November 5, 1989
Collector: Well, does 52 run through where you camped?
Winesett: Yeah, uh, 52 and 21 is the road that runs, it’s from Wytheville back this way. Close to the mountain and down her joins in to 42. Both, it’s the same road, 21 or 52. Its the same road same track. It connects down here into 42. Then you got three roads from where it makes a connection into Bland Count, number 21, 52, and 42 all the same track. They divide there. Forty-two goes to the right and on and to, Pearisburg and on and on to Giles County. Believe thetas the name of the count, 21 and 52 turns to left, crosses Little Brushy Mountain down Wolf Creek out by Hicksville cross Clinch, uh, cross, uh, East River into Bluefeild. That’s on old 40 and, uh, 21 and 52, but 77 then across from Bland, keeps to the right of 21 and 52 fro a mile or two, then they switch off and 21 and 52 leeds to the right across the mountain and down through Bastian and Hickville on iton Rocky Gap and out to, across the mountain into Bluefeild on the left hand side. Seventy-two comes along here across the mountain just a little east of where the 52 and 21 lead across the mountain keep to the right on through into Rocky Gap and keep to the right straight up on through the tunnel, the turn left and go into old Bluefeild, uh, Bluefeild is like all other places. It’s built up now’til it’s almost a town from the time you go through the tunnel ‘til you get into Bluefeild.
Collector: Um-huh. Do you, um, I forgot what I’m going to ask. Oh yeah--do you remember anything about what they used to call the old Fancy Gap Highway?
Winesett: No. I don’t know anything about that. I’ve, I’ve heard of Fancy Gap. I don’t, that goes into North Carolina, don’t it?
Collector: Yeah. And they, they built a road from the valley in here across Walker Mountain and over through Fancy Gap.
Winesett: Well. well you, your taking a lot of territory.
Collector: Just wondered if you’d heard about that.
Winesett: Yeah, I remember that. I remember when they, hey come through getting the right-of-way. They fist got a right-of-way to build a road down on the old low Crest and where the road comes down now and turn down here at the forks of this road and go to Bland. But the man that was getting the potations for the right-of-way met down here and everybody in the country along the road went in to see what he wanted, and, and, and he mentioned that when they built fifty-two that they might turn off on the top of the mountain and go down the way it goes now. But there wasn’t nobody in this section agreed with that. But that’s the way they built the road.
Collector: Did it follow the old road across there?
Winesett: No. Brand new road from the top up the mountain down to where it interacted with 42. The road turned off on the top of the mountain, and new road or down through the Mecon Bowen, a, Bowen property at that time and out to the intersection with 42 down here, six miles below here. It was a big new road . Built it brand new. Cut this timber on the right-of-ay and all.
Collector: What did they use to build the road with?
Winesett: How’s that?
Collector: What kind of machinery did they use to build it with?
Winesett: They used dump carts, shovels, shovel, and picks. didn't have no machinery when the built that road. Done by hand a lot of it.
Collector: Well, how did they get over the mountain before 52 was built from here to Wytheville?
Winesett: Traveled this old 52 that comes around here now.
Daughter: No. that’s 621, old 621.
Daughter: Yeah, that’s the original.
Daughter: Six twenty-one.
Collector: Well do you remember them working on 621? That road?
Winesett: [Informant pondered the question fro a few seconds]
Collector: Do you remember when they hard-topped it?
Winesett: Yeah, but I don’t know know how long ago it has been. Oh, 52 and 21 are the same road from Wytheville into Bland Court House. That’s the same road. You are talking about 52 and 21. Where they intersect worth 42 here at Bland?
Collector: Un huh
Winesett: And you’re on the same road. Where they intersect with 42 here at Bland, this side of Bland, that goes right here, and from where they intersect down here on 42. They’s three roads by the Band Court house: 42, 21, and 51 [the informant ment to say 52] all on the same road.
Collector: Do you remember, a , anything about a, how they used to travel on this old road here? Do you reemeber what they called it?
Winesett: UM. The Tazewell-Burkes Garden Ash Road. When it was built, run from Tazwell 26 miles from Sharon Springs, 6 miles into Wytheville Court House. I don’t remember when that was built, but I remember traveling on all of it during my past time. But I don’t how they built it, I don’t kow who built it, or nothing of that kind. I just know where some of the old a, mile-stone markers were.
Collector: Un-huh. Are any of them still standing?
Winesett: No. None that I know of. There wsa one stood down here at Sharon Spring, a mile below here One stood right down teh road here, about hundred yards from here. And on 42 another over here about a mile around here . And just befroe you got into the wooland up on the mountain they was another one.And thy’s another one just this side of teh topo of teh mountain. I just know the place where they told me that the old mile stone markers were put.
Winesett: But, I don’r remember seeing any of them. I just remeber the older people told me where the miles ran out. These roads were all marked with post every mile.
Collector: They had one every mile?
Winesett: One every mile.
Collector: Were they made out of wood or stone?
Winesett: Made out of wood?
Collector: Do you remember anybody ever calling this road out through here in front of you housethe, part of Old Wilderness Road?
Winesett: No. Now the Wilderness Road that I always, was in eat end of teh country.
Collector: It wasn’t in this section?
Winesett: Well, now, I can’t tell you. About all I know about the Wilderness is what I’ve heard people speak about the Wilderness Road. But I don’t know where it was at.
Collector: Do you remember what they told you about it?
Winesett: No I don’t.
Collector: Do you remember?
Daughter: Excuse me. Ask him about the turnpike, the Tazewell Wytheville Turnpike. I think that might be what they called it.
Collector: O.K. Do you remember anything about teh Tazewell Wytheville Turnpike? About the travlers on it?
Winesett: The Tazewell Wyhteville Turnpike, right along over here is part of it, goes up, around up, comes out on top of teh mountain. Followss 52 and 21 into Wytheville.
Collector: Did you ever make a trip over to Wytheville in a wagon?
Winesett: Yeah, I sure have. [laughter]
Collector: Tell me about some of those trips.
Winesett: Well, [laughter] well, I don’t know a.
Collector: Did it take you a day or two to get over there?
Winesett: Well, when they used to go in this country, I lived about two miles below here when I was a boy, and people this section made tow trips to Wytheville a year: one in teh spring of teh year and one in teh fall of the year. I know’d we leave this section of teh country of a morning about daylight, would have been about 6:00 or 7:00 o’clock, and they’d go into Wytheville, trade their produce, or what ever they hauled over ther, for teh merchandise they aimed to bring back, and come back six miles this side of Wytheville and camp: stay all night. Next dt would load up and come over thisa whole section of coutry. Usually the’d get into this section about 12:00 or 1:00 or 2:00. That was a round trip to Wytheville , which is a day and about a half, or a little over. That’s what took to make the trip.
Collector: Where did they put, put camp up?
Winesett: Oh, on the way back from Wytheville.
Collector: Un huh.
Winesett: Well, most of the time about six miles this side of Wyhteville. You knhow where Leon’s service station is now? Or where the road come down here and, makes, crosses the creek and this comes this a way?
Collector: Is it near Stony Creek?
Winesett: Yeah. They. . .
Dauhter: Do you know where Horner’s grocery store is now? Gas and grocery.
Collector: Un huh
Daughter: O.K. Leon’s used to be on teh Gulfon, well, going into Wytheville. It was teh Gulf station right after you cross teh bridge around teh curve this side of Harners present store. I think that sighn might still be up there, that say’s Gulf. Leon’s service station we’re spealing of was, was there, Leon Shultz..
Collector: Whose property was it where everypone camped?
Winesett: Well, at one place, it belonged to a fellow by the ame of Davison. And across the creek it belonged to a man ny the name of Turner.
Collector: Did they carge you to stay there
Winset: No, It idn’t cost nothing. Sides of teh roads you camped where you wanted to.. Now if you staed in some ones house, they’d maybe charge you 25 or 50 cents a night [informant corrects his error] a night, but if you camped along the road, you put up antwhere you wanted to stay. And nobody objected, and nobody made any inquiry way nor why nor wherefor.
Collector: Nobody complained, huh?
Collector: Was there a lot of traffic on teh raod then?
Winesett: Uh. well, quite a bit, because most of teh people, in this section her and between Bland Court House, done most of their shopping in Wytheville and did in hauling fertilizer and produce that they had to sell. For instance if you sold apples or corn or patatos or what ever that you growed on a farm, you took it took it to Wytheville to sell most of the time.
Collector: Did you ever make any tris to Saltville?
Winesett: I,ve have been to Saltville two or three diffren times, going through Saltville an d out over to Glade Springs. I never did go to Saltville on a business trip of any kind, but I have been to Saltville. I know where it’s at.
Collector: Were you born here in this area?
