Apple Farm Remembered (Part II) in 1968

(07/27/2002)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 3/21/1968.

Apple Farm was Once a Very Busy Community
by Treacy J. Stump
A Lifelong resident of Apple Farm and its postmistress for many years

Part II

Lodge Meetings

A large building, consisting of store room and warehouse downstairs and lodge hall upstairs, accommodated three lodges.  The I.O.O.F. No. 210 met each Thursday night, the Red Men met on Saturday night, and the Pocahontas met on Saturday afternoon.

The lodge room was a big room with chairs set close on either side and across one end, and was usually well filled.  Every two or three there was placed a spitoon or cuspidor to accommodate the tobacco and snuff users.  There was always plenty of "chewin" and "rubbin" but the room was never filled with cigarette smoke.  The store room below was empty most of the time, but occasionally someone would stock up a few goods but never lasted long.

The main store was that of the late Ellsworth Stump.  He carried most everything people used.  He brought his supplies from Spencer by wagon, usually taking three days for the trip.  Sometimes gasoline boats brought supplies up Steer Creek and they were wagoned up Rush Run.  There were customers coming and going all the time as he had a large trade.  During the depression years he couldn't say "No" to his old friends and his store slumped!

Mill Days

There was the grist mill owned by the late Silas Witte.  He and his boys, Clifton, Lum and Leaford, operated the mill.  Tuesday and Saturday were mill days, when farmers came for miles around to get their corn ground into meal.  The Wittes were not only good millers, but they were experts on repairing clocks and watches, and were good carpenters.

The Post Office

Now we come to the last reminiscence of the little village, the Apple Farm post office, which was discontinued December 30, 1965, with the retirement of Treacy Jane Stump, who had served longest of any post mistress.  The exact date of the beginning is unknown, at least to the writer, however, Frank McCulty got it established in the Low Gap at the head of Pigeon Roost, three miles from the last designation, near a large apple orchard, hence he gave it that name.  Later Okey Dobbins had it moved to Rush Run.  It was supplied from Millstone once a week, later three mails a week.  In 1917 he let a member of the Marshall family have it.  Later, Ella Stump held it 19 years.  There was never a dull moment for the people of this valley, had plenty of entertainment.  Fox chasing was a favorite of the men, and if one of their neighbors was sick, his wood pile was kept high, his corn hoed, and his grass cut.

The women had their all day quiltings, apple butter stirrings, rag tacking.  In case you don't know what the last is, all women would be invited to a certain home where a bountiful dinner was cooked and the women would tear rags into strings and tack together and wind into balls.  The owner of the rag balls would have them woven into rag carpet or rugs.  Usually the late Catherine (Cass) Dobbins got that job.  She was the chief weaver and wove for all came to her.

The buildings that housed all the businesses have been demolished and cleared away.  The younger people have moved on and the older passed on and it's hard to believe what was fifty to sixty years ago.  The homes now all have bathrooms, gas heat, electricity and telephones.  Modern machinery and cars have taken the place of horses.  Nothing has taken the place of the friendships and love of the old timers.

This, then, was the Apple Farm that was.


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