STAPLETON REPORT – 1929 April “We’ve had a vacation”/Cabin Fire

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Staff/Personnel

STAPLETON REPORT – 1929 April “We’ve had a vacation”/Cabin Fire


TAGS: STAPLETON REPORT – 1929 April “We’ve had a vacation”/Cabin Fire ; Dr. Ida Stapleton and Rev. Robert Stapleton ; Line Fork Settlement ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Susan Ratliff ; U.S. Trachoma hospital ; trachoma ; Stoney Fork ; train travel ; Dr. Sory ; moonshining ; bootlegging ; courthouse ; Old Ocean ; Spanish moss ; bus travel ; The Cabin ; Easter services ; Episcopal churches ; Presbyterian Church ; Southern Mountain Workers’ Conference ; Hurricane Gap ;  Ruth Dennis ; bee gums ; home furnishings ; gardens ; incubator ; ginseng ; sanging ; sang garden ; John Howard Young ; Miss [Anna] Anderson ; Cabin fire ; fire breaks ; Health House ; doctors ; cooking ; insurance ; Health House ; Miss Daniels ; weaving ; spinning ; Sunday school ; organs ; day schools ; Federal courts ; farm animals ; health literacy ; education ; teachers ; industrial workers ; gardens ; forest fires ; pigs ; rail fences ; chimney fires ; law ; juries ; murder trial ; prisons ; arts and crafts ; Gilley, KY ;


GALLERY: STAPLETON REPORT – 1929 April “We’ve had a vacation”/Cabin Fire

TRANSCRIPTION: STAPLETON REPORT – 1929 April “We’ve had a vacation”/Cabin Fire

Line Fork Settlement.                          Gilley P.O. Kentucky
April 1929

We’ve had a vacation. Mine was the longer as I started March 18th with Susan Ratliff for the U.S. Trachoma hospital in Richmond.

At the last, Susan almost backed out as her husband discouraged her and her mother could not take care of the “young-uns”. I decided to see her husband on the Sunday when he was back from the lumber camp. After considerable discussion as to who could care for the children he decided that a half-grown daughter by a former wife could come back from a married sister’s that very day so that Susan could ride over to Cumberland in the wagon as he was going over for farm supplies. I went on to make another call at the mouth of Stoney Fork. Upon my return Susan had gone and a neighbor was in charge until Will should return come back on Monday. Susan did not see much on the way as she had to sit with the blind down on the train to protect her eyes from the light. She found several other women like herself at the hospital, one of whom had her three little children there with the same eye trouble. She asked me to write a letter to her husband saying that she was content to stay and would do her best to get well as soon as possible. But Dr. Sory, the specialist in charge could not give any idea as to how long it would require but he told her very seriously that she would have become totally blind in a few years had she not come for treatment.

Back to Harlan for Finley’s trial. Two days in the gloomy court-house with a half a hundred chewin’ and spittin’ neighbors. Case after case for moonshining and bootlegging was brought up, most of them passed over to May court as bonded witnesses even had not appeared. They were ordered to be arrested and the bonds forfeited. It took all the first afternoon to secure a jury for Finley’s case, a tedious process as first one side and then the other objected to so many. Finally at five-thirty, the twelve were chosen and sworn and adjured not to talk to each other [page 2] about the trial they would listen to on the morrow. Witnesses were held in a side room so as to hear each other’s testimony. But after my evidence was given I asked the judge if I might not remain and he allowed it. It was impressed upon the jury that they were trying the case and the judge read carefully to them seven different conclusions that they might reach and the punishments that might be inflicted. The jury’s verdict was that Gilbert’s death was caused by Finley in a careless use of fire-arms while intoxicated and the sentence given was two years which might be shortened three months for good behavior. Some one gave Neely the price of a ticket to go to Harlan that she might see Finley before he should go to the state prison. He wrote for her to go again but she said “No”, she must work now to feed her little “young-uns.” Later from the prison he wrote to ask her for money seeming not to think of the five mouths to be fed by her day labor.

