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By TRENT TIBBITTS

Ecleasties Tibbitts was born to Maston Elihew and Frances Bowman Tibbitts on Aug. 14, 1905. She was their next child born after my grandfather Hollis,  who was born in 1903. When she was at the age of three, the family was living in Alabama. They may have followed Frances family out there to farm.

On the faithful morning,  Elihew went to the barn to let out a mule from his stall. Not knowing that Little Ecleasties was near by, he opened up the door of the stall. The mule, being happy to get out of the stall, ran out kicking up his heals. The mule kicked the young girl in the head and killed her.

Francis dressed her and a pine wood box was built.  Wanting to take the child back home to Burnt Hickory, Elihew took her body by train to Georgia.  He departed the train at McPherson,  west of Dallas.  He didn’t have any way to transport her so he walked to a nearby home looking for a horse and Wagon to barrow.  The first person turned him down.  The next person was willing to help.

Word got around to family and friends. A funeral was held at Mount Moriah and Little Miss Ecleasties was laid to rest in the cemetery behind the church.  She is in the back left side of the old cemetery.

The Elihew Tibbitts family moved back to Burnt Hickory not to long after this happened. Elihew became a Deacon of Mount Moriah.  His son Hollis and grandson Hershel were Moderator of the church.  His great grandson Todd is the current Moderator.

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Tibbitts Lake

A few days ago I was at Tibbitts Lake standing on the bridge.  I was thinking back about my childhood growing up on the lake.  I’m 40 now,  I built my house, got married and moved out when I was 20. So, I spent 20 years living at my parents house on the lake and 20 years with Wendy in our house in the woods.  The two areas are so different but are less than a 1/2 mile apart.  Mom and Dad’s house sits on a hill above the lake and has a huge two acre yard.  Lots of grass to cut. There’s fruit trees,  grapevines,  pecans,  blueberries and lots of sunshine.  After growing up cutting all that grass each week and then working in the landscape industry during the summer starting when I was 14. I didn’t want any grass at my house.  When building our house we keep as many trees as we could.  I have two very small patches of grass that may only get mowed 5 times a year.  It doesn’t get enough sun to grow.  The trees keep us several degrees cooler here too. We are in a hollow at the base of a small mountain.  So there are no long distance views like a mom and dad’s but there is a lot more wildlife.  Just the other day I walked out on the front porch and two twin deer fawns were in the woods 40 feet away.

Growing up, when people found out l lived on the lake they would say “if I lived on a lake I would go fishing everyday”. Well I didn’t.  I did a little fishing but mostly social fishing.  It was mostly some friends would want to go and I would take them.  I would go by myself some.  I liked to walk to a small cove on the other side of the lake.  Dad’s side of the lake was open and no trees. The west side was wooded. From the open dam, I would walk a path next to the lake in the woods to my spot at the cove. This is where I caught the biggest catfish I ever have caught.  I also liked to go below the dam and fish in the spillway.  It was also wooded and was a challenge to get to. First you walked over the dam by the fish hatchery.  Then cross over the spillway.  It was a ditch as deep as I was tall. I had to pull myself out using exposed tree roots. Then down hill again and cross the small stream to the little fishing hole.  Fish that had been washed out of the lake would get trapped here. There was always someone, a friend,  a cousin or someone fishing.  I would go down and hang out but did little fishing.  Jonathan was who would fish every day.  He lived just up the road a few houses.  His grandmother and my dad are brothers and sisters.  She built a house across the lake from dad. Jonathan is two years older than me.  Just about every day after school he would be fishing.

I did like to go on fishing trips.  Mostly for the trip.  I love a adventure. If it was some where other than the house,  if there was a boat or best of all if it was saltwater. Dad bought a boat when I was 10 or so. Not much, but it was a boat. I remember going with him to pick it up.  He bought it used from a local man. We took it to Altoona a few times and down to lake Oconee to our deer hunting land a few times. That place had a really nice big cove that was just below deer camp. Between hunts we would fish.  Dad would let me drive the boat some.  Then as I got older I would take it out by myself on Tibbitts Lake. I have talked about our deep sea fishing trips in other post so i will not recap here but to say they were really fun.  One summer just after Wendy and I were married,  Jason bought a old bass boat.  I think he paid $300 for it. Trailer and all. That guy needed the money bad. Jason and I wore Corley’s Lake out. We had a lot of fun catching bass.

I have covered the catfish farming before to but that was a big part of my childhood working on the lake.  I was doing something just about every day on the lake from feeding the fish, to gathering fish eggs, to working the fish from one lake to the other, and then selling them.

When I started to write this story it was to be about deer hunting not fishing.  I got distracted.  I will have to do a follow up on hunting and the history of Tibbitts lake.

Building a Home

By Trent Tibbitts

Dunning science class in the 9th grade a little girl started hanging around me and stole my heart. We went to our freshmen Homecoming dance together and dated most of the year. We would be on and off until mid 11th grade, and have been together since then. One of our first dates after I could drive was the North Georgia Fair. We went to the Prom together our Jr. and senor year. Wendy was in the color guard and I was at every football game to watch her perform. She would get to seat with me during the third quarter. I also went to several Band competitions where they always won Grand Champion. She got to perform at the Citrus Bowl too. I played Soccer and ran Cross-Country. She would come to my games. We were out every Friday night somewhere. A lot of times we would double date with friends. We had a lot of fun in high school. Our class voted us Cuties Couple for sensor superlative. After graduation we took at trip to visit Wendy’s grandmother in Miami. We drove back up to Orlando and went to Disney World. The first of many trips. Her cousin Amanda was young and we took her to the beach with us one of the days. As we drove by a power plant and white smoke was coming out of the stacks. Amanda said “so that’s where clouds come from”. We spent a few days on the beach and a few days at Disney. Wendy showed me all the places around where she grew up. Her Grand dads hotel that he managed, her old schools, places they would go and things like that. We took a dinner Cruise to no where. It was really a casino ship. There was not much for us to do after dinner so we just walked the deck through the night. I had been planing this trip for sometime. I had bought a ring with money I saved from working summers at Post Properties in the landscape department. Brandon was the only person who knew I had bough the ring. I knew there would be a full moon while we where there, and I knew when it would rise. I decided to ask Wendy to marry me in her home town on her home beach of Fort Lauderdale. I had the ring in my pocket, after dinner we stopped and parked at the beach for a moon light stroll on the sea-shore. It was around 10 PM and no one was around. I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. When she said yes, there was a continues streak of lighting that circled us around the horizon. We came back home and continued our plans of going to college. I was going to what was the called Southern Tech and Wendy went to West Georgia. The plan was to finish school the get married. Well we couldn’t wait that long. It was getting harder and harder to say good-by each night. I thought I wanted to be an architect, but I didn’t. I went to school full-time the first year. Then started working more and more at Post. I would sit in class and think about all the money I could be making if I was not in school so I started going nights. I got raises and promotions at work and felt I was doing pretty good for a nineteen year old. We decided to move up the date of the wedding and we started to build our house. Dad gave my brother Todd, my sister Tammy and myself all about three acres next to each other when I was ten. So I had the land. Wendy and I were able to get a loan. I acted as the general contractor. First I got a drive way permit. Then I got a septic tank permit. We had to get a soil scientist in to sign off on it because of the perk test failed. I started clearing trees and debris for the driveway and house site. I cut a lot of wood and had a lot of brush fires. Wendy was still going to school and planning the wedding. The first real activity was cutting in the driveway and digging the basement. Dad helped out a lot. He worked with the bulldozer operator and helped cut trees as they were pushed over. Where the driveway started was an old dumping ground. Back in the day people would just through their trash out in the woods and this area became popular. There were old washer, dryers, refrigerators, sinks, along with household garbage. We dug a big hole and buried it along with the tree stumps. We loaded the Pine trees on my uncle Fed’s dump truck and sold them at the lumber yard. The Oak trees I split by hand and sold as firewood for the next few years. The next project was getting power. We were the first to build on our road so power lines had to be installed all down the road. That made a big difference in the way our little dirt road looked. Before then the trees would touch one another overhead like a tunnel. The foundation was next. The ground was to rocky to dig in the foundation like we did by hand at Todd and Toni’s A frame house they built. We poured the foundations on top of the rocks and a few days later the basement walls were poured. Two concrete trucks got stuck and I had to pay to get them out. We had to fill the basement floor with gravel to raise it up before pouring the concrete floor on top. The water proofing was done Easter morning. Dad and I used the farm tractor to back fill around the basement. We had a well dug. It only took a few day for the framing. Once the roof was on, the electrical and plumbing was in I started installing the insulation. The drywall was installed in one day. Wendy and I did a lot of painting with moms help. Wendy did most of it. Dad did a lot of the door trim. We had the house bricked and a very nice fireplace made. We had a lot of help when we built the porch and deck. Keith was a big help cutting out the steeps. We help, I did all the things I could. Wendy and I built our house with our own hands at the age of 19. I turned 20 on May 6th, we closed the loan on May 13th, Wendy turned 20 on May 22nd and we were married on May 28th. We spend the first night in the house on our wedding night. We Honey Mooned in Destin.

Revival Time

This is the way it was for me to.

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For as long as I can remember, summer has meant one thing – revival. Numerous weeks of morning and night revival services. My mother, like her mother before her, and her mother before her, was raised going to little foot washing Baptist churches scattered throughout North Georgia. Most of them only meet once a month, which allowed people to visit each other on their home churches’ off Sundays. Each little church had its own week long revival during the summer.

Daddy was a Catholic when Mama met him, but when I was three, he was saved and not long afterwards, he was called to preach.

By the time I was seven, my Daddy was running revivals, first as a helper, then as a pastor. We spent Saturday nights at conference, where the church conducted its business. We spent Sunday mornings in church and Sunday afternoon at church members’ houses. If…

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Haley Morgan Smith Blog

Why, hello people I love.

Before I continue writing, note that this blog is PG-13. I’m gonna talk about sex. So. Fair warning.

Picture this. You’re in the kitchen warming up supper and your husband comes home from work. He says hello, kisses you, and lays a plastic bag on the counter. In the plastic bag is book with a naked lady on the cover in a provocative pose. You get on Facebook, and you see he has liked the fan page of the book. You see that he has shared the book’s movie trailer on his page. You see that he is discussing with all his guy friends publicly who should  be the actress portraying the naked girl on the book cover. He is discussing which lady in Hollywood is the hottest, has the biggest breasts and butt, prettiest face, etc. He is saying how he wishes the naked lady’s…

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Watermelon Picking

By Trent Tibbitts

When you growing up in the country there is always a watermelon patch close by. I have heard stories all my live from men of my father’s generation, who, when young would sneak in to a watermelon patch and take one or two down to the creek for a treat. Much to the disappointment of the owner of the patch. Some would get caught and take a beating for it and some would get away with the crime.

With knowing those stories, I find this next one very amusing. It comes from my grandmother. Today is the first time I have heard of this story. It was among items of her’s that my mother has in storage. I believe she wanted to share it and that is why she typed it out so many years ago. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Copy of story from Mrs. Polly Bone.

Back around age 13 or 14 (1933 or 1934) – I was living in Royston, Georgia and had a friend, who lived in Vanna, Georgia – He wanted a date with a girl in Royston – so I obliged and also got one for myself.
He came up from Vanna that July night driving his daddy’s 1926 or 27 Model-T Ford – I remember it had roll-up windows.
We picked up the girls and were riding around – Wasn’t much to do in those days but ride around.
I mentioned the fact that old man so and so had a watermelon patch about one-fourth mile from the center of town; it was close to the road.
The girls decided it would be exciting – if we parked next to the patch, I could be the hero and borrow a big melon from the patch.
I knew the man who owned the patch – he was a fractious man – easy to loose his temper – so we did not bother to get his permission.
We parked and I eased out of the car into the patch – it was a dark night and I was feeling around trying to find a big one – I heard a noise in the cornfield next to the melon patch – then a big shadow stepped out of the corn and let out a bad curse word!
It scared me so bad, I jumped about 4 feet into the air and hollared, (I really think I scared him also, as it was dark and neither of us could see the other too well).
As I descended to the ground, I was already running over corn stalks; headed back to the T – Model; when I went by the T – Model, I hollared to my friend – “He’s out there” – about that time, a gun went off – I heard the bullet whiz by; so i never did break speed – I heard my friend trying to crank the T – Model as I was swiftly moving out of sound range.
I was up town standing on the corner when they came driving up.
The old fellow who owned the melon patch was up town the next morning – telling everybody he shot at a so and so, in his melon patch last night.
I am glad he didn’t shoot me – as it would have been on his conscience the rest of his life.
seriously – I know the Good Lord saved me and taught me a lesson; thereafter, I thumped my melons in the daytime and paid cash.

The End.

Streets of Gold

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By Trent Tibbitts

This story starts, as most stories do, with John calling to see if I would like to go camping. It was Friday afternoon, and I did not have any plans for the weekend. He was wanting to go to Dahlonega Georgia, where he has a camper. John belongs to a group of prospectors known as the Weekend Gold Miners club. They have property along the river and John keeps a camper there year round. During his 20’s, John spent most of his free time gold prospecting. He would use a dredge in the river to find gold. We got a late start, leaving the house around six o clock. Before hitting the road, John needed to attend to his brothers rabbit pin. John and I drove to Jake’s house, where John watered the rabbits. Jake lives off Mt Moriah Road and I ask John if he had ever been to Benson lake. He said no. We then drove on my direction to the lake. Benson Lake wasn’t built during the time Hollis Tibbitts and Mr Corley (two of John’s Great Grand Father’s and my Grand Father) and others in the community were involved with conservation and soul erosion. The lake was built to control floods and erosion. Once we had cross the dam, we spotted the largest box turtle we have ever seen. We stopped and took a few photos with our new friend.

