Thursday, September 22, 2011

Old Houses with a Story

My family joined the Hermitage Historical Society again after too long a break. I love sitting in that living room. Much work has been done, old photos and new paintings have been added. Mt. Hickory Farm on one side and the Locus Grove Home that houses the Society on the other, with Bob Lark's donated painting of Hermitage in TN, Andrew Jackson home in the middle.  Old furniture that is new to the home has been added.
I spent many Tuesday afternoons in that house with Mairy Jayne Woge researching Hermitage, or Hickory Township history for my ancestors. Ten years ago  the idea to write about David and Mary Thompson germinated before I started working full time. At the meeting ten years ago in September, right after the 9/11 attacks, I gave the program on Mt. Hickory and my family. How it all started with Diane many years ago as an adolescent rubbed the tombstone of David and Mary's son, Edward, a Civil War veteran. She sent it in to Washington, D.C. and his war records were sent to us. But we never knew much before that, until one day at Buhl Day, I met up with Mairy Jayne selling calenders. Mt. Hickory acknowledged David Thompson as the builder of the back part of that home. She had done copious research on the homes and families. We knew David's widow, Mary, married Charles Koonce and lived in Tara, but that was sketchy. Grandma Evans remembered playing on the lawn of that magnificent home.
This night the program was on World War II, showing quilts that reflected the times. The first one she showed, the Roosevelt quilt with Fala, FDR's Scotty. I looked at the girls. My mother loved Fala and had cartoons in a scrapbook. Then she talked about the women joining the work force, and mentioned Westinghouse. Mom had a job there until my father came stateside to Georgia in 1945 and she just quit to go live with her husband. The boss wanted her to take a two week vacation, but she said, "NO!"
They made torpedoes at  Westinghouse and tested them at Westinghouse Bay in Pymatuning. That was news to me. I wonder why no one had told me that, as much as we had gone to Pymatuning. It was near the Jamestown Marina. I have a picture of me "ice skating" on that area years ago during Winter Festival.
I'm so excited to be involved in the Historical Society again. Ten years is too long of a wait. And after the program, there is food. This night provided by Maxine Patterson, who lives in the other Italianate home built around the same time as Locust Grove. I am thankful my girls show interest in history, too. Plus the house is so opulent. They have done much renovation.  The next meeting is the third Tuesday of the month at 7PM.
I grew up across the street from this house, which is an example of the architecture of Locust Grove. I always admired Locust Grove on US 62,when it was privately owned and had horses in the field by it. Now a beautiful park graces it surroundings. My mother went to a birthday party there when she was in high school.
Wonderful old homes with stories I love.
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