.

This is Linnie and Maedell Bradley Arrowood.

They had a darling daughter, Linda Mae, on Christmas Day, 1943. Linnie was 23 and Maedell was 19 years old.

Linnie enlisted into the US Army Air Corps on October 6, 1942, just shy of his 22nd birthday and served as Staff Sargeant. He and his mate, Louis "Bobby" Machovec were flying a mission over the English Channel, when the battle damaged airplane they were in, plummeted into the water. Lost forever. The remains were never recovered. He died a hero.

Baby girl, Linda, was just a little over a year old, when her father died. I can only imagine the anguish, over this loss, that young Maedell must have endured. Alone, a single mother, and a widow, at such a young age.

Linnie has a memorial marker at the Veterans Hospital, Mountain Home National Cemetery, in Johnson City, Tennessee. Maedell is buried alongside it. His marker is in section - MA Site 19 .

Rest in peace, cousin. You served your country and gave your all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Etched in Stone ~ A Labor of Love

As the years have passed, and the search for my roots has unfolded, I have come to think in ways I never thought of before.

I find myself filled with speculation, as to why things happen they way they do.

Why do some souls live to a ripe old age, while other’s life cycles begin and end in one, fleeting, day’s time?

The grand scheme of things is held safely in the hand of a higher power, of this I am certain, and such is not for us, just mere mortal man, to know.

But the questions still abound.
Would we still be human if we did not wonder about it all?

There will always be the “ Why’s?” and the “How Comes“.

I know we are all here for a purpose, we are here to learn from one another and love one another, of that I feel certain.

I see the beauty and the wonderment that this wonderful world has to offer and it makes me want to drink it all in, slowly.
Like a perfect cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s night.
Like a tangy cup of cold lemonade on a blistering day in August.

Something worth savoring.

I want to cherish and live, each and every moment that I am blessed with.

My mind wanders off to the mountain near Relief, N.C., often.

There is a mountain that rises steeply behind a little country church, there in the tiny Mitchell County community. The church sits nestled at the bottom of the rise and the pine trees tower overhead.

The pine trees know the story.

They have stood by silently as the years have marched past. Silently watching as the seasons come and go. Oh, they know for certain. Branches stirring with the breeze , as if they are waving a polite greeting to all who venture near.

If those trees could only tell you all that they have seen. At the base of one of those tall, ancient pines, high up on that ridge, lies a single soul.

A soul long gone.

There is a yellowish stone.

Not a monumental marker, but a lasting marker, just the same. A rectangular stone with a simple cross etched into it. No name, no date.

If you were to pass by, most likely you would not even see it.
The pine needles fall thickly up there and they quickly cover the stone.

A single soul laid to rest on the highest part of the ridge. They were carried up and placed lovingly by those that were left behind.

This solitary soul, laid to rest, apart from others.

Or are there more here?
Are there others nearby, whose markers have long since vanished?
Is this soul surrounded by those that they loved, or are they all alone?

Was this place requested by the person, prior to their death?
Or was this place chosen for them, out of the love for the beauty of the area, and a love for the person?

Was the stone carved right on the spot or carved and carried up there?

Was the person a child or someone’s parent? Young perhaps, or old and wise from the years?

What time of year was it when they buried the poor soul?

Was it cold and bitter winter, when the ground was hard and unforgiving?
Or was it mild and sweet spring, when the grasses were tender and the sun was beginning to warm the earth?

Is this our relative, of our own blood, with no one left that remembers them?

Who ever lies underneath those pines in eternal slumber, was one that was remembered, one that was loved.

That is all any of us can ever hope for. To be loved and remembered.

Love lives forever.


On the mountain above Brummitts Creek Brethren Church, around the mountain from Relief. Climb a path that runs diagonally up the bank of the incline. At the ‘saddle’ of the ‘hill’ you will see the abandoned Mary Whitson Cemetery on your right. Turn to your left and climb the ridge up through the pines. When you reach the top of the first rise, you will see that the ridge rises again. The cemetery is almost to the top of the second rise.
There is nothing there but the stone, amid a bed of pine needles. It is very easy to miss it, but it is at the highest point of the ridge, measuring crosswise. There is also a dilapidated barbed wire fence running along the top of the ridge in places.

ACCESSIBILITY: Very difficult! The climb to the grave is only for fit persons. CONDITION: Abandoned.

1. Yellowish rectangular stone, with a simple cross etched on the face. No name or dates.


Monday, November 16, 2009

A Sister’s Love ~ The Correll Family

David and Nancy Harrington Correll were married about 1862 in Tennessee. They had eight children:
Isabell- born 1862, Mary Calla- born 1864, James - born 1868, Nancy- born 1872, Jarrett- born abt. 1869, Thomas- born 1870, William - born 1873 and Arminta- born 1877.

Isabell Correll married our Welzia Augustus Arrowood and started our line of Arrowood’s in the Gastonia area.

