Tuesday, February 24, 2009

studying in the genealogy room

With the wedding around the corner, I have been working extra hard to finish up my independent study course. I decided it was best to go to the library this afternoon so that I can really focus and get some real work accomplished. During my last visit, the "tutor-lady" was really loud so I sought peace and quiet in the genealogy room. After about 45 minutes of work I started to look around. Sitting on my table was a book, The History of Decatur County. I almost read it all the way through. Now, two hours later I wanted to share some of what I learned. As one of my previous posts said, I have been very interested in the history of the farm, or just Fowlstown in general. Well Fowltown wasn't Fowlstown until 1883. Fowltown comes from the original Seminole Indian name for the area, "Tutalos, Talofa," meaning literally fowl town or chicken town. The Fowlstown area marked the beginning of the first Seminole Indian war. I found a link to the marker on Hwy 97 just .6 miles from Green Shade road. http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/gahistmarkers/fowltownhistmarker.htm

The marker and much of my research tells about the battles that took place in our little neck of the woods. Also in the genealogy room I found a very interesting yearbook. It was printed in 1954 and the year book of Fowltown School. I don't know why it wasn't Fowlstown School, but maybe it just took awhile for the new name to stick because the book said the school had been around during the early 1900s. The first page of the yearbook reads a quote from the book Life of Andrew Jackson:

" Brevet Major General Gaines attacked a party of Seminole at Fowltown, just north of Tallahassee Florida border. These Indians had declined to vacate the lands included in the Creek Cession of 1814. The administration has expected trouble with them and was prepared for it entirely aware that the Seminoles, like the Bucaneers of Amelia, might serve as a convenient pawn in the larger gamble of Florida. The War department ordered Gaines to continue his offensive against the Indians, pursuing them into Spanish territory if necessary, but to molest no Spanish military post without further instructions."

I have always loved history, but this certainly takes on new meaning. We live where Indians flourished for years, for centuries. We live where they fought to keep their land in 1817.

Anyways, back to the yearbook. The next few pages consist of the history of Fowltown School. The following is the first paragraph:

"According to authentic sources of information procured from many of the residents of Fowltown living here now, and former ones, we learn that the present Fowltown School is the consolidation of four schools. At one time the school system included the elementary and high school grades through the eleventh year."

I love that they did their research through "authentic sources," but in reality, that is how history is passed down. The four schools that they combined were:

Eleanor- a small school located near the Tallahassee Highway in the Youman's community
Littlefield- a small school south of Fowltown in the Littlefield community
Greenshade- a small school beside the old historical cemetery in the Greenshade community

These three schools combined with the old Fowltown School which was housed in an old wooden frame building across from the Methodist Church. The yearbook mentioned their school house which was completed in 1921. During the days right after construction, Miss Marietta Greene, one of the school teachers drove a wagon and brought all of the children who lived on her route to school with her, and the rest walked.

It also notes and thanks many of the trustees and contributors, including a Mr. Pat Speight, deseased by 1954, who was a "big scale shade tobacco grower and packer of the Greenshade Community.

Needless to say, I had a very interesting afternoon in the genealogy room. Although it wasn't exactly the kind of productivity I was looking for, I certainly enjoyed the discoveries.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


While I was in Italy, one of the many things that completely differentiated Italian culture from American was their quality of produce. It was beyond beautiful! I would seriously consider it a work of art. I made it a point to take Banks to the market one morning because I knew he would be equally impressed.

I was somewhat aware of the different standards of quality before living in Italy. My Italian teacher explained while we were covering the "food" chapter of our book that Italians rarely use additives and preservatives. After witnessing first hand, I would say that they never use them. Their basic standard for quality of produce and meat is what we would pay triple for at Fresh Market or Earth Fare.

Here is a picture of just a side street, not an outdoor farmers market. These types of stores are more like our equivalent of a convenient store.

