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Ledger tells of Marlowe Coal Camp rentals

Whitesburg

TOM and BILLIE JUNE CRAFT RICHARDSON Photo by Beau Hatton

TOM and BILLIE JUNE CRAFT RICHARDSON Photo by Beau Hatton

I had a wonderful surprise last Tuesday! One of my first cousins, Kim Pennington Lucas, messaged me and wanted to meet me to show me a ledger listing the houses that were rented at Marlowe Coal Camp from the Marlowe Commissary during the years 1950-1952 or so. It has the name of the man renting and how many rooms the house had. Also, when they paid each month.

The most expensive houses, the ones down in the bottom, were $19 a month. It also lists the coal miners who paid to use the bathhouse at the mines. They had to pay $1.50 a month for this luxury. Mom said Papaw Pennington never used the bathhouse but always came home and bathed. He thought that was too much money to pay.

It seems Kim found the ledger for sell on one of the yard sale sites on Facebook. It is in fantastic shape to be over 70 years old. The handwriting is absolutely perfect, almost like calligraphy. From the comments on the posts I put on Facebook of these pages, A. P. Williams was one of the bookkeepers.

Tom and Billie June Craft Richardson on their wedding day in February 1970.

Tom and Billie June Craft Richardson on their wedding day in February 1970.

I love looking at historical things like this and imagining what their lives must have been like back then, especially if it involves my ancestors. I just can’t imagine having to carry all the water to your house that a family would need to use. Just think about how many buckets of water it took to fill up those big oval washtubs. It seems like you would be carrying water all day long. I believe I would be more than happy to pay $1.50 a month to take a bath every day.

I would love to see a video of a day in the life of my mom’s childhood at Marlowe Coal Camp or my dad’s childhood on Caryville Mountain in Campbell County, Tenn. I would also love for my grandchildren to be able to see a day in the life of our childhoods.

Okay, I have a very special wedding anniversary I want to mention. Our very special friends, Billie June Craft Richardson and her husband Tom Richardson will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on the 27th. They will be celebrating by spending three days in Mississippi with their two children, Celesta Richardson Riffe and her family and grandchildren, and Jonathon Richardson and his family. This will be the first time they will get to see their six-month-old great-grandson, Caiden Matthew McCool-Solis, and the first time the whole family has been able to get together.

Joyce Baker with her two grandchildren Jocylyn Baker and Ethan Combs

Joyce Baker with her two grandchildren Jocylyn Baker and Ethan Combs

Lots of birthdays I missed last week were Earlene King Dixon Burton on the 16th, Doreen McCray on the 21st, Danny Hurt on the 21st. Then June Collier’s 81st birthday was on the 23rd. I had the pleasure of working with June at Mayking Head Start many years ago. She loved the kids as much as they loved her. They called her Mama because she had grandchildren enrolled that called her Mama. They thought she lived there and just let them come to her house and she cooked for them. Then, our neighbor Joyce Profitt Baker celebrated on the 24th.

I saw where Cane Kitchen is having another “Meal on the Hill.” They posted this information on Facebook inviting everyone to come join them. It’s this Thursday the 27th and there will be free oral health screenings and a guest speaker.

Jimmy Yonts, Josh Yonts, Preacher Bill Jones, and Jude Lee Yonts

Jimmy Yonts, Josh Yonts, Preacher Bill Jones, and Jude Lee Yonts

My husband, Jimmy Yonts, and I had the pleasure of going to Millstone Missionary Baptist Church Sunday. We were invited there for the special occasion of the baptism of our nephew’s son, Jude Lee Yonts. He requested that Yonts be in the water with his dad, Joshua Lee Yonts, to help him dunk him under. It was so emotional. He is such a sweet, caring child.

Please remember some very special people that desperately need our prayers. Iona Noble, one of our Letcher County Senior Citizens, needs your prayers for things that are going on right now with her children. Still another good friend and senior citizen, Edith Begley White, is still recovering from multiple blood clots in her lungs. One of my first cousins, John Adams, has had back surgery and is having major pain between his shoulder blades. John’s brother Larry Adams is also having some health problems.

Still again, keep in mind my pastor, Bill Jones, and his wife Sandy and their whole family.

Repeating Oma again, get yourself to church Sunday morning if at all possible. Sunday night and throughout the week your church needs you, too.

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