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We got to the property around eight o clock. John had misplaced his key for the gate. He call a friend from the club and he met us at the gate with a new key. Once we got to the camper, we unloaded and set up camp. We had not eaten supper. So, we headed to town. John had seeing that a band he knew of was playing at the Crescent Moon in down town Dahlonega. The show started at 8, but we figured we could see the second half. We arrived at the Crescent Moon around 9 p.m.. The band was going strong. After being seated, we found out the kitchen was closed. However, we were able to order dessert. We both had a large helping of fudge brownie a la mode. We staying to the band finished around 10 o’clock. It had been long week and I was very tired. After stopping for Taco Bell, we headed back to camp.

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The next morning John showed me around the camp. We walked down to the river and saw where miners had dug into the hillsides. He showed me carvings on beech trees that were signs left by the old time minors. we also saw courts rock lying all over the ground where it had been blasted. There were many other campers there but not very many people. We then drove to the area known as Blue Hole. This is where the Etowah River runs into the mountainside at a large rock face and makes a 90 degree turn. John says that with his old dredge they could go 30 feet deep here. There is one known mine shaft on the property. However, all mine entrances around Dahlonega were blasted shut. John has fount where there are air holes that lead to the old mines. Also, others have used ground penetrating radar to discover cavities under ground. With current laws, no digging is allowed. A quick history of gold in Georgia. In 1828 gold was discovered around Dahlonega Georgia. The place was named Aurora, Greek or Latin for gold. It lies between Johns camp and the City of Dahlonega. Word got around fast about gold in the region. At first gold could be found lying along the creeks and river bottoms. Miners only had to walk and pick it up. Over 15,000 men came to Dahlonega during this time. It did not take long for all the easy gold to be picked up. The next step in the mining operation history is the panning for gold. Miners would shovel sediment from the bottom of creeks and streams into solution boxes and then they would pan for the gold that was trapped there. Once most of this accessible gold had been harvested, miners started using water cannons to wash the mountain sides down.  The runoff was sorted and examined for gold. When excavating the hillsides, miners would see gold in veins of quartz crystal. This is when hard rock mining started. Mines would be dug into the side of the hill following the vein of quartz crystal that contained gold. The ore would then be brought to the surface where it would go through a stamp mill that would break the rocks into fine sand. Then the process of sluice boxes and painting would continue. In 1849 gold was discovered in California. With most of Dahlonega’s easily accessible gold gone. Most miners pulled up stakes and headed west. So much gold was pulled out of the ground around  Dahlonega,  that a mint was built.  $600,000.00 in gold coins were stamped out of just some of the gold found.

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We grabbed a McDonald breakfast and went to the Crisson Gold mine of John’s friends for my first gold panning.  The store was very well stocked with any mining tool you may need.  It also had any gold mining souvenir you needed.  After a reunion between John and his friends,  He bought us a $15.00 five gallon bucket of sand to pain. He gave me a demonstration on how to pain for Gold. He found a few flakes on the first run. Then it was my turn. I turned,  shucked,  swished, shacked and sweraled until all the light sand, what’s called blonds in the trade, were gone. Black sand and gold was all that was left in the pan now. Gold is the heaviest item in the pan and if you have done it right it will work itself to the bottom of your pan. The idea is to wash out everything and leave the gold. I found two flakes on the first round. We worked four or five more pans each and then decided to rent a High Banker. This is a contraption that uses water to wash away most of the unwanted material.  The gold and heavier items are caught in a mat with a lot of ridges. We had about a half a bucket left to run through it. We dump one scope full at a time and gave it time to work the loss matter from the heavier. Once the remaining sand was sifted,  the loot was emptied in to one pan full and John panned out a few more flakes.

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After panning, we rode some of the back roads around the vineyards. Then decided to go tubing.  Not having our bathing suits with us we headed back to camp after a stop for lunch. The dirt road to the camp has several “speed bumps” but they can’t slow John down.  We changed and packed some dry cloths.  Then headed to a local river. We signed our rights away and jumped in the van.  The drive up river could not having been 3 minutes long.  Then we were at the lunch.  We took our tubes to the river’s edge and prepared for the polar plunge.  There was a rope across the river and we used it to pull ourselves out. The skeletal remains of an iron bridge  stands the river here. It sits on large rock pillars on each bank. We soon get use to the chilly water. This river was mined heavily during the rush. Someone during that time built a large iron box without a bottom that two men could work in. It was lowered to the riverbed and the men would enter in through a pipe from the surface.  The sand containing gold would be hauled up the same pipe. As more material was removed the box would continue to sink. It could go 30 feet deep.  The remains were discovered and restored and is on display just off the square in Dahlonega. About half way down there is a large rock in the middle of the river.  We climbed up on it. Much debate was had on how to jump off.  After carefully inspecting the area and weighing the pros and cons of each possibility John just jumps in. He lands in a good sitting position and didn’t land to flat. I take the long steep and it’s off the edge for me. More than halfway through my trip to the rushing river below, I had not made my discussion on how to land.  I was hoping to hit the water with the edge of the tube and then rock back into a sitting position.  My legs hung off the edge of the tube and would need deep water to safely emerge into for this to work.  I failed.  I stuck a rock in knee-deep water like an Olympic gymnast.  If I was not wet before,  I was now. No harm,  no foul. It was on down the river and soon our 15 minute trip was over. Not satisfied with the lackluster trip, we voted to turn it up a notch.  We the drove the 30 minutes over to Helen, an Alpine touristy city. Once in Helen,  we stopped at the first tube rental place in town.  We bought out tickets and then drove to the take out area where we would board a bus that drove us through town to the start of our float. The headwaters of the mighty Chattahoochee river starts just above Helen in the southern Appalachian mountains of the Blue Ridge. It is still very much a mountain river when it enters the city limits.  There are large water worn boulders and rushing rapids. We exist the bus, grab our pink tubes and hit the ice-cold water with out $4.00 push sticks. Luckily we were in the head of the back and it didn’t take long to get ahead of the bus crowd.  The river was very busy none the less.  The sticks did come in very handy to help maneuver through the rapids. It was a non eventful trip for the most part until we got just about to the bridge.  That is when we came up on a young lady with two kids.  The girl looked to be 9 or 10. The boy maybe 12 years old.  He had fallen off his tube and was wearing a life jacket.  We could tell not all was right.  We offered help and the little girl quickly said please.  John stepped up and was the man for the job. We thought it would be a quick 1, 2,3 and on our way, so i keep floating slowly down river.  John grabbed the boy and was going to put back on the tube. Well,  he was a big old boy and just laid there like a big sack of Idaho potatoes.  The tube went one way and John and the boy the other.  He tried it again but this time with instructions for the young lady to hold the tube.  Apparently John’s instructions were to complicated for her because once again the tube went one way and John and the boy the other.  Seeing the problem that he had, John decided it was time to solve it with brut force. It is the easiest way to solve most problems. John in waist deep waters picked the young over weigh lad up out of the river like he was carrying his bride over the threshold and so gently placed him back on to his pink tube. With a permanent back injury, John rejoined me down river happy to have served his fellow-man. He didn’t say that but I could tell.  We got a big laugh out of it and John really did help the kid out. We keep an eye on them the rest of the way down hoping not to have to offer an assistant but close enough if the need was there. We passed a group of terrorist playing in the river and figured the water would defuse any bombs they may have.  We made our jokes to ourselves.  A motorcycle rally was setup next to the river and we passed by that before getting out.  Once out of the river we were near John’s truck.  We grabbed our dry cloths and changed in the restroom before going back to Dahlonega.

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Once back in town it was supper time.  We first tried to get into the Front Porch but it was a 45 minute wait.  We then walked back across the square to the Crimson Moon where we were the night before and asked for our little hippie waitress again.  Lucky for us there were still some setting left. Even more luckily they were 6 inches from a table of retired ladies who made up at least half of the groupies.  We made friends fast. If not it was going to be a occurred 3 hours sharing personal space.  They were Buckhead Bettys from Atlanta, but Very nice. We each ordered the grill grouper sandwich. Big let down.  The father and son duo made up for the poor choice for dinner.  They sang mostly songs they had written. The songs were Americana that told hometown stories.  The father did most of the lead singing.  The son was a very good guitarist and John said that they were playing this really fancy guitar.  I was enjoying it alright until right before they were to take an intermission.  The father told a brief story of his life and a failed music career. Then said that this time around he was going to listen to his new manager more. That is when he broke out with the old gossip hymns.  Now we are not in a bar but it was about one step up from one. I mean I could see the bar from where we were.  I tell you that every one in that place was singing as loud as they could, standing up and clapping their hands,  like we were in a tent revival at a good old Baptist Church. We sang Amazing Grace,  I’ll Fly Away,  Will the Circle be Unbroken and on and on. I told the dad during the break I really did like his new manager. The second set was entertaining.  They brought up the rest of the family to sing a few songs. After the show we walked up and saw the river diving bell that is housed under a pavilion just off the square.  It was then back to camp.

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20140601_084557The next morning was Sunday, we got up and packed up camp. Then headed to town for another McDonald breakfast.  We then drove to the Consolidated Gold mine that is next to the Wal-Mart.  We were early so we ate our breakfast in the parking lot. A couple on a Harry rode up. We talked to them for a few minutes.  We talked them into going to John’s friends mining place.  They left and we followed. We went back to town to see if any shops we open. Nope. Too early.  After walking around a little bit the Gold museum that is housed in the old Court House opened up.  We went up stairs and watch a film about the Gold rush era in the old courtroom.  The bricks were made locally and flakes of gold can be seen in them.  The upper floor had more of the town history and the lower floor had most of the gold artifacts. In a huge safe behind glass was a set of gold coins the were minted in Dahlonega.  The gold for this region is said to be the purest in the world. After the education we went across the street to a general story.  We were walking through touching and commenting on everything and these two old ladies ask if we brothers. I asked if they thought we looked alike.  They did.  We told them we were cousins. We played around in the store for a little while.  Then we went back to the Consolidated Gold mine. It was just that, five gold mines consolidated into one. It had the largest stamp mill east of the Mississippi.  But only operated for six years. When mining became unprofitable all 250 mines around Dahlonega  entry’s were blow up to keep people out.  The hope was to return some day and start mining again.  For that reason all mining tools were left inside.  In the 1980’s gold prices hit a high in the $900.00s and a group of investor looked to open the most profitable mine back up. Once they had cleared the debris and pumped a lot of the water out, the bottom fell out of the Gold market.  That is when they decided to make the mine a tourist trap. John had been on the tour several times but this was my first.   A large group of us descended into the mine.  It was just as you would think a mine would be. It had a railway,  mine cars and big timbers bracing the walls. The mine shaft followed a vane of gold 20 feet wide in some places.  The Glory Hole was the area that has the greatest concentration of gold.  $50,000 of gold was removed in one day. That’s a lot of money in 1835.  The mine had finger tunnels off the main shaft that would follow a vain till it stopped. We were able to tour about 1000 feet of the mine. The rest of it was still flooded. Part of the tour was getting to pain for Gold.  We found a few more flakes. Before heading home we ate lunch at the historic Smith house.  It is Family style where you are seated at a large table with other guests.  Dishes of food are brought out and set on the table.  You pass them around and serve your self.  You don’t order, you just get what they bring and it is a lot. The food is always good. The house sits on a gold mine and the shaft can be seen in a room that was just recently built to showcase it. It was a fun trip.

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JOSEPH HOLLIS TIBBITTS

Fokes around here called him Uncle Hollis, I called him Papa.

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By Trent Tibbitts

Their are those who can tell you more about Joseph Hollis Tibbitts but I will do my best. I only had 15 years with him but he was hugh in my life, a living ledgon. Everyone loved and respeced him. Not for power or presteage but for his humlity and love for others. This is a colection of ardicals and stories about his life.

The following ardical is from the book “The Heritage of Paulding County, Georgia 1832-1999” , page 416, “Joseph Hollis Tibbitts and Marie Crew Tibbitts” Submitted by Hershel Tibbitts youngest son of Hollis and Marie Tibbitts.

Photos 2009 018Hollis Tibbitts, the third son of Elihu and Francies Bowman Tibbitts was born December 26, 1903, egiht miles north of Dallas, one mile west of highway 61 in the “Bob House”. Marie Crew Tibbitts was born the first child of Arthur Crew and Annie Lee Crew on December 2, 1904, two and one half miles north of of Dallas on highway 61 in the house now owned by the O.N. Black family.

Hollis attended Burbt Mill School until around age fourteen. He learned the three R’s and thinking that was sifficient, quit school and began full time work on the family farm. Marie went to Dallas school and finished there. Sence each of their fathers were Baptist deacons, Hollis and Marie met at worship service in their youth.

Hollis was a thrifty youngster and good with his hands. At age 15 he had saved enough money to buy a set of clippers and he began cutting hair on Saturday mornings for ten cents a head. At about that time he loaned his older brother Maston two dollars to buy his marriage license. Hollis was musically talented. He could blow a harp, play a fiddle, banjo, guitar and piano. He had a good singing voice also. He sang and taught shaped note music known as sacred harp.

