Site hosted by Build your free website today!



Thank you for visiting my site, please come back and visit again! <> You may contact me



Sandra Waldrop Doolittle email address

Epilogue: The purpose of this site is to pass on stories and information about the Whitesville- Mountain Creek area . This will be done through stories and facts as told to me by elders of the area for the past 35 years; in hopes that information from these may be helpful to others who seek ancestry or history about this northwest Harris County area. Times before and during the development of Harris County of this early settlement and town, a Georgia Historic Township. Once on a freight and trade route in Indian Territory; between Grays Road and the Magnolia ferry / ford on the Shoals of the Chattahoochee River into now Alabama.


A. Things of Interest

1. Last Battle of the Civil War Part I, II ,III and IV


B. As The Story Goes




Feb. 16, 2006

Before I begin telling you about the Gathering, let me give you some background on what brought me to this place in time. I was born, raised, and schooled in Phenix City, Alabama. My hobbies were water skiing, hunting and fishing. My father (Bob) was born and raised in up-state New York, a country boy raised on a dairy farm. My mom (Selma Jackson) loved to fish but was raised a city girl. In 1959 the family bought some land and built a cabin on Pine Lake just west of Historic Whitesville, Ga. in Harris County. My teen years were all I could wish for: Callaway Gardens 8 miles east, Lake Harding 5 miles west, Lagrange 12 miles north, and Columbus 18 miles south. Woodlands, farm's, lakes and farm ponds; for my hobbies I found a gold mine! In 1974, I bought land ,built a house, and 30+ years later I'm still happy here with my friends and family. There are still a lot of trophy bucks and bass in Harris County!

THE GATHERING----- My dear friend and fellow firefighter, CIII had started (what became a tradition) a father/son deer hunt on the family 4,000 ac. farm. For one three day weekend in November, fathers and sons dropped what they were doing to spend time together. This was a great learning experience for both father and son. Respect for wildlife, the land, and other people was learned by all. Rules of the hunt, shooting skills, and hunting technics were both demonstrated and learned. Safety is the main concern! The deer stands had been placed and checked each able to handle both father and son . The location they would hunt would not be known till after the drawing of stand numbers from the hat just before the morning hunt began. A large aerial photograph of the farm was hanging on the wall that had numbers marking all stand locations, including the stands being used on this hunt. Men and boys alike cambered as dreams and hopes of the hunt began to be voiced. Nightfall is here and dinner is being served. Everyone takes his seat at the large oak table; Grace is said.

After dinner is over, each father and son received instructions to go out on the porch together and bring back one fire log from the stack next to the oyster cooler, and place it in the large hearth of the fire place in the family room. Each father and son jointly do this, to symbolize their gift of fuel for the fire of friendship. The fire is then lit. The Hunt Master (CIII) then enters to room pushing a roll cart full of goblets and two bottles; wearing his old beaten leather hat with a hat band made from the skin of a copper head snake. Men and boys alike received a goblet with a touch of the grape (wine for the men and sparkling grape juice for the boys). The Hunt Master then leads the gathering in a toast to good friends and a good hunt. He then reminded each hunter of the rules.[no loaded gun allowed unless you are in the stand, unload before you get out of the stand.Do Not leave the stand or track a hit deer. The pickup man will drop you off and will pick you up. We'll track hit deer after all hunters are back to the lodge]. Safety first! The morning hunt started early, so most now prepared for bed.

Tradition lives on; over the next two days father and son both will be building memories and adventures, that will be spoken of all through their lives and even into the next generation!


Feb. 19, 2006

The morning begins with a wake up call, breakfast and prepairing for the morning hunt. Then the awaited moment arrives; it's time to draw for stands for the morning hunt. Father and son approach the fireplace to draw their stand number from the old hat of the Huntmaster. They then turn to the property photograph on the wall to see what area they have drawn to hunt on for that morning. Then sound of the pickup/drop off trucks were heard arriving; over the excited chatter of the men and boys! It is now Time! Each hunting pair will now load on the truck going to the area according to the stand number they have drawn.

