Tag Archives: Tennessee

The House on Persimmon Tree Road, Part II

As promised, today I’m writing The House on Persimmon Tree Road, Part II. You can find the first part of the story here.  (I’ll post more of my photos in Part III.)

As you can very well imagine, the house is linked to the amazing family who lived there, once upon a time.

The White family who had the house on Persimmon Tree Road built in late 1800s.
(Left-right) Briggs, Daddy Boy, Hooper “Pete”, Lillian, and 2 unknown women in front of house.

About the House

Ray White’s great-grandparents had the house on Persimmon Tree Road built in the late 1800’s.

David Elmer “Daddy Boy” White (1879-1947) and his wife Lillian Jackson White (1884-1965) had the house built by a Mr. Hinkle and his business partner toward the end of the 1800’s.

Daddy Boy and Lillian were quite well off.

The house with pine floors has what is known as a “hip and gable” roof.  According to Roofingcalc.com, “A hip roof has slopes on all four sides. The sides are all equal length and come together at the top to form the ridge.”

In addition, there are 3 gables over the front porch.

Underneath that large roof, the White’s house has 4 rooms upstairs and 4 big rooms downstairs. The windows were nailed together with pegs. A winding staircase connected the floors, and Ray used to slide down the banister for fun.

The Sharecroppers who Worked the Farm

The elder Whites had around 1,000 acres where they raised cotton, corn, hay, cattle, and hogs. Sharecroppers worked the land. In return, Daddy Boy furnished them houses, a cow, mules, and horses to get their work done. Daddy Boy and Lillian had around 10-15 houses for the sharecroppers.

Sharecroppers often complained that their landowners mistreated them, but Ray insists that his great-grandpa treated his sharecroppers very well.

“They’d be a crowd [of sharecroppers] eating at the house. They’d all be doing something or other…He [Daddy Boy] did a lot for those sharecroppers.”

Briggs on bicycle and Daddy Boy with unidentified men. Early 1900’s.

The Next Generation of Whites

Lillian and Daddy Boy had two sons: Briggs (Ray’s grandfather who lived from 1902 to 1935) and Hooper (whom they called “Pete.”)

Daddy Boy and Lillian moved away around the 1920s, and one of Daddy Boy’s brothers moved into the house for a while.

Later, Briggs and his wife Lelia Simmons White (1847-1987) moved there around 1918 or so.

Ray’s Granddaddy Briggs.

The Piano on the Porch & the Good Springs Haunted House

Someone gave the piano to Lelia, but the weight of the instrument caused problems to the inside of the house. So they moved it to the porch, where it is slowly disintegrating, the ivory on the piano keys long gone.

Because the house is now boarded up, visitors can no longer go into the house without explicit consent from the current owner.  Glenda says it breaks Ray’s heart to see the house in its current condition.  It breaks my heart, too.  If only Chip and Joanna Gaines could have a go with it!

This lovely house served as the infamous Good Springs Haunted House until 2000, but that story will keep ‘til Halloween. (Stay tuned!)

The Irrepressible Lelia White.

Briggs and Lelia had two children—Marvin “Boots” D. White (Ray’s father who served in World War II and was missing in action for a while) and Louise.

Lelia was quite a trooper who raised four children by herself after her husband died. Her daughter died in October 1932. Her mother died in 1934. Both her husband and her father died in 1935.

She was a faithful member of Beulah Church of Christ, going whenever the doors were open.

“She never painted her lips,” says Glenda. “But she always took pride in her appearance. All of her children grew up to be strong Christians…She was a good person. She would write a letter and list the children’s sizes, and the store in Anderson would send them clothes. She didn’t have a phone until the 1970s, and she didn’t learn to drive. Now that is determination!”

Vintage photo 1900s. Husband and wife.
Briggs and Lelia White. I wonder what Lelia said as she turned to her husband and laughed just as the photo was snapped?
The face of determination:  Ray’s Uncle Marvin White, circa late 1930’s or 1940’s.

The House on Persimmon Tree Road, Part I

Last Friday I got a heaping dose of southern hospitality when I visited a very old house on Persimmon Tree Road.  The first time I saw the strange house with the porch piano was when I went with my Mom-and-Dad-in-love to Loretto, Tennessee. “Did you see that old house?” I gasped. “It had an upright piano… Continue Reading

In from the Cold — A short story

Is it just me, or is anyone else a little creeped out by the Christmas song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside?” In my short story, “In from the Cold,” I flesh out the characters from the song and add a context to the plot. Let me know whether you love it or hate it!Merry Christmas! Stephanie… Continue Reading

Kaitlyn’s Christmas: A Short Story

Kaitlyn’s Christmas It’s Kaitlyn’s first post-college Christmas, and she is looking forward to spending it at her beloved Nana’s farm in rural Tennessee. For the first time, Kaitlyn can afford to buy Nana store-bought gifts from money earned from her first “real world” job. However, Kaitlyn’s old car has different ideas and stalls out on… Continue Reading

Rural Tennessee Farms and Roads

Rural Tennessee is one of the prettiest areas in the south and reminds me of Papa M’s farm, which lies about an hour south of the Tennessee/Alabama state line. It has a completely different feel than where I grew up in south Alabama. The color of the hay fields looks different, the sky and trees… Continue Reading

Total Eclipse of 2017

Have you got your little ISO-certified glasses ready? We have, and we’re counting down the hours to the eclipse! We’ve heard Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart and plan to play it on our cd. (We still have it!) Princess Buttercup’s school is doing half-days, allowing her to opt-out altogether with an excused absence.… Continue Reading

Will You be Remembered Long after You’ve Gone?

Long Ago Greeting By guest blogger, A. Lindsey Mitchell You don’t remember me…remember me…remember me, But how could you…I have been here since 1884, Underneath the old tree beside Daniel…Remember Daniel…remember Daniel…remember Daniel… He has been here since 1840, Underneath the old tree. No one comes anymore…anymore…anymore…But the squirrels and the birds, And the fat… Continue Reading

Congratulations on Cute Kitten Giveaway!!!

Congratulations to Dianne from Alabama, who won the adorable ceramic kittens from West Side Antiques in Fayetteville, Tennessee! Stay tuned for the next giveaway that you won’t want to miss! Copyright 2017 by Stephanie L. Robertson and www.sweetgumlife.com. Continue Reading

West Side Antiques & Cute Kitten Giveaway

Giveaway:  Scroll all the way to the bottom of this page. In the comment section, name one thing that you see that you’d like to buy from West Side Antiques if you could.In a brick hideaway on the Courthouse Square in Fayetteville, Tennessee is a fascinating shop they buy, sells, and trades antiques, militaria, upcycled… Continue Reading

Day 2 Giveaway Winner and Cute Kittens for next Giveaway! Mommy, may I have one, please?

Congratulations to Beth Ann from North Carolina who blogs at It’s Just Life! Today Beth Ann is posting about International Book Giving Day. Beth Ann shared yesterday’s www.sweetgumlife.com post and was entered into the giveaway and won some of my handcrafted bead bracelets. Congratulations, Beth Ann! And now, I proudly present my third www.sweetgumlife.com giveaway…Four little… Continue Reading