At the age of 21 in 1924, he joined the Masonic order. In 1925, he and two friends left Georgia and went to Ohio to work, sence a person could make more money in one hour there than he could in one day in the south. They got a job in a stone quarry. While there, Hollis met a fellow Mason who invited him to a lodge meeting where he met another Mason, who hired him as a maintenance man in a foundry. He also got a second job that paid his room and board so he was able to save all his primary job’s money. After six months he came home with enough money to buy a farm and start house keeping. Being engaged to Marie before going north, he came home Christmas and they were married on the fifth Sunday in January, 1926. Hollis became a farmer; Marie became a homemaker. They had eleven children, six boys and five girls. Willim born March 12, 1927 lived only six months. Following were Frances (7/17/28), Joe (2/21/30), twins Fed and Ned (1/4/32), Emily (4/13/34), Annette (6/18/36), Lee (3/26/38), Hershel (12/21/39), Clo-Ester (4/11/42) and Kay (1/6/44). Lee was an invalid and never walked or talked. He was “just an angle” and died February 5, 1946 before his eighth birthday.

Hollies farmed and sawmilled for years. Then in 1940 during WW II, he sawmilled for five years consecutively on the Sheffield property in north Paulding County. He was ordained as a deacon of Narroway Baptist Church in the early thirty’s and in 1935 was ordained as a minister of the Gospel, and was later called as pastor of Mt. Moriah Church where he pastored for 37 years until 1972.

Hollis’s occupation changed many times from farmer to sawmiller to dairyman for ten years then to a printer. He owned and operated Tibbitts Printer Co. in East Point and Dallas for about seven years. Then he bought the Dallas Coal Yard, selling and delivering coal through out Paulding County fot a number of years. He was District Supervisor of the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation and Flood Prevention, and served as coordinator for a number of years.

Hollis finally retired back to his beloved 360 acre farm on Raccoon Creek in Burnt Hickory community where he and Marie had originally reared their family. The farm was equally divided among the nine children and presently seven of those children, along with many grandchildren still reside on the farmstead.

Hollis helped to rebuilt Burnt Hickory School, losat to a fire, without any state funds. He helped build a new brick church at Mt. Moriah where he pastored. He was very instrumental in restorin the deer and turkey population in Paulding County. He helped his father, and several brother, sister, children and friends to buy their homes. He was a caring, loving, generous, helpful humanitarian and minister who gave much, much, more to humanity than he recived! He preached many funerals, baptized and married many in North Paulding County in his 50 years as a minister.

Marie, a loving caring humble yet bold woman, wa devoted to God, her husband and children. She was a very good cook, homemaker, and seamstress, making children’s clothing from flour and feed sacks throught the hard times. She never faltered in her will to work! Marie was always at her husband’s side and very much a lay in her own right. She was attentive to her children, cared for her church along with many, many friends and neighbors. This couple reverenced and feared God and taught their children to do so.

Currently there are  more  than 125 decendants of Hollis and Marie, most of whom reside in Paulding County.

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The following is from the same book, page 9 and was Submitted by Sonya Tibbitts Thomason, Grandduughter of Hollis and Marie Tibbitts.

“McGregor Log Home”

20140528_214602In 1978 when Fed and Jane Tibbitts built their present home, part of early Paulding County history was preserved. A Pre-Civil War hand hewn log home, built by Samuel D. McGregor in 1841, was dismantled.

The 1850 Paulding County census shows S.D. McGregor, born 1805 in South Carolina, and Sarah C. McGregor, born 1811, owning two thousand acres of land located on Raccon Creek in 1080 Dist. GM. They were  the Parents of nine children.

The rich bottomland, which was cultivated by the McGregor Family and nine slaves, produced great quantities of cotton, corn and other crops. The Pokey Hole, a favorite swimming hole on Raccoon, was named for one of the female slaves who fished along the creek. Two female slaves were burned to death in a slave cabin where they were locked inside at night. As a child, we would often visit the graves of these slaves.

When Sherman’s army came through, the McGregor family Bible was hidden between the logs behind the chimney. Fortunately, it was preserved and is nowowned by Lonnie Lee, a descendant; however, approximately one hundred bales of cotton was burned by the enemy.

In 1927, Hollis Tibbitths purchased four hundred acres of the original McGregor farm. Fed and Jane Tibbitts inherited the log house and dismantled the logs which were taked to a sawmill and split three wa to be used for beams, ceiling and wall in their new home. The outer part of the logs exposeng the broad ax marks made on the hand hewed logs, were used on the walls of the family room. Fed and Jane, and their four daughters, Susan, Sonya, Shelly and Shawn, moved in on Thanksgiving Day 1978.

 

 

The following is a letter by Hollis Tibbitts sent to his sister Elizabeth Tibbitts during his time working in Ohio where he earned his money to start his family. No corrections on spelling or gramer were made here.

Madisonville Ohio

Sept 21, 1925

Dear Sis and all   I will writ e you a few lines to ans. your letter recived last    this leaves me well hope will find you all the same

I have just go in from work and got supper on have been at work today  it rained last night and it has been muddy in the quirey but we worked just the same it has been aful hot weather last week but is a little cooler today. I worked every day last week but it has started to raining now and we may not get to work regular from now on. they are cutting off hands every few days in town  they are talking of cutting off some at the quirey the first of next month  if they do it may get me. I hope I can work till xmas if I can

I went to Mason meeting Sat. evning  sure did have a nice time   they worked four boys in the third degree   it started at two thirty in the afternoon and at six we had a big supper had all the ham stew cake coffee ice cream and sigars I wanted. sure did meet alots of friends saw some fine work put on and had a good supper to   it seemed like being at home at Dallas Lodge to see them all so friendly I got the name of the employers office of the Madisonville Lodge and if I do get out of my job here they will get me one if they can anywhere in town

that is his job to help Mason’s get a job that wanting one and so maybe I can get a job if I get cut off here till xmas and I can come home

well I guess you all are about done picking cotton by now   has it ever rained any yet down there I hope it had for I sure have studyied about it   so how is our hogs this time  I hope they are       (pretty good)   is the corn very good and did the dry weather ruin it   I hope I make enough to deed a mule next year.

I sure would like to see all the kids now   tell Mama I said I thought of her ever night when I kneeled at my bed   tell pap I sure was glad he was so good to go to meeting with all of you for that is the best thing of it all is doing right and just hope he does well and lives a happy life as long as he lives

I guess you all are making syrap every day   I hope you are all in good shape this fall where we can have a good home for Papa and Mama are getting old and I don’t want them to have to work so hard   I want to come live close to them and help take care of them as long as the live for they are all we have got in this world

tell all the folks hello for me  I sure would like to see everybody down there

say are the catching any opossums with the pups  I want them to hunt them all they can

say Has (????) ever went back to his job  they say there is plenty of work in Florida nd pays lots of money.

You ought to see me   I wiegh 155 lbs sure am gettingfat   I fell good to and am working every day

I will close for this time so write me every day you can,  I don’t have time to write much myself   ans. soon and rember me   I remain as ever

your brother     Hollis

 

 

One story told of Hollis’s trip home was that he stopped in Chatanoga Tenn. to see his aint. He took a taxie from the train station to her house and while driving he talked to much about the money he had made in Ohio. After telling the driver about his work and the money he had made and that he had it with him, he noticed the driver was not driving to his aints house. He had been there many times before and knew the way. Thinking his life was now in jeperdy, he opened the car door and rolled out when the driver took a curve a little slow. Hollis then walked the distent to his aints house.

 

 

The six months Hollis spent in Ohio really separated him from other men in the community. He earned the equivalent of four years of southern wages in the six months he spent in the north. He was able to buy a farm,  equipment and live stock. This part of the country had not recovered from the Civil War. The greatest concentration of Union and Confederate troops during the war was in Paulding county and they stayed here the longs of any campaign. The total destruction of the economy, family farms and the people took decades to rebuild. No one around here had any money in 1925. Hollis was loving, kind. and giving. He helped many, many families survive. A lot of them lived and worked on his farm. He and his brothers owned several different farms over the years around Burnt Hickory, but the farm on Raccoon Creek is the only land still in his family.

 

 

Another story of Hollis is that he and Mr. Corley owned land in the north Paulding close to the Barrtow County line on Dry Creek where they built a lake. The name of the lake was Tibco or something like that. A combination of Tibbitts and Corley. Someone did not like the idea of the lake in their community and just as the lake was about to be full of water they used dynamite to blow up the dam. The rush of water washed away crops below. Hollis and Mr. Corley paid the effected farms for the damaged crops. That was the type of men they were. The man responsible confessed to it on his death bed many years later.

 

 

One story I like to tell that I have heard most of my life is the time Hollis was plowing in what is know as the swamp or tick spring. He had plowed a field and saw a large snake crawling across the fresh dirt. He rain down the Rattle snake and jumped on it with both feet. One foot was on it’s head or just behind it. With out having a stick or some tool to kill the deadly snake, he used his pocket knife to cut it’s head off. When asked why he would do such a dangerous act, his reply was that his babys (children) would be working in the same fields and he did not want the snake to bit them.

 

 

A story I heard from my dad who was with Papa when men were coming around to collect money to build a school. Dad said that after Papa gave the men some money he turned to dad and asked him what he thought of a man who gave away his last dollar. He was referring to himself. Papa was always giving all he had to others.

 

 

Hollis preformed a lot of weding searamonies. He maried most of his grandchildren. The following is the pome he would always read during the wedding.

When Adam was created, he dwelt in Eden’s shade; as Moses has related, before a Bride was made. Ten thousand times ten thousand, of creatures swarmed around, before a Bride was formed, or any mate was found.

He had not consolation, but seemed as one alone, till, to his admiration he found he’d lost a bone. This woman was not taken from Adam’s head, we know; and she must not rule over him, it’s evidently so.

This Woman, she was taken from near to Adam’s heart, by which we are directed that they should never part. The book that’s called the Bible, be sure you don’t neglect; for in every sence of duty, it will you both direct.

The woman is commanded to do her husband’s will, in every thing that’s lawful, her duty to fulfill. Great was his exulation, to see her by his side; Great was his elevation to have a loving bride.

This woman, she was taken from under Adam’s arm; and she must be protected from injury and harm. This Woman was not taken from Adam’s feet, we see; and she must not be abused, the meaning seems to be.

The Husband is commanded to love his loving Bride: and live as does a Christian, and for his house provide. The woman is commanded her husband to obey, in ever thing that’s lawful, until her dying day.

 

 

Story of Vision passed down to me by Hershel.

Hollis said he was awaken by God in the middle of the night and shown a vision on his bedroom wall. He sat up in bed, fully awake and saw a line go horizontal across the wall and then a line line came from the floor at an angle and met the top line just before the end of the top line. He then said God told him he had completed his mission of pastoring Mt. Moriah.  He thought on it and decided to go to the Decons of the church the next day and let them know he was giving up the church.  He then went back to sleep.

 

 

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The following is a Letter to the Editor, February 22, 1989 Dallas Georgia.

Dear Editor,

I am Writing in honor of brother Hollis Tibbitts, who was a great man and a great Mason.

Brother Hollis was a Baptist minister in the New Hope Association. I have seen Uncle Hollis in the Dallas Lodge when his grandson was raised. He got happy in the Lodge and preached about an hour. I have seen five generations of the Tibbitts family in Dallas Lodge at one time. They are great folks to be around.

I used to go around with my father to churches, and I can remember going to Shady Grove. They would sing out of the old books {fa-so-la}. One would raise a note over here and another there. Old brother Arthur Crew would raise a note over here and Brother Hollis would raise on over there. Those were the good old days.

Sincerely, R.H. {Bob} Grogan

 

 


 

 

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Another ardical from The Heritage Of Paulding County Georgia 1832-1999.  CONSERVATION BUILDERS OF PAULDING COUNTY by Jo Ellen Corley Cartuth.

On a cold winter evening in 1943,  a group of hunters made a camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  They were there to deer hunt as they had done for many years.  They sat around the campfire to enjoy the fire and made plans for the next day’s hunt.  Snow was falling and the wind was blowing.  They were somewhat discouraged.  Only a few buck signs had been found.  No one had spotted a worthy trophy.

E.F. Corley threw an Oak log on the fire and said,  “Fellows, I did some thinking out on the ridge top today.  Every year we come here in the Blue Ridge to deer hunt. We could do the same thing a lot nearer home”. One of the hunters replied,  “We ain’t got deer at home and we can’t find none worth shooting here”. “What I’m figuring, ” Corley said,  “is stocking deer in the hills behind home. ”

The hunters discussed the problem that they could see with the people and landowners of Paulding County.  “The six of us here represent a sizable chunk of land, maybe 12,000 acres, in the corners of Poke, Bartow and Paulding Counties, ” Corley continued.

Quietly,  and without fuss,  the men around the Campfire,  E.F. Corley, Hollis Tibbitts,  Gene Colbert, Bennie Jones,  Dr. Joe Matthews and O.N. Black, began to make plans.  They would eventually develop a program that would improve the status of their country more than anything since the Civil War.

The hunting committee was organized and prepared an agreement whereby each landowner  that signed,  pledged to ban hunting of any kind on his property for five years.  He also promised to help to keep down forest fires and control predatory animals.  The Paulding County Conservation Club was founded and the members worked in conjunction with the landowners to see these efforts through.  With the help of the country agent,  E.F. Corley and Hollis Tibbitts made a map showing ownership of every track of land in the area. The territory consisted of 150,000 acres lying roughly in the triangle between Dallas,  Cedartown and Cartersville.

The committee then went to work selling their plan to neighbors and other landowners.  They also began raising money for the initial stock of deer.  The club members were now ready for their first real test – getting the State of Georgia to help.  A committee of four men visited the State Game and Fish Commission in Atlanta and laid the club’s plans before them. The committee was seeking information about legally developing a refuge and where to buy the stock of deer.

