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Historical society members visit heritage farm
Liberty lore
2 Horse Wagon
A two-horse wagon sits under a shed. - photo by Photo by Margie Love
The Liberty County Historical Society enjoyed May 3 at Gene and my "evolving" heritage farm in Tattnall County.
Thirty-two guests meandered around looking at farm and home items used many years ago in this part of the country.
Gene grew up on that farm and used to plow the fields with mules. A few years ago he had a dream of collecting equipment was used many years ago.
The first piece we found was a riding hay rake in north Georgia. Since, we have collected many riding plows, planters, stalk cutters, two more hay rakes. We have many walk-behind plows, some with wooden wheels.
He refurbishes them if they need it but prefers to leave them in their natural state. We collect old hand tools, iron wash pots and any kitchen items or general things that were used in the rural homes.
Olan and Peggy Frasier and Dave Sapp enjoyed looking at four of the six wagons displayed in the front. They recalled the days of riding in the wagons to town or church.
Near the line of wagons is our Liberty Oak that was two feet tall when given to Gene by the Hampton Island Group a few years ago at an appreciation. The Heritage Trees are planted from acorns gathered in the Midway area from huge live oaks and planted and babied in a nursery in Florida. It has its own little engraved brass tag with it.
Billy Edwards and Everett Moriarty were interested in the tractor collection. Billy recognized a Massey Ferguson like his father used on their farm. My favorite of the six is the 1927 "Grasshopper."
HPD Maj. Thomas Cribbs and Mary Dowd showed interest our numerous saws. Thomas' hobby is making sheath knives from the blades. I recall what hard work it was sawing cookstove wood with a crosscut.
Amanda Cox and Susan Todd visited the numerous flower beds. Cameron, Susan's grandson, was not impressed with the huge yellow and white Lady Banks Roses. All he wanted to do was swing while the mocking bird kept both eyes on her nest in the nearby matted vines.
The outhouse was inspected by many of the group. A 1933 laminated newspaper was on one wall to provide reading entertainment. A rat and owl sat on the rafters. The Sears and Roebuck catalog along with a bucket of corncobs were there for one's convenience. Faye Chandler, Ardith Herbert and Bonnie Renfro were admonished not to tear up the catalog but use the corncobs if they must!
The bottle tree drew a lot of attention. Deborah Robinson who operates the Dorchester Museum said they used to be popular in black communities as the shiny colored glass bottles were supposed to keep away the "haints." I just like old glass bottles and displayed some on a piece of wood that had several limbs and buried the bottom in the dirt. Janice Wilkes and Patty Moss were taking pictures of it.
In the wagon shed was our collection of lighter knots. This is my special collection and when walking in the woods I am always on the lookout for one. Long ago people, used them to start fires or to light and carry in a bucket for light.
Dr. Maurice Sweat and his wife Barbara looked at the display of turpentine equipment. The large barrel, dip bucket, paddle, scraper, puller, hack, acid bottle, tins and cups were on display.
Jeff Staggs, LCHS photographer, was busy capturing scenes from the past. He caught up with Jamie Wisner, Arthur and Cheryl Rozier and Scott Adams as they were turning the grinding stones and corn shellers.
Gene has created two nice nature trails through the woods. Mary Rozier, Blakely Ryals, Gordon Gottlieb and several others enjoyed the short walk passed the frog pond filled and ended up at the branch where the beavers had it dammed.
Inside the cabin big room I told the story behind the mantle piece. It had been in a home in Mississippi during the Civil War. When Union troops marched through, this home and one more had Mason signs on the outside so they were not burned. The mantle piece had been passed down from one family member to another until it ended up with Anna Schatan who works at city hall. She gave it to me for the cabin. Virginia Rozier and the other ladies liked looking at the old kitchen gadgets and dishes.
But the most popular spot seemed to be the front porch with its rocking chairs, which were occupied almost all the time. When noon came the dinner bell was rung and everyone gathered inside. While we were all outside, Hazel Todd and Paula Miller were in the kitchen busy as the bees in the persimmon tree out front
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