Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Coleman House

The Coleman House stands along what was once known as Coleman Lane. This is the very home where Little Johnny Lee spent his last night before succumbing to the elements during a fierce winter-storm in 1886. Little Johnny (around 10-years old), along with Nathan Bailey (18 years-old),was sent to the Gristmill near Gid by Johnny's father despite stern warnings from the boy's mother, relatives, and friends.
The story is related in a song written by Rev. John Crafton who was the very first pastor of the Freewill Baptist Church just down the road from the site of the mill.

Here is an excerpt:

Then Nathan started back for Uncle Sam's; his load was not so light.
It was getting very late and they had to stay all night.

Now Johnny said to Nathan, "Think that I am beat,
For I am very hungry and nothing yet to eat."
The boys got their supper and lay upon the floor,
And they almost froze to death, they slept so near the door.

When morning came, they started for home, but the saddest is not yet.
They heard it said to them, it was time for them to get.
The boys started on together; they traveled with might and main.
It took them just one hour to go through Coleman's Lane.

-From the song Little Johnny Lee Rev. John Crafton, 1886

Little Johnny's father paid for his bad judgment by spending 3-years in prison.

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