Winesett: I was born about three miles below here, in 1888. I lived in the raadius of five miles my whole life. My post office where I was a boy was Ceres. Virginia, which was three miles east of my birth place. This mile today, is about two miles east from where i was born. In other words I was born two miles west of where I am sitting today.
Collector: WHats you daddy’s name?
Winesett: Easterly, E-a-s-t-e-r-l-y, Easterly, Nathan Easterly. He was a decendent from Carrolll County. He came from Carroll when he was a child and lived in this scton all of his life.
Collector: Wha your mother’s maien name? Do you rermember?
Winesett: My moher’s maiden name was Brown. She was a Brown SHe was born in Wythe County. Now her givin name is Susan. Susan Bown. SHe was born in Wythe County, but she lived in this section of country.
Collector: Where did you go to school when you were a boy?
Winesett: Red Oak, one room school house buit out of logs
Collector: Is it near the Red Oak Church anywhere?
Winesett: About a mile from teh Red Oak Church, only fust across the hill from there. But where you have to get to teh school was you was, you had to go up to teh church and go down a littl ways and turn to the left, and go up to teh school house. It was a little bit off, off teh present highway.
Daughter: Do you know where Buck Stowers lives? Well, do yo know where teh Foglessong Valley Road intercects with Red Oak Road? O.K. Buck Stewart lives in teh white house right there a short distance about as far from here to the garage from, I guess it’s the Red Oak Hill Road, and then just beyond that is Foglesong Valley Road. Well, you turn into a gate on Buck’s property and go to the old Red Oak School, and he was born in teh house that stood up on teh top of teh hill just a sort distance from teh school. It was easy walking.
Winesett: I mde seral trips to Wytheville with a horse and wagon since I lived her, since I come back from mama’s. Since I,ve been married I made several trips from here to Wytheville. Witha horse and wagon go on one day and back on teh next.
Collector: What were teh roads like?
Winesett: I probably walked part of them, huh?
Collector: Not very smooth then, huh?
Winesett: Won’t smooth at all. It won’t no hard surface. I can remember when there wasn’t a foot of hard surface in this section no where. Dirt roads, one track most of it. Room enough for two wagons to pass, not just anywhere, but there was wide places you could pass. Ut I remember over here was just a one road, just one big track over there. This country here was, along here, was just timber. Its been 75 or 80 years ag. I can remember back when it was like that.
Collector: Did you ever do any logging?
Winesett: Well, yes, a little for myself, mostly. When I bought this land, this up here was timber, and I cut and sawed. I had a saw mill, and cut and sawed the timber. Then I did a lot of custom sawing for people over the neighborhood. I done all that around the hollow here.
Collector: How did yo power your saw mill?
Winesett: With a steam engine. That was before we had tractors or motors like that. My sawmilling ws done by steam power. Antything from 10 to 20 horsepower. I had two different types of engines. Most of my saw milling was donewitha 10 to 20 horse power, I suspect.
Collector: Where did you buy those? Where did you buy your engines?
Winesett: Well, teh engines I had were second handed. I never bought a brad new engine. But at that time, Pete Johnson in Wytheville sold machinery. Sold engines any size from four to five horse power up to a 20. You could buy a steam engine, or you could buy a saw mill, you could by a threshing machine. Pete Johnson, he was the main machine dealer in this section at thi time.
Collector: Did you ever do any sawing milling for Old Man Compton? You called him Mr. Compton. Charles farther? His nme was Charles to, wasn’t it?
Winesett: Charles Compton, you are talking about. No I never did do any sawing for him.
Collector: He logged some to didn’t he?
Winesett: Well I couldn’t tell you. He may of auled some logs into my place. Nw when I ran teh saw mill up here, people all arod the neighborhood, and anywhere close, wanted some lumber or something, they’d bring it up and I’d saw it. But I just don’t remember weather I sawed for CharlesCompton or not. But I know Compton.
Collector: Do yo remember anything about his farther?
Winesett: Charles Comptons daddy. No sir, I don’t remeber anything about him. Charles Compton married a Kegly. i knew her. I knew Sam Kegly, her sister, and Ben Kegly, her brother, and I knew Will Kegly, her brother, but Charles Compton married the sister of these three men. BUtI don’t know anything either one of them.
Collector: Do you know where Wolf Creek is?
Winesett: Wolf Creek? Yeah, I know where Wolf Creek is, but I couldn’t tell. I can’t tell of show you either.
Collector: It is up near Rocky Mount or Rocky Gap?
Winesett: Yeah, between there and Rocky Gap. You go to Bland across teh mountain, and go down pass Bastian, and urn left up Wolf Creek. I’ve been that way once or twice, but I don’t know anytingabout the country. I just know where you turn off to go to that secton of country.
Collector: Did you ever get over into Burkes Garden?
Collector: What all was over there?
Winesett: Well, this road right along here, 42 now, at the time it was Burkes Garden-Tazewell Turnpike. Go right down teh road about one mile. Turn to the right, go across the Little Brushy mountain down into teh valley and cross Garden Mountain and over into Burkes Garden. About 11 or 12 miles down here from where you leave this road and from Burkes Garden, you go what, to what they called Clay Pole Gap. That’s the gfap in the mountain there where teh creek goes out. On what they call little creek at the time. YOu cross what they call Brushy Mountain there and little Brushy Mountain here over into teh road that runs to Tazewell and down to Rocky Gap. When you get across this little mountain, you come in the road. There’s one more run to Tazewell this a way,, you turn right and go down this way [unclear] come out at Rocky Gap.
Collector: Did yo ever hear of any Comptons living up around Clear Fork or Wolf Creek?
Winesett: Any Comptons? No. No, Charlie Compton was the only Compton I knew, and he has a brother that lives a mile oer from Hicksville on teh other side of Bastian. A compton lives over about Hicksville on teh other side of Bastian. A Compton livesover there now, Joe Compton, one of, I don’t know what his farthers name was. But his daddy and Charlie Compton’s lived down here. I think they were brothers. Pretty sure they was.
Collector: Do yo remember any thing about the Sluss Indian Massacre
Winesett: Well I know is what I’ve been told. Cause that wsa before I could remember. That happened, let’s see. How far is it from here to Ceres?
Daughter: About five miles. The Sluss Family wsa massacred about six miles west of here, right on the main road, only a little to the right, about six miles below here . I know where they claimed teh Sluss family lived when they were massacred by the Indians.
Collector: Do you remember any stories about Indians that your mother or farther told you?
Collector: About their people?
Winesett: No. I don’t remember anything about Indian stories that they ever told me.
Collector: Do you remember any stories about anything else?
There is this one about Walking Jim.
Winesett: Walking Jim Lambert. Well, I knew Walking Jim Lambert. I knew his farther, but wasn’t to well acquinted with hi. but I knew walking Jim very well.
Collector: How did he get his name?
Winesett: Because he could walk faster than you could go on a horse. [laughter] You may think that’s all talk. but it’s not. I’ve seen him. But he didn’t just walk, he moved. Jump, and leap about 10 to 15 feet. I can tell you the story they told on Walking Jim. He went to Wytheville onr time he crossed teh top of teh mountain there on teh way to Wytheville, there was two men comealong on horseback , and this on on horseback said to Lambert, Well wish you had a horse. We’d ride along together. Walked on a peice and Lambert said I,m in a hurry. I got to go toWytheville andback to day. He went to Wytheville and me his fellow horseback a mile this side of Wytheville, and that sounds unreasonable tale and you won’t belive it, but but I,ve been told that story.
Collector: So he met the men coming back?
Winesett: metteh man on horseback. He walked to Wytheville and met him this side of Wytheville, the horseback man.
Collector: How long would it take a man on horesback to get over there?
Winesett: From her to Wytheville? Well, i went to Wytheville a few times on horseback and buggy. Leave in the morning about six or seven or eight in teh morning ans get over there 11 or 12. it took him about four hours, maybe a littel bit longer. Depends on what kind oorse you had. I had a horse that was a good walker.,m and you could make it quicker thaan you wanted, so I has a god saddle horse that cold make it five or six miles an hour. You could make it quicker. It depended alot on teh gait the horse mad, how long it would take you to go to Wytheville.
Collector: Did you carrry any food for the horse on the way?
Winesett: Oh, yeah.
Collector: What did you carry?
Winesett: Well, if you went in a wagon, you took a wad of hay in teh bck end of it. You took corn and ears to feed your horse. Then you left in teh morning, you took corn for your horse for teh next day, then that night, then next morning, perhaps then the next day. But tehn you’d be back home by that time you took three or four feedings of corn for your horse when you went. You took hay enough for what you wanted him to have during teh night. You didn’t bring any hay back. If yo took hay on teh load over there, you’d feed it to your horse. Eat that up before you come back withou any hay, but if you didn’t feed up the corn, you bought it bak with you. what was left, what was not used up.