Italy produces a vast array of fruits and vegetables. I was completely fascinated by all the different types of produce that I had never heard of, let alone tasted. I remember when I discovered one of the main farmers markets. I walked around with my jaw dropped. The berries were ripe and about to burst. Not a single rotten or even close to rotten item was placed on display. Among many of the issues facing our society today, I have to wonder, how can a country about the entire size of Arizona produce such beautiful, high-quality produce, meat and dairy. As opposed to the entire United States, with so much fertile farm land?

It was a devastating revelation. My only thought or reason, is that Americans simply don't realize how low our standards are. It's not the farmers' fault by any means. They are just as capable as Italian farmers to produce quality crops. I guess it is our society, always pushing for more, faster.

Anyways, to turn this little rant into the topic of this post. Banks and I want to grow an organic veggie and fruit garden at the farm. We are not going to settle for this sub-par quality anymore. Plus we can't afford to pay for the quality. We love the idea of growing our own food on the land. It is going to take a lot of effort, but to us, it will be worth it. Unfortunately, with all the wedding stuff and other endless projects, we probably won't get to it until next summer, but I was doing a little research the other day and stumbled upon this great Web site http://www.organicgardening.com/ that gives you all the information needed to grow each particular vegetable.

The Web site also introduced me to the idea of growing an herb garden. I think we can squeeze a little time in between wedding stuff to water a few small plants. Anyways, we will see how it goes. I don't know if a small herb garden is worth it because of the time it will take to replenish what we clip.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

no history of fowlstown and Lou Miller's bio

I thought it would be interesting to research the history of Fowlstown. Not that it is much of a town, I was hoping to find information about the first settlers, farmers, and any historic relevance to the area. Maybe I wasn't "googling" correctly, but all I was able to find was a sexual predator that lives down the road from us. So that was a comforting discovery. http://www.decaturso.com/index.php?pr=Resident

As for Banks and me, we haven't spent that much time on the farm lately. It is my last football season at Georgia and he has been traveling up to Athens quite a bit. He does, however, spend much of his time after work on the farm. He also spends time with little Lou after work. (Or he tells me that he does anyways) She enjoys following her daddy around the farm. Especially when he is on the tractor. (we are trying to break her of this. she knows no danger....just like Banks!) She is a great farm dog, who loves to show off her "howl." The other day Banks caught her howling at a mud puddle. Her second love is riding in the car...seen below.

Friday, October 10, 2008

the farm

The farm is sort of where we started.

Bainbridge offers very little for first daters. Banks and I had lunch, followed by a very entertaining golf match. At some point during the date, Banks decided he wanted to change it from a "lunch date" to an "all-day date." So after golfing, he asked, "You don't happen to like farm animals...Do you?" Of course I said yes, seriously!? Who wouldn't like farm animals? So he asked if I would like to go see them. I jokingly replied, "Only if you have llamas." He completely floored me when he calmly responded with, "yes, I have three." Sold.

I guess I should explain my fascination with llamas. Llamas are hilarious, awkward creatures and I just love them! Since our first date two have passed, but we still have Helen. Helen is our white
male llama who lives in the pen with Henry, the horse. Helen is a curious
lama, yet very shy and scared of human contact. I am hoping to get
another very soon, her name will be Dolly.
In addition to Henry and Helen, we have around 5-10 goats, three miniature donkeys, a couple sheep, chickens, guineas, two peacocks, one peahen, a tame-turkey name George, ducks, and a basset hound named Lou.
Banks grew up on this farm. It was operated up until the 1960's by his grandfather. There is a dairy, tobacco barn, water tower, a pond, and a couple of other barns. Mr. Gene, Bank's dad, loves the farm and the animals. He drives out there every day after work. He feeds and takes care of the animals and the land. Recently, Banks and Mr. Gene renovated an old farm house on the land. Banks is living there now, and I will move in after the wedding.
We both love the farm. There is a certain kind of peace there that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. Far away from traffic, noise and distractions. It is a beautiful place to start our lives together.
We are holding our wedding reception in the tobacco barn. Banks and Mr. Gene have already done so much to get ready for the big event. I hope Banks will be posting about that soon. Family is such an important aspect of our lives. It means so much to both of us that his grandfather worked on this land. We hope it will eventually be completely restored and maintained for years to come.