Mr. S. joined me at Harlan and we then spent an interesting two days bussing across North Carolina to Wilmington where we spent two nights and a day with some friends who took us to the beach where we had a glimpse again of Old Ocean and the live oaks hung with Spanish moss. Back by train and bus to Southern Pines where we made a little call on friends and were there met by the Brooks from Chapel Hill who spent some time with us at The Cabin last Fall. We were with them over Easter and heard their choir sing the Crucifixion on Good Friday evening in the Episcopal church. The Easter service we attended in the Presbyterian Church was a very homelike and satisfying experience.

From there to Knoxville, Tenn. to attend the Southern Mountain Workers’ Conference there. It was inspiring to see some of the faithful men and women who make up the personnel of some forty mountain schools resembling Pine Mt. and hear of victorious living that has been inspired by these same schools.

Back to Cumberland by way of Middlesboro and Harlan where two of our boys had brought Swallow and Bess [horses]. After obtaining a few supplies we were soon on our way stopping at Hurricane Gap at [page 3] the top of Pine Mt. to eat our lunch. The boys took the short cuts and arrived as soon as we did but it takes from three to four hours to reach the Cabin. We were so pleased to find Miss Dennis there: she took charge last summer while we were away. She has been interested in the work here since it began nine years ago. She remained with us a few days and we made one all-day trip together eleven miles down Line Fork to visit Aunt Katie and Uncle Jerd, who had been sick for some time and needed our encouragement if not our medicine. They had had a doctor from Cumberland. Two other calls on the way back: One, on Aunt Katy’s daughter Marthy, who has the most attractive place on Line Fork. I was delighted to see that Rosie, the eighteen year old daughter, had at least after ten years of struggles with her father’s dislike of change, succeeded in achieving a living room without a bed in it. They have four rooms with two double beds in and Rosie just took down two and stored them away in the other room. Also they have a detached kitchen and dining room connected by a board walk such as Aunt Katy’s. The house is at the foot of a steep slope from the road, is planted to shrubbery and tiny parallel paths are a blaze of color in the Autumn with fall-roses as zinnias are called and Tall Johns for the coa ..?. Last year she had one dahlia that had a hundred and fifty blossoms on it. Another house has one [?] a lovely dark red that grows six or eight feet high and the tubers stay in the ground the entire year. Sarah Jane has a rather neat yard held up by a high stone wall on the edge of the Fork. A dozen bee gums, hollowed logs about three feet high, stand inside the wall shaded by silver maples. The bees are so busy these days it seems dangerous to pass thru the yard but being accustomed to the family, one seldom gets stung. Sarah Jane has an incubator and has the third hatching of a hundred or more chickens. While passing the place recently I could see the whole, at least seven, of them and a horse away up on the side of the mountain planting corn. It has been raining so much that when a suitable day comes all hands go at the planting or hoeing as the case [page 04] may be. On rainy days some of the men go “sanging” – hunting a root of the ginseng plant, that is exported to China. [?…..] they are about three days on such an expedition. It is becoming more and more scarce and a few people are raising it in improvised shady places, a light frame work of lumber making a covering for the “sang” garden.

And now I must tell you what has happened just a week after our return. There was just a small fire on the hearth and having emptied a sodium [?] bimed [?] carton I put it on the fire to burn. It blazed up quickly, setting the ceiling on fire. This seemed to pass as it was being watched. But it must have been that some soot in a crevice near the ceiling of the upper floor burned more slowly, and thru a crack in the wall a flame set the ceiling on fire. This was some twenty minutes later. Mr. S. went outside and gave the alarm by a great shout to our next door neighbors a quarter of a mile away and he and his wife came running to help. Two of the workers from Pine Mt. had just come for the week-end and Mr. Young [John Howard Young] was immediately on the roof. Mr. S. began hauling up water from the shallow well at the back porch and Carter handed it up to Mr. Young as fast as he could pour it on. Miss Anderson carried it from the kitchen faucet that I attended. It did not seem possible that we could not put out that fire. But it was in between the dry shingles and the inner ceiling. After twenty-five pails of water the well went dry. Mr. S. and some other who had come to help started carrying out the contents of the house into the yard. Mr. Young stayed on the roof and the water kept running from the faucet so that Carter kept handing it up but it was a losing fight and at last Mr. Young had to leave the roof. We all drew to a safe distance and watched it burn. Such agony! The wind blew the flames into the forest on the East. The fire soon caught the fence but by pulling down some twenty panels of it that danger was past. The trees around the Cabin and the leaves on the rocky hillside below it carried the fire so that it spread thru the forest to the top of the ridge and over on the other side.

