December 4, 2002 

A Day in the Mountains

November 30, 2002

A Day in the Mountains………

Thanksgiving.  A day filled with the warmth of a large family gathering, too much good food and the blessing this year of being able to go home and leave the mess behind.  Aren’t daughters-in-law wonderful?   After all the chopping, mashing, stirring, and baking and the eating and eating and eating were done,  the peace, quiet, and serenity of those beautiful mountains called me.  I needed a day with my best friend.

Dale and I set off early for a Saturday Ramble in Rabun.  Our itinerary was to re-take some photos, have lunch with Carolyn, Hazel and Charlie, get buttermilk from Jimmy’s and drop off a gift for Janie.  Also Bud Darnell had told me of the location of the oldest barn on Bettys Creek Road and that barn had been on my mind.

We were cruising down Wolffork Valley Road, heading toward Sylvan Falls Mill, when we passed Bill Coleman’s barn.  I spotted Bill coming down the driveway from his Mother’s and told Dale.  She had that SUV parked and was out hugging Bill before I could get my seatbelt off.


  We had a wonderful visit with Bill.  He took us up the hill to his home, which you can see in the background on the picture of him and Dale.   Bill showed us his retreat and future retirement home (maybe).  What a warm and comfortable home, filled with family pictures and mementos!  Bill is holding a picture of his Grandfather Isaac Pinion Coleman who built that incredible barn.

  This wall contains molds that were used by a family member who made violins.

 Another kinfolk makes dulcimers – see the dulcimer
beside the fireplace.


  Bill is very proud of his family and his home reflects that.  His view of the valley from that knoll is really outstanding.


Bill had been working on a water project with his brother when we interrupted him.  As we were saying our good-byes, Hazel and Charlie drove by and of course they had to stop and visit.  So Bill’s water project was put off a while longer.  I’ll bet his brother was muttering unkindly about us.  Bill told us how proud he was that we were all keeping in touch with each other and sharing our lives and memories.

  He and Charlie found that they both have a love for old tractors.  Charlie presented Bill with some of his sauerkraut and relish and Bill said that he might eat that for lunch.  I can attest to the fact that the kraut is good stuff.

 An interesting note.  I found out that Bill and I are related.  His first cousin, Lyle Raby, from Cowee Valley was my mother’s first cousin.  So that makes us………  Anyway, I told Bill that now I could claim that MY kinfolk own the Coleman barn.  I think that is grounds for bragging.

 Reluctantly leaving Bill to his project, Dale and I turned onto Taylor’s Chapel Road to go to Sylvan Falls Mill.  I wanted to get a picture of the mill.  Unfortunately the light was not right and I would have to come back in the afternoon.  Linda Johnson, the owner saw me and asked me if I would like to come in and get a postcard but I politely declined and told her I would be back. I managed to block the morning sun and got one decent shot of the mill.


  Dale wanted me to take a picture of this real estate sign.  She says she is going to make an appointment to see this house so she can meet the agent.

Just down the road from Sylvan Falls Mill was a view of the barn owned by Glenn Hopper, which is on our barn page.  I thought this was a great view of the barn from across the valley.


  We continued on Taylor’s Chapel Road until it came to Black Rock Road.  We passed Taylor’s Chapel and Black Rock Lake.  A very pretty mountain road.


 Our next stop was Barker’s Creek Mill in the Hambidge Center.  I wanted to photograph the mill, once again, for a mill project Randy and I have been working on.

 This rustic mill is beautiful and you cannot take a bad picture of it.  I managed to fall in the creek and bury my foot in the mud and water while trying to balance on a rock.  When you get old, you also get clumsy – fact of life.

With Bud’s directions firmly in my mind (that is a joke), we wandered down O.V. Justus Road looking for the old barn.  The very first barn we saw just had to be the one Bud told me about.


