Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography
Series 12: Land Use
ALICE COBB STORIES Visit to Jasper Cornett’s Place June 1, 1934
TAGS: Alice Cobb Stories – “Visit to Jasper Cornett’s Place”; Alice Cobb; Pine Mountain Settlement School, Harlan County, Kentucky; Jasper Cornett; Mrs. Jasper Cornett; Winfield Cornett; Puncheon Creek; kitchens; foodways; cabins; Granny Creech
VISIT TO JASPER CORNETT’S PLACE, JUNE 1, 1934
Sunday at Jasper Cornett’s place. The lane from the road about a mile to the house is beautiful — more beautiful than any I have seen even in these incredible hills. On the one side a woody cliff, on the other a narrow valley and across that a mountain wall so high and steep one wonders how any man dared find his way beyond it to this perfect little gully. The line winds about, then through a thicket of rhododendron one leaves it and goes a way up the creek (Puncheon Creek) and then reaches the house suddenly. What an eye for a site Jasper Cornett must have had! The house sits up on a little jut of one hill, and looks down the valley, so that from the porch, which is V-shaped, one sees the mountain walls rising high and straight on either side, and then down the valley until that too is closed with another wall at the end like this [drawing –/——————-\] The house had a cement porch unusual for these parts, and a board floor in the kitchen except for the large surface in front of the stove which is a perfectly flat stone. The kitchen, also the dining room, contained the stove, a cupboard, and the table and chairs. On one side was a door leading upstairs — the door papered with magazines. The windows were cut in the walls — no glass. We had dishes, also a luxury, and such a dinner — cornbread that one breaks off in hunks, which I love although it must be hard to digest — white rolls equal to any baker’s, cracklings, beans, white butter, fried apples, cabbage, greens, a variety of jellies and syrups, cooked dried apples, blackberries — it all tasted like nectar and ambrosia to me.
Winfield [Cornett] was the city boy home again. As Mrs. Cornett said, “He said when he come that he weren’t a mind to do ary lick o’ work and he hain’t!” But oh the pride, and the affection in her voice.
Out in the yard, the baby chicks and baby turkeys ran about and the bees buzzed about the bee gums. I wish I had stayed to help rob them in the evening but that is an adventure which still awaits me.
_________________________________________________________________________Granny Creech came in today bringing comforts — lovely wool puff comforters. She is a connoisseur of quilt patterns — told me about her “bowknot” cushion top and her rainbow and Dutch girl patterns. She had on a hat as large around as a good sized parasol — came on her nag and hurried off to get home before the rain would start. “I’m willin’ to take it if that will bring the rain, but I’ll try if I can get home afore the clouds breaks!” she said in parting.