Brief Sketch of a Country Neighborhood

Names Index

Chapter V


This little territory included two valleys separated by a ledge of ridges running north and south.  The valleys are of medium fertility, being of neither the richest nor poorest quality.  The land is all cleared in the valleys and is all in timber on the ridges.  The ridge land is well timbered too.  It contains almost every variety of valuable timber and is good pastureage.  The eastern valley is in the fourth district and the western in the twelfth.  This territory is in a perfect “V” described by the E.T.V.& G. R.R., the Dalton branch being in the east, the Chattanooga branch on the west and the Ooltewah and Cohutta Cut-off on the south.  It is impossible to travel in any direction for more than eight miles without coming to a railroad.  Agriculture is the principal occupation, though the ridges doubtless abound in valuable minerals.  There have been two or three shafts sunk for copper, but to no avail.  Lead is being abundantly mined near in one of those same valleys.  Lumbering is quite an industry in this section, or has been heretofore.  The water shed between the waters of the Mississippi and those that flow directly to the gulf is in this section.  The waters in the southeast portion flow into the Coosa River and the remainders are tributaries to the Mississippi.  Large game is scarce in this section.  Occasionally a deer is found, turkeys are plentiful, foxes are scarce, raccoons and o’possums abound, squirrels and rabbits are plentiful, partridges are common.  This section is adapted to stock raising, being well watered, and the common lands afford good pasturage.  Cattle and sheep fatten on the commons in the summer and hogs in the winter.  Stock hog are seldom fed any in winter here and they are often fat enough for pork too.  Sheep raising is a profitable business here and could be made much more profitable.  Though wool does not command an exorbitant price, it is always finds a ready cash sale.  Though mutton does not command a great price, it is always in demand.  Lambs are always in demand in the fall season and they can be raised on the commons at a trifle expense.  This is a great place for poultry.  Chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys surround almost every farmhouse and can be sold, right at home, to peddlers, for cash.  The people receive more money for chickens, butter and eggs than the first squatters ever handled.  Rob the farmer’s wife of these articles and he will soon become bankrupt.  This section is rich in its adaptation to fruit culture.  The fruit crop rarely ever completely fails.  If the peach crop fails, apples which bloom later, are most sure to hit.  If a peach orchard is planted on the north slope of a high ridge it never fails.  I never knew the peach, apple and berry crop all to fail in the same season.  In fact, I never knew the blackberry crop, which is a very valuable one, to fail but once.  Take it all in all, this is the garden spot of the world.


The days of hog and hominy have ended in this section.  Uncle Wesley Davis, of James County, once said to me, after having visited this community, that the people live like kings and queens; that the very poorest set tables fit for a knight; also that they are the most generous people he ever met.  The people generally have good houses and barns, good stock, good farming tools and other modern conveniences.  The public school runs five months in the year and is very well attended and is generally supplied with an able instructor.