~ 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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Love Story II

My grandfather was a widower at the young age of 25. He had a small son with no mother. Almost two years after the death of his first wife, Edith, Lewis William Arrowood remarried. He met and fell in love with another beautiful young woman.

On May 14, 1927, in York, South Carolina, just over the line from North Carolina, he married my grandmother, Maude Rose Hull. York was where everyone went to get married. It was simple, fast and not expensive. Maude was about nineteen years old. She was the daughter of Eli Burton Hull and Vergie Dellinger Hull. Eli Burton and Vergie Hull are buried at Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Lincoln County, N.C. Eli Burton was the son of Elias Morgan Hull, born June 17, 1833, in Lincoln County, North Carolina and Margaret (Maggie) Pendleton, born on June 09, 1844. Elias Morgan and Margaret Pendleton Hull are also buried at Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Lincoln County, N.C. Maude’s grandfather Elias Morgan, died six days after her marriage to Lewis.

Virgie Dellinger was the daughter of David Alphonso Dellinger and Rachel Rosena Patterson Dellinger. They were both from Catawba County, North Carolina . I have the Hull lineage traced back another three generations back from Elias Morgan. The Dellinger side tracks back about seven more generations from David Alphonso, to Dillingen, Bayern, Germany. They were a prolific lot of people, evidently. Interesting, hardy folk.

The spot where I found the highest concentration of Hull family graves in NC is not very far from where I live, in Hull’s Grove. There, while going to the town well to get water (an everyday event), Vergie Dellinger saw Eli Burton sitting tall upon a horse. She “set her cap” for him and told a friend, “that was the man she was going to marry" , and marry him, she did.

Maude had long dark hair that hung in ringlets. Her hair was dark with very little gray when she died at the age of 74. She smelled of lilacs and roses because of the perfumed sachets she wore, that she kept on her dresser. The smell of her is as familar as my favorite pajama's and I treasure that memory. She was an extraordinary person and the grandma that every little girl dreams of. She was quite a character at times and moved the furniture in the living room, so we could turn cartwheels.

She loved to cook and feed people. You simply could not come into the house without eating something. She was not your typical cook, you never knew what it was going to be. It may have looked like a wonderful chocolate cake, but what ever flavoring she had, she used. So you simply braced yourself.
She had a large glass punch bowl set that my father gave her. Punch was served at ALL Christmas gatherings and there were maraschino cherries in the punch and lots of them. You could scoop all the cherries you wanted and grandma never said a word.

She loved parakeets and had several through the years. She occasionally would let the bird sit in the sun and sometimes the cage would get left open and the little bird would fly away. Not to worry. She would walk out into the yard and call that little bird and sure enough, it would come back to the lady that loved it. The bird would try to nest in her dark curls that she wound on the top of her head and she would laugh at his antics.

The smell of magnolias warming in the sun reminds me of my grandmother. She would float the blossoms in the kitchen sink and the aroma would fill the house. There was a huge magnolia tree in the yard, by the house.

The smell of chicken simmering and warm bread toasting takes me back to that magical kitchen. Once, I had someone tell me that my kitchen smelled just like grandma’s. What a wonderful compliment that was.
Cloves and cinnamon simmering on the stove, chicken dumplings bubbling, those sort of smells take me to my childhood days. Carefree days were spent at my grandparent’s house with lots of laughter and fun.

Grandma was always there to lend an ear. Always ready to give you her full attention and love. She made wonderful handmade gowns, “Maudie” gowns. Each had a signature ribbon of material tied in a bow on the front yoke. The smell of the new material stacked up, with the sunlight streaming in and warming it, is a smell I learned to love. The pedal sewing machine sat out on the porch, where it was cooler in the mornings, I suppose. I could sit under the machine and work the pedal for her, she would always let me even though it had to be a nuisance.

I find myself at that backdoor screened porch in my dreams from time to time. The smell of the material still heavy in my nose as I awake. I instantly wish to go back to sleep and make my way to that sunlit porch.

We would set up a table with chairs out under the walnut tree. She would bring out the linen table cloth and the finest finger food she had. Vienna sausages and saltine crackers. We would sample our fine fare and sip sweet tea from tiny jelly jars. ‘Stand-up’ weenies never tasted so good as under that tree. Somehow that tea turned into the finest wine, the jelly jars into lead crystal goblets, and those sausages turned into caviar.

Grandma’s magic, I suppose.

If I close my eyes and let the fragrance from a magnolia blossom wash over me, and I simply drink it in, I am transported back to that kitchen. I can hear her call out her familiar “whoop-ee” call and hear the small slam of the screen door as it closes behind her. Soon the rhythmic sound of the pedal motion on the machine will start up, then the whirring of the needle in the cloth, and another gown will be made.

I am sad to think that the generations to come will not have a 'Maudie' gown to sleep in. I cherish mine.

I love to decorate for Christmas and so did my grandma. My Dad once told me that the excessive draping of greenery was just the "Maudie" coming out in me. If that is the case, so be it. Glad to have it. We could all use a tad more "Maudie" in us.