For those of you who have never been on a large hunt of this caliber; the purpose of the pickup/drop-off trucks are to enforce safety. No hunters will be allowed to walk around on the ground, thus removing any possibility of anyone getting near or in another hunters zone of fire. This also prevents hunters from getting lost as most do not know the lay of the land. The drivers were also a big help on pickup as they helped retrieve your deer and load it; as your next stop was the deer cooler.]

All hunters are now in place and awaiting dawns light. The darkness begins to give way to light as the view of the landscape becomes clear and movement of wildlife soon start to be seen. The sounds of morning start to replace the sounds of the night; Hoot-owl's and Whippoorwills give way to Hawks and Crows. The sun is now breaking over the Pine Mountain Ridge and burning off the dew into a light fog over the fields and woodlands. Rabbits, turkey, squirrels, and birds of all kinds keep your eyes moving as the wildlife dart around begriming their day.

Off in the distance, the sound of a gun shot breaks the silence; another, then another from a different direction. You scan the field again from your stand as it is now evident from the gunshots the deer are now moving. Your son pokes you gently, you look where he is looking and see a young doe feeding 40 yards. in front of the stand. How did she get there undetected? In your mind you know it had been there for a while, hidden from your view in the misty dew fog that had covered it's movement just enough to go un-detected. Now it's decision time! Do you have your son shoot the doe (it is doe season) or wait in hopes a big buck will come in (quality buck management is in place here)? As you ponder what to recommend to your son, you see him lower his rifle to the gun rail and look through the then here him whisper, 1-2-3-4-5 and it's outside the ears! You lookout the direction the barrel is pointed; you then see what he has seen. 100 yards out near the wood line a large buck is quickly moving toward the doe as she eats in the field. BANG!! You watch the buck fall! He did it, great shot! Your pride is now sitting in your throat as your chest swells; your son had learned all you have been trying to teach him on his past two hunts: patients, good judgment, sportsmanship, and marksmanship. He had stayed within the rules of the hunt and got his first big buck (11 points ).

You sit together in the stand, as you await the pickup to be made, you watched and listened to the things of nature. The birds, the screech of a hawk high overhead, and now the rattling of the pick up truck as he is coming to pick you up.You unload your guns and climb slowly down to the ground. The pickup is here; you can now go to get a closer look at your son's buck! What a wonderful morning!

All pickups of hunters and game are complete. Everyone will now converge on the cooler, to review the morning kill. Farm hands have come in to field dress the deer, so they were ready to go to a processor on Monday. As this was going on, the hunters retold the stories of their hunt as everyone looked at their deer. It is now time for lunch, everyone heads back to the lodge to eat and rest before the evening hunt. One thing to mention is that each father and son are pre assigned one meal to furnish and prepare during the hunt weekend, this allows all to share in the cost of the weekend as well as share in household tasks.

The hunt will continue for two days with fathers and sons spending quality time together, making them both better people, with memories that will be told again and again.


Mar, 11, 2006

As I have told you this special father/son hunt goes on for three day's and did so for almost two decades. Each year you would see the progression as the fathers got older and the boy's grew into young men. As Work School, and Marriage take their toll on the number of participants able to attend the annual hunt; a few new guests are added. These guest were usually business associates, friends or school chums of the participants.

Men being Men; over the years special awards were given out at the closing ceremony for special and not so special happenings that occurred during that years hunt. The winner from the past year held the title all year and would bring it back to be awarded the next year. Some of the categories were: [1]Deer with most points( largest rack); a cut of cedar with a large rack shed found in the pasture screwed to it. [2] Largest Doe killed (by weight after field dressed); a cedar cut with a long doe's tail mounted on it. [3] Ghost Buck (the Biggest Racked Buck seen but disappeared before a shot was fired); a cut of pine with nothing on it but the title. [4] The Empty Clip ( one that forgot to chamber a shell in the stand before trying to shoot or shot the most not hitting the deer or left their bullets at the Lodge); a barn board with a thermometer and shell casing on it saying Buck Fever. [5] The Slasher (hunter who wasn't able to hold down their last meal while field dressing their kill); a barn board with grass on it with a fake rubber pile of vomit! All of the awards had a paper on the back that was signed and dated as to who and when they were won. Tradition!