Thomas married Annie Evelyn Waldrupe about 1894. Thomas was born in Harrell’s Township, Mitchell County, North Carolina, the family moved later to Happy Valley, Blount County, Tennessee.

He and Annie had thirteen children. Two of those children were Ruby and Minnie. Ruby was born on February 13, 1908. Minnie followed soon after, on April 25, 1911.

Sister, Ollie Correll, was born on December 25, 1894, she was the eldest of the children. She would walk to work escorted by her boyfriend, on most days. One day in January of 1916, she made her way to work, apparently unaware that little Minnie and Ruby were following along the path, behind her. The snow and the weather had probably caused the creek to swell to a scary and fast moving body of water. Cold water.

Little Ruby, 7 years old, and Minnie, 5, followed Ollie, across the creek on a makeshift bridge and either one slipped in, and the other followed, or they both went in together. Sadly, their young lives were taken that day.

They drowned together on January 2, 1916. Swept downstream in a rapid torrent of water.

When they were found, they were still holding hands.
Together in eternity. I can only imagine what their poor mother endured that sad day.

Ollie must have blamed herself for the tragedy, a heavy burden for an older sister to carry. Ollie was about 20 in 1916, at the time of the accident.

Ruby and Minnie were buried together and share a marker at Redtop Primitive Church Cemetery in Happy Valley. Two little sisters, side by side, forever.

Ollie, the elder sister, lived to be 69 years old. She passed away on 12/06/1964 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She married Tolbert Delsmer Hensley. Together, they had eight children. On the 1920 Census she and Tolbert were living in Knox County, TN with their daughter, Lillie, age 2 ½ years old.

Thomas and Annie were both passed away and gone by the year of 1927. Thomas died at age 51 years and Annie passed at age 47.
They are buried at Redtop Primitive Church Cemetery, in Happy Valley.

Not far away, in Boone Cemetery, rests David and Nancy Correll. William, son of David and Nancy, along with his wife, Nancy Gardner Correll, also rests in Boone Cemetery.

Nancy C. Correll, sister to Thomas and Isabell, was born January 17, 1872. She married Thomas Grant Garland on May 30, 1893. They had five children. Nancy and Thomas Garland are buried there at Redtop Primitive Church as well.

Sister, Mary Calla, is buried alongside her parents in Boone Cemetery, just up the way, in Happy Valley.

Brother, James, is buried at Redtop, along with his wife Annie.

Arminta “Minty” Correll married Henry Watson Sellars and had a large brood of ten children. Arminta passed away on March 26, 1918, in Happy Valley, Tennessee.

That peaceful valley holds quite a few of our family safely, in heavenly rest. Quite a beautiful place for a final resting spot.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wonderful Apple Crisp


4 apples - peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a 9 inch square baking pan, mix sliced apples with brown sugar. In a large bowl
mix together flour, white sugar, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, beat together egg and melted butter. Stir into flour mixture. Spread evenly over apples.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until topping is golden and crisp.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Saylor's Sunrise~ Sweet Mountain Apples

When I was a little girl, and the leaves began to turn, I knew it was about time.

Time for autumn, the fall of the year.
Time for apple cider, and warm fuzzy sweaters.

Apple butter on warm toast.

With the chill in the air, and the clear blue of the 'almost dusk' sky, my thoughts turn back to the mountains.

Time for apples.

The smell of fireplace wood smoke, as evening is coming on, holds something special for me.

October falls softly in Carolina.
Like a spent leaf sighing slowly to the earth.

Time to gather round the hearth.

My grandpa had such a love for the mountains. He was ready, no matter what time of year it was, to get in the car, and head for the “hills”. We lived in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Just some low rising hills around . The mountains of the area, are not really what I would consider to be mountains, they are really tall “hills“.

The mountains call me back ‘home’ this time of year, every year, it is just in my blood. Can’t seem to help myself.

When there is still some color in the trees, the air is crisp, and the skies are blue, it is time.

We would stop along the way, at a roadside stand, for apples, cider, and honey. The signs were emblazoned on the path and beckoned you to stop for quite a ways before you actually got there. Excitement growing with each new sign.

A rite of the changing seasons, this journey to the mountains.
Indelibly imprinted on me, just like heading to Filbert, South Carolina when summer peaches are ripe and sweet. The best place in the world for peaches.

It is just something that you do.
Part of who you are.
Part of where you come from.

On our recent trip up to “the mountains” , the smell of sweet apples, and the hope of the tartness to come, lured me to stop along side the highway to sample them. We came back with more than enough for the both of us.

I like the ones that my grandma always called "poppy". The ones that are sweet up front, after the first bite, then they cause that tingle along your jawline. That tingle of slightly tartness. Do you know the ones? The 'poppy' ones..you know. Grin.

