They drove the circus back over the mountain and the elephants and giraffes had no problem

Posted by | June 28, 2016

“Uncle George Wynn did all the thrashing on the east side of the road that goes through Burke’s Garden, north and south. John D. Greever did all the thrashing of wheat on the west side of this road. You know the biggest population was on the east side of that road, all the big families there. The Repass’s, Alfred Repass. Grubbs, lots of Kitts, the Kitts, they kind of moved out and then the big bunch of Lamberts came in there, like a drove of sheep pretty near.

“Course Pierce Lambert, some of those Lamberts spelled their name different than others, some Lampert, and some Lambert. All the same I think, they all came from over around Bland. Now Uncle George Wynn he had some daughters that married into the Neel family. I think there was two of them, one married a Bud Heldreth, and one married Tiden H. Short. He had 4 boys.

“Morgan Wynn, Uncle George’s oldest son, see Uncle George was married twice. First he was married to a Rhudy, John Rhudy’s sister. Then next he married a Henry, Mag Henry, she had a daughter who married a Helmadollar out at Tazewell and then she had a son Will Henry who died in World War I. He is buried down there where my little brother Hubert is buried. So is his mother Mag Henry Wynn. Down next to where the Hoges are buried.

Road through the gap to Burkes Garden VAPostcard view of the road through the gap to Burke’s Garden, about 1915. Title continues: … ‘The road today is twice as wide and the bank twice as high.’ Courtesy of Louise Leslie.

“This Morgan Wynn when he got married to the old lady Aunt Mag, she was pretty mean to those boys and they all left. Morgan joined the Army and he stayed years and years, until he was pert-in-near dead and they sent him home. He went down to ole Tiden Short’s to see Maggie, Mag to live with his sister. He was crazy about buttermilk, and he was sick, they had churned and he drank so much buttermilk that he died, maybe from too much pressure on his heart.

“Levi Wynn, was I guess next and he was a holy roller preacher out there at Tazewell, I mean at Bluefield, Virginia. He was a singing master, too, in Burke’s Garden. He used to do a lot of singing there in Burke’s Garden. We all sang there. We lived near Laurence Felty’s near an old woodshed. Do you know where the old wood shed is? We had it first we sold it to Hoback, then Mr. Gose bought it. Do you know at one time Mr. John Gose owned more property in Burke’s Garden then any other man?

“Aunt Belle was there, we called them ‘aunt’ but they were not, just Aunt Letti, Uncle Fed’s wife that was really our aunt. There was three of those girls, Aunt Belle stayed there all the time and Aunt Org married a Foglesong and they had land over in the east end over by Horse Snaps.

“We lived over there where Snaps owned that place in the east end at one time across the hill from Uncle Morg Wynne, from where Betty Meek lived. At that time it belonged to Mr. John Fox, Uncle Frank’s daddy. One time Mr. John Fox put a bunch of oats in and they craddled it, and shucked it. Morgan and George were doing the tying. They always worked together, the four of them. After Uncle Pete Fox left there course Mr. John Fox was never satisfied there.

“They went down to Christiansburg and I guess they died and didn’t get the place paid for. My dad always said that Uncle Fed Wynn always had the poorest place there was in Burke’s Garden. They had so much pea gravel on the place. See my dad used to work for Uncle Fed Wynn when he had the sawmill. See Uncle Fed would go out and cut the trees down, bring in the logs and saw the logs, then build the building!

“He did it all, Uncle Fed Wynn. My dad used to work on the Fed Wynn place and it was the poorest place. He (Fed Wynn) bought the place from Mr. Pat Davis (William Patterson Davis). That’s Leon Davis and Add Davis’s daddy. So, Tyler Boling used to live—the road used to come through there where Harvey Dillo—and turned and went down and turned the corner by Davis’s place where Mr. Mckenna lives now and over by Mr. Rush Moss’s place and come out at the corner down there where Mr. Sam Meredith lives. Now we used to live right across the road from Sam Meredith. East of Sam’s. There used to be a big wild cherry tree there. At one time there was a circus at Little Creek and they drove them back over the mountain to take them back and elephants and giraffes had no problem and ate the cherries/leaves.

Greever women in Burkes Garden VAMargaret Greever, born 1879, second from left, being photographed with sisters or friends at the Greever homeplace in Burke’s Garden June 28, 1899. Albert S. Greever may be the photographer under the hood. Courtesy of Edgar Greever.

“That saw mill that Grandpa Wynn bought was brought over there with 6 yoke of oxen, I mean 6 head of oxen, three yokes to pull that saw mill over there. Had to bring a stationary engine. Over the old road where Mary Lou Volun’s place now it belongs to Dupont, in that field over there where it joins Bent Moss’s place on the side, used to be a big chestnut orchard there. You can still see the old road that used to go up there. We used to live on the corner there.

“I used to catch rides to town on horseback at that corner from Uncle Pete and Mr. Fox and they used to pick me up. I had a blue serge suit, I was in school then, not really in it, but went and they used to pick me up take me to the store with them.

“Those Foxes liked to brag on their stuff, I was great at that and I always liked old people anyway. That was always my delight if I got with old people, I love it. Old Mr. Steve Mahood, the old fellow that lived right down there over by the Snap’s silo in the east end, there. Mr. Steve Mahood lived there. He raised a boy, they raised a boy by them, I think he was related to Aunt Ann, I think his name was Crismond. I know his name was Crismond, Doc Chrismond. Old Mr. Steve Mahood, they raised him. He got to be a railroad man and married old man Grubb’s daughter, Nannie Grubb. They went to school the same time Dr. Shawver went to school in Burke’s Garden. Nannie Grubb, Carl Grubb and Kate Fox.”

Bill Brown
January 23, 1981

Edited transcript from an audio tape made by William T. Brown of Burke’s Garden, VA. Brown was born there November 21, 1902, lived there until 1917 with his family, and went back to live there at a later date.


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