One other event that showed it's head from time to time was the piratical joke. The huntmaster C III had staged a major joke at least three times over the last twenty years. They would be planed, casted, and directed by the huntmaster; as to whom this dastardly deed would be performed on as well as who had a need to know when it was going down. In the early 1990's I made my first of many trips on the hunt. I was to take the lead in his next production, the joke to end all jokes---------

THE STING !!!!!!! The Patsy's have been picked, the Players are told the plan, and the timing is set! I arrive at the Lodge at 8:30am Saturday morning, to run a practice trial on a partner of Dr. Bob in the teeth busness.The Plan was for me to ride with the huntmaster as he made pickups of hunters on his route for lunch break. I would at the Dr. partners stand check him out for all the law requires. Here I stand in full costume ready to make an arrest. I am wearing my dress Fire Chief shirt with blue work pants and jacket, a Chief's gold badge (plainly stated in view), a holstered 30 cal. pistol (not loaded), and a hand-held radio on my hip( on scan so police chatter could be heard). I place my camo baseball cap on and I then walk up to the stand where the hunter sits and watches as I approach. I greet him and introduce myself as officer Rollins and I state"unload your weapon and come down out of the stand. I need to see your licence"! He climbs down and pulls his bill-fold to seek his licence. It could not be found; to his surprise! I told him he was breaking the law and could be arrested. We walk back to the truck as he is telling me he had just bought the licence Friday morning to go on this hunt; I agreed to let him check his truck when we got back to the Lodge. [ I already know his wife had lifted it from his wallet and given it to Dr.Bob before he had left home.] We arrive back at the Lodge. He goes to his truck and begins to move everything inside in search of the missing licence, but has no luck. As other hunter aid him in his search they begin to tell him of his pending doom; as they tell him they were here the last tine I checked them and had hauled two off to jail. He now gives up after calling his wife to see if he left it at home; she tells him she saw him put it in his bill-fold. He now faces his fate! Dr. Bob walks up and introduces me as his friend and tells him he has just been Stung! The trial had worked, it's now time to setup the big one, the main event is tonight!

The main event will involve two student, away at school, who have been invited by C IV the son of the huntmaster. One of the young men is the nephew of BP, a close friend of C III and the other is a school mate of C IV, a US Senator's son, in school near D.C. who plans on flying back home on a afternoon flight on Sunday. I had left before they arrived to the Lodge as to remain unknown to the two young men.

I sit on a hill out of site but in view of the lodge. I am driving a red chevy II blazer with revolving red emergency lights on the roof, dressed as I was that morning. The trucks leave to take the hunters to the stands for the last chance of the hunt weekend. CA, the property caretaker, is taking the students to their stands that is in an area he fells will give them a chance for a big buck. This would be their only hunt for this weekend. I drive to the Lodge for final instructions as the other special guest arrive for the last meal and the closing ceremony. Dusk is falling as the radio crackles the message from the caretaker, several shots have been fired from the area the students were placed they should have a deer.