Collector: What did you take to eat your self?
Winesett: Well, it depends on what yo eat at home.
Collecor: What was that usauall?
Winesett: Well, you fried meat. You took meat and biscuits and light bread if you happened to ave homemade light bread. Back at that time we din’t have any bakery bread. You made homemade, homemade biscuits. You took jam or applebutter or jelly or bacon or whatever you might have on hand as a sandwic for them. Put them on you biscuits and put them in a box, or people had a agon had a lunch box the carried there ratioins and keys in.
Collector: Was that up under the seat. It usaually sat up towards teh front of the wagon bed where you stayed ut wasn’t no certian place to pt you luch box.
Collector: Did most people around here have covers for there wagons, or did they leave them open?
Winesett: Well, when I was just a boy most people had there wagons covered maybe. They had box springs, bed about 10 or 12 feet long, about the width of teh wagon was there or four feet, and the side boards were 12 inches high and had staples in teh side of the side board and made boards that came across and down both sides of teh bed. Then you had a sheet to pull over top of that. They could close it down and fasten it up on both sides, or they could pull it back together on teh back end of teh [unclear]. Of course you left teh front and back open so you could see your team and see where you was a going.
Collector: When you went to Wytheville, did you go by yourself or did you go with somebody.
Winesett: Well, I went both ways. I went by myself, and I went when I had company.
Collector: Did you eer go with your folks hn you where a boy?
Collector: How many brothers or sisters did you have?
Winesett: I had one brother and two sisters.
Collector: They all put you in a wagon together?
Winesett: No, I remember one time when we all went together, my daddy, my mother me nd my brother and one of my sisters, I think went. My oldest sister was invalid; she couldn’t walk to do much good. I don’t remember tat we took her. But took my younger sister, my brother, and myself, and my daddy, and my mother all went to Wytheville one time. We stayed all night about threee miles this side of Wytheville. Went down to Wytheville to teh railroad. A train come along, the first and only train that my mother ever saw, and then we come back out this side of Wytheville and spent the night again and come back home the next day. And the road between, up this side of Leon’s service station where it comes up this way and turns around this way, was a sheet of ice. And I remember my daddy, I had the horse, and I had to rough shod the horses until they could clear the wagon. But with the ice under wagon, the rear end of it slid down around here.
Collector: The brakes were what? Rigged to the rear wheels or to the front wheels?
Winesett: Rear wheels.
Collector: They didn’t help any? Brakes?
Wnesett: Not on ice, it didn’t. (Laughter)
Collector: Well, when you said rough shod the horses, what exactly did you do?
Winesett: Well, I don’t know whether you know how to shoe a horse or not. They put a shoe on, you know what shape a shoe is. Ordinarily they put, I think, four nails to the side and on each side they had what they used to call a ice nail, a horse shoe nail with a big head. The end of it was as big as my little finger down here. It stuck up above the shoe that would help to hold the horse on the ice. Two nails then, a lot of times the old blacksmith would put a small piece of metal on the toe of that shoe that would help the horse hold onto the ice. I’ve had that done. I’ve had horseshoes and run a piece of an old file or something, some kind of piece of steel on the toe of that shoe and then have an ice nail back here, on back here, then of course, the rest of them ordinary nails, and they’d stand up pretty good on that.
Collector: What kind of nails did they call that? Ice nails?
Wnesett: Yeah. Ice nails.
Collector: Did it look like the nails they used now to put in electric fenses? Stands out a little bit?
Winesett: I don’t know what kind they used to put in electric fenses. I’ve got some old box horse shoes nails in the barn I had when I shod horses. I’ve got some nails up there that’s new. I never did use them. I think I’ve got a shoe or two up there that never was on a horse.
Collector: You don’t have any ice nails up there, do you?
Winesett: No, I don’t have an ice nail. All I got I guess is regular nails. It drove down. it was made so that it fit down in the groove along in the shoe. It was fit down in there. They stuck up above the shoe enough: it wasn’t plum smooth, but it wasn’t much on ice. For a ice nail you had to have something you (unclear) down in the ice. Anything that stayed on top of that ice wasn’t worth much.
Collector: Did you ever put any in your shoes?
Winesett: No. (laughter) No, I never did.
Daughter: tell him about your first pair of shoes you remember.
Winesett: Well, the first pair of shoes I ever had was made on a straight lathe. It was straight on one foot and same as other. They didn’t make them like they made shoes now. They were straight, but if you wore them awhile on this foot, they’d finally get the shape of your foot, and this other would do the same thing. I wore them out, and then when I was a boy, my daddy heard of a brogain shoe or not. I wore them. They had a sole that’d last you a long time. After that, when I grew older, grew bigger, why, they started making shoes change. I bought shoes the kind that they had at the time when I needed a new pari, but I needed, had to certain kind to buy. No, shoes were wore what they called humdingers. Haev you ever saw a humdinger shoe or not? Well, it was a heavy shoe with a heavy sole on it, and they had nails along (unclear) made like a ice nail on a horseshoe, and they didn’t normally hold you from slipping, but they helped to carry you in mud.
Collector: When you were in the Army, how many boys from Bland County did you go to the Army with?
Winesett: Well, I went to Camp Lee. I left Bland Court House on October 5th, with twenty-one. Got on at the Ford garage, but that time a few people around had cars, and a guy mustered up enough cars to transfer 21 of us across the mountain from Bland over to Bastian. Twenty-one. Today I am, I know, the only one of that 21 still living..
Collector: Why did you go over to Bastian?
Winesett: We went over to Bastian, got on the train at Bastian, went down to the Narrows, that’s the end of the road come up at Bastian. We got on the N & W train there, went to Roanoke and spent the night, part of it in Roanoke. Left Roanoke about 12 o’clock or a little after and landed at Petersburg next morning about daylight. Twenty-one of us. They met us there and took us up the street to a restaurant, give us a little breakfast of some kind. I don’t remember when it was, took us to a place a little where we stayed a time we was in the service before we went overseas.
Collector: What year was that?
Collector: Do you remember what unit you went with?
Winesett: Three hundred seventeen Infantry Regiment, 380th division. Company B.
Collector: Do you remember your serial number?
Winesett: Serial number 1817138. (laughter) What Army was you in World War II?
Collector: No. I’m not quite that old. I was in Germany during hundred seventeen thousand one hundred thirty eight.
Collector: What kind of food did you get in the Army?
Winesett: Well, not like you had at home.
Daughter: You were the cook. Tell him about that.
Winesett: Well, for breakfast we had bacon and eggs, cereal of some kind. Dinner, we had what they called beef stew. Most of the soldiers called it slum. Beef cut up and cooked, dumplings of some kind made in with it, and then we had potatoes and onions right along to make us as near a complete meal as you could have. Sometimes we had prunes for dinner. We had a pretty good ration most of the time.
Collector: Did you ever get any horse meat to eat?
Winesett: Not that I know of. They claimed the French people. French Army was fed on horse meat, but I don’t think we ever got any. We got our company quarter of beef every day, but it didn’t come out of a horse. You could tell by the shape, it was a cow.
Collector: Did you get shipped overseas?
Winesett: Yeah. I left Camp Lee at one o’clock one morning down to Newport News, believe on the James River, got on a boat there, and I was in Norfolk about 12:00, little after. Got on the Mongolia that evening, pulled out from the wharf, was out to the edge of the ocean there and anchored there ‘til about sundown with the convoy that I went over in. They lined them all up and left the port abuot the same time. Some three or four men, don’t know how many, before we left the port overseas, come on there in a small boat, and sailed on our boat and played or sang a song. “Good Night Ladies.”
Collector: Where did you land in Europe?
Winesett: We left Norfolk on the 26th day of May, landed at (unclear) 14 days later. We were 14 days and nights going from Norfolk to (unclear), France. Didn’t make a direct trip. They’d go this way a piece, then zig like. We dodged any submarines we were afriad might (unclear). The Germans destroyed an American vessel there in the North Sea. We were told it was a submarine. After that time United States took special precautions to dodge anything that might be of a submarine nature. So we didn’t make a direct course, we zig zagged.
Collector: Did you get sea sick going across?
Winesett: Well, after about three days, I did. The first two or three days after we left Norfolk, the ocean was smooth, won’t a wave about it, just looked like a keg of syrup a boiling. But the wind began to get up. Of course that began to rock our boat and when it began doing that, we’d get sick. But the sea got over that but never did feel good ‘til you got your foot on the ground.
Collector: After you got to Europe, where did you get from there?
Winesett: Well,l stayed at (unclear) two or three days and camped in an old camp ground that I think they said Napoleon used this one time as camping quarters. We left one evening, don’t remember just what time, but we traveled all night and next day and night landed at Calais in the northeast part of France. We went plumb across the whole country.