**NOTE: I have a portrait of both my grandmothers with that same curl on their forehead..all the rage at the time. My maternal grandmother told me that the girls of that day used a bit of bar soap or sugared water to hold the curl in place.
What a girl won't do to be beautiful. :-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Love Story

Andrew Jackson Davis and Margaret Hyatt married on April 15, 1860 in Haywood County, North Carolina.
They had a son named James R. Davis. James married Anna Ledbetter (born in Georgia, about 1889) and they had five children.

I found James and Anna on the 1900 Census record living in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The listing showed that out of the five children born to this union, only four were living. After the 1910 Census, Anna no longer appears, so I presume she passed away, sometime after that year.

On August 12, 1903, Edith was born to Anna and James. On the 1910 Census, Edith is listed as living with her parents in Panthersville, DeKalb County, Georgia, age 6 years old.

Sometime after the death of Anna, James and Edith came to Gastonia, North Carolina. I am sure that they came in search of work. In the 1920 Census, Edith is listed as a Spinner in a cotton mill. She worked in the Dunn Mill in Gastonia.

Also working there, was a light haired, blue-eyed man. A quite handsome fellow. This was my grandfather, Lewis William Arrowood.

They meet, a courtship ensued and they married. It had to be love at first sight.
Edith was a vision. Absolutely beautiful. With in a year’s time, they happily anticipate their first child. A boy, named Ray Everett Arrowood, born May 23, 1922.

Then, without warning, disaster struck. On October 8, 1925, Edith became stricken with pain and was taken to the hospital. She had surgery on the 9th of October, to remove her appendix. It was too late, she passed away on October 13, 1925 in the Charlotte Sanatorium, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Cause of death listed on the death certificate was peritonitis.

Peritonitis, as a consequence of infection can occur as a result of perforation of a digestive organ (see appendicitis, intus-susception), or as a result of "seeding" of the peritoneal cavity by germs in the blood stream (so-called primary peritonitis).

Edith was gone at age 22 years.

Such a terrible loss of such a beautiful young girl.
Such a crushing blow to my grandfather.

Edith was buried in Armstrong Cemetery on October 14, 1925, in Gastonia, North Carolina.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Gypsy Camp and the Chicken Coop

My grandpa was “Old-Timey”.
He still raised chickens and such.
He had little ‘dibbies’, as he called them, for as long as I can remember. He had a barn behind his house and beside that barn, or shed, really, was the chicken coop.

Grandpa adhered to the old ways, in a lot of ways.
Grandma was steadfast in her religious beliefs and regularly attended church services fervently, a believer.

Grandpa (what I knew was because my Grandma said so)… was pretty much ‘back slid’. By that, I mean that sometimes he said a word not easily accepted in Sunday School and he always smoked those “devil” cigarettes. I was pretty sure he was going to the bad place for those, especially, according to my grandma. Bad words were one thing,but those cigarettes were bad news.

Grandpa was a good grandpa..quick with a smile and a clown for the camera..Always doing something funny or acting up. Occasional bad words were let out in a rush, but always when something upset him or he stubbed a toe.

My grandma could just not abide by those cigarettes.
My grandma gave up drinking coca-cola for years because it was something frowned upon by her church. I guess that stemmed from the original recipe coke, that had cocaine in it..not sure. But cigarettes were "of the devil", no doubt about it.

Back in the forties or so, there would come to 'Gastown' a band of “gypsies” and they would live out by the fairgrounds for a few weeks. They would travel by horse and wagon and set up a sort of encampment outside of the town limits. Dad thought they were circus workers following the traveling circus around.

Well, as it happened, grandpa’s chickens would come up missing, usually coinciding with the arrival of these gypsies.
So when they came to town, he would go and offer them a few chickens, to ward off the stealing, I suppose. A sort of peace-offering..‘I am being nice, now you be nice’, sort of gesture.

Dad was entranced by these Gypsies, as any boy of 8 or 9 would be. He said that he would sometimes sneak off and go to their camp at night. They would dance and sing and play the guitar. They would cook up pots of food over open fires in their camps and sometimes he ate with them. He would watch them and keep track of where they were during their stay in town. Not sure if grandpa knew about these jaunts to the gypsy camps or not, but I am sure that it would have met with a stern disapproval from grandma.

I can almost see the firelight dancing off the little boys’ wide eyes, full of wonder and excitement, somewhere he was not supposed to be.

From my Dad’s descriptions, the fairgrounds at the edge of town, were somewhere in the vicinity of the present day Akers Center Shopping complex. The first shopping center in town.

They always had a huge red Santa on the roof of the center at Christmas time when I was a kid. That was the sure-fire sign that Christmas was coming for me. Paul Roses Department store was there in the complex. My sister’s first job. Also a Winn-Dixie where my brother worked for awhile. Not far from the house where I grew up, so I was frequently there at Akers Center.

Sometimes, after hearing my Dad’s tale, I would see swishing red skirts and hear tamborines tapping in my mind, as I made my way across the parking lot at the center.

From Arrowood Family Movie File

Lewis "Pat" Arrowood and Maude Hull Arrowood