We leave the lodge with six or seven cars in tow. I set up on the cross road to do my road block check of the young hunters as the other car park behind a thicket and come to hide near my location to watch the sting unfold. After some chatter over the news of the kills, I fire off the red lights and prepare for my check point,as the others hide. Here they come, was the cry as I move out in the head lights to be seen by the on coming truck and hunters. The truck arrives, it's show time! I walk up to the window and tell CA I need to see everyone's licence and any game killed. CA hands me a master card I look at it and hand it back with a polite thanks. C IV gives me a library card, I return it in the same manor. I turn to check our patsy's in the back when a CLICK comes from the stack of guns between the front seat; this was my reminder to check the guns, as a loaded gun was against the rules of the hunt if you are on the ground. I check and find one gun with a clip in it loaded. I ask who's gun id this? A weak voice answers; that the one I was using, I know I removed the clip. Well how did it get loaded again.? No answer came. I stated the gun was now impounded and let me see your licence. Neither student could find their licenses. They looked very bewildered! I checked the two big bucks killed and each young man clamed their kill. I then ask them to exit the truck and that they were going to the jail in Hamilton.They climbed into the back set of the blazer (after removing the baby seat and putting in the back). I told them their charges; the senators son--having no hunting licence and having a loaded gun on the ground; the nephew for not having a licence and killing a large 12 point. After loading the gun in the blazer we leave to go to Hamilton.[ I take the long way around to allow the others hiding to get their rides and head to the cooler where I would wind up after about a ten minute ride with the boys]. As I drive around killing time( the boys don't know the property) I tell the boys it will be Monday before a judge can set bail, they would stay in jail till then! They talk among themselves quietly, then they asked if they could call home when they get there. I told them they could if the lines were repaired from being cut by a backhoe earlier this afternoon, but it may be Monday before the phone people get there. The senators son tell me he must be on the plane in Atlanta by 3pm Sunday. I said" I'm sorry but the judge must rule" it's out of my hands. Another sigh comes from the back seat!

I cut back toward the cooler, telling them I must check the day's kill before we leave. We arrive at the cooler and meet a crowed of hunters and guest viewing the weekends kill. They all turn and walk up as I park the Blazer and get out with the boys still inside. I get out and ask" who is the responsible adult here in charge of these young men?" As the boys looked out wide eyed no one answered! After a few moments, C III and BP walked to the car and opened the door. The boys stepped out of the car C III told them they had been Stung! He then introduced me to them and told them to use this as a lesson; look closely at all officers and read their badge and ask for an ID. They read my badge. FIRE CHIEF?? Aw Man!!

The Sting was over and also the Gathering and Hunt for this year! Dinner and the closing ceremony left to do then there is next year!

The final toast to the hunt has been made for this Father/son Hunt! It's tradition still lives on as hunts are still held at different locations fragmented off from the group as the fathers are older,the sons are now fathers themselves scattered all over this great country. Somewhere as the season closes, a toast was made to the kill, a young boy grows toward manhood, and the memories of past hunts will live on in the minds of men and boys!!


Snipe Hunting Harris County Style!

Spring is here again and most students are looking to spring break. For the families of the North it's the time of year to hit the beaches of Florida, to shake off the winters cold. For the Southern outdoors man it brings a close to the years hunting season as Turkey season comes to an end and guns are traded for fishing rods and water sports. Only one hunting event stays in place, as it has for generations, it requires no firearms, and must be done at night. It is a "rite of passage" in the historic South. It is a Southern Tradition that most have heard stories told about, but only a special few have had the experience of being a quest on one of these exciting hunts. What is this hunt? The Southern Snipe Hunt!

In the spring of 1998, we had a family of Rollins cousins visit during spring break. They are from the up-state New York area not far from Rochester. They spent their time here with Donna and Spencer on the Pine Hampton farm that belonged to Spencer's family in Harris County. Donna is my first cousin from my dad's side and the N. Y. company was her brothers family,thus my first cousins. Donna's brother Greg and his wife Cathy had four children, two girls age 19 and 8 and two boys age 16 and 13. The boys were the ones asking to go Snipe hunting---- the story begins!

During the time of their stay, I had to go to work every day at my electronics busyness in Whitesville. The family was entertained with trips to Callaway Gardens or boat trips on the back waters of Lake Harding. Every evening we had an outdoor cookout for dinner as the boys fished in the farm pond till dinner was served. Each afternoon when I arrived the boys would be gain questioning me as to when was I going to take them Snipe hunting. Every day Spencer would tell them of past hunts, the number of Snipe captured, and how to call them in . Each evening I was also abele to give them more information on how to store the bird when caught and explain how the owl was the birds friend and they would only come out of the brush when they believed an owl was guarding them from there natural enemies. Again we would put them off on when the hunt would be, saying things as the moon wasn't right tonight or the crows were to loud before dark which was a sign the snipe were not in the area. The boys knowledge of Snipe grew as well as their desire to go hunting. The wait was killing them as they ask over and over for me to let them hunt Snipe.