Collector: From there where did you wind up?
Winesett: When we left Calais, we got some equipment there, got our helmet and don’t remember what all. We began to walk our way back to the back seat of the country, and I don’t remember the number of places we stayed and camped, just overnight. Maybe a day or two, we’d move up and move one, and we finally went back to a place named (unclear). We stayed there about six weeks, I think it was. My first combat duty was with the British on the English front, right close to (unclear). I was in that drive, but at that time, I was a cook for the company. I didn’t have to do any real fighting, but I had to be as close to the men where they was fighitng and all the supplies with something to eat. In the Army they expect something to eat, and if you don’t get something to eat, you’re out of business pretty soon.
Collector: Did you have to do a lot of marching across France or did they haul you in trucks?
Winesett: Yeah, marched all together. There was only one wide truck. Somewhere when we left (unclear), we went down, didn’t go through Paris, but we went around on the outskirts passed Paris and went on down in the southern part of France and down there awhile. I don’t remember how long, but from down there we loaded up and began to work our way back up to (unclear) and on up and near the, in (unclear) forest and on up through (unclear) that where our Army was when our armistice was signed. It was just a little (unclear) on (unclear).
Collector: After the armistice was signed, how long did it take you to get back to Bland?
Winesett: Well, after the armistice was signed, it was on the 18th, 1918. I got back home the first of June 1919. I was in France that long after the armistice was signed. They sent men they sent over to France ahead of ours came back before I did. If you went over there first, you come back first. You was second to get over there, you was second to come back.
Collector: When you came back, what did you do?
Winesett: I come back here after I visited my mother and father, saw my people. I come back here and mowed my yard. It was that high. I come up cleaning up a little stuff around here, prepared to keep house and make it my home.
Collector: Were you married before you went to Europe?
Winesett: Yeah. I was married on the second day of June, 1917. I registered for the Army on the fifth day of October, 1917. I sailed for Europe on the 26th day of October. Let’s see, I’m a little confused. It was the 26th of May I sailed for France. Anyhow, when I come back here, I tried to straighten up to get ready to make a living and make this place my home. I’ve been here ever since.
Collector: Did you build the house here?
Winesett: No, the house was here before I left. I lived here in this house about four months before I went overseas. But I shut the front door when I went overseas in 1917, and I come in the front door in 1919 when I come back.
Collector: All together, how many months were you gone?
Winesett: One year, eight months, and six days. Part of three years. Part of 1917, all of 1918, and part of 1919.
Collector: When you came back, what did you decide to do to make a living?
Winesett: Farm. That’s all I did before and that’s all I knew anything about doing to make a living.
Collector: How many acres did you have?
Winesett: Well, me and my daddy together, course I had my life here at this place. At the time I had 12 acres, a house, about 11 acres. My daddy owned 10 acres down below here where I own to make a living on it. He had my sisters to support, and himself, and people he had hired to help him. He had to make a living for them, and I had to make support for myself and my wife. Only way we had to make it was by farming, growing wheat, corn, potatoes, and vegetables. We kept hogs for meat, cows for our milk, chickens for eggs and eating, and turkeys for a money crop. Turkeys about one time was the only cash crop. I had soem in part of that section. Back in them days everybody owned a turkey, sometimes 10 to 15, anywhere from that up to 30 or 40, depending the on the size of the farm there.
Collector: Where did you market your turkeys?
Winesett: Well, first one place, then another. We usually marketed around here. This guy one mile below was in the turkey business at this time, and he bought turkeys on foot and dressed them, took the feathers off of them. I don’t know that he took entrails, depends on the kind of dress he wanted. He put them in barrels and hauled them to Wytheville on wagons, put it on the railroad, shipped them to Baltimore, Philadelphia, some place up there, sold them for whatever they’d bring. Bough only cash and shipped them to commercial dealers in different towns. They sold them and sent him what they bought, less a commission.
Collector: How much did you make on your turkeys?
Winesett: Well, I sold them anywhere from 10 cents on a foot to about 50 cents. One time, sold them to a man from Tazewell named Keesee. Come in here to buy all he could get. Wanted to buy all the turkeys he could get. He paid 10 cents on the foot. Picked them off the ground and weighed them, feathers, entrails, and all. But after that (unclear) dressing, and he paid different prices, depending on the market he could get, bought them. All Philadelphia and wholesale dealers up there kept him posted about what the market was bringing at different prices and what they sold for this week and about the prospect for next week, and he bought them, what he expected to get, but he made somemoney on them most of the time. But now and then he’d shipped back and lose some money. He was in a risky business, too.
Collector: Now that wasn’t 10 cents a pound on the foot was it?
Winessett: No, no, it was 10 cents a turkey. Ten cents a turkey.
Collector: Did you ever do much business down at Ceres?
Winesett: Yeah. When I was a boy that was the only store in the whole neighborhood. Kept a little business store old man Floyd Crabtree had right down the road here. Just one room, about the size of this one. Crabtree Store was, and there was a store at Ceres a fellow by the name of Groseclose run the store, the first I ever remember going to a store. He had, I don’t know, he didn’t have country produce like they did later on.
Collector: Did people sell their eggs?
Winesett: How’s that?
Collector: Did you ever sell your chicken eggs?
Winesett: Yeah, I sold eggs. Back when I was a boy, my daddy went to Wytheville one time, and we kept quite a few chickens, and he went to Wytheville, and I think he had, I believe, 20 dozen or 40 dozen. Didn’t have crates to upt them in like you have now and took a box two foot square, put a layer of oats in that box in that oats, took them to Wytheville and sold them for five cents a dozen. I can remember they sold in this section five or 10 cents a dozen, and I sold eggs since I lived here for 10 or 15 cents a dozen.
Collector: How much would you have to pay for them in a store?
Winesett: Well, at this time everybody kept chickens. Didn’t go to the store to buy eggs. The man run the store crated or fixed them someway and shipped them to the dealers in Baltimore, Maryland. Now it was the kind of crates that had, they had two layers, and they were put in (unclear) hold a dozen eggs, maybe put two dozen eggs. Put in a layer of past board then another layer of filler and crate, then another layer and so on ‘til you got about usually about 30 dozen in a crate. Box that long, about that wide, about that high, about 30 dozen in there . Nail the lid down on top of it, take it over to Wytheville or Rural Retreat, put it on the train, ship it to Balimore, Maryland, take whatever the commission marchants could seel them for. Take out this commission and sent you the check for the difference.
Collector: What else were you able to sell besides seggs and turkeys?
Winesett: Well, sold chickens, young chickens. Raised them ‘til they get two pounds or two and a half and take them to the store and sell them. I’ve carried, when I was a boy had big baskets, I’d put four or five young chickens in one of those baskets, put a lid over it and take it to the store and sell it either by the pound for them or usually by that or had so much a chicken. When my daddy went to Wytheville one time with a coop of chickens and drove in the wagon along over there, me and my brother was with him (unclear). It was the first time we’d ever been to Wytheville, and there were two merchants, G.S. Grocery Company, and a ho, can’t think of the other names up the street, and some folks for G.S. come out and talked to my daddy. Sixteen cents a piece for the chickens and my daddy went up (unclear) and, Camp was the otehr place, he went up to see what they’d give him, No. My daddy come back down to the store where we was and old man Kemple was standing there. Kemple said “Have you sold your chickens?” my daddy told him, “No.” He said, “What you been offered?” My daddy said, “Sixteen cents a piece.” Kemple said, “I’ll give you sixtieen cents a pound.” Well, that was about twice or maybe three times what these other fellows had been offering him. So we sold them to Kemple right there. (Laughter)
Collector: How did you take care of your chickens in the winter time?
Winesett: Well, we fed them, course you had to feed them grain, corn, or wheat, or oats, whatever we had. If we had a house, they roosed in that house. If you didn’t happen to have one, a house, they’d fly up in a tree if you had one close by. I can remember when the chickens roosted in a tree. That was a cold place to roose, but after we kind of got settled in, got straightened out, my daddy build what we called a chicken coop. It was a house about,k well as the way I remember, way he had it fixed, about eight or ten feel long and maybe six or eight feet wide and had a door in it to go in at, and then they had pieces up the sided and then poles across for the chickens to roost on, and of course after got that fixed, our chickens roosted in that coop.
Collector: Did you ever have any trouble with the animals getting into your chickens?
Winesett: Yeah, sometimes. We never did have much trouble come (unclear) a few times we had polecats here a time or two (unclear) get in once in a while, but not too much trouble that...
Collector: Did you ever have any trouble with bigger kinds of like, uh, bears or bobcats?