The farmers on that side soon got to work and with a fire break removed the danger from their fences and the rain on the following Monday put out the last vestige of the fire.

I have not said much about the Health House. A charming little slab covered building embowered in graceful hemlocks somewhat above and West of the Cabin, containing one fairly large room and a smaller one the doctor’s office. A demonstration bath room is in a little lean-to at the back. A practice loom took up one corner and a demonstration objects such as a baby tender box, a clothes basket baby bed, with a doll in it, and a baby bath tub in another. These were removed to the left and the Cabin furniture piled in by the willing helpers.

We are just begun preparing dinner, the potaoes [sic] were boiling and a kettle of spinach was ready to cook. While tending the faucet I watched those things and actually drained the potatoes then carried the two kettles into the yard with the hot frying pan made ready to fry some chops. Some bowls of milk had been carried out safely and set on top of one of the dressers. It was four o’clock when we began to think of eating anything and the milk came first. Then Mr. Young found the bread pudding that had been saved along with some whipped cream and peaches. But the potatoes and so forth, waited till the next day.

Three beds were put up in the Health House and Miss Anderson stayed and helped wonderfully to get the beds and books stored away in the left. Mr. Young who had his first experience at a fire here carried the news over to Pine Mt. taking his first horse back ride at this time at night and thru the forest. Miss Dennis who was still at Pine Mt. walked over on Sunday and helped. She had done so much to get the Cabin started it must have been a great shock to see it all ruined. I had hard work to realize that it had happened. Had the wind been toward the West both H.H. [Health House] and the barn would have gone. We are thankful for so many things. Every body has been so kind. The people are willing to give old logs and some labor in rebuilding. [page 06] Pine Mt. has a cottage, Old Log, that was made over with logs over a hundred years old. The insurance will total $2200.00 and must suffice for materials and skilled labor. Mr. S. is working on plans and estimates now.

The loom was loaned to Mary who helps sometimes with the house work. Miss Daniels is teaching her to weave. Two of her sisters are also interested and her mother can spin. We so hope that it is going to be a real business for the family to weave blankets and coverlets the specialty of Pine Mt. weaving industry. I met a woman the other day returning from Pine Mt. who had delivered her second coverlet. She lives fifteen miles from the school on Big Leatherwood, is a widow with three small children to support. We are really comfortable in the H.H. [Health House] which looks out into the West woods as the Cabin did into the East woods. Our strawberries are just ripening and we sampled them to-day (May 6th.) Our garden has furnished us with spinach, asparagus, onions and lettuce for some time.

The Sunday school is meeting with us in the H.H. [Health House]. We have the organ for which we are thanking the friends who gave it to this work. Just now the day schools are having their long vacation since they begin in the middle of July and are open till February 25th. The forests around us are almost in full leaf the oak trees are being among the last to be dressed in green. The wild flowers have been abundant and varied. The cattle that roam the forest keep some plants pretty well cleared up. The pigs big and little make good fences a big necessity if one does not wish to have his garden torn up which at times is done in quick order.

It would seem as tho our section will have fewer men in it for this Summer if not for a year or two. So many have to appear at court on the 13th. inst [?] and many of them do not expect to get off with less than two years for our Federal courts are bearing down on the cases that come up before them.