Friday is here, Spencer, CIII, and Myself have our plan together. I call at 4 pm and tell the Yankee's they will be going Snipe hunting tonight. The moon is right! Spencer get the boys a croker sack to put snipe in to carry them back to the cabin after the hunt. They gather up the flash lights and fresh batteries I drive in around 6 pm and tell then the hunt will begin at 9 pm. I then hand the an owl call to use to make the snipe feel at ease and come to them; as they sit in the Dove field later that night to hunt.

As dinner is being prepared, the Boys are sent down to the T box near the lake to sit and practice on the owl call they were given, as words of encouragement were yelled back to them as they got better with the call; from all the on lookers on the deck. CIII arrives for dinner and gives the boys a roll of duct tape and advises them it is easier to tape the birds feet together so they won't run off if they wake up. You can stack them up like cord wood and they can't run away, CIII says.

Dinner is served. The boys excitement is growing as their Mother get them to eat dinner, telling them they will be out there a while, so eat. CIII receives a cell phone call and tells the boys he must leave for a while but will return to see how they did a little later tonight.

The plan is now being implemented! CIII is really going to set up the rabbit call amp and speakers on the hood of his Jeep, across the dove field on a wooded hill to make what the boys think is the call of the Snipe.

9 pm arrives, the boys are loaded on the golf cart with their gear: flash light, duct tape, club stick, croaker sack, and the most important tool the owl call. I now take the two teenagers to the field and sit them in the middle of the twenty acre field. Their instructions on how to hunt Snipe are: sit quietly, don't wander around, stay put. Call every once in a while with the owl call; when you here the Snipe calling call some more with the owl call, they will leave the woods and come to you. When you hear them in close to you turn on the light, this will freeze them in place- hit them on the head with the club and tape it's feet- then turn off the light. Call again with the owl call, they will come back- do it over and over till you get the limit of twelve. you can then bring them to the house wait an hour and do it again. But please understand timing is everything. Don't turn on the light till you are sure they are close enough to you to hit with the stick or they will stay back from you.

After dropping off the boys, I drove back to the cabin; then came back in one hour to check on them and bring a RC cola. I ask how they were doing ,gave them some encouragement and left them again. Oh, at that time they hadn't got any yet(ha ha) but thought they were turning on the light to early, they were hearing plenty of Snipe and thought they saw one just before I arrived. They sure were hearing a lot in the woods over there!

11pm I go back out to check on them. No luck yet! The younger boy wanted to leave as he was sleepy, but the older boy said he was staying and didn't want to leave till he got at least one. I take the younger one back with me. In about 15min. CIII call on the cell to tell me the older one is moving closer to the woods each time he uses the rabbit call. He is trying to sneak up on the Snipe. CIII is thinking he will spot him soon if he keeps moving up. I tell him to discontinue the rabbit call and I will pick up the boy in the field. I will tell the boy the fog coming in blocks the moon for the Snipe and they left. The hunt is over! Meet us at the cabin when you see me pick him up and drive over the hill. I will take him the long way back to give you time to be at the cabin when we get there. I did pick him up but he really didn't want to stop, talk about dedication!

We all are at the cabin, the boys are telling everyone of their hunting adventure. They try to talk their parents into delaying their leaving to Orlando in the morning; as they want to give up day at Disney World to Snipe hunt again. No one had the guts to tell the boys they had been had at that time as they keep proudly tell of their adventure. They go off to bed. Greg chuckles and says" that was the best practical joke ever" I am going to try this at home on some of my hunting buddies. Oh! I'll tell the boys after we get home! First I want them to tell this story and help me convince my buddies that this is a real hunt; then the boys can help me pull it off on the others. What a hunt !!!

All of you that read this now know, if anyone wants you to go Snipe Hunting-- be sure to ask them where is the owl call!