We stopped at Saylor’s Orchard, in Bakersville, NC. We were not disappointed. My friend, Jack, at the Grist Mill, highly recommended these apples. They call their ‘signature’ apple the “ Saylor’s Sunrise“.

They are awesome!
Golden, red, and delicious.

Saylor’s is owned and operated by Jim and Jean Saylor. You can’t miss it, you can see it from the road. The view of the valley from their apple stand is an added bonus. While we were there , a deer passed in the orchard, down below.

A beautiful sight.

When I walked into the apple store, I was entranced with the sweet, tantalizing smell of mountain apples.
It was so thick with fragrance, that it made you feel like you had stepped inside of a basket of apple blossoms.

Stop by and get a large bag of those fragrant apples . You will be glad you did.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Grist Mill on Cane Creek ~ Dellinger Mill

On the ride up the mountains, to Mitchell and Yancey counties, I had time to quietly think. I thought about simpler times, a time that my ancestors knew well. I thought about surviving during cold, harsh winters in an unforgiving forest. I thought about storing up food and wood , to keep your family safe and warm during the cruel winter months. It had to have been difficult, not an easy life. "Survival" was in every waking thought, no doubt.

As we winded our way along the curvy mountain roads, I thought about a horse and wagon making that steep ascent up the mountain . Not a wonderful thought. I remember my grandfather telling the tale of coming to Gastonia from Shelby with a wagon and a mule. But then again, that is pretty much flat lands compared to Mitchell County.

We found our way to Hawk, North Carolina and followed the signs to the Dellinger Grist Mill. The wood sign along the road proclaims the Grist Mill’s rightful place on the National Historical Registry.

The Dellinger Grist Mill.
I was told a story, under tall pine trees, that gently sifted down sweet smelling pine needles, with each gentle breeze. A story about a mule named “Jack" and a small boy that played along that creek and was taught how to grind the corn into cornmeal.

We were finally there. What a moment of discovery.

This mill has been in the Dellinger family for over 130 years.

It sits nestled in the trees, in a low place by the road. Sitting proudly alongside Cane Creek, with it’s clear, cold, water surging past it. A relic from another time and place, it has reclaimed it’s glory, and grinds away, just as it always has.

We were greeted with a warm handshake and a smile to match, when we entered the drive. It was Jack Dellinger, owner of the mill. His great-great-grandfather Henry (Georg Heinrich) Dellinger and mine, are one and the same, (my 4th great grand). That is where our life paths connect.

I felt like I had just “come home”. His face 'lit up' when I told him my connection. He has a deep, rich, family history flowing in those waters of Cane Creek. He also has a deep 'river of love' for the place, flowing through himself. You cannot help but feel that love. It just spills over like water over the dam, just up-creek about 200 yards.

Oh yes, back to the story of the mule. Jack’s grandfather, David Dellinger, had two mules, one named “Ruby” and one named “Jack”. He thinks that just maybe, just perhaps, he himself, is named after that mule. I sort of doubt that, but it does make one pause for thought, a smile slowly spreading, as he tells that story.

He is a storyteller from the heart, for sure. Simply captivating. He knows that place by every stone and stick. He restored the mill, saving it from certain ruin and loss. He restored it back into operation, but not by 'conventional methods' alone, but by the love he poured back into it.

He told me that he had retired, without a hobby, to keep him busy. No golf for him. So one thing led to another, and he began the difficult task of restoration. After getting permission from the 'Missus’' first, of course. (grin) One man and one mill, and a wonderful legacy of love, that just won’t quit. We walked across a log foot path that crossed the creek, to the site where the Cane Creek Church once stood.

We saw the old chimney of the homestead of Jack's grandfather, now gone. I touched that cold hearthstone and imagined the fireplace glowing, and a family gathered round the warmth.

He has grits and cornmeal for sale, ground on the premises, of course, just the way that our great-great grandfather did it. He will autograph your book, if you ask him kindly. The book is a treasure trove of Dellinger information.

He has a wonderful DVD that tells the story, too.

But don’t take my word for it. Go see the mill for yourself. Go meet the man full of love for the old Dellinger Grist Mill. Hear him tell the tale. Maybe you will get lucky and get the warm, genuine, bear hug that I got. We are family, after all. You will come away richer and with a better understanding of our past, just as I did. Tell Jack “Hello!” for me.

Directions to Dellinger Mill:

From I-40 in North Carolina or I-81 in Tennessee and from the Blue Ridge Parkway:

Go to Bakersville, the county seat of Mitchell County, NC.

There is one traffic light in Bakersville and it is located adjacent to the courthouse. Turn onto Mitchell Avenue going east, which becomes Cane Creek Road
( State Road 1211 ) as you leave Bakersville. Go exactly four (4) miles, with no turns. Dellinger Mill has a large wooden sign on the right side of the road. The mill parking lot is near the Mill, down the access road on the right side of Cane Creek Road.