The State Game and Fish commission located a heard of twenty deer for sale on a private estate in South Carolina.  The State and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also arranged to have a truckload of big Wisconsin white tail released in the Braswell Mountains.  Two additional loads of surplus deer from Texas were released in the bottomlands of Raccoon Creek and Peggy more Creek.  One hundred seven animals were stocked on the rugged mountain land within a six year period.  The club began making plans to stock wild turkey and quail. They also wanted to fill the streams with mountain trout.  That fall, club members hauled 20,000 fingerling rainbow trout from the Summerville Hatchery and released them in the headwaters of the creeks of Paulding County.

E.F. Corley and Hollis Tibbitts talked to the county agent and the Paulding County Commissioners about setting up funds to provide forest protection.  The committee applied for an expansion of telephone services and began collection names of potential subscribers in the county.  At that time,  the telephone line ended at Dallas City limits.

Laying the groundwork for good hunting and fishing near their home in Paulding County took the men the better part of two years.  The club members were planning big things ahead.  Their community was fired up with the spirit of progress and list of achievements.

To date,  Paulding County has one of the largest deer populations in the state of Georgia.  An interesting article was published in the February 1952 issue of Outdoor Life. It tells of the award, a bronze and mahogany plaque, won by the Paulding County Conservation Club for outstanding achievements. The club was also presented with a check of one hundred dollars.  The Paulding County Conservation Club later formed a club for the sportsmanship of hunting.  This club became known as the Paulding County Sportsman Club.

From an idea started around a campfire in the Blue Ridge Mountains,  a countywide system of soil conservation,  forest protection,  rural electrification,  telephone services, along with better school and roads became a reality.  Most important to this dream of the six Paulding County sportsmen,  it was learned that through strong determination and leadership, no dream is too large. This is a tribute and should be honored by all sportsmen and outdoorsmen throughout not only Georgia,  but also the United States.

One quick story about Hollis and being a Free Mason.  One must be 21 years old to join the order He turned 21 in December and the following month joined the Dallas Lodge.  He completed his Degrees to be a Master Mason in the shortest time possible. The current Dallas Lodge building was built in 1925 and Hollis helped to cut the timber and sawed the lumber for the building.

 

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This is an article that appeared in the Dallas New Era about the 50th anniversary of Hollis and Marie

The children of Reverend and Mrs Tibbitts honored them with an open house celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary Sunday January the 25th 1976, at the home of their son Herschel Tibbitts on the Narroway Church Road, Burnt Hickory community.

Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts were married on January the 31st, 1926 by Reverend J.T. Craton at his home in Burnt Hickory. Mrs. Tibbitts is the former Mary Emily Marie Crew, daughter of the late Arthur and Annie Lee Crew.  Reverend Tibbitts is the son of the late Elihew and Frances Bowman Tibbitts. They both were born and grew up in the Paulding County and after their marriage they raised their family in Paulding County.

Reverend Tibbitts has been employed in various positions during his 50 years of marriage. He has been a Sawmiller, owner and operator of a cold yard for many years, operator of a printing company, farmer a minister. He was pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church in Alabama for a few years and pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church for 38 years, retiring in 1973. He is a Mason and has served as a Trustee of the Burnt Hickory School for many years. Reverend Tibbitts was a Deacon at the Church prior to his ordination there as a Minister in 1935. Both of the Tibbitts are members of Narroway and have been for some 50 years.

During the past 50 years Mrs. Tibbitts has been very busy in the occupation of homemaker.  As the mother of 11 children: William Paul (Billy), Francis , Joseph Daniel, Ned Oscar, Fed Arthur, Sarah Emily, Annette Victoria, Hollis Lee, Thomas Hershel, Clo-Esther,  and  Alpha Kay, nine are still living, there was very little time for outside activities. Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts live in the family home place where they raised their children. The picturesque setting nestled in the Braswell Mountains is now the home of some of their children and grandchildren. Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts enjoy good health and still attend their church very often. As lovers of nature they now have the time to enjoy the many beautiful women eat beauties of nature which surround their home and to enjoy their 36 grandchildren and eight grandchildren.

Some 400 guests called during the afternoon on Sunday to wish Reverend Mrs. Tibbitts a very happy anniversary. Mrs. Tibbitts greeeted her guests dressed in a lavender Street dress featuring a long sleeve jacket. A corsage of a yellow throated white orchid graced her left shoulder.

The serving table, covered with a beige, cut work and hand embroidered linen cloth, was centered with a three tier wedding cake decorated with gold rose and topped with a traditional bride and groom and gold 50. Placed around the lovely cake were four smaller sweetheart cake, decorated to match, served to the guests. One end of the table held a crystal punch bowl encircled with greenery and yellow mums. From this the guests were served gold punch. A gold candelabra holding four tall yellow burning tapers entwined with greenery and yellow roses was placed on the other end of the table. Placed about the table were crystal dishes of nuts, mints and cheese cookies. Serving the guuest were  granddaughters of Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts wearing floor-length gowns of various colors with yellow mum corsages.

The gold colors themes was continued throughout the home with an arrangement of gold chrysanthemums centering the gift table which was covered with a gold cloth overlaid with a white crocheted cloth.

As the guests entered the home they were greeted by a little Miss Tammy Tibbitts, granddaughter, as she kept the guestbook. Tammy,  dressed in a floor length gown of red patch work design, was seated at a round table covered with a Gold cloth, holding an arrangement of yellow mums in a gold vase. Guests signed the book with a white plumed pen.

Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts received many lovely gifts and the warmest wishes of their many friends for many more years of happiness.

 

 

This is an article that appeared in the Dallas New Era after the death of Hollis.

Reverend Joseph Hollis Tibbitts, Age 85, Dallas, Georgia, passed away on Thursday, February the 16th, 1989 In Kennestone hospital. He was born on December 26, 1903 in Paulding County, where he was a lifelong resident.

He was the son of the late Mr Maston Elihew Tibbitts and the late Mrs. Francis Bowman Tibbitts. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Mrs. Mary Emily Marie Tibbitts, who passed away on January 16, 1983. He was also preceded in death by two sons, William Paul and Hollis Lee Tibbitts and one grandson, Daryl Smith.

Reverend Tibbitts was a devoted member of Narroway Baptist Church for many years where he served as a Deacon. He was ordained as a Baptist Minister in 1935 and move his membership to Mount Moriah Baptist Church, where he served as Pastor for 37 years. He served as pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Eva, Alabama for 2 years and served as Moderator of the New Hope Baptist Association for many years.

He was a farmer and was in that lumber business. He was also in the dairy business for several years and was owner operator of the Tibbitts printing company of East Point for 8 years. He then bough the Wilbanks Gin-Coal company and operated by the name of Tibbitts Coal Company.

Reverend Tibbitts served as a trustee of Burnt Hickory school about 10 years and worked with Paulding County Soil Conservation Service for several years. He helped organize the Paulding County Sportsmans club and was a member of the Dallas Lodge number 182 F and AM.

Mr Tibbitts was well known and loved by many, not only in his own county the in surrounding counties. He will be missed by all those who knew him, especially for his kind and friendly disposition.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Margaret H. Tibbitts, to whom he had been married 2 years; five daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Larry (Francis) Michael, Mr and Mrs. Terrell (Emily) Smith, Mr and Mrs. Wiley (Annette) Rakestraw and Ms Clo-Esther Leeds, all of Dallas and Mr. and Mrs. Cecil (Kay) Lyle of Rockmart; four sons, Mr and Mrs. Joseph D. Tibbitts, Mr. and Mrs. Ned. O. Tibbitts, Mr. and Mrs. Fed A. Tibbitts and Mr. and Mrs. T. Herschel Tibbitts, all of Dallas; four sisters, Mrs. Louise Wilson and Mrs. Florence Corley, both of Dallas, Mrs. Mary Ann Hall of Rockmart and Mrs. May Hayes of Powder Spring; five brothers, Rev. Maston Tibbitts, Mr. Fate Tibbitts and Mr. Jack Tibbitts, all of Dallas, Mr. Jerome Tibbitts of Cartersville and Mr. Woodrow Tibbitts of Marietta;  29 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were conducted on Sunday, February 19, 1989 at 3 p.m.  in Narroway Baptist Church with Reverend Rual Howard, Reverend J. G. Tibbitts, Rev.Herschel Tibbitts and Rev. Eddie Davidson officiating.

Interim it was in Narroway BaptistChurch Cemetery. Grandsons Wayne Tibbitts, Wiley Cates,  Lamar Tibbitts, Steve Cates, Ricky Rackstraw, Todd Tibbitts, Keith Smith, Colin Lyle, Kenneth Smith, Keith Thomason, and Trent Tibbitts served as pallbearers.

Jeff Eberhardt Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

 

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The following article is from the Dallas New Era Thursday August 30th 1973 titled Catfish Farming in Paulding by Jamie Nelson Soil Conservation Service

A successful catfish farming operation is on going in the Paulding County at the present time. Mr. J. H. Tibbitts, of Narroway community, is hatching 500,000 are more channel catfish Each year on his farm on Raccoon Creek, 7 miles NW of Dallas, Georgia. He has a series of ponds that are used for growing the small fish until they are about 6 inches long. He then using some of the young fish to restock three large lakes consisting of approximately 20 acres. The other young fish are sold to people wanting to stock their ponds with channel catfish. One 10 acre lake is used as a family recreation area where as many as 60 members of the Tibbitts kinfolk gather at a time to enjoy fishing and fish fries.

20140520_211201This catfish farm started with the help of the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation and the local Soil Conservation Service technicians. Mr Tibbitts, through his engineering ability, devised means of operating all his mechanical operations by water power. The water is brought in to operate machines by gravity flow. He has been told by experts from Auburn University that he is operating at 100% efficiency. Mr Tibbitts is a former District Supervisor of the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation District. He is now a District Operator with the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation District. He is the owner of approximately 300 acre farm and is also operator of his farm. A Soil and Water Conservation plan was prepared for his farm jointly by him and the local SCS technicians. His conservation plan for his farm is about 100 percent applied at the present time.

Mr. Tibbitts  other farming operation consists of approximately 200 acres of well-managed Woodlands, and eighty to ninety acres of will manage pastors on which he is carrying about 40 head of beef cattle. He also is beginning to feed out hogs on his farm. This year he fed out about 200 head. This farm is a good example of a Soil and Water Conservation plan being applied to the land.

I believe dad was doing most of the catfish farming and Fed and Ned was farming the hogs. The hog pen was to the right of where Shawn’s house is now. I need to find out who had the cows. May have been dad. I have one memory of cows between dad’s and Fed. The cows could have been the ones in the pasture at Hilda’s house. I believe those belonged to Mr. Willson. There were three horses in the pastures by papa’s house. I believe those were Gerald Hosa’s. One was named Pepper. We had a pony named Love.

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The following article is from the Dallas new Era. Thursday July 12, 1979. Entitled Catfish Are King At Tibbitts Lake. By Oby Brown staff writer.

What began as a simple hobby for the Reverend Hollis Tibbitts and his son Hershel back in 1973 has now evolved into a small business with a rustic twist.

The Tibbitts set out to harvest to have a farm pond and which to raise their own fish, and after building a hatchery to aid in restocking, again breeding catfish for their lake.

20140520_211206The venture, however, turn out to be amazingly successful and so the operation naturally expanded to include the needs of other lakes.

Herschel explain the situation as such “we saw that we could raise catfish and that the public had a need for them,” he said.

So, from mid may through July during the spring and summer and again in the fall the Tibbitts are busy overseeing the breeding process that is entirely in enclosed within the backwoods area at Hershel’s Narroway road residents.

The hatchery itself is an ingenius contrivance design and build my Herschel in Wylie Rackstraw.

Herschel said that he had seen a motorized version of the same type, but couldn’t incorporated for his intentions because of the lack of available electricity.

Therefore, the mil-like apparatus is run by hydrodynamics which, by turning a water wheel, also aerates the young fry’s pool by means of the paddles attached to the wheel.

The hatchery, however, is only ones step within the entire breeding process. Boxes located in the lake collect eggs deposited by the females, which in turn are gathered and sterilize before being placed in the hatchery.

White albino catfish dot the lakeside hatchery. They are, though, not uncommon within the channel catfish world according to Hershel.

Use of the hatchery alters the natural breeding process of the catfish, Herschel said. In the wild, the male must literally guard the young from the female who, it stronger, will devour them.

Hatching in the man-made world takes from 6 to 10 days depending on the temperature of the water. The young catfish are sold when they are fingerlings, weighing up to a quarter pound.

The entire breeding course is not a random undertaking. Boxes are “run” once a week, with transfers made at precise intervals.

Care is taken not to overstock the lake for fear of oxygen depletion.

When the catfish are ready to be placed in their final home, the small portion of the lake which has been fenced off to hold the growing fish is drained add the fish seined.

The Tibbitts supply “individual family ponds” mostly in north Georgia with occasional purchase coming from Alabama.

“There’s no telling how many pond we stocked,” said the elder Tibbitts.

Some of the larger purchase in recent times have been 5,000 to a north Georgia resident and 15,000 fingerlings to a Poke County citizen.

Fed with a high protein mixture of grain, soy bean and meal, catfish flourish in the natural surroundings.

Catches up to eight and a half pounds have been recorded at the Tibbitts lake, which is also stocked with bream and bass.