CROQUET in AMERICA and the OLD SOUTH! April 22, 2006 THE SPORT OF CROQUET was born in the British isles in the mid 19th century, but soon migrated to most other English speaking countries. It was played with large heavy mallets and wood balls, on short grass lawns, on large estates of the socially elite. In the United States it began to be publicly played on level lawns in Commons or Parks, and Country Clubs. Member clubs and Associations were organized in the United States to play 9 and 6 wicket tournaments in Croquet. American Rules were established and sanctioned by the US Croquet Association.

Croquet as a public sport suffered a setback in 1890?s when the Boston Clergy spoke out against the game because of the drinking, gambling, and licentious behavior associated with it on the public Common. With the uprising of the clergy, public lawns couldn't be used to play so only private clubs or estates continued to play.

In the South, the game of Backyard Croquet has maintained it?s popularity for more than over a hundred years as the complement of garden parties, family gatherings, outdoor fund-raisers, and social events both raucous and elegant. Backyard Croquet is the casual, social form of croquet played by millions in North America on the traditional nine-wicket, two-stake, double-diamond court. Using up to six balls and as many players, the many varieties of this game are usually played with a lightweight, inexpensive 6 ball set popularly available in most discount stores. It is usually played on long grass or slow or irregular surfaces in backyards. The order of the play is by the color of the ball you are playing. All mallets have color circles on the head to show the order of colors to follow. One stroke per turn, 1 point per wicket pasted trough, no bonus strokes are earned when your ball hits other balls or scores wickets. All stay in order, the one with the most points wins when the final wicket is cleared, by a player. You may knock another player?s ball out of scoring range; that was your shot. No other shot given on that turn.

The USCA American Rules version of croquet, though no more difficult to master than any other sport, is probably the most misunderstood of them all. Playing it well calls for the kind of physical skills developed in billiards and golf and the tactical thinking of games like chess and Parcheesi. Although the rules are simple enough?as are the rules of chess?mastering the tactics and strategy require, for most people, years of diligent PRACTICE and STUDY! For those who are truly captured by the sport, it is well worth the commitment required to master the shot-making skills and to gain an understanding of the winning strategy. For those elite few, finding an existing croquet lawn or building one is the key to embarking on the sporting adventure of a lifetime----USCA Croquet!!

BULL CR_P--- as you can see this game under the stiff upper lip of British Rules, it has a lot to be desired; as for Harris County it would be near impossible { for us rednecks} to comply with the dress code, lawn requirements, beverage choices, let alone the slow drudgery of play. Let me explain--- HARRIS COUNTY CUT-THROAT CROQUET

First the dress code : white shirt, shoes and pants or skirt if a lady. What true woman of the south would ever let her sons and daughters play in the yard in white. Georgia red clay and grass stains on white, Mama ain?t going for this! Tide can?t beat this stain! Harris County dress code--- Cut off cammo or khaki shorts. Shoes and T- shirts optional! For the women shorts, tube tops or T- shirts; thong bathing suits do tend to draw more spectator interest in the game.

Second: Lawn requirements: a level playing field with short cut manicured grass with no obstructions that could deflect ball path. Well, this is Harris County; so to find a level area to play can be a chore in itself and they want grass on it and no rocks. Who are we kidding! I have hit rocks on some of the best golf courses around. (I was asked one time on the golf course how I hit my woods? I told him most of the time, but I have learned how to play back out of them too!) Short manicured grass?if I sprayed weed killer in most of the yards in Harris County they would not be green anymore. That?s why the yard Prof. people spray that green colored feed and seed stuff in your yard so not to spook your friends while the new grass grows in and the weeds die. Harris County playing field requirements: green grass or weeds cut short enough to see the balls while standing. Rocks can be used as a beer holder or bumpers; also the sloped rugged terrain of Harris County tends to improve your shooting skills.

Third Beverage Choices: This is not a requirement or rule of Croquet but was mentioned in the British and USCA rules. The beverage of choice is wine or Mint Julep in the old South. In Harris County, we don?t discriminate; anything you brought in the cooler is okay! From Coke to Jack Daniel?s or a combination of both! Also, we learned a long time ago in RED NECK SCHOOL, pickup trucks are more than a mode of transportation; they double as gun rack, bar and bed, also as bleachers at all outdoor sporting events. They even serve as field lights at night games.