 I am going to get this verified by Bud and maybe get some history so we can add this barn to one of our barn pages.  It certainly deserves the honor.  A friendly old dog greeted us, with tail wagging, while a curious young cow watched.  

Dec. 31, 2002  - CORRECTION!!!!!   The above barn belongs to Opal Norton Messer (57) and is not the oldest barn on Bettys Creek.  This barn was built by her father, Clark Norton, and is located on the corner of Clark Norton Lane and OV Justus Road.  Clark Norton and Grover Bradley built the barn owned by Pauline Norton Darnell, which is featured on page four of our barn pages.  Pauline was the mother of Bud Darnell, my directions giver, and his sister Joyce (47) who has been very helpful in explaining Bud’s directions.

After Bud called me and told me I couldn’t follow directions to my own house, I made another journey and finally did manage to find “The Oldest Barn on Bettys Creek”.   Joyce told me this barn belonged to O.V. Justus but she was not sure if he actually built it.  The barn is now owned by George Justus (60).  The architectural feature you see under the eaves was put there to ventilate the attic of this barn, according to Charlie.  I thought that feature very unusual, rustic, and beautiful.   If this is not the correct barn, I will expect to hear from my buddy very soon. 

OK lunch time and time to see our favorite Rabun County resident – Carolyn Carnes Brewer.  We lunched at the Cupboard Café in Dillard where Hazel and Charlie joined us.  We really had a fun filled lunch but you wouldn’t think so from this picture. They seem to be pondering, pondering, pondering.  Maybe the tip? 

 After lunch we rendezvoused at Carolyn’s to see Dick and of course our favorite dog, Dickens. 
Hazel and Dickens are sharing a moment of intense conversation. 

 Dale and I presented Carolyn with an early Christmas present.  Don’t you love that sweater? 

Carolyn and Dick are very special to us and such a joy to visit. 
We hated to leave the warmth of that wood stove and those two wonderful people but we had to be on our way.


 We drove back to the school to leave our gift for Janie.  The campus was almost totally deserted but we finally found a Houseparent in the boys dorm. Wymer said he would deliver our gift to Janie
.  We checked out the Heritage Center and found the Alumni Walk had been laid in concrete.  They did a very nice job of laying the walk. .

This is a picture of the new Jane Woodruff Senior Hall on School Farm Road that is being built.  This will be a two-story building and have 40 student rooms, 2 prefect rooms, 2 TV rooms, 2 computer rooms with 7 workstations each, and 2 laundry rooms.  The downstairs will have storage and mechanical rooms and a game area. 

Here is a picture of our Dairy Barn.

As the sun was sinking, we headed back to Sylvan Falls Mill for a try for an afternoon shot.  The mill owners, Linda and Michael Johnson, were hanging their Christmas lights.  While I wandered around trying to find the best angle, the Johnsons told me to wait and they starting taking down the ladders and hiding them and went inside and turned on the lights they had just put up.  Michael offered to take me inside so I could take a picture of the mill interior.  I thanked him for his kindness but told him I only needed the exterior for my project.  I could not believe how helpful those two were.  I will plan on sending them a copy of the pictures.  They have a very nice website at Sylvan Falls Mills  which gives the history of this mill.  Very interesting, check it out.

 Back on the road and reluctantly driving south.  We had one last mill shot to take for Randy as we headed home.  The old mill on Highway 197 going into Clarksville has been one Randy wanted me to take for a long time.  The owner of this mill does not take kindly to trespassers, so you have to do the best you can from the road.  I finally was able to be at the mill when the afternoon sun was reflecting on the tin roof.

 I would love to know the history on this mill.  Anyone know?   Old gristmills are a favorite of mine and Randy’s and we now have a nice collection of photos of several mills.  Maybe one of these days, the Ramblers might share them with you if you are interested.


Dale and I, tired but happy, parted with the promise to try to do this again before Christmas


Photos  2002 by Beverly Guthrie Lougher

 Rabun Ramblings