I went to visit the old homestead in Georgia this past weekend.
This (double) fireplace was once part of the house that my grandfather lived in when he was a boy. His family built the house themselves. I know of one other house in town that my great grandfather built. One day I'll take a picture of it. Last I saw, it was home to a catering business.
Now it sits to the entrance of someone's farm, right by the side of the road.
My grandfather's family moved to town when he was about 10, if I remember correctly. That would've been in 1918.
They moved to town so everyone could get jobs to help support two older relatives who needed help. Two years later, my grandfather dropped out of school to get a job at a mill to help support the family as well.
He started out by sweeping the floors and ended up fixing spindles and other textile mill machinery for a different mill run by Johnson and Johnson. He and my grandmother both expressed their regret at not being able to finish their education.
I could look at the fireplace and say, ok, this side looks like it was probably in the kitchen because it had a bigger hearth, and so the other side was probably the main room, but that's just conjecture. The kitchen and main room could've been the same room and the other side could've been a bedroom. Or the bedroom. Who knows? I couldn't find any clues left.
Across the street from the old fireplace, there is a small graveyard where my grandfather's parents, grandparents, a few of his siblings, and other relatives are buried.
My grandparents used to take care of it along with another family with kin buried there, but I'm not sure who, if anyone, takes care of it now.
This fellow was born on October 8, 1878, and passed away on October 7, 1926. He was my great grandfather's brother.
And the old homestead? It's a subdivision now. This looks like an old irrigation system, though the bed of it looks like it was added later but made to look older than it is. I don't know for sure.
My favorite part of the subdivision is the little dirt road that takes you through the woods.
There's a creek that winds through all these trees, which go on forever. I like to imagine my grandfather and his brothers having full run of these woods - exploring, building forts, playing in the crick (as they would've called it). I like to dream of one day having a place like this myself, where V can do the same.
In reality, they were probably busy working most of the time - as soon as they were old or able enough. The family had a farm and their own mill. It was a hard life - I've heard stories. This picture is of my grandfather and his brothers. I'm not sure who the little girl is, which brother is which, or when/exactly where the photo was taken.
They're all gone now, so there's no one to ask. History lost, just like that. I will try to do better with my own photos.