RULES OF PLAY of HARRIS COUNTY CUT- THROAT CROQUET: The USCA rules are stated earlier in this article, these following are HCCTC rules. Players shoot in order of color after drawing straws. A shot is when the mallet strikes the ball. A Bonus shot is given when your ball strikes another player?s ball or goes trough a wicket or stake. One point is given after clearing a wicket or stake in order of play. (If you hit a ball you shoot again, you can hit that ball again and again moving both your ball and the ball you are hitting trough the playing field.) You miss you lose your turn and the next player will now shoot. If a player hits their ball and it melts (remains touching) to the other ball, you can place your foot on your ball hit it hard and drive the other ball way off it?s course, then shoot again. Watch out, cause if you miss the player whose ball you have been traveling with will get a turn before you will again. They or one of the other players can reek a hardship on you ball and tactics you have, knocking you way off your course with a hard shot to get back in play. As you can see the rules are simple but bonus shots can help and hurt you in your conquest! Don?t miss; your enemies are still on the course and it will be their turn now---cut- throat! All games are best two out of three and the time of matches are open and will depend on the number of cooler trips made during the process.

I can honestly tell you this is a fun filled game made for highly competitive group of people; who want to spend a fun afternoon in friendly competition and conversation. This can be played as a partner game against two other players but again tactics will change as you now have two ball to get trough the wickets before you can win. The game already has been introduced in five other states at family reunions. All have enjoyed the Harris County Version of Croquet more than the original version; and found it a better spectator sport at a lawn party with beverages!

If you need any more information on this version of Croquet please e-male me at: The Whitesville, Harris County group likes a good party!



For the last few years, I have been spending what little spare time I have on recording historical data on old graveyards in Harris County. This of course lead me to also start to record data on the old churches, some of which no longer exsist. Most of these churches, I find have been around longer than Harris County that was born by law in 1826, from lands part of then Muscogee and Troup Counties. I find that Whitesville, Ga.; predated under the name of a settlement known as Mountain Creek. It was on the crossroads of two Indian Trails. One going east to west across the Chattahoochee River to Alabama; later known as Grays? Trail a fork off of King?s Road. The second trail ran North and South from Cusseta /Coweta; the Creek Capital (now Ft. Benning / Ft. Mitchell area); along the river to villages and trails above the Fall Line (now West Point, Ga.).

As settlers moved in the area in the early 1800?s, the churches played a duel roll in the community. The Church was of course a house for spiritual worship, but also in early years served as the law and peacemakers of the community. Governments had not been formed on a local level at this time. The minutes of the church reflected the charges made and punishment done after the church elders looked into the charges made against a member. Members both male and female were open to church justice and could be brought up on charges for doing wrong in the community. Early on as settlements grew you had to be in church to have standing so others would do business with you or help you in any way. If you moved some other place you needed a letter of good standing from your old church before you could join another church in the new community. You stated your intentions to move and the congregation of the church would vote your dismissal and letter to go with you with their blessing. If minor charges were brought up on you, like speaking badly about someone or profanity, you could be forgiven by apologizing to the person and the church. If worse you could be barred from church a couple of meetings then be accepted back in the fold. Adultery, rape, theft, wife abuse, disrespecting your husband, drunk, or murder are charges that can punish by discharging you from church and /or tar and feathered and hauled out and banished from the community. Murder of course could cause your death! The Church was the Power!

Today of course, we have taken a view of Government can enforce the law and have removed the Church from welding the law. This is supposed to be better and fairer, we do know it is more costly to try and to punish the guilty. The basic 10 Laws of God and the 7 deadly sins don?t seem to go hand in hand much any more. We seem today, we live in a country that was started with a trust in God and majority rule; to one that will allow a minorities rights out weight the rights of many, to take Gods law and name out of public view. No pledge of allegiance to our flag in public schools or places and no prayer in public schools and places! What Next??? As I write this, I am listening to the news on TV. Guess what I just heard? In California, of all places, there has been a complaint filed against the Veterans Cemetery to remove the large Cross, can be seen for miles, that identifies it?s location. This isn?t a new cross, it has been there as long as the cemetery. Oh well; keep the faith!