20140520_211214

The catfish farming operation lasted 20 years, from 1973 to 1993. I was born in 1974 and spent most of my childhood working in the catfish farming operation. When I was old enough, I was responsible for harvesting the eggs out of the boxes each Saturday morning, from mid-May through to the end of June. During the height of the catfish farm, we would harvest from three different Lakes; Tibbitts lake, Ned Tibbitts Lake infront of his house, and Jim Grant Lake on Star Wars path. We would then transfer the eggs to the hatchery. By this time, two hatcheries are now in full operation, one was owned and operated by Ned Tibbitts. There was a total of 4 ponds that fingerlings were raised in. Two floating dock was built to hold and work floating baskets, one in Tibbitts lake and one in Ned’s lake. The baskets were made from 4 inch PVC pipe glued together in a rectangle, 3 feet wide and 6 feet long. They had plastic mesh cage suspended below. Once the fingerings were seined from the small ponds, they were transferred to the baskets and sorted by size. Baskets would be hosted with a block and tackle. When a order was placed, The fish would be netted and place in a bucket, then counted out. If it was a order of several hundred or more, we would weight 100 and then sell them buy the pound.. People would come and pick up the fish with trash cans or barrels. We would deliver fish in a tank that was designed for this purpose, made out of fiberglass. Two aerators would run in two separate tanks from a wire that hooked to the truck battery. I spent a lot of time feeding, catching,  raising and selling Catfish. Once I moved out when I was 20 the Catfish farming slowed down and went away.  I was the last of the labor force.  Keith was good to help with draining and catching the fingerings. Lamar would help Ned and we would all help each other. Todd and Keith were dad’s workers before I was big enough to help.  There was always something to do. Each day after school I would feed the fish using my four wheeler.  As I would drive over the bridge the water would churn from the fish who could hear the four wheeler and know that it was feeding time. I would then feed the fish in the baskets and the the small ponds.

20140528_214042

The next article is “The Builders” by Charles Elliott. It appeared in the February 1952 Edition of Outdoor Life magazine.

The hunters made camp in a mountain glade and sheltered it from the weather with a emerald backdrop of massed hemlock and Rhododendron. They could hear the wind screaming through the leafless winter branches of the trees high on the ridge. Scattered flakes of snow whirled through the clearing and died in the heat of the campfire.

They were a discourage group of men. For two days they hunted the hillside and crouched near game trails through tense, frozen visual. They had flushed doe deer and found Bucks signs, but no one hand sighted a worthy trophy.

E.F. Corley threw a green oak log on the blaze. When the Cascade of spark subsided he kicked a stray firebrand into the flames and sat down again.

“Fellas”, he said, “I did some thinking out on that ridgetop today. Every year we come up here in the Blue Ridge for deer hunting. We could do the same thing a lot near home.”

“We could sure do as well,” one of the hundred snorted. “We ain’t got deer at home and we can’t find none here worth shooting.”

“What I’m figuring”, Corey said, “is stocking deer in the hills behind home. Our country in Georgia isn’t much different from this, only smaller and not so high.”

“You ain’t got a chance of starting deer in there”, the hunter said. “Town people and farmers too would shoot’em before they could be put out of a truck.”

“The six of us here,” Corley persistent, “represent a sizable chunk of land – maybe 12,000 acres. That’s a start. And there’s twenty times that much wild land in the corner of Polk, Bartow, Paulding counties. That’s enough to grow a fittin’ deer herd.”

“Even if everybody agreed, which they won’t, where you gonna get the deer?” Another hunter asked. “How’ll you protect’em? What authority-”

“I don’t know all the answer”, Corley admitted, “but I reckon findin’em out might be worth a try.”

The men around a campfire were sons of the soul. Most of them made their leaving from the Earth from cotton, milk, bottom lane corn, and livestock. Corley himself was a farmer, saw mill, trucker, contractor, and, to take up his unused hours on Sunday, an ordained Baptist minister. Two were dairymen who sold their milk in bulk to the nearest processing plant. For a week each year the men went hunting deer together.

That night the men laid out there new idea just as they might plan next season farming operation. They realize that there wasn’t a chance in starting a game refuge until all their neighbors and acquaintances favorite one. Half a dozen hunters could blast deer out of the woods faster than they could be put in. In many ways Paulding was then a typical backwoods County. The courts regarded cases brought in by the local game warden as annoying and frequently pigeonholed such complaints. Any man who wanted a fish dinner simply seined for it, and everyone knew that squirrels were fatter  and quail easier to kill weeks before this season open.

Quietly and without fuss, preacher Corley, Hollis Tibbitts, Gene Colbert, Bennie Jones, Joe Mathis, O. N. Black – the men around the campfire – begin to sell a program which has improved the status of their county more than anything since the Civil War ended. From an idea that started as a game project, it has blossomed into a county wide system of soil conservation, forest protection, rural electrification, and better schools and roads.

It didn’t come easy. Testimony to that may be found in the rough, forest clad hills that rise to 1,700 feet on both sides of state highway 61, North out of Dallas. For almost 80 years since the Yankees storms  around Kennesaw Mountain and turned southward to the Battle of Atlanta, the farms scattered widely through this rugged terrain remained about the same.

20140528_214006With the help of the county agent, Corley, Tibbitts, and Corlbert made up a map showing ownership of every tract of land in the area. The territory consisted of  150,000 acres lying roughly in the triangle between Dallas, Cedartown, in Cartersville. Then they went to work selling their plan to neighbors.

A hunting committee was organized, and it prepared an argument whereby each land owner who signed pledged himself to bar hunting of any kind on his property for 5 years. He also promised to help keep down forest fires and to help control predatory animals either by his own efforts or through the Paulding County Conservation Club, in which he automatically became a non-dues-paying member.

The committee made several trips to surrounding towns, to the State Capitol at Atlanta, and even crossed the line into Alabama to get signatures. Non-resident owners sign without hesitation, for it ment protection of property some of them had hadn’t seen in years but a few farmers close to home couldn’t see any sense in “turning good laying back to the varmints.”

“What’ll I do for a mess of squirrels in Hickory Nut cutting time if I agree not to go busting no cap for five years?” When asked.

“If one man shoots,” Corley argued, “everybody’ll want to, and some aren’t as honest as you. It’s only a couple of miles from your place across the highway into the Hickory Nut bottoms on the other side. You can get your squirrels the there.”

Nevertheless ,this farmer didn’t put his +name to the document into the members of his parish corners him in the the church Grove for four straight Sundays in a row and kidded him into it.

Two or three signatures made their marks willingly but with glints in their eyes as they visualize the prospect of a private hunting area at their back door. Canvassers made mental note of this. A local businessman who owns a small forest track on the edge of the preserve read the agreement carefully and send it with a big smile. “First time I ever put my name to something that I didn’t cost me money,” he said.

The businessman was only partly correct. Getting folks to sign the pack, which took more than a year of Education, and checking, and pressure was only the first step in the long range program. The second step call for raising money for the initial stocking program. The hunting partners made a list of how much each member could afford to donate, and then issued invitations to that infallible southern crowd-collecting affair, a barbecue with Brunswick stew and m(meat cooked over Hickory coals.

At that first “formal” meeting of the Paulding County Conservation club, Corey outline the whole plan. It wasn’t new by then. For more than a year it has been discussed and cursed around those at Crossroads, Country stores, in church groves, and across plowstocks. But Corley went over it again, and ended by donating $200 to be used for the stocking program. When each man present had made his pledge, the treasure added up the subscription. The total came to $1,400, some $400 more than the committee anticipated.

” We hadn’t figured on spending but $1,000 for dear”, the preacher said. “We got too much money for that”.

.”Them creeks are mighty cold,  maybe they’ll take trout, ” Another suggested.

We’ll need something for fire protection, ” a farmer cautuoned.  “We can put out the fires ourselves if we can find out when they start and where they are.

The committee gathered the newly hatched proposal under its wing and went back to work.  The telephone line stopped at Dallas City limits,  so the committee applied for an expansion of phone service and then signed up potential subscribers.  Committee members spent hours away from home during the hot summer months,  taking the temperature of the streams to determine whether the water was cold enough to support mountain trout.  They talked with the county agent and the county commissioner about setting up funds to provide for forest protection. The agent was willing.  The commissioner had only one brief comment: “Costs too much”.

At one time or another, uncontrolled fires had burned every acre of woods thereaout. Why waste money and manpower to stop them now? Trees grew in spite of annual burns. It would be an extravagant use of taxpayer’s money. That was that. But it didn’t stop the committee. The group inquired into the cost of pumps, axes, shovels, hoes, and other fire-fighting equipment which could be keep handy at strategic points.

Laying the groundwork for good fishing and hunting near home took the better part of two years. Now the club members were ready for the first real test – getting the state to help . A committee of four called on the State Game and Fish Commission in Atlanta and laid the club’s plans before it.

“We got the money and the land,” Corley explained. “All we want is information on how to legally set up a refuge, and where we can buy a stock of deer”.

“How do you propose to protect it?” the commission director asked.

“We got that figured out,” a committee member put in. “If you’ll deputize five or six of our members as game wardens they’ll do the job with help from your local officer.”

The project was approved at the next game-commission meeting. Though a little skeptical that this was on the up and up, or could succeed in a county where game protection had long been a joke, the commission located a herd of twenty deer for sale on a private estate in South Carolina.

The price was $1,500. Corley got them for $1,000. In February, 1944, deer went bounding into the hills of northwest Paulding County for the first time in more than half a century.

Before fall that same year 100 wild-turkey eggs were purchased from an Eastern game breeder, hatched at the state quail farm with unsatisfactory results, and reared to stocking size with still unsatisfactory results at a farm on the edge of the project. Against the recommendation of the game technicians, the club purchased fifty half-domesticated turkey hens and gobblers and turned them out with the wild poults.

That fall club members also hauled 20,000 fingerling rainbow trout from the Summerville hatchery and released them in the headwaters of the creeks rising on the project. The club applied to the State Department of Forestry for a county-wide fire-protection system, and was promised assistance if the county commissioner would agree to co-operate financially. From then on the commissioner couldn’t walk down the street without being pestered by his constituents for the forest-fire unit and for better roads to make the project more accessible to those engaged in protecting its trees and game. He never did give in but his successor was won over.

Thus the refuge, so carefully nurtured thought its think and theory stages, at last became a reality. Corley and his associates had thought that when thy reached this point most of the work would be  behind them. Instead their headaches and heartbreaks had just begun.

One buck in their first truckload of deer suddenly turned into a man hunter. Raised in captivity and unafraid of humans, he developed a propensity, as big bucks sometimes do, for stalking men and nudging them in the seat of the pants with his antlers.

He hooked a railroad worker who was walking down the side of a steep embankment, and then attacked an old man who was hoeing his garden. A clamor went up for his head. Who ever heard of wild animals being allowed to run loose and hurt people/ So the first hunt of the project was organized, but not for game. Men with specially loaded shotgun shells peppered the offending buck with peas and rock salt and drove him back into the woods.

Then the poacher problem came up. The violators were not town people or nonresidents, but several natives who lived within the boundaries of the preserve and who had signed the agreement.

The worst offender, from all reports, had just added deer slaying to his other crimes. He made bootleg whisky and to help hide the smoke from his still, set forest fires. He also stole automobiles, stripped them, and sold all non-traceable parts.

The committee decided that this character was beyond reform, and that the only way to get rid of him was to buy him out. With the sheriff and state patrol on his trail, he was persuaded to sell his place and move away.

The other known poachers had no bad habits other than stealing game occasionally. As an experiment, the club hired some of these men and assigned them to keep down game-law violations and control predators.

Typical of these good-natured hill men was on who raised only enough crops to feed his hogs, chickens, mule, and family. This didn’t take too many weeks out of his year. He spent the rest of his time ranging the slopes and ridges with his single-barreled shotgun. He took a heavy toll of wild creatures within a ten-mile radius of his home. Corley and Tibbitts went to see him in September. They found him barefoot on the steps of his weathered house.

“We’re looking for deer sign,” Corley said.  “Seen any of he bucks we turned loose over in the valley?”

“Some,” he admitted. “One’s been in the pea patch, an’ I seen several hoof tracks where they crossed the ridge.” He led the two farmers over a narrow mountain trail to show them the tracks in the next gap.

“Aren’t you afraid you’ll get bitten by a rattler, going around like that with no shoes on?” Tibbitts asked.

“Been doing it fifty year, I reckon,” the hill man said, “an’ ain’t never been bit but twicet.”

He agreed to take the job as deputy warden and protect his side of the refuge from hunters. The club bought him some steel traps and set him up in the fur and varmint business. He took his job seriously from the beginning. He visited neighbors with whom he had hunted in the past years and explained his new status. They agreed to keep their guns and dogs off the preserve.

Other trappers scattered around the preserve warred on the wildcats, skunks, opossums, and foxes which had played hob with the attempt to restock turkeys.

Meantime the state game officials, realizing that the club’s venture might succed, let a helping hand. Charles Pierle, co-ordinator of Pittman- Robertson projects sponsored jointly by the state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arranged to have a truckload of big Wisconsin white-tails released in the mountains. Two additional loads of surplus deer from Texas were turned loose in the bottomlands of Raccoon and Peggymore Creeks, where the larger northern deer were not ranging.

This herd immediately started to feed on a hay bottom belonging to the brothers Harvey and Bob Crews. When they casually mentioned this fact to Hollis Tibbitts, he brought it up at a meeting and was instructed to use club funds to pay for any damage done. The Crews boys allowed that they’d rather have the deer than the hay, but the club paid them anyway for an estimated two tons of feed.

As for the 20,000 rainbow trout, most disappeared. No on knew why. It may have been a change in water, or maybe the fish traveled downstream to look for larger pools, only to be trapped the next summer by the warm, muddy rain water that flowed off the fields. After a second stocking also failed, Corley and his associates thought up another idea.

Bennie Jones furnished the land and ten club members pledged the money to build a fifty-acre lake at the head of a tributary flowing into Peggymore Creek. Wartime lack of labor and materials put a halt to the plan, but Bennie later built the lake himself.

