~ 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

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Service at Mount Olivet, Gastonia ~

The Arrowood Family Crest

Mt. Olivet Methodist Church, Gastonia, North Carolina

I had the chance to go to a service at Mt. Olivet one bright day in May. The cars lined up along the road leading up to the tiny church. The sun shone bright against the dazzling white whitewash of the building. The doorway was small and narrow, inside were bare plank floors and you could smell the age of those boards. Not a bad smell, just a slightly musty, woody smell. I thought of the souls that had crossed that doorway a long time back..and I thought about the soles of the shoes that scuffed along those old worn boards. There was a spot empty beside the window, on the end of a pew and I found my seat. The window was large paned and held open by a chunk of wood. The smell of spring and honeysuckle coming through the open window is something I will not forget. Looking out that window, I could see the headstone of Welzia, my great grandpa. I looked at the pulpit and tried to imagine him standing there, delivering the sermon. Tall and dark haired, with a mustache.

There was an old upright piano before me to the right and on it a large vase of purple irises. My Dad's favorite. I let my heart be taken back to a simpler time and place.

Welzia and Isabell Correll Arrowood

Welzia was born February 28, 1860, in Yancey County, North Carolina. Born the son of Samuel Arrowood born about 1836, and Sarah Ellen Winters, born May of 1840, Carter County, Tennessee. Welzia was the firstborn son of six children.

On the 1880 census record of Harrell's Township, North Carolina, Isabell was living with her father David and her mother Nancy. Two houses down, in the home of James Garland, lived Welzia, working as a farm hand. One can only imagine how they met and fell in love. They were married that same year. Welzia was 19 and Isabell was 16.

Welzia worked in the Claire Mill as a dolfer and was also an ordained Methodist minister. From stories I have heard, he was a "circuit preacher" and would travel around when folks needed "preaching to".
For awhile, he and Isabell lived right by the mill. There is a water tower that stands just about where the house once stood, according to my Dad's descriptions. Gastonia has moved on and spread out and only the old store once attached to the mill remains.
Welzia and Isabell had a large family. Isabell was a no-nonsense sort of women, she took no "guff" off of anyone, according to my grandmother. She always wore an apron with big, deep pockets and carried things around with her most all the time. Grandma was intrigued by the woman, I could tell by her stories. She seemed almost to "know things" according to grandma.
Grandma thought it was because she had 'Indian Blood' in her..not sure about that as a fact.
Together they had twelve children, one of which was Lewis William Arrowood, my grandfather.
They lost one baby in infancy, Samuel, from choking on a peach pit. Then she lost Fielden three years after losing Welzia.

Welzia died at the age of 55 years from pnuemonia. He is buried alongside of Isabell in the Mt. Olivet Methodist Church cemetery in Gastonia. Early on, Mt. Olivet was known as Ebeneezer Methodist Church. The Gaston Gazette newspaper ran an article about area old churches and published a picture of the church with Welzia's stone in the foreground. My Dad was so excited about that article.
My Dad, Steve Arrowood, never had a chance to know his grandfather. Steve was born about 16 years after Welzia's death. Welzia was way too young to die.

Isabell was born to David and Nancy Harrington Correll. Her family and her were listed on the census of 1880 in Harrell's Township in Mitchell County, North Carolina. After Welzia's death she went to live with her daughter's family, Esther and George Long on the Modena Extension in Gastonia. Esther was a twin to my grandfather, Lewis William. Isabell fell while living there and broke her hip, she became partially bedridden and never really recovered. She developed pnuemonia and died. Isabell was 72 years, 8 months and 18 days old at the time of her death and she was buried alongside Welzia.
I cherish the memories of my own grandparents. I had all four until I was 18 years old. Makes me feel very lucky to have had them. Those memories are cherished.

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