March 30, 2012
Lot’s of Changes in Mountain Home on Lake Norfork
On Friday we drove from Jonesboro to Salem (where we got to visit with Becky, a second cousin of Jeanne’s, and Becky’s son Michael. Becky was very helpful in connecting us with other relatives and also gave us some mementos of Jeanne’s dad she had kept for us.) Then from Salem we drove on to Viola and Mountain Home, the area where Jeanne’s people come from. They don’t exactly come from this area. Their earlier migration started in Hothouse, North Carolina. If you are bold enough to look on a map you will discover that Hothouse is literally in the middle of nowhere. It is located just above Georgia and in the Chatahoochee-Oconee National Forest in the Great Smokey Mountains of Appalachia. So let me be perfectly frank – this puts the Browns between Pack Mountain and Piney Mountain, pretty much in the same holler as the Hatfields and McCoys. Actually, the Hatfields and McCoys were in West Virginia and Kentucky. Nevertheless, you get the idea.
In saying this, I am not putting anyone down. I respect the hardy people of Appalachia. That’s the same place that my line comes from and by all rights my wife and I might turn out to be second cousins if we tried to seriously investigate the matter. Our family trees didn’t have many branches in the 1870’s. (This house to the left is where Jeanne’s father’s family lived in his growing up years. The house, in Viola, still has “Brown” on the outside door.)
By whatever means the Browns, Harbers and Popes all found their way to Viola and Salem, Arkansas and the Hedricks, Scotts and Villers found their way to Oklahoma. They all came from North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee. Almost one hundred years later their progeny, Tony and Jeanne, finally met up in Wichita, Kansas.
A visit to the graveside…
The bodies of great grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles lie buried in the Viola cemetery. As a matter of respect, we paid a short visit.