Corley Lake

Corley started the construction of a 100-acre lake on a creek immediately below. This set off a chain reaction that within two years saw a dozen manmade lakes thereabouts. Corley’s lake, built out of concrete and earth, was completed and stocked last fall-with largemouth bass, smallmouths, and bluegills – and will be ready for fishing in another year.

But the club’s main interest centered around the deer. A total of 107 animals were stocked on the rugged mountain and in a six-year period. The herd was seriously threatened a couple of years ago when hunters slipped in from neighboring towns and for a month took pot shots at any animals they saw from the roadside between Remus and Beatty Switch. Deputy game wardens found two dozen cripples that had gone into the woods to die. The club increased the number of men assigned to guard the area, and went to see the judge. Word got around that the court was prepared to jail anyone caught with a loaded rifle on the refuge. The malicious practice soon stopped.

The club plans to hold its first buck hunt next fall, when perhaps a dozen bucks-mostly those that have been hanging around the farms and nipping at the crops – will be harvested. The area will be open to the pubic, with shooting by permit only, and it’s hoped that the meat will be divvied up so that all hunters can have a taste of venison. Meantime, club members estimate that their original stock of 107 deer has increased to perhaps 600 animals, spreading from east of Cartersville clear across the Alabama line.

The club has big plans for the future. More landowners have requested admission. Now that the predatory animals and stray dogs are at an all-time low, the gobbler committee is again looking around for a stock of wild turkeys.

And in the meanwhile the quail – which haven’t been shot since the preserve was set up – are doing fine. Men have jumped coveys all over the place, and there should be some swell hunting when the lid goes off.

The spirit has spread into other community affairs. When the district schoolhouse burned down, the club members got local suppliers to sell them construction materials at cost, then pitched in and erected a new building with their own hands. It cost around $ 15,000 and is valued at $75,000.

Paulding County now has complete forest-fire protection – trucks, jeeps, radios, and fire-fighting equipment. The unit co-operates  with  neighboring setups when fires break out anywhere in that part of the state.

“You can hardly strike a match to light your pipe but a fire truck skids to a stop behind you and a patrolman jumps out with a hose in his hand,” Corley says.

The roads around the area and one that runs through it have been improved and made part of the county highway system. The area got R.EA. electric power in 1948 to improve living conditions on the farms, and the telephone company expects to service the whole north end of the county within the next few months.

Corley and his associates are planning big thins ahead. Their community is fired with the spirit of progress, and its list of achievements grows month by month. But most important to the sportsmen who sat around the campfire on that cold winter night in the mountains, big-game hunting has now been brought to their very back doors.

The conservation idea is so firmly implanted in the minds of their neighbors that it will be a long time before those parts will again be as barren of game and fish as they were only seven short years ago.

THE END.

One noteworthy fact to pass along is that Hollis never harvested any of the deer he helped to bring in to the county. When asked why he had not shot one of them, he said he had been to busy protecting them.

The combined Sheffield and Paulding Forest WMA that is now what was once the wildlife preserve created by Mr. Corley, Mr. Jones, Papa and others is the largest in the state. Deer and Turkey are abundant in their hills. The state stocks Trout each year in the head waters of Raccoon Creek.

Tibbitts Lake was build at this same time. Along with Benson, Black and Gold Mine among others.

List of Children of Rev. Joseph Hollis Tibbitts and Mary Emily “Marie” Crew Tibbitts:

  1. William Paul Tibbitts. Born 3-12-1927. Died 9-27-1927.
  2. Fances Tibbitts. Born 7-17-1928.
  3. Joseph Daniel Tibbitts. Born 2-21-1930.
  4. Fed Arthur Tibbitts. Born 1-4-1932.
  5. Ned Oscar Tibbitts. Born 1-4-1932.
  6. Sara Emily Tibbitts. Born 4-13-1934.
  7. Annette Victoria Tibbitts. Born 6-18-1936.
  8. Little Lee Tibbitts. Born 3-26-1938. Died 2-5-1946
  9. Rev. Thomas Hershel Tibbitts. Born 12-21-1939.
  10. Co-Ester Tibbitts. Born 4-11-1942. Died
  11. Alpha Kay Tibbitts. Born 1-6-1944.

Lineage of Joseph Hollis Tibbitts:

  • Father. Maston Eilhew Tibbitts. Born 3-13-1880. Died 1-25-1967.
  • Mother. Francis Victoria Bowman Tibbitts. Born 3-19-1880. Died 3-5-1966.
  • Grandfather. Maston Green Tibbitts (CSA). Born 10-13-1845. Died 2-13-1924.
  • Grandmother. Mary Ann Starnes Tibbitts. Born 12-8-1849. Died 3-18-1922.
  • Grandfather. William Franklin Bowman. Born 2-15-1859. Died 11-6-1936.
  • Grandmother. Sarah Elizabeth Twilley Bowman. Born 9-7-1859. Died 11-8-1897.
  • Grate Grandfather. Joseph Chitman Tibbitts (CSA). Born 10-12-1812. Died 8-26-1892.
  • Grate Grandmother. Matilda Fowler Tibbitts. Born 2-4-1815. Died 10-19-1885.
  • Grate Grandfather. Thomas P. Starnes. Borne 3-14-1822. Died 2-27-1895.
  • Grate Grandmother. Susannah Roberts Starnes. Born. 11-4-1819. Died 9-7-1899.
  • Grate Grandfather. Edwin Bowman.
  • Grate Grandmother. Mary Wheeler Bowman.
  • Grate Grandfather. Rev. William R. Twilley. Born 1825. Died 1911.
  • Grate Grandmother. Priscilla Terry Twilley. Born 1826. Died 1871.
  • G. G. Grandfather Thomas Tibbitts. Born ?. Died 1843.
  • G.G. Grandmother Rachel Tibbitts. Born ? Died. 1867.
  • G.G. Grandfather Daniel Starnes. Born 1800. Died 1876.
  • G.G. Grandmother Mary Miller Starnes. Born 1799. Died 1847.
  • G.G. Grandfather Rev. James Roberts. First Pastor of Pumpkinvine Baptist Church, 1844.
  • G.G. Grandmother Mrs. James Roberts.
  • G.G. Grandfather James Twilley. Born 1801. Died 1867.
  • G.G. Grandmother Mary Townsend Twilley. Born 1801. Died ?
  • G.G.G. Grandfather Levi Starnes. S.C. Military. Born 11-5-1742
  • G.G.G. Grandmother Elizabeth Starnes.
  • G.G.G. Grandfather William Twilley. Born 7-1-1781. Died 1818.
  • G.G.G. Grandmother Mary Twilley. Born 1770. Died 1850.
  • G.G.G.G. Grandfather Peter Starnes. Born 4-2 1710. Died 1791. Revolutionary War, S.C. Military. Charter Member of Sandy Creek Baptist Church
  • G.G.G.G. Grandmother Hannah Stimson Starnes. Born 3-22-1715. Died 1760 of Cholera.
  • G.G.G.G. Grandfather George Twilley. Born 1743. Died 1801. Revolutionary War, Salisbury Battalion, Somerset Co. Md.
  • G.G.G.G. Grandmother Ann Bradley Twilley. Born 5-27-1745. Died 1-7-1812.
  • G.G.G.G.G. Rev. Shubaeol Stearns III. First Pastor of Sandy Creek Baptist Church.
  • G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Rebecca Laveford Stearns
  • G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Dr. James Stimson II
  • G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. James Stimson II
  • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Shubael Stearns. Born 9-20-1655. Died 1734.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mary Upton Stearns. Born 1665.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Charles Stearns. Born (1623-1628) Hertford England. Died 1695 Essex Massachusetts
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Rebecca Gibson Stearns Born 1635. Died 6-1698.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Upton. Born 1625. Died 6-11-1699.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Eleanor Stuart Upton. Born 1630. Died 1700.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Shubael Stearns. Born 1598 Hapshier England. Died 1631 Massachusetts.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Shubael Stearns. Born 1600. Hapshier England.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Gibson. Born 1601. Died 1694.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Rebecca Thompson Gibson.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather William Upton. Born 1588. Died 6-1648.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Amye Loves Upton. Born 1592. Died 8-9-1649.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather William Stearns. Born 1545 Cambridge England. Died 1645 Suffork England.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Emma Ramsford Stearns. Born 1568. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather George Gibson. Born 1570. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. George Gibson. Born 1574. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather George Upton. Born 1562. Died 12-27-1611.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Philipa Wrey Upton. Born 1558. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Richard Loves. Born 1551. Died 5-20-1607.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Richard Loves. Born 1553. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Henry Stearns. Born 1520. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Alece Starns. Born 1523. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Robert Ramsford.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Robert Ramsford.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather William Upton. Born 1526. Died 1570.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mary Kirham Upton. Born 1531. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Wrey. Born 1531. Died 1577.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Blanche Killigrew Wrey. Born 1533. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Leonard Loves. Born 1533. Died 1576.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Jane Thorne Loves. Born 1535. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Upton. Born 1500.Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Elizabeth Burleigh Upton. Born 1503. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Thomas Kirham. Born 1504. Died 1-31-1551.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Margaret Ferrers Kirham. Born 1501. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Walter Wrey. Born 1500. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Bridget Shilstone Wrey. Born 1504. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Humphre Loves. Born 1500. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Jan Hatch Loves. Born 1503. Died 1560.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Kirham. Born 1472. Died 6-11-1529.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Lucy Tremagyle Kirham. Born 1475.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Richard Ferrers. Born 1485.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Jan Malehearba Ferrers. Born 1485.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Robert Wrey. Born 1470.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Constance Shilston Wrey. Born 1473.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Robert Shilston. Born 1475.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Robert Shilston. Born 1478.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather William Hatch. Born 1475.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Margaret Horton Hatch. Born 1478.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Nicholas Kirkham
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Jane or Jone or Johana Waye or Wrey Kirkham.

 

Lineage of Mary Emily “Marie” Crew Tibbitts

    • Arthur Harvey Young Crew. Born 11-25-1878. Died 7-24-1951.
    • Annie “Anis” Fairfield Lee. Born 10-9-1885. Died 7-5-1962.
    • Grandfather William Edward “Bill” Crew. Born 6-6-1852. Died 5-22-1914.
    • Grandmother Emily E. Durham. Born 3-28-1851. Died 6-15-1916.
    • Grandfather J. Wyatt Lee (CSA). Born 2-17-1840. Died 11-25-1866
    • Grandmother Mary Ann Johnson. Born 4-6-1846. Died 1-20-1916.
    • G. Grandfather William Harvey Crew. Born 9-24-1830. Died 2-13-1903.
    • G. Grandmother Sarah Caroline Walker. Born 3-13-1830. Died 1-6-1881.
    • G. Grandfather Young Marcus Alexander Hanlaway Durham. Born 1823. Died 11-2-1900
    • G. Grandmother Moriah Elsberry Durham.
    • G. Grandfather John Hartwell Lee. Born 4-8-1810. Died 10-13-1868.
    • G. Grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Anderson. Born 1-5-1848. Died 9-11-1882.
    • G. Grandfather Elrod Johnson.
    • G. Grandmother Mrs. Elrod Johnson.
    • G.G. Grandfather Carter Crew.
    • G.G. Grandmother Rhoda Hardin Crew.
    • G.G. Grandfather Lidsey W. Elsberry.
    • G.G. Grandmother Elizabeth Caldwell Elsberry.
    • G.G. Grandfather Wyatt Lee. Born 5-2-1760. Died 7-10-1870.
    • G.G. Grandmother Dolly Grant.
    • G.G.G. Grandfather Benjamin Elsberry.
    • G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Benjamin Elsberry.
    • G.G.G. Grandfather Curtis Caldwell.
    • G.G.G. Grandmother Sarah Caldwell.
    • G.G.G. Grandfather Burhell Lee. Born 8-30-1733. Died ?
    • G.G.G. Grandmother Mary Ann Lee.
    • G.G.G.G. Grandfather Thomas Lee
    • G.G.G.G. Grandmother Sarah Wyatt Lee
    • G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Hugh Lee Jr. Born 1670. Died 1739.
    • G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Anne Tatum
    • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Hugh Lee. Born 1652. Died 1722
    • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Ann Lee.
    • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Samuel Tatum. Born 1631. Died 1750.
    • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Marry Tatum.
    • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Hugh Lee. Born ? Died 1661.
    • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Hannah Hewett
    • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Nathaniel Tatum. Came to U.S. in 1619
    • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Nathaniel Tatum.
    • Hugh Lee was the immigrant from England. His Lineage can be traced back to pre 1000 A.D.

 

Some Starns History.

