Thursday, March 05, 2020

Vintage Photos: Gorby

Ruth Biggs Mason and others at "Old Water Mill" on Piney Creek 1925
 A friend has lent us her collection of vintage photos of the little community of Gorby on Piney Creek. There was once two churches standing in the area where the Olive Branch Schoolhouse is shown in these images. I believe there are two separate swinging bridges shown here as well - the high one spanning the creek at the Palestine Church and the other providing a footbridge across the creek on the other side of this little "peninsula" where the Olive Branch Church and School building was located.

Just upstream from the Palestine Cemetery was the "Old Water Mill" (photo from volume cited below).

From Ruth Biggs Mason's article in the January 1987 Volume 16 Number 1 edition of The Izard County Historian:

"There are several old mill sites on Piney Creek and the old timbers are the evidence uncovered in recent years. The only old mill in this century that many of this generation remembers being in operation is what most people called the "Old Water Mill". This mill was about two miles up Piney Creek from the Gorby community and approximately three and a half miles down Piney Creek from Highway 56 bridge."

Later, Mrs. Mason writes,   "My uncle, Alex Gillihan, tells me the Benbrook Mill was moved in the 1870's or 1880's to the site we are calling the "Old Water Mill". He said it was moved by his grandfather, Jessie Ball, and was moved before his time. The mill at the new location had a large mill pond and he tells about one winter when the pond froze over and a bunch of kids and young folks were skating on the ice...Mr. Calvin Jones told me of my uncle, Joe Biggs, being on the pond in a John boat and it started down the water shoot. All that saved him from going into the water wheel was that he stood up and grabbed onto the foundation of the mill."
She goes on to write, "Most of the old mills were two-story buildings with the lower level used for grinding corn and the upper level for grinding wheat...The "Old Watee Mill" washed away in one of the big floods on Piney Creek about 1928 as far as I can recall. Years later, a son-in-law of ours (Leonard Goodson) was fishing on Piney and found the old mill stone or burrs. He carried it home and it is interesting to see. I read that the dressing of mill stones is an old craft that demands a great deal of skill. The surface of a mill stone is called the "land" while its cutting grooves are called "burrows".

Friday, January 17, 2020

Gid on Ice 2

These images are from the first week of January, 2018 when we had a lengthy cold spell. We went to the Gristmill Waterfall (Fall Branch Mill) that day after hiking West Twin Creek Hollow and seeing the falls there frozen in place. These images have been locked away for two years and I have just recently liberated them! Enjoy!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Waterfalls of Izard: 2016-2017 Compilation

This is the second in a series of three waterfall videos I am producing using video clips I've gathered over the past two or three years. Izard County is blessed with dozens of waterfalls like the ones included in this clip. Every season...and every weather event creates new opportunity for viewing these beautiful falls.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Lively Day at the Gristmill

Long-time readers of this blog will understand that the Gristmill Waterfall at Gid is one of our favorite places to visit as well as one of our favorite subjects to capture via photos and video. This is the Gristmill Falls this past Spring after a 2+ inch rain during the night. The Falls are normally fed by a spring about a half mile above. A good rainstorm, though, is funneled into the spring branch where it ultimately flows over the horseshoe canyon's ledge that forms the waterfall. The stonework, of course, are the ruins of a gristmill built and operated by a German immigrant millwright. It was this mill that Little Johnny Lee and his cousin, Nathan Bailey were returning from on the tragic day Johnny died from exposure during extreme winter conditions.


Thursday, April 05, 2018

"Hidden Hollows" Road-Trip (Filled Tour)

We are thrilled to announce our Tenth full tour event, The "Hidden Hollows" Road-Trip, April 28th 2018. The tour, announced on our Facebook Group page on March 17th, was filled on March 25th. We will be taking participants to the magnificent Tan Trough Hollow, the Natural Bridge over Calico Creek, and Cold Cave near Spring Creek. Outlaw Country Music legend, Billy Don Burns, a native of the Fifty-Six area in Stone County, AR will be performing an acoustic set for us at Cold Cave to end the event. The tour is a fundraiser for the Wideman Memorial Cemetery Association's effort to preserve and restore the old frame Wideman Schoolhouse which stands adjacent to the cemetery itself. This event, which is our fist full Road-Trip in 6 years, is set to be one of our best to date. We are encouraged by the participation as well as by the support from our business community and are seriously considering more events in the future.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Dowdle Family Collection: Second Edition

More from the really wonderful photo collection of Mrs. "Dodie" Dowdle Sherrill.

Oscar and Nobie Smith

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Vintage Photo: Sylamore Schoolhouse

The Sylamore Schoolhouse is unique among all the schools built in Izard County being built of brick. It was a two room schoolhouse and appears in this photo to have had its own water tower or a bell tower. According to The Early Schools of Izard County, The school was built sometime after the railroad was completed in 1903 and held classes until consolidating with Melbourne in 1948.

Sylamore Schoolhouse courtesy Ernestine Qualls Autry 

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Vintage Photos: The Dowdle Family Collection

Here is the first edition of photos from the Dowdle Family Collection and includes some incredile images ranging from an early Pioneer Day in Melbourne to a celebration gathering at Banchard Springs. More to come!  ENJOY!

Pioneer Day 

William Hendrix  (Back of photo)

Raymon House (Back of photo)

Millard Garrett A.K.A. Pet Moss Garrett  (Back of photo)

David and Lizzie Cartwright  (Back of photo)

Jimmy and Dashealain Dowdle, Imogene and Bud Cooper  (Back of photo)

No name on back but this at first appeared to be Pilot Knob absent timber but may actually be
Standing Rock

Pioneer Day  (Back of photo)

Beaford, Jim Bob..."Benbrooks I think"  (Back of photo)

David Cartwright  (Back of photo) 

Willie Hendrix  (Back of photo) Taken at Pearogue School-Pilot Knob in Backgroound
"Not sure who this is but think its Dr. Somebody"  (Back of photo)

Click here for article about the Three blind Rorie Brothers

Was told this might be 1901 Confederate Reunion at Blanchard but believe otherwise.