Sunday, November 24, 2013

East Tennessee Sweet Sorghum

Old Fashion Fall Activities at Deep Springs Baptist Church

We just happen to pass by this event on the way home from Dandridge and I had to stop.  I was not disappointed!  Church members were demonstrating old fashioned crafts and farming practices.

Sweet sorghum is a type of grass that is used for making syrup and can also be used as silage. 
Sometimes sorghum syrup is called molasses, but molasses is made from sugar cane or from sugar beets. It is usually much thicker and much darker in color. Sorghum has a lighter distinctive flavor.

Horse-driven, antique sorghum-cane juicer being used to extract the liquid from the cane.

photo by treehugger
Buckets of Sorghum juice being poured into to a simmering pan of syrup on an open fire.  This method is much the same as it was done in the 19th century.  Each generation learns from their parents and grandparents.  Because it is a labor intensive process, it is a time for extended family members to get together.

Cooking the sorghum juice to make syrup

The juice from the cane is cooked in a large shallow pan over a wood fire.  The men use long wooden paddles to stir the syrup so the that it cooks evenly.

Sorghum syrup and butter on a hot biscuit

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mountain Home

Mountain Home

Through the efforts by Tennessee Congressman Walter Preston Brownlow and others, in 1901 Congress approved a bill introduced by Brownlow to establish a national home in the Johnson City area. A designated board of managers chose a 450-acre site and commissioned New York architect J. H. Freedlander to design 36 French Renaissance-style buildings. The home opened Oct. 15, 1903. From the US Department of Veteran Affairs)

John Francis M Bails

On September 25, 1863 John M Bails, Rank: Privt , enlisted in the 8th Cavalry Regiment Company I , mustered 13 November 1863 at Mossy Creek. While John was stationed near Nashville, he became very ill and there were no doctors in his camp.  His fellow soldiers treated  him with turpentine and as a result John suffered permanent kidney damage.  After the war his health problems continued and there are stories in his pension application file of John being so sick while out working in the fields that his friends would send for his Mother who would come down to the field and care for him. He continued to work as much as he could and on March 11, 1866, he married Delphia Ann Coldwell. John and Delphia had seven children that grew to adulthood: Joseph Bingmon Bailes (1867-1922), Julia A Bailes (1871- unknown), Benjamin Franklin Bails (1874-1921), James Ruble Bailes (1878-1960), Mary Molly Lucretia Bailes (1882- unknown) and Thomas Manon Bailes (1885-1975). 

A few years after his wife died John was admitted to the hospital at Mountain Home where he died on October 19, 1914.  He is buried in the cemetery on the grounds.

John Bails Headstone at Mountain Home Cemetery

James Ruble Bailes

James Ruble Bailes was born on August 22, 1878 in Baileyton, Tennessee. On August 12 1898, he enlisted in CO F of the 8th Infantry and was sent to Puerto Rico during the Spanish American War.  On August 16, 1903, he married Martha Elizabeth White and they had the following children who grew to adulthood ( the had at least three who did not survive): Minnie Evelyn Eva Bailes (1904-1974), Walter Randolph Bailes (1907-1957), William Howard Bailes (1909-1942), Lillian Geraldine Bailes (1913-2002), Henry Kenneth Bailes (1916-1997), Carl Ruble Bailes (1918-1991), Eleanor Hassie Bailes (1920-2011), Hartsell Luther Bailes (1921-1945), Frank White Bailes (1923-2003) and Uncle Bob (1925- ).  Walter Randolph Bailes, Carl Ruble Bailes, Hartsell Luther Bailes, Frank White Bailes, Uncle Bob and future son-in-law Carl Lee Everett served in Worl War II. HL Bailes was killed in Luzon, Phillipines on May 30, 1945.

In 1911, both John Bailes and his son James Ruble were hospitalized at Mountain Home. James Ruble and Martha Elizabeth White Bailes moved to Knoxville around 1917.  Not long after his wife died in 1957, James Ruble Bailes went to the hospital at Mountain Home where he died on the January 24, 1960.  He is buried next to his wife in Lynnhurst Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Remembering my Great Grandfather- a trip to Baileyton



My Great Grandfather, James Ruble Bailes was born in Baileyton on August 22, 1878. His parents were John Francis M Bails and Delphia Coldwell (daughter of Thomas Kincheloe Coldwell and Mariah Bussell. His father served in the 8th Tennessee Cavalry during the Civil War. Ruble had two sisters: Julia and Molly and three brothers: Joseph, Benjamin and Thomas. Ben married Flora Dotson stayed in Greene County. My Grandfather served in the Spanish American War (SGT CO F 8 REGT INFANTRY)

Enlistment papers

 After the war, he came back to Greene County and married Martha Elizabeth White, daughter of James Randolph White and Mary Ann Emily Good.  She was called Molly.

Marriage record

After they were married, they lived in Rheatown until they moved to Knoxville around 1920.