PETER STARNS, SR.
By Virginia Weeks WarbingtonPeter Stearns was born to Shubael Stearns, III and his wife, Rebecca Laveford on April 2, 1710 in Redding, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The family later moved to Tolland, Tolland County, Connecticut where Peter married his first cousin, Hannah Stimson, who was born, March 22, 1715/16 in Tolland to Dr. James Stimson, II and his wife, Hannah Stearns. (1)
The Vital Records of Tolland, Connecticut give us this record: Peter and Hannah were married January 12, 1736, with the ceremony performed by Rev. Stephen Steel. Their first five children’s births are also recorded in Tolland: Charles, October 25, 1737; Ebenezer, February 16, 1741; Levi, November 5, 1742; Joel, October 23, 1744; and, Rhoda, April 7, 1749. Their sixth child and second daughter, Thamar, has an estimated birth date of 1750, but is not found in the Tolland birth records. Her name is derived from Peter’s will. (2)Peter and Hannah Stearns and their family were in Virginia in 1754, as members of the missionary group led by his brother, Rev. Shubael Stearns. Previously, they had loaded their possessions into ox-drawn carts or wagons in August of that year and left Tolland accompanied by their parents, some of their brothers and sisters and all their families. They had made their way through New York to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, proceeding in a southerly direction, then turned westward near Baltimore, Maryland and headed up the Potomac Valley. Upon reaching northern Virginia, they were joined by their sister and brother-in-law, Martha and Daniel Marshall and their children, and the Joseph Breed family. After surveying the country for a spot to settle, they chose a location along the sparsely settled Cacapon Creek in Hampshire County, about thirty miles west of the present town of Winchester, Virginia. The men and boys hurriedly set about building homes to settle their families within before the winter weather set in. But they were not as well received as anticipated and the growing unrest among the Indian tribes in their vicinity began to create a great deal of apprehension. (3)
Shubael was already looking around for a place to relocate, when a letter arrived on June 13, 1755 from friends who had gone to North Carolina, informing him of the need for spiritual leadership within that colony. Soon after, the Stearns party began their journey down the Shenandoah Valley. Crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains by way of a gap somewhere within the lower valley, in either Rockbridge or Roanoke counties, they traveled on into the central region of North Carolina. Arriving at a spot where three forest trails met, within the forks of the Cape Fear River, they decided they had found the place best suited for their church. There, in Orange County (later Guilford, now Randolph), where Deep River and Haw River meet, at a place called Sandy Creek, they built new homes and a meeting house.
They could not have chosen a better site than this, for they were situated in the very crossroads of the Settlers Road, which led from Pennsylvania to South Carolina; the Boone Trail (as it was later named), leading from Wilmington to the Yadkin settlements; and the Trading Path, leading from southeastern Virginia to the Waxhaw Country which was located on the boundary line of North and South Carolina. In the coming years, they would see thousands of settlers using these trails as they migrated to the new frontiers. (4)
On November 22, 1755, they formed themselves into a church of sixteen charter members: the Sandy Creek Baptist Church. Shubael Stearns and the eleven persons following him from Connecticut to Virginia, along with Daniel and Martha Marshall and Joseph and Priscilla Breed, who had joined their party in Virginia. Understandably, the group chose Shubael Stearns to be their pastor, with Daniel Marshall and Joseph Breed as his assistants. (5)
Peter and Hannah Stearns were among the sixteen charter members, where Peter’s name appeared as #115.49 on the Orange County tax list for that year. (6)
During the months following the 1758 organization of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association, one of its ministers, Rev. Phillip Mulkey, and twelve members of his Deep River congregation moved into South Carolina, where they relocated to Little River of Broad River in Camden District, in that area which later became Fairfield County. They formed themselves into a church in August of 1759, and Peter, Hannah, and their children joined them during the latter part of that year.
South Carolina waged a war against the Cherokee Indian Nation during what is known as the Cherokee War of 1759-1760. Peter took his family to Tobler’s Fort in the New Windsor Township to escape the marauding Indians. It had been established by John Tobler and his group of Swiss/Palatine immigrants on the east bank of the Savannah River directly opposite of Augusta, GA (now in present day Aiken County, South Carolina where North Augusta and Beech Island are located). Tobler’s thriving plantation, which was enclosed inside a sturdy palisade fort, included an ironworks, a clock making business, and a printing shop from which he published The South Carolina Almanack. He was also engaged in Indian trade. It was here that Peter’s wife, Hannah, died in 1760 of cholera during the crowded conditions created by so many families seeking refuge from the Indians. (7)
When Rev. Mulkey and some of his congregation moved to Union County, South Carolina (to the present location of Fairforest) in 1762, Peter’s sister and brother-in-law, Rebekah and Jonathan Paulk, remained in Orange County, North Carolina. Jonathan wrote a letter from Orange County on February 13, 1764 to a brother back east, in which he mentioned that Peter and his family had been in the “South Province” for 4 years, and that he had visited him and his son, Ebenezer Starns, the previous fall. He described them as in a “prosperous country.” He said that Peter had raised “at least four hundred bushels of corn” and Ebenezer “had near as much.” (8)
Five years later their son, Micajah Paulk, obtained one hundred acres on “Waters fair Forrest” on November 3, 1767. (9) This indicates he followed to the Camden District at some point, with or without his parents. Peter and his children did not follow Rev. Mulkey to Union County, and were noted as being “located only forty or fifty miles to the northeast.” Peter’s surname has begun to be frequently spelled Starns. (10)
Gibson’s Meeting House, measuring twenty-four by twenty feet, was located “two and a quarter miles below Kincaid’s Bridge on the west side of Little River just above the mouth of Neckley’s Creek.” It was built in 1768 on land given by Jacob Gibson. There is no doubt that Peter helped with its construction, for he was one of twelve members who were constituted a church there on February 26, 1770. The following year Jacob Gibson was ordained its minister and he continued to preach there at least through 1790. (11)
Peter married a second wife, Margaret Parr, widow of Arthur Parr, Sr., of Orange County, North Carolina, who had been killed in 1764 by an Indian he was escorting to jail. The last record of her first husband was in 1765 at the Orange County May Inferior Court where an “account of debts paid by William Wiley Adm. of Arthur Parr Deceased” was filed. (12)
Arthur Parr, Jr., the eldest of Peter Stearns’ five step-children, was a 74 year-old Revolutionary War veteran, when he deposed on September 26, 1832 in Washington County, Indiana Circuit Court: “According to my best information I was born on the 5th day of July 1758 in that part of the state of North Carolina that was then or shortly afterwards Guilford county where I continued until I was somewhere about ten or twelve years old when I went with my mother into the State of South Carolina I continued until the first day of march 1776 then in the district of Fairfield I was drafted and entered the servise of the revolution war under Captain Thomas Woodard …….” (13)
This tells us it was between 1766 and 1768 when Arthur, Jr. arrived in South Carolina, and he was between the ages of sixteen and eighteen when he was drafted. While the exact date of his mother’s marriage to Peter Stearns is still undetermined, this does fit closely with the statement: “between 1768 and ‘69 Peter settled his family on lands between and bordering on both Mill and Morris Creeks for which he received a land grant in 1771.” (14)
Peter had the first 232 acres of Craven County land surveyed on July 2, 1771. On July 22, 1771 he had an additional 368 acres surveyed. Here is a transcription of the original document:
“SCarolina Peter Starns 232 Acres
“A Memorial exhibited by PETER STARNS to be registered in the Auditor’s office Agreeable to order of Council & to a Condition of the Grant hereafter mentioned of a plantation or tract of Land Containing 232 Acres Situate in Craven County Morrises Creek bounded to the North West by Land of Robert Stark to the NEley by Land of Isaac Porcher & Samuel Procher & to the SEley Land of Samuel Elliott Esqr SWley by Land of Isaac Porcher & David McGraw Survey Certified the 12th of Jul 1771 Another plantation or tract of Land Containing 368 Acres Situate in Craven County on Mill Creek bounded NW by Land of John Ard Eley Land of John Marpole to the NEley John Libertys Land & NEward by part of Land laid out to Thomas Woodward & Isaac Libertys & the other two sides by vacant land Survey Certified the 12th of July 1771 and both Granted the 22nd day of August 1771 to the Memorialist at 2 Mr of 3/Str or 4/ pro mney per 100 Acres to commence two years from the date In Witness Whereof he hath hereunto Set his hand the 24th of Sep 1771 Richd Winn DS
his
James X Owens
Mark “
A study of the survey plat of the two hundred thirty-two acre Morris Creek tract, which somewhat resembles a boot, reveals something of interest. Within what could be called the instep and toe, is an enclosed section of 150 acres labeled Edward McGraw, Jr. One may assume Peter gave this portion of his lands as a gift to his daughter and son-in-law, Rhoda and Edward McGraw, Jr.

Craven County became the Camden District by 1778, and by 1785 it had been formed into Fairfield, Laurens and several other counties. Thus, Peter’s home came to be termed the Camden District of Fairfield County, South Carolina. (15)

South Carolina jury lists for 1778 and 1779 indicate Peter’s home was in an area “between Broad and Catawba Rivers.” Oddly, Peter’s name does not appear while his nearest neighbor, Edward McGraw [Jr.], does. In the same area is the deputy surveyor Richard Winn and Anderson Thomas, both of whom became Patriot Captains during the Revolutionary War. (16)

As hostilities between the colonies and England escalated, Peter may have initially followed his brother Rev. Stearns’ admonitions and remained neutral. John Adams once observed: “one-third of the population of the colonies were in favor of independence, one-third were opposed and the remainder didn’t care one way or the other.” (17) However, word of the abuse visited upon the Baptist settlement back at Sandy Creek, North Carolina following the Battle of Alamance on May 16, 1771 by Gov. Tryon’s troops doubtless served to convince Peter that neutrality was not in his best interest.

Although that particular battle was about squelching opposition to the graft occurring among the governor’s appointed office-holders, in a few years it led to the realization among many other of South Carolina back country’s farmers that the King’s rule was no longer desirable. Countless skirmishes between Patriots and their British Loyalists neighbors occurred frequently as they waged bloody and ruthless civil war upon one another. Neither age nor gender exempted anyone from defending home, family, and possessions.

File #AA7320 in the South Carolina Archives and History, in Columbia, South Carolina contains the Revolutionary War Service Record for “Peter Starns.” It shows he “served 706 days of militia duty in the Camden District from March 3, 1779 to October 4, 1781, certified by Captain Anderson Thomas.” Peter signed a statement on June 14, 1784 before the Justice of Peace for Camden District, South Carolina, David Hopkins, certifying the duty charge was correct and that “he has not received any pay for the same.” A few days later, on September 17, he signed a request at “Broad River to “deliver to Col. David Hopkins such payment or indents as may appear to be due me” and it was witnessed by “Amos Davis, J.P.” (18)

Because Peter Starns, Sr. was between the ages of sixty-nine and seventy-one during this time of service, the Daughters of the American Revolution, have refused to recognize the service, preferring instead to imply it was done by a younger man of the same name. They have discounted all evidence presented to prove he was the only adult man by that name living in Camden District before, during, and after the war.
Peter was in Camden District, Fairfield County, South Carolina during the 1790 U. S. Census, as head of a family of four: himself, wife Margaret, and young sons, Joshua, aged “16 & upwards,” and Peter, aged “under 16”. Clearly, Joshua was born no later than 1774, while Peter was born after 1774. When their father served in the militia, Peter, Jr. was only between five and seven years of age. (19)
Peter Starns wrote his will on December 28, 1789. Of the six hundred acres surveyed for him in 1771, only one hundred sixteen remained in his possession, which he wanted equally divided between his younger sons Joshua and Peter, with “Joshua to have the part where I now live.” He named his “six eldest children four sons and two daughters”: Charles Starns, Ebenezer Starns, Levi Starns, Joel Starns, Rhoda McGraw and Thamar Free. He also named Margaret’s children by her first husband: Arthur Parr, John Parr, Mary Arwin, Esther McGraw, and Margaret McGraw. Peter’s executor and executrix were John Parr, and Margaret Starns, and witnesses were David McGraw, Jr., Owen Edwards and Elisha Hunter. Fairfield County, South Carolina Will Book 1, pg 125, is where the will was proved on September 13, 1791, and recorded on September 20, 1791 by D. Evans, C.C.
At the time of his death Peter owned nine head of cattle, four head of horses, twenty-two head of hogs, loose oats and fodder, plow gear, hoes, axes and plow, a grindstone, a side and mill, a beehive, a pitchfork and wooden ware, a loom and weaving gear, pewter and earthen ware, two kettles and camp stove, three saddles, two wheels reel and cards, three books and two slates, a chest and a case, carpenters tools, cotton, two beds and furniture, and a w__ing box and shears. The estate was appraised by John Robertson and David McGraw for fifty-three pounds, thirteen shillings, two pence. (20)
In the 1800 Fairfield County, South Carolina Census, the “over 45” year-old widow, Margaret Starnes, has in her household two young men who were born between 1774 and 1784. We know from the 1790 census that neither of Margaret’s youngest sons was born as late as 1784. Instead, their birth dates have to fall very close to the years 1774 and 1775. But, the elder son, Joshua Starnes, has his own household in Fairfield County that year. Margaret’s older sons, Arthur and John Parr, also have their own households. The only conclusion to be drawn is the older of the young men is Peter Starnes, Jr., while the younger is either a relative or a hired hand. Note that Starnes is now the spelling used for their surname. (21)
Peter’s widow, Margaret, received a letter of dismission from the Little River Baptist Church on “Saturday, the 11th 1809 (Feb. or Mar.).” Prior to that, she was listed as a church member on “May the 10th 1794.” An on-line search with Google Maps, shows the present day address for the church & cemetery is “343 Little River Church Road, Jenkinsville, SC.” The church and graveyard are in Fairfield County, 3.8 miles North of Jenkinsville on SC Secondary Highway 213. Now we have the approximate geographical locale of Peter’s six hundred acre Morris Creek-Mill Creek homestead, as we may presume they did not have far to travel to attend their church. (22)

There are many other stories of Papa and I welcome them. I will add more as I receive them. If you know any of his songs or speeches I would like those. I do have some tapes of him. I also would like copies of each of his child’s poem he had them to learn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BMT

Section One. Springer to Three Forks.