Winesett: Well, we never had much trouble like, right, in this ... We didn’t have no bears but on the mountain and on the ... They had a bear now and then. About every year... kills bear on this mountain or this over here now. And... wasn’t too bad. I’ve seen one or two, but that didn’t... too very much.
Collector: Did you ever hear tell of any mountain lions or ... coming through here?
Winesett: Never heard tell of it but one time. Back years ago... daddy was a young man, the man he lived with started two... on horseback and went across this road about (unclear) ... Clreek you’re talking about, and up the mountain there, the horse he was riding wheeled on around and took back... mountain, and course my daddy made out to stay
on the... but he said there was a panther around along on the road... road, all the way down to the (unclear). And that’s... And of course what I know about that, what my daddy... about, other people told me that happened along about... of course. That all happened before I knew anything...
Collector: Did you ever get to go bear hunting?
Winesett: I never did want to go bear hunting. (laughter)
Collector: Did your daddy ever go?
Winesett: Not that I know of. There used to be a family of ... lived down the road here. They done the bear hunting, but ... take a trip about ever fall. They’d go down what we call ... Mountain, maybe jump a bear or two, run them along this ... Mountain, maybe plump into what people called Balsin Bear... west of Burkes Garden. A lot of times they’d kill them... they quit running him. I never did eat any bear meat but... The Neal boys run a bear. I know they chased him a ... and killed him with a (unclear), brought some bear to... Now Neal was a special friend of mine, lived down... He wanted to treat me with a mess of bear meat, so... me a good slug of bear meat, and I think my wife cooked... it maybe like you’d fix a piece of beef, any other
Daughter: He’d probably rather hear about the time that you drove sheep and cattle from Hillsville to Ceres.
Winesett: To go to Wytheville? Take a left and take a left hand side from Wytheville to Fort Chiswell and #11, 81, and 71, all in one track from Wytheville to Fort Chiswell. Number 77 turns to the left there and cross the mountain goes across New River and straight on to, I don’t know just how far but it’s a few miles and you turn off 77 and go back and come on to 52 and 21 and turn to the right and top the mountain. When you top that mountain, then you’re at the head of Fancy Gap, and Fancy Gap extends all the way down the mountain on out by (unclear), well it goes into Bluefield, I mean it -- Winston Salem.
Collector: When was it you had to drive some sheep from Hillsville?
Winesett: How’s that?
Collector: When did you have to drive some sheep from Hillsville?
Winesett: Well, I never drove some sheet. I drove some cattle.
Daughter: That was along old #11 and 81, wasn’t it?
Collector: Where were you bringing the cattle to?
Winesett: About two miles below here. That’s when I was a boy.
Collector: Did you do?
Winesett: My brother and I went to, to a Grayson County over in Woodlawn. We bought a few cattle there, and we drove ‘em across from Woodlawn and across by Jackson’s Ferry and on old #11 into top of Walker’s Mountain and turned left and come down adn come into 42 a half mile below here.
Collector: How long did it take you?
Winesett: Well, we left when we got the cattle one day, and we come over a little this side of Jackson’s Ferry the frist day. We spent the night there. The next day we come a little side of Wytheville and spent the night. The third day we got home. Part of three days.
Collector: Did you go by horseback?
Winesett: Yeah, it’s the only way we had to go, horse back or foot. (Chucke)
Collector: Well, when you stopped for the night, where did you usually stop? Right by the side of the road?
Winesett: No, we knew some people. (um) The first place we stopped for the night we stayed at a man by the name of Humphries. And he had, Humphries had a brother that was living about a mile below here. We spent the first night, put our cattle in his barn lot, and we stayed in the home of the old man. George Humphries who lived on the same farm. and the next night, we put the cattle in an old man’s barn lot by the name of Umbarger. And we went out a little ways from Umbargers and stayed with an old lady and her two sons by the name Surratt. And the next day we come over home and got down here about two mile below where we live now. Took about three days.
Collector: And it was just you andyour brother?
Collector: Was your brother older or younger than you?
Winesett: He’s about, he’s a little younger than I am. I just can’t call right now just howmuch. But he was a couple years younger than I was. I had a sister that was older than I was, about age 16 months, I believe, older than I am, and my brother, I think a couple years older than I am.
Daughter: Younger than you.
Daughter: Your brother was younger than you.
Collector: Well, do you remember some stunts you and your brother used to do when you were growing up?
Winesett: Remember what?
Collector: Any kind of stunts or mischief you and your brother ussed to get into when you were growing up?
Winesett: Any kind of mischief?
Winesett: No. Me and my brother wasn’t bad to get into mischief.
Collector: (chuckle) Well, I was just thinking the other day, what did you used to do on Halloween night?
Winesett: Well, on Halloween night, I never did and my brother never did. But the most of young people on Halloween night we’d gather up around. They’d go around and to, to the neigbors’s gardens and if they hadn’t pulled their cabbage up and burned it, they’d pull the cabbage up and do first one kind and another of tricks of some sort.
Collector: Did you ever do any trick or treating?
Winesett: No. This trick or treat business all come along since I done any Halloween.
Daughter: Tell him where you used to camp in Wytheville there across from the Stone House when you go in with your wagons.
Winesett: Well, we stayed about six miles this side of Wytheville, and we were, when we stayed in Wytheville, we passed the Stone House that stands over there now. The brick house stood up on the hill there just beyond where the service station is now. Then went right into Wytheville, and there was two merchants in Wytheville at that time, G.S. Bruce and Co., um. Owens and Owens. They owned the principal stores in Wytheville at that time, and they had lots of each store. Large enough that you could, you could put several wagons and horses in them lots, and they had a, built a shanty we always called it. It’s a room about the size of this room or bigger, little longer, maybe, not quite as wide, and you stayed in that shanty. You could. There was this stove in it. If we was going to Wytheville, we going to something to make a fire, and we could build a fire to, um, warm our vittles or whatever we wanted to make, coffee or whatever we wanted to use it for. Uh, we used it to keep warm. I remember one time my daddy told me he went to Wytheville. There’s an old colored man lives about Bland Courthouse. He crossed a mountain ahead of daddy. Going down the mountain, he stopeed a long the highway and got, I don’t know, about pretty good bunch of pine knots. I don’t know if you know what a pine knot is or not. But anyhow, he got some pine stuff to make a fire, and he went on into Wytheville and put his horses in stall and had ‘em sold after that. Had his wagon parked there, went in that shanty and carried a bunch of hay in that he took to carry to feed his horses on, laid it back in the corner, started a fire in that stove. It was a cast iron stove about that long. He started a fire in that stove, filled it pretty well full of them pine knots and laid back on his hay and was aleep or a going to sleep. A lot of commotion there, you know. Go to sleep as soon as you get a little to eat. My daddy drove into the light, the, the lot, a blaze was runnin’ out the top of that flu, and he went to the door and called to the old nigger, and he says, “Man you’re burnin’ down the town!” The old nigger say, “Oh, no, boss,” says, “just knocking the frost out of her. Come on up old lady.” Laid back on his hay. (ha) My daddy (ha) my daddy got in there and shut off the draft in the stove and took the ashes and things burning down. (ha) But he said that stove pipe was red-hot. Said lookd like it was going to melt (ha, ha) Now that’s all daddy told me that tale. I just listened to my daddy laugh.
Collector: Well, do remember anything else your daddy told you?
Winesett: Well, I’ve told me a lot of things. (ha)
Daughter: About the taxi that he ran from Sharon College to Wytheville.
Collector: You remember anything about a taxi?
Winesett: A taxi?
Collector: A taxi, a taxi cab.
Daughter: Tell him about the taxi that your dad ran from Sharon.
Winesett: You mean the taxi that run from Wytheville. . .
Daughter: to Sharon College.
Winesett: Well, that was back in my father’s younger days. An old farmer name of Barnett run hotel down there where John Barger or Paul Barger lives now. There’s a string of houses along there. Over here there’s a longer string runnin’ out towards the road. I think ther was ten rooms in them one house. Maybe eight or ten in the other. This old fellow by the name of Barnett, he run a hotel, a sort of a summer resort, and people come up from down in North Carolina, maybe South Carolina, come up to Wythevilleon a train. That’s abou the only way they had to travel. When they get to Wytheville, Barnett had a carriage that hold six to eight people. Bulled it by two horses. Made a trip down here at his hotel to Wytheville to pick up the Southern people, bring them back over here. Made a few dollars here, maybe two or three months during the summertime. That was the only taxi that they had at that timme was horse-drawn.
Collector: Could they make the trip in one day?
Winesett: Well, yeah. You could make the trip in a day, but it’s so cold there.
Collector: Do you remember any old taverns along the road here or over next to Wytheville where people could stay?
