As a child, my mother loved to spend time at her maternal grandparent’s farm in Rockcastle County. John and Emma Jane Taylor lived at Buckeye, just outside Mt. Vernon, and Mom would stay with them anytime she had a chance. I’ve heard many stories about “the farm” over the years, but a few weeks ago (with this blog post in mind) I asked Mom a few questions about the property and the interior of the house. She talked almost non-stop for 30 minutes.
My grandfather, Elmer D. Hopkins, bought this property 18 December 1932 with the plan for his in-laws to live there. They had previously lived on a smaller farm on the same road but had sold it in 1927 and moved into town. But they missed living on the farm.
The front porch, where the family often gathered, ran the most of the length of the house. The small four-room house did not have electricity or running water. They didn’t have a well, but a spring on the property provided their water and kept their milk and butter cool.
The kitchen was across most of the back of the house. It had a cabinet, a washstand, a wood/coal stove, and a table. The table had several chairs and a bench with storage under the seat. A bucket of water with a dipper (that everyone drank from) was always on the washstand along with a bowl.
John & Emma’s youngest daughter Anna Rose and John’s oldest daughter Gracie lived with them. A small room off the kitchen, which was the only room in the house with a door, was Gracie’s bedroom.
The two front rooms were open to each other as well as the kitchen and each room had a door to the front porch. One room had a leather couch that made a bed, a chest of drawers, a crank-style Victrola, and an iron bed. The other room had two beds, a warm morning stove, a library table (which is now in Mom’s family room), and a sewing machine. They also had several straight-back chairs and rockers that were used in both front rooms and on the porch.
The house had no closets, but Emma Jane put up poles in the corners to hang clothes and hung a drape in front. The floors were covered with linoleum.
John kept a few cows, goats, pigs, and chickens. He also had a couple of horses that he used for plowing and to pull a wagon. John raised a big garden and Emma Jane canned enough vegetables to last them until the next year’s garden. They often had a dog that had started out as Mom’s but went to live on the farm when her parents could talk her into that.
John’s brother Bob lived in their parents’ old home on a farm between Mt. Vernon and Renfro Valley. It was a few miles by road but John and Bob had a shorter path worn over the hill and took turns making that walk most every Sunday afternoon.
When John’s health began to fail in the late 1940s, Elmer sold the farm and moved John and Emma Jane to a duplex in town he’d bought several years earlier. Nearly 70 years later, my mother still fondly remembers “the farm.”
Written for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge from Amy Johnson Crow.by