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At home on center stage
Yesteryear revisited: The Gum Branch Gospel singers perform on their new outside stage that is attached to Ollagean Miller’s house. The house was built in 1862 by Hiram Jesse Mobley and was moved from its original location across the street in February 2006. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
Ollagean Miller can recall a time when she picked tobacco and corn from the field in her backyard. She was 3 years old when her family moved into the house that was built by her ancestor and original settler, Hiram Jesse Mobley in 1862.
The area, now inside the town of Gum Branch, was part of the Mobley and later Wells family plantation.
Soon to be approaching her 79th birthday, Miller is happy the ancestral home still stands after being moved from its original location at 399 Wells Cemetery Road across the street to where the rest of her family resides.
The original structure has been renovated to accommodate modern electricity and plumbing, but when you step inside you are transported back in time through pictures and furnishings reminiscent of yesteryear.
“I don’t even have all my pictures up yet, “ Miller said. “ My family tree would cover all the walls of the house.”
The one new addition to the house is an outdoor stage.
“I love gospel music and one of my sons, Roland Yarbrough, sings at Elim Baptist Church with the gospel group called The Gum Branch Singers,” Miller said. “They are attaching the addition to the side of the house to be used as a stage for our outdoor gospel singing and worship.”
On Saturday the gospel group put on a benefit performance to raise money to put the finishing touches on their stage and performance arena. Barbecue sandwiches and sodas were sold while the sounds of gospel music filled the backyard.  
“It speaks to my heart when they sing and to have it here at my own house is just wonderful.”
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