Winesett: No, I don’t know any place. They used to stay with some of ‘em would stay with old man Alf Umbarger, lived four or five miles this side of Wytheville. Live in an old time house, and I think I spent one or two nights with him. But back in my early days, you camped somewhere along the road if you went to Wytheville. It wasn’t, I don’t know of anybody that, that would take ya in and keep ya. When you could might (daughter laughed) go to Wytheville and spend the night with Grover Brown. He lived two or three miles this side of Wytheville, and sometime we come up as far as what we called Carter’s Store along, just a little beyond, uh, a creek. And we could stay with them. But most the staying with anybody along the road. They, uh, figured on camping somewhere along the route betbween the foot of the mountain and Wytheville.
Collector: Did they take tents with them or sleep out on the ground?
Winesett: Well, no, they didn’t take no tents. Usually took blankets and something to cover up in. And the fall of the year and it’s cold or getting cool, they’d make a fire and, and, and maybe boil it in leek and make the coffee on whatever you wanted or need a fire and, and stayed by the fire to keep warm.
Collector: What did they charger you to stay with those people along the road.
Winesett: Well, they might charge anything. In my latter days after I was married about come back here, I’d go to Wytheville sometimes or even before I was married, but me and my brother had a little grocery store down here. We made a trip to Wytheville and back once a week. We’d take our produce that we’d bought, eggs and chickens and dried apples and potatoes and anything we had to sell, and we’d take that over there and sell it and come back, and we stayed with Grover Brown most of the time, and he costs 25 or 50 cents for staying all night. That was the cost for furnishing your beds. Uh, we stayed a lot of times with Grover, and he charged as a quarter for a bed and our breakfast. The breakfast and our bed for a quarter.
Collector: That sounds like a good deal.
Winesett: Well, I know exactly where he lived, but I can’t tell you so you’d know.
Collector: What did they give you for breakfast?
Winesett: Who, Brown?
Winesett: Well, bacon and eggs, something like that. Sometimes he’d have a cereal of some kind. I just don’t, I just don’t remember what all. Course we, when you left home down here to go to Wytheville, we had what you call a ration box. It was a, a box about that long and about that wide and about that high with a lid in it. And we took enough food for like our dinner today, our supper tonight, and if we had left, we eat it the next morning or the next day before we got home. But we usually eat breakfast with Brown. He had, he had for breakfast the kind of rations the people had back at that time. Which was bacon, meat and gravy, and maybe eggs. I don’t know just what all.
Collector: Did you get along with your sister when you were growing up?
Winesett: Did I get along with her? Yeah! Yeah, I had two sisters. But my older sister was an invalid, a cripple. She never could get around like verry much. Course we got along alright with her. And my younger sister was, oh, I don’t know if she was only 25 years old when she died. We never did have none, no trouble with, uh, with them. Course we didn’t always agree or everything, but we didn’t fall out and fuss and fight over it.
Collector: Did you ever get a whipping from your daddy?
Collector: What caused it?
Winesett: All because I didn’t do what he told me to do. We had a, a long barn on top of that side of the hill. Had a shed on it, had a roof about, oh, I guess about eight feet high. Something like that, a roof like that, and my, my mother’ud go up there to mile. She done the milkin’. I’d get around and get up on that shed and jump off. She told me not to do that. But of course I didn’t pay much attentionto her. But she told me, she’s going to tell my daddy on me when he come home. And of course when he come in that was the first thing she told him and, and he says, “Now I told ya I’s gonna whoop ya if ya didn’t, and y done that anymore, and ya says, uh, at’s a what I’m a gonna do.” And he give me a little trashin’. Wasn’t amount to much. And I forget just what the other’n. But I remember he just whooped me twice during his life. And it’s awlays for disobedience, not doing what he told me to do.
Collector: Did you get along alright with your school teachers?
Winesett: Oh, yeah, um huh.
Collector: Did you ever see some of the boys get whippings at school?
Collector: Did you ever see some of the boys get whipping at school?
Winesett: Some of the boys get whoopings at school?
Winesett: Yeah. I saw Dave Umbarger get a whooping in school. And I saw Jim Neal get whooped in school. Bud Bruce whooped Dave Umbarger, but I don’t remember now what he had done. But he whooped him, give him with a switch. Um, I don’t remember what Him Deal done, but Grace Carter was a teachin’, and he done something to not do, and she aimed to whoop him across the shoulders, and he kindly shipped down in it so that his head just stuck up above the back of the, uh, they seat. She just thrashed him down over the head.
Winesett: Course that was just with a swtch. Didn’t didn’t amount to much. But nowadays they wouldn’t allow her to do that even. (mmm)
Collector: Dud any of the school teachers come to stay at your house?
Winesett: Yeah. Yeah. The first school teacher I ever went to, a woman by the name of Spangler. She boarded at our house. At that time we lived up forks of the road a little further from the old school house. She boarded with us. And she was the first teacher I ever went to school to. I was five years old. I didn’t have any books, only a what we called a primer. It’s made out of cloth. It had the alphabet in large letters and the small ones. All I learned that year was, the alphabet, the big letters and the, and the little ones--A,B,C,D,E,F and so on. I learned that. The next year my daddy bought my first reader and it had short sentences in it. Just two or three or four words. Well, I thought when I looked at that as I wouldn’t, couldn’t never read, but when I learned to put them letterlls together, them words together made a sentense. I learned to read.
Collector: And where was it again that you went to school here? Was it in Ceres?
Winesett: No. It was old Red Oak across from where Red Oak Church is now. I went to school. At that time you could go to school frmo you was five years old ‘til you was 21. The county paid the teachers to teach in these schools (goose honks), but they only lasted for two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half months. The longest school I ever went to was five months in a one-room school. And the teacher had anywhere from 20 to 40 pupils. And these pupils studied. She taught everything from what we called the primer to physical geography.
Collector: Was that anywhere near the Red Oak Church now?
Winesett: Just over the hill from where the Red Oak Church is now. When I was 21 years old, I went to school over at Red Oak to a teacher by the name of Crabtree. He taught two sessions thre. The last session he taught give months. Well, at that time they had a school at Ceres that run, I think six or seven months. I finished going to school over at Red Oak in five months, and then I wasn’t quite 21 years old, so I went to Ceres to school down there, ‘til I was 21 years old. When I was 21 years old, I quit going anywhere. Of course, if you went after that, you had to pay the teachers for instruction. And there was no teachers to pay. That’s why I quit going to school.
Collector: Do you remember when they started the grade levels?
Winesett: When they started grading them?
Collector: Like first grade, second grade, and third grade.
Winesett: I don’t remember that. When I went to school, you had a first reader, second reader, third reader, fourth reader, Virginia history, that was the history of Virginia, then you have our U.S. History. I told about all the different states. The first history, Virginia history, just the history of all the states. And then they had a, I think there was two people in school that time that had ancient history, told about things that happened a way back. But I never did study that any.
Collector: How many people usually stayed ‘til they were 21.
Winesett: How many what?
Collector: How many stayed in school until they were 21 years old?
Winesett: Well, not very many. Most of ‘em quit along age 18, 16, 18 years. Along.
Collector: Did they require you to go to school?
Winesett: No, didn’t require. You went, or you didn’t. BUt later on in years in early part of my life, they passed a law that compelled your parents to send you to school. Supposed to report if you don’t. And some people obeyed that law, and some didn’t. Course that played out pretty soon. Then they put up a school at Ceres that had the different grades there. (grunt) They commenced grading them first, second, and third grades, and finally had four years of high school at Ceres. Lois went to school at Ceres to high school.
Winesett: Today, they’ve done away with high school part of Ceres school. That haven’t got anything there but the grades up, I think, maybe the seventh grade.
Daughter: Who was the teacher that told you the population?
Daughter: Who was your teache that taught everybody the population of the nation?
Winesett: That was Grace Carter.
Daughter: Yeah. What was it she taught you, the population and . . .
Winesett: And when she taught school there. The population of the United States was 76 million 3 hundred 4 thousand, three hundred and 99. 76,304,799 That was the population of the United States at that time. And that was the time that Scol Gosz shot and killed McKinley. And she taught everybody that was big enough to spell how to spell Scol Gosz. Scol Gosz and what the population of the United States was there was three things that she tried to impress on us. Everybody’s mind that was big enough to (chuckle) (learn to spell these things.)
Collector: Can you still spell that?
Winesett: What Scol Gosz S-C-O-L G-O-S-A Ha. (laughs)
Collector: A lot of people don’t remember who shot McKinley.
Winesett: No, I doubt they do. But I remember.
Collector: Did they teach you much about the Civil War in school?
Winesett: Well, that’s about all, all they told about the war. That was before we had World War. The Civil War was the only war which we had any history of at that time. Course they, they taught us what they knew about the Civil War. My parents on both sides of the house was in the Civil War.
Collector: What were their names?
