THE MILLS AT PETER CAVE.
Interesting Trip Made by Two Local Young Men to That Famous Lumber Camp.
Sunday morning the writer received an invitation from Mr. W. C. Roberson to accompany him to Peter Cave where the two saw mills of Messrs Milbrandt and Karris, respectively, are located. Much time did not pass ere we were on our winding way through the rocky coves of Cumberland.
The day was just such a beautiful fall day as you read about. The sky clear, the air cool, the trees ablaze with red and gold and the forest aisles strewn with fallen leaves. Our horses trotted briskly along snuffing the keen air and dodging the mud-holes, of which there seemed to be an abundance. It is said that lumber teams have mysteriously disappeared in these holes, that Austin Coppinger says so, and looking at them, it would seem passing strange if something did not get lost in them occasionally. However we will let that pass, or rather pass the mud holes as best we can.
At Austin Coppinger’s we saw a large sign “Do not talk to me on politics, A. Coppinger” and at Jesse Coppinger’s Switch noted that he had made great improvement to his residence making a comfortable home.
Passing on up the cove the way became more tortuous and the sides of the mountains closer, and finally the road took the bed of the river and pretty nearly stayed there.
After several miles of travelling over rocks and boulders, through fords, through mudholes, up hill, down hill, etc., we began to feel like the Fairy in Shakespeare’s comedy of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” who sings:
“Over hill, over dale,
Thorough [sic] bush, thorough [sic] briar,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough [sic] flood, thorough [sic] fire,
I do wander everywhere.”
As we journeyed we saw a corn field that looked like Bill Nye’s 40-acre farm of cliff and, accosting a passer-by, asked him how they cultivated it. “Well,” he said “When they get ready to plant it they get a maul and some iron wedges and drill the holes. If they use fertilizer they tamp it into the bottom of the hole with a tamping bar and everything is lovely.”
“Indeed” we said and passed on.
Arena, tho only postoffice in the Cove, is prettily situated facing the western sun, and the whole city as one looks up the principal street and only thoroughfare, would make a capital subject for the artist’s pencil.
Above Arena, the scene grows wilder and the spruce pines, which cluster along the side of the road, which is nearly always the bed of the creek, present a cold, gloomy and forbidding appearance. It is a splendid place in which to play that noble game of cards entitled “solitaire.”
Arriving at the saw mills the eye was gladdened, the heart cheered, and the appetite enhanced, the first by the sight of the yellow lumber piles glittering in the sunlight, the second by the thought of human companionship and kind feeling among the sturdy woodsmen and the third by the desire to gratify the inner man.
We were met by Ingersoll Jones, the polite bookkeeper for Farris & Co., who received us hospitably and soon we were engaged in the beauties of dissecting canned salmon, sardines and crackers, the regulation diet of all who arrive after dinner hour, which is strictly from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at the Peter Cave Restaurant.
We inspected the Farris Mill first and concluding that everything was in good order there went over to the Milbrandt Mill and made a critical examination of it. This mill stands there just as if it had taken wings from its site up near the county bridge and flown over the mountains and landed In the cove. The shingles have been replaced by boards, put on with that reckless disregard for appearances which characterizes a lumber camp; but even they, the shingles of course might have been knocked off in taking that tremendous flight.
Everything was just the same even to the location of the grindstone and the file room. The water pipe, however was hors de combat, no water coming through it, and in reply to a question some one said that he guessed a saw log had run over it and broke the connection.
Among the familiar faces we saw were those of Dan Ferguson and Toll Burnett, those distinguished fox hunters and coon catchers. Fox hunting is a great pastime and after night many an exciting race has been run in that cove, healthy for the dogs and unhealthy for the fox.
The small-pox scare has not reached here yet. One old lady who is terribly afraid of it, when told by a certain person that he had been to South Pittsburg hollered out “Good God, and you’ve been right where the small-pox is” and bolted up the mountain side as fast as she could go. And this is the nearest to a case of small-pox in that vicinity. With plenty of fine water, pure air, bright sunshine, joke and jest, free life in the woods and plain but wholesome food, these manipulators of the canthook and axe have nothing to fear and Dan Furguson says If Mr. Small-pox comes up there darned if be don t get his dogs after him and make him hunt his bole.
Uncle Bob Jones, R. P., Governor or “kernel” whichever you want, was one of the familiar faces seen and his first query was “How is Bryan a-running?” Uncle Bob has tremendous arguments with his particular friend and crony, Austin Coppinger and their wordy combats are celebrated from Peter Cave to Sequachee and thence no one knows.
These two mills of Farris and Milbrandt cut respectively 12,000 and 23,000 feet of lumber per day of ten hours and a regular wagon train is kept busy hauling it ten miles to Sequachee for shipment. It is now under consideration to move the Farris mill two miles further up the cove, closer to the timber.
After many pressing invitations to stay, at what appeared to be four o’clock in the afternoon owing to the height of the mountains around us, we started on the return trip arriving at Sequachee soon after sunset, or as Mr. Roberson remarked “only a few minutes after the time we had started.”
Special to the News.
A. O. and Clint Kelly went squirrel hunting the other day and had a great time, killing one squirrel. Clint was here visiting friends and relatives.
A man passed through here the other day with his head tied up. A large crowd was standing around the stores. Some one shouted smallpox and you never saw such a lively crowd.
R. Pitman went to Chattanooga Sunday on business.
Bob Elliot is slowly improving.
H. Coppinger arrived in Inman Sunday to spend a few days.
Jesse Coppinger and Lee Turner were in our little town the other day.
Defetchit got hurt in the mines week before last and had to miss the game between Inman and Sequachee, and also not able to write to the good paper although it was chuck full of good news.
Henry Mitchell and family moved to Inman last week.
I broke my axe handle last week.
Myself, Henry Mitchell, Joe Layne, Joe Kelly, Lon Lane, Will Kelly, and Russ Byers went coon hunting Saturday and caught one pitiful little slick tail. It’s face was all broke out. I think it had the smallpox.
Mrs. Dr. Gott has returned after a week’s visit to relatives at Oak Grove.
Joe Vasey addressed the public here behalf of the Federation of Labor.
I dont like for any one to write to me now for they might seal the smallpox up and send it to me.
Some people are moving to the mountain. That’s no good. Smallpox can climb a hill same as it can walk in the valley, so stay at home and keep the door shut.
I want to say a few words about the smallpox. I had the smallpox in New Orleans five years ago, and while I was lying at the point of death I could see others some struggling and gasping for breath and some dying. I as well as the others were tied hands and feet to our beds, and all I wanted was to scratch, and if I could have got to myself no doubt I would have put myself to death with my finger nails as some others did. I did not need any guard to keep me in doors, and I didn’t jump up and run to the table and eat a pone of corn bread and a pound of meat. I was seasick on the waters once and that was awful, but nothing to compare with smallpox. All I ate was rice, a little soup and a small slice of moonshine and I didn’t want anything. The yellow fever used to be one of the most contagious diseases in America and the small-pox today is harder to control than the yellow jack and I venture to say that if that was the small-pox that they had here in the summer when the small-pox does set in it will kill everybody. I never heard of small-pox before in August. Now the people in Mississippi have what they call the Cuban itch and the variolid and when anyone has the variolid he thinks it is the very ____l. Its so now that when anyone goes across the Sequachee river they are afraid to let him come back “for day air afeared ob de small-pox.” My wife had a fever blister on her lip and she asked if I didn’t think it was the small-pox. I saw a pig with a sore head the other day. I expect its got the small-pox. Bye bye.
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