Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Goldston, Chatham County, North Carolina

My Grandmother Hatch (Ola Mae Marley Hatch) graduated from Goldston High School in 1925. While on our trip through North Carolina, we decided to try to find where the high school was located. We had no idea where it was, just that it was in Goldston. So when we arrived we decided we should probably ask someone for help directions. Goldston is not very big. Population, according to Wikipedia is only 268. The downtown area is quaint but small. We were limited on where to go to seek someone's help.  

We saw a little local diner and figured there might be people there that could help us. We went in and scoped out someone that looked like they might be a local who would know the area. There was a very nice lady sitting there, who looked like she was quite comfortable in the setting, so we walked up to her and asked if she knew the location of the high school. She was so nice and proceeded to tell us that she could give us directions to where the school used to be! What? It wasn't there anymore? Another one of those disappointing moments along the trek we have embarked upon.  The sad thing was, she seemed very disappointed that the school had been torn down.  She said the community was not happy about the teardown, but it was not in good enough shape to leave standing.  

Some of the old buildings in Goldston, NC.

When we arrived at the location she had given us, there was not a trace of the main building.  We had a picture which kind of gave us an idea of the setting and there was a big smokestack in the background that could serve as a landmark, but that was gone too.  

Goldston High School.
Picture from the 1948 Gold-Stone Yearbook. (1)
We drove around the block a couple times before we found the actual site and the way we found it was the rock retaining wall that ran along the road in front of the building, as seen in the picture to the right. We got out and walked around the property.   All we could find was where the cafeteria had been (next to the current fire station) and a path that led to it.  The skeleton of the awning that ran between the school and the cafeteria was still standing, giving us an idea of how it was laid out.  

Original retaining wall in front of
what was the old Goldson High School.

The sidewalk that led to the front of the building was still visible, which is sort of visible in the middle of this picture, above the road, behind the wall.    

At the time of the picture of the school, there were very few trees in the front but the area had grown up a lot.  The location was just outside the downtown area and sat at the crossroads of several towns.  It is a beautiful area.  There wasn't a lot out there either, which made it a great location for a school  

Before the high school was torn down, they converted it from a high school to an elementary school.  

The High School was changed into an elementary school
before being torn down.  You can see the
smokestack is still in the background.
We left Goldston with a slight sadness that the school was no longer there.  We were finding that many things are not as they were in the time our family lived in these small little towns.  But we weren't going to let that deter us. We headed off to find our next landmark, which was Bear Creek Primitive Baptist Cemetery and Harpers Crossroads, home of my Great Grandparents.  What would we find there?

(1) From the Gold-Stone High School Yearbook of 1948, The Graphic Press, Inc., Raleigh, NC. From the Classmates.com website.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tombstones and Graveyards and Churches, Oh My! Pt. 2

If you have not been to North Carolina, or if you have, but not to the High Point, Lexington area, treat yourself and go! All of North Carolina is beautiful and I have been fortunate enough to see a lot of it but had never been to this region. It is beautiful! And we were there when it was raining! I can't imagine what it would have been like on a bright, sunny day!

Where better to spend a rainy day than the State Archives. This building is full of treasures for anyone wanting to do their family history. There are several floors, full of books, microfiche, and computers with access to all the major genealogy sites. I could have spent days perusing the Newspapers.com site. I found so many fun articles on several members of my family and know there was much more there to be discovered. I think the Newspapers.com website might be a very worthwhile investment for my research.

The family history book collection, books that were written or contributed by families, containing information on their lineage, had some verbiage on my surnames. Unfortunately, some of it was not what I was hoping to find.

One of my fact finding missions was to find my Great, Great Grandfather's father. Everywhere I have searched, I have come up empty. I found a publication in the Archives that, although fun to find, didn't give me the results I was hoping for. As I mentioned in my previous blog, there is speculation that a Jesse Garrison is the father of my Great Great Grandfather John W. Garrison. However, that has not been proven. One of the books I found, "The Family of Isaac Garrison, 1732-1836, Frontiersman and Soldier of the American Revolution"(1), states that a James Garrison had brothers by the name of Jesse (who was married to Mary Bodenhamer) and possibly an Edmund Garrison. Unfortunately, there is no record of their parentage and it does not indicate the families of either brother. Drats!!!

I was also looking for a paternal Great, Great, Great Grandfather's parentage and came up disappointed there too. In a book by James M. Coffee, Jr., "Marley Families of North Carolina", I was looking for the parents of Nathaniel Green Smith Marley. Mr. Coffee states that "N.G.S. Marley was born about 1818 and his parent have not been identified."(2) Double Drats!!!

But also in that same book, it speculates that a Joab or James Marley could be the possible parents, so at least those are a couple clues to look into. So, all is not lost. We'll see what we found down that rabbit hole. More to come on that at a later time.

Abbott's Creek, Davidson County, NC
As I mentioned earlier, while at the Archives, I did some newspaper research too.  I had family members that lived in a little town called Orinoco, North Carolina.  I had never heard of it before finding a small blurb on Ancestry about one of my relatives and it listed Orinoco in the article.  So I did a little more research and found that my Great, Great Grandfather on my mother's side lived there. Daniel Martine Hayworth and his wife Dora (Vandora Jane Green Hayworth), along with Dora's parents, Robert and Margaret Green, all lived there.  
So where is Orinoco?  Good question!  Well, it is thought to have been in Davidson County, NC, and possibly in Abbott's Creek Township but I can't find it on any maps.  The articles I found were from 1904, so it was alive and well then.  It was fun to read some of these articles because they listed everything about everyone.  One stated that my Great, Great, Great Grandmother Margaret was sick with typhoid fever and that my Great, Great Grandfather DM Hayworth went to Lexington with a friend.   His wife, Dora, had been sick for two weeks and they wished her a speedy recovery.  The next week it said she was recovering.  I love newspaper articles like these.  There were many others like them too.  They give you a true picture as to what life was really like back in the early 1900's.  Fun stuff!

(1) "The Family of Isaac Garrison, 1732-1836, Frontiersman and Soldier of the American Revolution", Issac Garrison Family Association, Schoonmakers Publishers, 1980.

(2) "Marley Families of North Carolina", James M. Coffee, Jr., Genealogy Publishing Service, 2001