Winesett: One of ‘em was Brown, Alec Brown, and the Winesett was Noah Winesett. My father, my grandfather on my dad, daddy’s side was Winesett. He was in the Civil War. I don’t know just his rank was, but he was connected with the medical part. He carried, of course everything was done with horses and wagon at that time, and he drove a wagon, and they called a medical wagon, took care of the, what medicine they had and the wounded and injured. My grandfather Brown belonged to what the, to the infantry part of that. He had a flintlock rifle. I didn’t know whether he had any bullets or whether they didn’t at that time. He was in the infantry part of it.
Collector: Do you remember anything they told your parents about that? About the war?
Winesett: Told me about it?
Winesett: No, I don’t know of nothing. They told me about where some of the different battles were fought. Which side had won. I don’t remember. It’s been so long back ‘til I don’t remember too much about that.
Collector: Do you . . .
Winesett: I wish I could give ya some information that would be worth publishing, but . . .
Collector: Tell him about Alexander Brown’s (unclear).
Winesett: Do you remember hearing any, anything about the number of boys that served in the Civil War around here?
Collector: Yeah. The old man Joe Kinley was in the Civil War. He lived close to where our family lived, and he a, he played the voilin. Old man Kinley did. And my daddy bought my brother a violin. We went over to Kinley’s to get him to tune the voilin and play some of the songs that he played. And Kinley took the delight in talking about what happened to him and others in the Civil War.
Collector: Do you remember anything he said?
Winesett: I remember the time he tole me, he said he was in a battle and some Yankee come and jumped up on a log or something and pointed at a Southern man and, and said, “Why don’t ya surrender?” Said this Southern man said this, “Damn you, no!” and shot him down. And old man Kinley told me that story. (chuckles)
Collector: How did the people around here feel about the Yankees?
Winesett: Well, the older people in this section didn’t have any use for the Yankees. If you’s a Yankee, a northern man, you didn’t want to say much about it. If you’s a Southern man, of course you’d talk about it when you want to, but the Yankees and the Southern men didn’t have much dealings for long time.
Collector: Do you remember the names of battles they talked about?
Winesett: Well, I don’t know whether I do or not. I’m not positive that I would tell you about any of them. There was the Battle of Gettysburg, but I don’t know where that was fought.
Collector: Do you remember anybody saying anything about Stonewall Jackson?
Winesett: Yeah. Jackson was a general or somethin’ in the Civil War, and, and some general or something made the expression, “There stands Jackson likes a stone wall.” And they give the name there “Stonewall Jackon.”
Collector: How did people feel about General Lee here? Do you remember?
Winesett: Bout what?
Collector: About Robert E. Lee.
Winesett: Well, the people in this country thought a lot of Robert E. Lee. And, uh, Robert E. Lee was, uh, kind of a head man in the Southern Army during the Civil War.
Collector: Do you remember hearing anybody saying if anybody died around here in the war?
Winesett: No. I don’t remember if anybody, uh, uh, died during the Civil War. Course that all happened, the Civil War happened before I was born. What I know about the Civil War is what I studied in Virginia history and U.S. history, and what some of those people told me. That was eighteen hundred and sixty. The Civil Wlar was. I wasn’t born until 1888.
Collector: Do you, do you remember anybody telling you about being captured anywhere?
Winesett: No, I don’t. I remember hearing people talk about what they call “deserters” in thsi country during the Civil War. An old man by the name of Neal lived down here. He didn’t want to fight for the Southern Army. And there was an old fellow by the name of Tilson lived in on the edge of Smith County. He didn’t want to fight. So they went to Ohio and worked for the Yankees, for the Northern Army and cut wood. Back at that time, they fired them locomotives and trains and things they had with wood and, and the Southern men called those fellers Ohio wood choppers. But after the war, them Ohop wood choppers come back here and settled in the country where they refused to fight for. That was one thing I didn’t like about them. If your country wasn’t worth fighting for, it ain’t worth living with.
Collector: Do you remember your daddy saying anything about those people? Or your granddaddy?
Winesett: Well, not too much. My daddy told me what I know about my Granddaddy Winesett. About what he done in the Civil War. That’s all I know of him. Of course my daddy was, he was bron the first year of the war. And all he knowed about him was what his mother and others around told him. He wasn’t (unclear) an eyewitness to any of it.
Collector: Did any of them remember about the Union troops that tried to go over to Wytheville across the mountain herea nd were stopped?
Winesett: How’s that?
Collector: Did any of them remember anything about the story about the Union Army when they tried to cross Walked Mountain from Wytheville stopped them?
Winesett: Yeah, that used to be a long story. And right up to the last few years, there was a girl by the name of Molly Tine left Tazewell, traveled right along this road and across Walker right to Wytheville and reported to the Southern Army that the Yankees were coming. And the Northern Army was a coming over this way. And she left Tazewell and went to Wytheville to notify the Southern Army that the Yankees were coming. And right up ‘til the last year or two, maybe this part summer, a certain gorup from Tazewell come through here horseback and wagons and cars and everything. They called it the Molly Tine’s Drive. They do that in rememberance of Molly Tines. Now I don’t remember Molly Tines, but I do remember one night this past summer, there was a crowd passed over here. I forget, I knew at the time how many wagons and cars and horses. But they’s quite a number of them that come across the mountain down here somewhere. Come up this road and down passed here. And I don’t know if they crossed and went in to Poor Valley and out into Burkes Garden, or whether they went on down into Maude’s Cove and then across Clinch Mountain out to Tazewell or not. I don’t know which route they took. But they passed right along here.
Collector: And what did you say the name of that road usde to be called here?
Winesett: This road? (grunts) Wytheville, Burkes Garden, Tazewell, Wytheville Turkpike. Started from Tazewell Courthouse to Wyhteville Courthouse and called it teh Tazewell, Tazwell Pike. I believe’s what they call it. But that is right on the location that this road is on here to the top of the mountain. Or even across the mountain.
Collector: Did they have toll gates along the way?
Winesett: At one time they did. That was before I could remember. All I know about the toll gate is what I’ve heard the old people talk about.
Collector: Do you remember what they said?
Winesett: No, I can’t give you any information on that.
Collector: What was Christmas like around your house when you were growing up?
Collector: What was Christmas like around yourhouse when you were growing up?
Winesett: Well, I can tell you what my Daddy and us children had for Christmas. The first Christmas I remember anything about, my Daddy bought a box of candy, stick candy, and pound and a half, twenty-five cents. He bought me a harp, only played a single note, for a dime. He bought my brother one, a double note, for a dime. And he bought my sister a doll. And it had the head and shoulders, was procelain of some kind. And the body was homemade out of cloth. And the frist tree, first Christmas I can remember anything about. Later on when they had Christmas come along, they’d buy about the same thing. And they got some grapes, Raisins we call them. They come in the store in 25 pound boxes, about hta long, and about that wide, on the string. Just like they come off the vine. He’d buy us some of them, and then it got to where he could buy English walnuts. We called them. And then they had another nut, they called a Nigger Toe. That’s what we had for Christmas. And of course, later on every yer add on a little something extra as something new come on the market. You got to where you could get peanuts. We called them Goober Peas. You could buy them in boxes; I think a nickle a box. And later on they got to where they could buy oranges, different things. Nothing like whwat they have now.
Collector: Did you get any clothes for Christmas?
Collector: Did you get any clothes or shoes for Christmas?
Winesett: Well, no. I don’t remember every getting any clothes at Christmas or as Christmas or as presents, nothing like that. The clothes we had was bought anytime during the year when you needed them. And the clothes we had when I was a child, my Mother made, handmade. She had our underwear, she made our pants, sha made what we called a body wear. The shirt had buck (unclear) and a hand that you buttoned your pants to. And of course we had some underwear. Not like you have nowadays. And our socks, she knit them, even carded the wool, spun the yarn, and knit the socks all. And it took a long time to do that. But to get a pair of socks made like that, you didn’t wer them out in a week’s time. Ours lasted twelves months or longer.
Collector: Did she color the wool when she made the socks?
Winesett: Yeah. She colored it with walnut hulls. Take black walnut hulls and put them in a kittle and boil ‘em. And put your wool in there or yarn, and you’ve got a brown color when it comes. And it don’t fade either.
Collector: Did she make the, uh, cloth for your shirts and pants?
