The following story was submitted by Carol R. Criswell. She can be contacted at email@example.com as of October 2008. The story is told by her older brother, Oscar, who was born in 1921 back in 2005.
Hi John, this is a copy of an e-mail my brother Oscar sent me in 2005, when you was working on clearing the Piney Fork cemetery and I came down an enjoyed being there with you folks. I thought you might enjoy reading what he had to say. Oscar is 11 years older. He has a very sharp memory.We lived in Witch Hazel and Oscar lived and worked for Clarkson Thompson when he was a young boy.
HI CAROL READ YOUR LETTER AND THE STORY ON THE CEMETERY GLAD THAT ALL OF YOU HAD A GOOD TIME AND THAT YOU WALKED OUT INSTEAD OF RIDING ON THE BACK OF A FOUR WHEELER. NOW ON THE LOCATION OF THE CHURCH I DON'T THINK THERE EVER WAS A CHURCH NEAR THE CEMETERY THERE WAS A FARM HOUSE WEST AND JUST NORTH OF THE CEMETERY. NOW I WILL TELL YOU A STORY WHEN I SPENT A LOT OF TIME UP AT THE THOMPSON FARM CLARKSON HAD An UNCLE WHO NEVER MARRIED AND HE TOOK CARE OF THE FARM WHEN HE WAS YOUNG AND CLARKSON'S FATHER WAS A MINISTER AT A CHURCH IN CADIZ.
CLARKSON TOOK OVER RUNNING THE FARM AND THE OLD UNCLE JUST LIVED ON HE DID LITTLE TO NOTHING EXCEPT EAT AND SLEEP THEY NEVER PAID ANY ATTENTION TO HIM AND HE LIKED TO TELL ME STORIES ABOUT THE OLD DAYS. THE HAY RIDES HUSKING BEES CHURCH SOCIALS SO FORTH AND HE TOLD ME THAT WHEN HE WAS YOUNG THEY WENT TO CHURCH IN A ONE HORSE BUGGY AND THE CHURCH WAS ON THE ROAD TO THE VARCONIE FARM.( AND VIRGINIA WAS RIGHT THAT WAS WHERE IT STOOD) AND WAS BURNED DOWN WHEN THE RAIL ROAD WAS BUILT UP THE ROAD BY HER OLD HOME SO I TOLD DAD AND HE SAID YES IF I WOULD GO OVER WHERE THE RAILROAD BRIDGE WAS NUMBER FOUR BRIDGE,ON THE HIGH BANK I WOULD FIND TEA BERRY VINES. WHY THEY WERE THERE I NEVER KNEW BUT I WENT AND FOUND THEM AND THE LITTLE RED BERRIES THAT THEY HAVE. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO MAKE A TEA WITH THEM.I REMEMBER THAT MOM WOULD NOT LET ME DRINK IT, DID SMELL GOOD AND YOU COULD CHEW A LEAF AND IT TASTED LIKE TEA BERRY CHEWING GUM BUT MOM SAID IT WOULD MAKE US SICK.NOW I WILL TELL YOU WHAT MARION THOMPSON TOLD ME AND THIS IS SUPPOSE TO BE WHERE PINEY FORK GOT IT'S NAME.
THERE IS A SMALL CREEK THAT COMES DOWN FROM UP IN WAYNE TOWNSHIP AND IT MEETS UP WITH THE LARGER PINEY CREEK AT BRIDGE NUMBER FOUR. THE SMALL CREEK IS CALLED LITTLE PINEY FORK (I HAVE AN OLD JEFFERSON COUNTY MAP AND IT SHOWS THIS CREEK. I HAVE MADE A COPY OF IT AND WILL SEE THAT IT GETS TO YOU ,WELL WERE THE TWO CREEKS MEET IS CALLED A FORK SO YOU GET THE NAME PINEY FORK. AND THAT IS WHERE NUMBER FOUR BRIDGE STOOD AND WERE THE TEABERRY VINES GROW AND WHERE I THINK THE FIRST PINEY CHURCH STOOD.
NOW CAROL WHEN YOU ARE ON THE ROAD PAST WHERE VIRGINIA LIVED AND PAST WHERE NUMBER FOUR BRIDGE STOOD YOU PASS OVER A STEEL BRIDGE JUST BEFORE YOU CROSS THE BRIDGE THERE WAS A DIRT ROAD ON YOUR LEFT THIS TOOK YOU BACK TO THE POND THAT LATER BECAME THE SPORTSMEN CLUB NOW THIS WAS AROUND THE TIME THAT YOU WERE BORN OR SOONER, AFTER CROSSING THE BRIDGE YOU WOULD GO UP A SMALL HILL AND COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD TO THE LEFT WOULD TAKE YOU INTO HARRISON COUNTY ON THIS ROAD WAS A SMALL COAL MINE KNOWN AS SUNSHINE MINE NUMBER TWO. WHEN VIRGINIA WAS BORN THIS IS WHERE OUR DAD WAS WORKING. GOING TO THE RIGHT TOOK YOU PAST THE VARCONIE FARM AFTER THAT JUST A SHORT DISTANCE THERE WAS A ROAD THAT TURNED RIGHT ANDTHIS ROAD WE CALLED THE TOWN SHIP ROAD AND WHEN IT EXISTED GOING EAST IT MET UP WITH A ROAD TURNING RIGHT THAT LED TO THE HASS FARM HOUSE GOING STRAIGHT IT LED TO THE PINEY CEMETERY.
WHEN THEY HAVE THE PINEY REUNION I WILL BRING MY OLD MAP AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT I, AM, ABOUT. THE ROAD TO WITCH HAZEL IS NOT ON THIS MAP AND THE ROAD TO THE HASS FARM THROUGH WITCHHAZEL IS NOT ON IT. IN THE NINETEEN TWENTIES THERE WAS ANOTHER ROAD TO THE CEMETERY THAT STARTED AT THE OLD JACKSON SCHOOL IT WAS ABANDONED WHEN THE HASS'S BOUGHT THERE FARM WHICH WAS AROUND1929, WELL TIME TO GO TO BED, TAKE CARE OSCAR
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