Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Little House in the Hollar….

I remember as a child listening to my great grandmother tell me about the house she was born in…that it was over 150 years old and a cabin.  I realized later in life that she was “pulling my leg!”  I never really thought I would ever get a chance to really see that house…but eleven years ago, I did! I talked a bit about that day in 2001 in an earlier blog “My Idea of a Vacation”…but there is a bit more to the story of that house.

Alexander Monroe Dollar and Elizabeth Pennington moved with their family over to the Laurel Bloomery area of Johnson Co., TN…more specifically Shingletown sometime after the 1880 census.  They purchased land and built a home near Shingletown.  My guess is that it was after 1883.  Sometime between 1883 and 1887, Elizabeth Pennington Dollar dies and Alexander Monroe Dollar remarries to Sarah “Lulu” Pearce.  The house that my great grandmother was born in is probably the same house that Alexander Monroe Dollar and Elizabeth Pennington originally built…but I am not sure – I am sure that it was built by 1890 when my great grandmother’s older brother was born.  John Dula Dollar probably brought his young bride (Buena Vista Bailey) to that house in 1889 after they were married.  By 1894, when my great grandmother was born and Buena Vista Bailey had died – the house was either deeded over or reverted to Alexander Monroe Dollar.  The three young children stayed with their grandfather and step grandmother while John Dula Dollar worked.  By 1897, he had remarried and the two older children went to live with their father and stepmother. Mom Friddle (Sophia Dollar Friddle) stayed with her grandfather and step-grandmother.  The step-grandmother, Lulu, was the only mother that she had ever known and Mom Friddle readily admitted that she had been somewhat spoiled. 

Mom Friddle’s life was about to change very quickly…her grandfather died in 1908 and ownership of the house transferred to Lulu Pearce Dollar.  John Dula Dollar was making noises about bringing Mom Friddle to live with him and Lulu wasn’t very happy about that prospect and encouraged Mom Friddle to elope with her beau!  (That is a whole other story that will wait for later)  Anyway, not too long after Mom Friddle eloped, Lulu remarried and moved over to Ashe Co., NC with her new husband.  At that point, she deeded the house over to Maggie Dollar.  Maggie was the wife of Roby Smith Dollar who was John Dula Dollar’s younger brother.  I always thought it was interesting that she deeded to Maggie and not Roby Smith Dollar…but by 1912, Maggie died of pneumonia and Roby was left in the house with his daughters. 
Roby's daughters on the porch in front of the  little house.

Another View of the house...going up the hill behind.
Roby stayed in the little house until after 1930 when he and his daughter Eva built a little house in Mountain City, TN.   The little house had been in the family for almost 50 years.  On my second visit to that little house in the holler, I met the lady who owned the house now.  She said that her parents had bought the house from Roby Dollar.  They had added an indoor bathroom and plumbing in the 1950’s as they got older and an addition on the back.  She still used the house as a guest house and said that it was much easier for her to do her canning in the little house’s kitchen than hers.  Mrs. Eller then took us through the house and down to the cellar where she proudly showed off her home canned goods.  I remember standing on that porch and thinking that over a hundred years ago, my great grandmother stood on that same porch gazing out over the view and probably dreaming about her future.  She probably never dreamed that she would end up so far away in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  I’m sure Roby’s daughters had the same dreams standing on that porch.  In some ways it was a bit spooky standing there gazing out – it isn’t often we get to see and touch a place that played such a significant role in a loved one’s life. 
The view from the front porch.