Hope is not dead in the United States of America! As I have been collecting data as I said earlier, I have looked into a lot of these 200 year old churches and even have shown up on Sunday to go to the worship service. With the influx of families leaving the City for the Country, a lot of them are discovering what I have seen. All the old country churches, with their God loving members, will greet you with love and respect as they welcome you to worship with them. Most of the Old Churches had begun to die out in membership as the youth of the 40?s and 50?s left the farms for work and higher pay of the industrial job the City had to offer. Here in Harris County the mode has changed as families are moving back in areas that had suffered from population decay over 50 years before. Most are finding that in the Old Church in the Wildwood the singing is sweeter the message is purer and with all the new found friends inside the old meeting hall To God Be The Glory! Old Time Religion is back!

In concluding this article; I have given you facts, I have given you some insight, and now I give you my Easter Day Story. The research buddies: Sandra Doolittle, Jan Page, and myself Ron Rollins decided to visit an old church for Easter Services near my home in Whitesville. We choose to visit Beech Springs Church about four miles east of my home on Wright Road. The church was Chartered in 1826 as a Baptist Church of God. Its history tells of the original building being destroyed by fire, the second building destroyed by a tornado. The original Baptismal Pool is still on the spring at the base of several Beech trees. The third building has been added on to three times. The original graveyard is still in use today. Beech Springs community was a prominent settlement till its decline around 1930?s. Large farms and grist mill between Salem to the north, Whitesville to the west, and Hamilton to the south. Most is gone now, farmlands are now pine trees, the mill ? only a foundation of rocks show the shape of the building. The church is still alive and well.

SUNRISE SERVICE: We arrive at the church, it is dark but cars are already in the parking lot. People are gathering inside the gate of the old cemetery. It?s a little foggy on the mountain this morning, but calming to the soul. The light is beginning to break, even though the fog is lifting light clouds will block the sunrise. Pastor Charles Hendrix began telling the Easter Story of Jesus Christ, as he was finishing the story a beam of sunlight pierced trough the clouds and shined brightly down from the mountaintop on the graveyard where we all stood. A hymn was sang being accompanied by guitars. It was a moving experience and a perfect setting. About 50 people attended.

BREAKFAST: After sunrise service ended the Pastor announced the ladies have prepared a big breakfast for all, so everyone moved inside. Everyone was really friendly and came by to talk to us as we ate a breakfast like no other. A big Country breakfast with all the trimmings. It made this fat boy?s day! We also learned the church choir was doing for the first time an Easter Cantata for the church service. We decided to stay for the service.

THE SERVICE: All move from outside into the church to be seated. The numbers are now around 80 in attendance. The pastor leads with prayer, then tells of all the hard work choir has done over the last 4 weeks to learn this Cantata. The Choir takes its place looking tense yet proud. Bubba and Jennifer Hendrix will lead the choir and Brother Charles will narrate. The Cantata begins! I have attended many large choir churches over the years, some with as many as 100 members singing. I have seen major productions be done in church with all the trimmings. But, I must say the 16 choir members at Beech Springs put on one of the best, heart moving presentations trough music of the Easter Story that I have ever heard. I was moved!

I was glad to see that Georgia will be allowing the bible to be taught as history in high school for those who wish to sign up. It can?t be taught at this time as religion but hopefully it might arouse a student to seek more knowledge on it at a church. They will be reading the Lords Word!

If you are new to Harris County or bored at your city church, give the old churches near you a try. You will find they need you and you need them. A 1 million-dollar church and a 500 thousand-dollar pipe organ are nice to man, but it doesn?t bring God to the house. What is in the hearts of man brings God to the house.

Thanks for reading. May God Bless You! Ron Rollins