Winesett: No. She didn’t make that cloth. You’d buy that cloth that time in the store. It come in bolts. Along about three yards wide, and I don’t know how many yards are in a bolt. But you could buy that and for pants or for shirts. Uh, any kind of clothing that you wanted to make out of cloth, you buy the cloth in a bolt by the yard, one yard or five or six yards or whatever you wanted. And then you cut it out with a pattern, they had patterns you cut by, and they sewed that cloth together by hand, handmade. I can remember when my Daddy bought my Mother the first sewing machine. Some fellow come along selling sewing machines he had. When he passed by our place, he had two made by the Davis Sewing Machine Co. He went on up above where we lived and sold a man up there one of ‘em. And he come back by and stopped at our place and wanted to sell my Daddy and Mother a the different ruffles and different things that, that you could make on a sewing machine. I don’t know if he got all of it showed. He picked up a cigar box lid, I reckoned you seen them. It’s about an eighteen of an inch thick or something like that. Made out of wood. Sewed a seam through that. And he keep a talkin’, and my Daddy didn’t want to buy it. But he finally said he’d take $35.00 for it. It was the last one he had. And my Daddy give him $35.00 for the sewing machine. And up to a few years back now, my nephew in Marion, Virginia has got a part of that old machine. It was a good one.
Collector: Do you remember what kind it was?
Winesett: It was made by the Davis Sewing Machine. It was made pretty much like Singer type machine. Maybe you know what, how good one of them is now. Well, now I paid after I come, come back from the army, I think I paid $45.00 for that one, and somebody in Marion had bought it and couldn’t make the payments or something. My brother lives at Marion at that time, and he found out someway about it and found out we dind’t have a machine. And he made arrangements with the party in Marion for us to get the machine. and we got that Davis, I mean, Singer machine. (unclear)
Collector: Do you remember your Grandmother making her own cloth?
Winesett: No, I don’t. I don’t remember of anybody in this neighborhood a making cloth, a weaving cloth, anything more than carpet. Now there’s different old people, uh, what they called weaver’s loom. They weave carpet. They took rags and cloth of any kinds and cut ‘em into strips and tack it together. And they’d weave that and rags and stuff together and make carpet about oh, uh, about three fett wide maybe a little wider. Of course they got some kind of uh, thread that they run through between, and they’d pull up and run the shuttle back, back and forth weaving that rags into carpet. I can remember seeing a few people do that and a few people that’s had the looms. Now, the woman that lives out here now last week asked Lois if I remembered the old weaver’s loom that, that the ol’d man Henry Umbarger had.
Collector: Did anybody wear what they called the linsey -woolsey around here?
Winesett: Wear linsey, that was a cloth. Yeah, old people cause they wove their cloth. Even when they bought it. You could buy that kind of cloth. You used it for pants. I thinki maybe for underclothes, underskirts. (unclear) What you call petticoats or underskirts or over them like a dress. A lot of people would make them out of what, what you call linsey. I don’t know that my Mother ever made any of that or not.
Collecotor: So you didn’t have to wear any of that?
Winesett: No, I did not. (unclear) I never did see any of it. I’ve heard old people talk about it. Ah, when you get up as young as I am, you won’t by suprised at anything.
Collector: When you were a boy growing up, did you believe in Santa Clause?
Winesett: Yeah, in my first days I thought Santa Clause come down the chimley, like old people say, and hung up our stockings on the bedposts and chair for Santa to put our Christmas in. He done that ‘til I don’t know I was right smart chap of a boy, getting up pretty well, on then or twelve years old before I knew Santa was your Dad and Mother.
Collector: Did you always have a Christmas tree?
Winesett: Well, not always. After we got up a litlt size, we, the first Christmas trees that I remember was at the church over at Red Oak. Had two. One over on this side over here. There’s one aisle down the church and little benches over here for the older woman to sit on and over here for the older men to sit on. Course the pulpit was up there in the middle. They put up two Christmas trees. One on this side, one over here. Decorate them with, I don’t know what all they had. Whatever you wanted to give your children or neighbors, you take it and put in on the Christmas tree. Of course you usually had a program of somekind. And when the program was over, Santa Clause, some man with a beard, would get up there. They always had somebody to take the presents off the tree and hand them over to Santa Clause. He’d call out their names, whoever they belonged to. And if he called your name, you went down and got it and went back and sit down.
Collector: Did you ever get anything for Easter?
Winesett: No. I don’t know that I ever did for Eater. When I was a young man, we’d try to see how many eggs we could get. If you had a bunch of hens and they’s a laying, you’d steal them eggs. You’d get them anyway you could and hide ‘em. At Easter time, as Easter morning then you’d bring ‘em in and usually have ‘em anyway you wanted to fix ‘em for breakfast. And then you’d color them some of ‘em a different color. And you’d, back in them days, walnut color was about the only thing you had to color them with. That would color them brown. But it you wanted to change them a little bit, you could take a little grease and grease that egg any place you wanted and that grease would keep if from coloring. Then you could have a striped egg if you wanted it.
Collector: Did each child try to steal as many eggs as he could?
Winesett: Yeah, yeah, each one.
Daughter: You all hide each?
Winesett: Yeah, I’d used to try to hide a few. My brother, he’d have a few and put ‘em someplace. Sometimes we’d have maybe a dozen or two, or maybe more than that. It depended on the number of eggs you thought the hens was laying. If the hens was a laying pretty good, they you’d have maybe two or three dozen hid out. And, course if they didn’t get so many, wasn’t laying too good, you didn’t have that many, but all us had a few.
Collector: Where did you hide yours?
Winesett: Aw, I forgot exact places, first one place and another.
Collector:Uh, do you remember what your mother used to give you whenever you kids got sick?
Winesett: Catnip tea, most of the time. (chuckle) Do you know what that is?
Collector: I’ve never had any.
Winesett: No, and I doubt it you ever saw any catnip.
Collector: Yeah, I’ve seen some.
Winesett: Yeah. Now the old people used that as a tea for the children. Course when they got a little fever, they’d give them, they’d give them calomil. They had calomil put in the tablet form. They had whata you call baby calomil, and, uh, a three grain tablet of calomil. And of course, if a child, one of the small children, five or six years old, they’d given maybe a grain of calomile, but small children, from the time they was little, up until they was four or five years old, catnip tea was about the main remedy for children.
Collector: Did people around here ever get diphtheria? The flu and die with it?
Winesett: Uh, yeah. Back in 1919, a lot of people had the flu and died with it. I happened to be in Camp Lee in 1917 and 18. It broke out down there, and they died like flies. (Daughter coughs)
Winesett: I give, I’d Lois and Ralph, and I’d ah, I’d, I’d give, uh, give ‘em toxines from takin’ diphtheria. Uh, it didn’t work in all cases. I thank the Lord for have these kids.
Daughter: I’d a probably died though had I not had it.
Winesett: Dr. Woolwine give ‘em a shots for diphtheria, and you went back in a certain number of days, and he’d give ‘em what you called a, ah, I forget what it’s called. But they’d test whether or not the dose he’d given had a (unclear) or not. Whether it had done any good or not. Ah, he’d give her taht dose and Ralph too, and a, and a short time. Lois got sick, and I called the doctor, and he come up there and looked in her throat and said she’s got diphtheria. And I says, “Well, I thought I’d give her a shot to keep her from taking diphtheria.” He said, “You did but, you did, but she’s got diphtheria.” He said, “You did, that proves shots ain’t nothing but a humbug.” “Now, Woolwine didn’t like that much, but I didn’t care whether he liked it or didn’t.
Collector: Do you like him?
Winesett: Best doctor we’ve ever had, but after I told him there was nothing to diphtheria, he says now just a case now and then it won’t have any effect on. And I found out after Lois had it, a family by the time of Thompson, lived over on the mountain and one of their children had diphtheria. They’d all had this booster shot.
Winesett: Well, I reckoned I ought to’ve apologize for ‘m. Uh, for telling him it was nothing but a humbug. But I didn’t make any apologies. I said cause that’s how I felt about it at the time.
Collector: When did he die?
Winesett: (clears throat) Well, I can’t tell you the exact year. I remember when he died. He was a member of the Ceres Lodge. I remember when he died. I worked some for him. Put a roof on his porch and his house. Cut some wood for him. And different things. And, but I don’t remember when year all that happened in. But he was a good family doctor. He was a doctor I’d call him a number of times to come up here to see some of the family. He’d come up here and give ‘em a treatment and charge me $3.00 for the trip up here and the treatment.
Collector:Did he ever come in a horse and a buggy?
Winesett: Well, he come horseback a number of times. I don’t remember when he never come in a buggy or not, but he come horseback up to the time that he bought a model-T, uh, not a model-T, but roadster pick-up, a Ford roadster pick-up. Course, then he came in, in the ol’ car. But up ‘til that time, he come by horseback.
Collector: So he would come anytime you called him then?
Winesett: Anytime you called him, day or night. I used to, we use to have a phone here. And nobody in this whole neighborhood had a phone connected at Ceres. Everybody round here in the neighborhood at needed a doctor, they’d come here and get me to call the doctor. I’ve called Woolwine all times of the night, and he always come.