LATE 1800’S AND EARLY 1900’s Familiar scenes of everyday life:
Horses and the Brown brother’s tobacco chewing mule were hitched in the shade of the shed on the back of Hardage and McTyre’s General Merchandise Store. Near this quiet scene was a strategic checker game that was in progress. Uncle Ben Hilley, Jim Hammonds and Dr. F. P. Lindley were sitting on benches playing on upturned crates in front of Ben Hilley’s Hot Dog Stand on the main street. At night the traveling salesmen who came from their routes to Dallas and Douglasville, sat down to play set back or forty-two card games with local players at the Lindley House (the hotel 1910-1925). M. J. Miller recalls sitting very still for one to one and a half hours watching a man put up a new signboard. The sign nearly always advertised Camel Cigarettes and had a pretty girl. Then you could study the circus poster on the side of Bud Compton’s Grocery Store for hours.
On hot summer afternoons children made up their own games. Imitation of adult activities was most popular. One group was playing lodge in the loft of Dave Miller’s barn. Harry Miller was leading a blindfolded candidate around the area on a goat. Someone pushed the door to the loft open, the goat ran and jumped out with Henry Bookout still astride it. The goat landed with a loud “Omp” with Henry still mounted. Neither was hurt, just a bit winded.
There was always some activity planned such as seining for fish with a fish fry to follow. Picnics, horseback rides and camping trips to Factory Shoals were popular. It is said that the Methodist church was moved to its present site so a race track could be built where it stood next to the Methodist Cemetery on Old Austell Road. Later most of the land involved was used to expand the cemetery.
Summer programs and recitals were anticipated eagerly. Summer time was utilized for Mrs. Buchanan’s lessons in painting, elocution, piano and penmanship instructions. All who could, attended one of B. B. Beall’s singing schools.
Ladies in the family were kept busy quilting and feeding visiting relatives. They came bringing their trunks and stayed for a month. Miss Roberta Murray states that much time was spent getting ready for the numerous weddings. The bride’s family baked and cooked for the wedding day. It was the groom’s family who prepared the food for the second day, sometimes referred to as “The Infair”. The bride always had a special Second Day dress made to wear at the Infair given by the groom’s family.
The children swept the white sand covered yards with brush brooms for these special days.
Tom Camp built a swimming pool and dancing pavilion. It was very popular for the years 1920-1930. Saturday night dances were sponsored by various orchestras. People came from several counties around to enjoy the pool and pavilion as well as the fellowship with all who came.
One Sunday afternoon two young men, John Middlebrooks and Roy Tapp, went down the front street carrying gunny sacks on their backs. This was a bit unusual. If you had followed them, you would have stopped behind the Bull Durham sign in May Marchman’s pasture. Here they milked the Mayor’s cow. Then they took the ice cream freezer, ice, salt, sugar and eggs out of the gunny sacks and made some home-made ice cream.
Now wasn’t that some home-made fun?