Sincerely yours
[signed] Ida S. Stapleton

Title

STAPLETON REPORT – 1929 April “We’ve had a vacation”/Cabin Fire

Alt. Title

Dr. Ida Stapleton and Rev. Robert Stapleton
Line Fork

Identifier

https://pinemountainsettlement.net/?page_id=7153

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Dr. Ida S. Stapleton ; Rev. Robert Stapleton ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Line Fork Settlement ; Susan Ratliff ; U.S. Trachoma hospital ; trachoma ; Stoney Fork ; train travel ; Dr. Sory ; moonshining ; bootlegging ; courthouse ; Old Ocean ; Spanish moss ; bus travel ; The Cabin ; Easter services ; Episcopal churches ; Presbyterian Church ; Southern Mountain Workers’ Conference ; Hurricane Gap ; Pine Mountain ; Ruth Dennis ; bee gums ; home furnishings ; gardens ; incubator ; ginseng ; sanging ; sang garden ; John Howard Young ; Miss Anderson ; Cabin fire ; fire breaks ; Health House ; doctors ; cooking ; furnishings ; insurance ; Health House ; Miss Daniels ; weaving ; spinning ; Sunday school ; organs ; day schools ; Federal courts ; farm animals ; Federal courts ; health literacy ; education ; teachers ; industrial workers ; home fire ; gardens ; vegetables ; forest fires ; pigs ; rail fences ; chimney fires ; law ; juries ; murder trial ; prisons ; arts and crafts ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Line Fork, KY ; Gilley, KY ; Letcher County, KY ; Richmond, KY ; Cumberland, KY ; Harlan, KY ; Wilmington, NC ; Southern Pines, NC ; Chapel Hill, NC ; Knoxville, TN ; Middlesboro, KY ;

Subject LCSH

Stapleton, Dr. Ida S., — 1871 – 1946.
Stapleton, Rev. Robert, — 1866 – 1945.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Line Fork Medical Settlement (Gilley, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural medicine — Kentucky — Letcher County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Rural health services — Appalachian Region — History.

Date

2014-02-23

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

Gretchen Rasch

Type

Collections ; text ; image ;

Format

Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet

Source

Series 21A: Personal Narratives (Written) ; Series 14: Built Environment – Line Fork Settlement ; Series 09: Biography – Ruth Dennis, Katherine Pettit ;

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 21A: Personal Narratives (Written) ; Series 14: Built Environment – Line Fork Settlement ; Series 09: Biography – Ruth Dennis, Katherine Pettit ; Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) http://www.kyhistory.com/ ; Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) Library, Ida Stapleton Letters to Friends SC 462 http://khscatalog.kyvl.org/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=8347 ; Morris, Glyn. Less Traveled Roads. New York: Vantage Press, 1977.

Coverage Temporal

April 1929

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Line Fork, KY ; Gilley, KY ; Letcher County, KY ; Richmond, KY ; Cumberland, KY ; Harlan, KY ; Wilmington, NC ; Southern Pines, NC ; Chapel Hill, NC ; Knoxville, TN ; Middlesboro, KY ;

Rights

Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Donor

n/a

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Dr. Ida Stapleton and Rev. Robert Stapleton ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Dr. Ida Stapleton and Rev. Robert Stapleton ;

Acquisition

n/d

Citation

Line Fork Settlement School – Dr. Ida S. Stapleton and Rev. Robert Stapleton. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2014-03-07 aae ;

Bibliography

Sources

Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 21A: Personal Narratives (Written), Series 14: Built Environment – Line Fork Settlement, and Series 09: Biography – Ruth Dennis, Katherine Pettit. Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.

Bibliography

Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) http://www.kyhistory.com/ (accessed 2014-01-06). Internet resource.

Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) Library, Ida Stapleton Letters to Friends SC 462 http://khscatalog.kyvl.org/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=8347 (accessed 2014-01-06). Internet resource.

Morris, Glyn. Less Traveled Roads. New York: Vantage Press, 1977. Print.

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