Monday, March 17, 2014

Flippin, Kentucky

Last week I was contemplating using my Great Grandfather's (Jacob F. Miller) journal as the basis of some posts, so I pulled out my copy and started re-reading it. In the process I noticed that for a short time he and his companion traveled across the state line into Kentucky. As luck would have it, I was just given a client (from my day job) that is in the very same area of Kentucky. So when it was time to pay them a visit, I thought why not drive along the route he took on the way home, maybe take some pictures, see what it was like. Later on I will share some of what he wrote about his side trip, but for now I'll just share what I found.

My first stop was a small town named Flippin. I kid you not. When I shared with my client where I was going she just said "That's not much more than a stop sign." (imagine it with a really smooth Kentucky drawl). She under estimated it a little, but not by much.

I did find the post office. But I'm not sure it was being used.

As you can see, I did pick the best day, weather-wise, for a road trip. It was cold, overcast, and windy, but at least it wasn't raining - yet.

At Flippin, my ancestor scheduled a sermon for 11:00 am Sunday morning at a local school called the Boyd School House. Fortunately for me it was still standing, or so the internet said. There was even a photo, from 2008, but I wanted one of my own. Poor directions forced me to do some digging. And a good thing I did. This far away from, well, ANYTHING, meant that my mobile phone based GPS did not work. (Note to self. Bring the Satellite based GPS next time) And it was so cold no one was outside, and try as they might cows do not give good directions. I was entirely dependent on the paper maps I printed.

Eventually the Boyd School gave up its secrets. It was in much worse shape than the photo I had seen from only 6 years earlier. But clearly the same building.

The rain started falling each and every time I got out of the car, and stopped while I was driving. I eventually gave up and just rolled down my window when I wanted a photo. Dressed as I was (a suit and tie from my last client meeting) I didn't want to do much walking around anyway. The country side was mostly rolling hills, which made for short horizons. There were several barns, placed in green and brown fields. Cattle was the most common agricultural use, as well as goats, hay, and what appeared to be the remnants of rows of corn.
Below is the "bridge" over Peter Creek. It consisted of poured concrete over 6 inch culvert pipes. I hadn't seen a bridge like that since I moved east, and I visit a lot of out of the way places.
Into this beautiful, yet stark environment I placed my great grandfather. I was there in March at the end of winter. He was there in early December, just before winter started. He and his companion spent a couple days wandering around meeting people, trying to drum up attendees for Sunday's meeting. I imagined Elders Miller and Wilson's visit was as lonely as mine. He wrote...

It rained some during the night and we found poor prospects for a meeting. We went the schoolhouse, kindled a fire and awaited results. A small audience gathered expressing themselves as being desirous of hearing us and we concluded to hold a short meeting.

They left immediately after lunch, heading south to Tennessee, never to return. I, however, will be back.


JB said...

Beautiful! That really brings to life some impressions of your great-grandfather's experiences might have been like. I hope you do produce some more posts based on his journal sometime; I'm certain it would be fascinating.

BruceCrow said...

I am preparing several more posts on his mission. I hope you like those as well.