Mile                 Attraction                                            Miles to next point.                 Miles on BMT

O.0.                 FS Road 42. AT to BMT                    0.7

0.7.                  Southern terminus of the BMT           0.2

0.9.                  Southern terminus of the AT.             0.2

1.1.                  Southern terminus of the BMT           0.1.                                          0.0

1.2.                  Plaque                                                 0.1.                                          0.1

1.3                   Trail turns right.  Winter views.         0.2.                                           0.2

1.5.                  Blue Ridge Eastern Crest                   0.2.                                          0.4

1.7                   Shallow saddle / gap                          0.4.                                           0.6

2.1                   Highest point at 3600 feet.                 0.4.                                          1.0

2.5.                  Side trail to Owen Overlook.             0.05.                                         1.4

2.55.                Owen Overlook.                                 0.05

2.6.                  Back on the BMT.                              0.4                                           1.4

3.0.                  FS Road 42.  Big Stamp Gap.            0.5.                                          1.8

3.5.                  Rock Steps a Branch camp site          0.3.                                           2.3

3.8.                  Top small spur.                                   0.1.                                           2.6

3.9                   Wide rock steps across a branch.        0.1                                           2.7

4.0.                  Cross another branch.                          0.4                                          2.8

4.4.                  Crosses the AT.                                   0.2.                                          3.2

4.6.                  Turn right near FS 42 (3300 feet)        0.4                                          3.4

5.0.                  Summit of Rich Mountain (3450)        0.3                                          3.8

5.3.                  Crosses the AT (3300 feet)                   0.2                                         4.1

5.5.                  Next knob (3360 feet)                         0.5                                          4.3

6.0.                  Slight bump (3160 feet)                      0.3                                           4.8

6.3                   turns right and down old road.            0.6                                          5.1

6.9.                  Turn left onto a woods road.               0.2                                          5.7

7.1                   Spring.  Big Yellow Poplar.                0.2                                           5.9

7.3.                  Joins the AT                                        0.1                                           6.1

7.4                   Bridge.  End Section 1.                                                                      6.2

7.4.                  Section 2. 12.2 miles.                          0.9.                                          6.2

8.3.                  Long Creek Falls side trail.                0.1                                            7.1

8.4.                  Long Creek Falls and campsite          0.1.

8.5.                  Back on the BMT.                              0.1                                           7.1

8.6.                  Bridge over Long creek.                     1.0                                           7.2

9.6.                  Crosses old road.                                 0.1.                                         8.2

9.7.                  The Bald. Army helopad.                    0.6.                                         8.3

10.3.                No name Gap 2860 feet                       0.3.                                         8.9

10.6.                Peak 3170 feet.                                     0.4                                         9.2

11.0.                Long shallow gap.                                0.7                                          9.6

11.7.                Gap 2980 feet                                       0.3                                         10.3

12.0.                West most peak 3130 feet                    0.3                                         10.6

12.3.                Gap                                                       1.0.                                        10.9

13.3.                Bryson Gap 2900 feet.                          0.4.                                        11.9

13.7.                Large rock outcropping.                        0.4                                         12.3

14.1.                Sapling Gap.  2770 feet                         0.9                                        12.7

15.0.                Crosses old road slight saddle.              1.1                                        13.6

16.1.                FS 333 (2050 feet)                                 0.1.                                       14.7

16.2.                Big bridge. Toccoa River (1920)           0.2.                                       14.8

16. 4.               FS 816. Old road to parking lot             0.3                                        15.0

16.7.                Old road bed turn right.                         0.2                                        15.3

16.9                 switchbacks to left off old road.            0.1                                       15.5

17.                   Curls left across a narrow ravine.          0.2                                         15.6

17.2.                Swings to right.                                      0.1                                        15.8

17.3.                Starts Ridge top run.                              0.4                                        15.9

17.7.                Slants to left.                                          0.1                                        16.3

17.8.                Top a small hill.                                     0.1                                         16.4

17.9.                Bottom of small hill                               0.1                                        16.5

18.                   Old road                                                 0.1                                        16.6

18.1.                Top of ridge line                                    0.1                                        16.7

18.2.                Top of knob 2720 feet.                          0.2                                        16.8

18.4.                Bottom of hill.                                       0.2                                        17.0

18.6.                No name hardwood saddle. 2660 feet.  0.2                                       17.2

18.8.                Slight gap 2580 feet.                              0.2                                        17.4

20.                   Crest Tooni mountain again.                  0.2                                        17.6

20.2.                Dogleg to left north west                        0.2                                       17.8

20.4.                Yellow Poplar hollow                             0.3                                       18.0

20.7.                On left concrete catch basin                    0.2                                      18.3

20.9.                End Section 2 at Hwy 60.                       0.3                                      18.5

21.2.                Store and camp ground.                          0.3

21.5.                Beginning of section 3. 2010 feet           O.1.                                     18.5

21.6.                Route swings to the right                        0.2                                       18.6

21.8                 Drops to right below Ridgeline.              0.2.                                      18.8

22.                   Bottom of hill.                                         0.2.                                      19.0

22.2.                Trail flattens.                                           0.3.                                      19.2

22.5.                Wallalah.                                                 0.2.                                      19.5

22.7.                Switchback to right                                 0.1.                                     19.7

22.8.                Switchback to left.                                  0.1.                                      19.8

22.9.                Veers up to left                                       0.2.                                      19.9

23.1.               Top of the fold.                                        0.2.                                      20.1

23.2.               Wallalah crown 3100 feet.                       0.4.                                     20.3

23.6.                Saddle 2730 feet                                     0.1.                                     20.7

23.7.                Low knob 2790 feet                                0.1.                                      20.8

23.8.               Shallow gap 2730 feet.                            0.3.                                     20.9

24.1.                Unnamed knob 3010 feet.                       0.1.                                     21.2

24.2.               Slight scallop 2890 feet.                          0.2.                                     21.3

24.4.               Switchback to left                                    0.3.                                     21.5

24.7.                Licklog crown 3470.                                0.3.                                    21.8

25.0.               Gap water down side path to right east .  0.1                                     22.1

25.1.                Spring.                                                      0.1

25.2.                BMT.                                                        0.3.                                     22.1

25.8.                Gap.       3140 feet                                    0.3.                                    22.4

26.1.               Trail junction Duncan Ridge.                   0.1                                      22.7

26.2.                Rhodes mountain summit 3420 feet via the Duncan Ridge trail. 0.1

26.3.                BMT.                                                        0.3.                                     22.7

26.9.                Top of ridge line.                                      0.2.                                    23.0

27.1.                Virginia pine rest..                                    0.2.                                    23.2

27.3.                Swerves to                                                0.1.                                    23.4

27.4.                To the right off the keel of the ridge.       0.3.                                    23.5

27.7.                Steep down Grade                                    0.3.                                    23.8

30.0.                Trail flattens.                                            0.1.                                    24.1

30.1.                 End of                                                                                               24.2

 

Repelling. First Day.

By Trent Tibbitts

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It was February the first,  a Saturday.  Wendy was at work.  Sarah and Wyatt were at a friend’s house. I needed something to do, an Adventure.  I called all my buddies but they were busy.  There was a little snow on the ground from the storm on Tuesday that trapped so many people who were on the road trying to get home.  The temps would be in the high 50’s so I knew that the snow would soon be gone.  I thought about caving,  but it was a two-hour drive to the nearest wild cave in Dade County Georgia.  I didn’t want to drive a total of four hours by myself.  I was looking at exploring Waterfall cave. It is a good cave for beginners like me. I will report back when I get a chance to visit it. After reading about some of these caves, I knew I am going to need to know how to repel. That got me thinking about how I could learn.

Years ago, when I worked at Post Properties,  one of the guys gave me a pack of repelling gear. I never have used it.  I really didn’t know what all I had in the pack. It has just been sitting in my basement all these years. I retrieved it along with my kayaking helmet and brought it up for inspection.  I found one rope that was 150 feet long. Two harnesses that are very basic compared to today’s one’s.  There were two emergency 8 rings,  one 8 ring and several carabiners. I could see how to wear the harness but I had no idea how to attach the rope or operate the rings.  That’s why the Internet was invented.  I watched several videos and learned various ways to attach the rope and use my equipment.

Now I needed a place to go.  I gave it a little thought and decided that the rock faces along the Mill Branch would probably work best for what I had in mind.  It is close to home and I am very familiar with the area.  Plus it is not that high.  By this time,  Wyatt is home and I asked if he wanted to go also but he decided to stay home.  I packed the rope, a harness,  one of the emergency 8 rings, the regular 8 ring and a few of the carabiners. I buckled my helmet to the top of the pack and grabbed a pair of gloves.  I then drove the short 3/4 of a mile to a place we call the Indian field because of Indian relics found when farming.  I parked the truck here and begin to climb the hill in front of me.  It may be a 150 feet elevation change from the  truck to top of the hill and another 50 foot from the truck back down to Raccoon Creek.  After getting to the top I walk out a ridge that cuts back towards the creek. Along the right side of the ridge is the creek and along the left side of the ridge is the Mill Branch.  They met at the point of the ridge.  The left side is where the rock faces are located.  I start to work my way down the side of the ridge to get to the top of the rocks. The ground is still frozen and is slippery.  I sled down once an my helmet swung around and hit me in the face.

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I come to the first rock face and decided that it would be a good place to start.  I picked a tree to tie to and pulled out my gear. After suiting up, I tie the rope to the tree. This may not seem that big of deal, but to me it is huge. This is my life line and I have to get it right.  I try a few different knots before I am satisfied.  The tree is about 10 feet from the edge of the rock face top. I wrapped the rope into the emergency 8 ring two times because I wanted to make sure I could handle the rope.  I tried it out on the hillside and found it was too much so I took out one of the loops.  I tried it again on the hillside and it felt better.  Time to go repelling.  I eased backwards to the edge and leaned over the edge.  Then it was the first step over. I was concerned about having control of the speed of the rope but it was not any issue.  If anything,  it was a little slow. On the first descent I took it slow and just eased down one step at a time.  Once on the bottom,  I was hooked on repelling.  The rock face is only about 18 to 20 feet high.  It does not take but a minute or two to get down.  I unhook from the rope and go around the side of the rock up the hill and do it again. This time I do a few bounce outs and get the fill of the rope. I make two or three more trips and decided to look for another spot.

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While at the bottom I see what looks to be a good spot.  I packed up a walk over to the rock that is at the base of the hillside.  It protrude out so that it has three sides. It is a little higher than the first but not by much.  The front face is an overhang. It is a little tough to get to the top. I unpacked the rope and tie off to a big tree. I didn’t ever fill good about the knot but I tested it over and over.  After hooking into the rope I backed over the edge.  There were a lot of vines and vegetation.  I was concerned about getting my foot stuck.  I was not liking the over hang and could not find a way to pass over it. I keep working my way around the left side and stayed away from the front edge.  That is when I seen a few ice Sickles on the next ledge. I packed up again. The hike over was a little tough.  From where I was to the top of the next area I had to climb through a small craves in the rock.  Not much but just enough to make it fun. I tied off to a small tree about 20 feet up hill from the edge.  Again I hooked into the rope and went over the edge.  Climbing back up to the top I decided that the next trip down would be my last for the day. I also wanted to try a way to retrieve my rope from the bottom so not to have to climb back up. This may be useful in a survival situation.  Not having to leave my rope behind.  What I did was to untie the rope from the tree a just run the rope behind the tree. I then took the end of the rope and made a loop and tied it back on its self.  Using the loop I hooked it in to my harness.  I then hooked the rope than ran on the other side of the tree into the 8 ring.  I had all other gear in the pack and the pack on my back. The tension of the rope going around the tree really made it hard to let rope out. A 2 inch Calabria tree is as big as you want to use. Any bigger and the rope would not slide.  I made it down very easy.  At the bottom, I untie and pulled the rope back around the tree and packed it up.

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The Mill Branch is a small creek about 8 feet wide. A place I have visited a lot. While there is a four-wheeler trail that runs along side the branch I would most often arrive on foot. To cross Raccoon Creek in the winter or when it was to high to cross on foot, I would us a cable that ran from one side to the other.  I don’t know who put it up but it was a one inch cable with a seat hanging from a pulley.  A separate rope was attached to the pulley running to each side of the creek.  This allowed you to retrieve the seat if it was on the other side of the creek from you. It also allowed you to pull yourself across. The seat was eventually lost in high water and not replaced. I then crossed over on the cable by hanging below  and crawling hand over hand and leg over leg. The cable is still there but is broken in to two pieces. Next to where I started my repelling,  is a small hole that goes back in the hillside about 12 feet. There is a rock out side of the small cave that makes a good bench.  Early on when exploring this area I discovered a small piece of rock on the stone face slid out of its place. I placed two quarters on it and slid it back in its place.  The year had to be 1983 or so, I would have been around 9. One of the two quarters is dated 1981. I would return here a lot.  It was one of my secret spots. I carved this Beach tree in 1991. 20140202_190954I explored a lot by myself in my youth so it is natural for me to go solo. That’s not to say I didn’t ever go out with other people.  Brandon was my best friend and he and I did a lot of explore together.  Shawn was also my best friend and she and I had a lot of adventures.  On the way back to the truck I walked up the creek and passed the Pokey Hole.  A swimming hole that was named after an Indian girl.  The hole has a rock that we used to jump off of. The hole has filled in over the years and is not very deep. I also passed another small branch where Shawn and I would play in the bamboo.  It runs next to her dad’s chicken house and his rock shaker. He ran a grave business and used the shaker to separate the different size rock and sand. If repairs were needed inside the machine,  Fed would employee me to crawl in side to make the repair because I was small enough to get in. I also passed an area of the creek where there was a rope swing. It was not as good as the one at the Jimmy hole but was closer. I will have to give a tour of the creek in a post someday.  From there it was a short walk up the hill to my truck.

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There is always an adventure to be had on the farm.  Lot of thing to do, if you just get out and do it. I will be looking to do more repelling soon.

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