Jackson Creek Homestead held a Living History Weekend on October 15 & 16
Visitors to Jackson Creek Homestead in Quitman were treated to a slice of 19th Century Cleburne County during their Living History Weekend on Saturday and Sunday. From Confederate soldiers to authentic candlemakers, corn cob pipes to corn husk dolls, the day was filled with the sights and sounds of rural life in the 1860s. Cay Jones of Greers Ferry served as a guide, narrating the history behind each element of the site.
Right after stepping into the entrance, it became apparent we had stepped into a different world. Volunteers roamed the homestead dressed in appropriate attire and acting in character for the time period. After visiting with the blacksmith stoking the fires in the smithy, we walked into a Confederate soldiers camp, complete with tents, cooking fire, and medical tent with staff and supplies. We were fortunate enough to arrive at the time when the soldiers were lining in formation, who then proceeded to make a march around the camp. You can see a video of the beginning of their march on our website at www.thesuntimes.com.
After leaving the soldiers camp, we visited the local candlemaker, who interrupted her candle making to complain she couldn't keep her husband from hanging out at the still in the woods. After promising to tell him to 'get home' if we saw him, we moved on to inspect the authentic cabin.
The cabin was filled with home furnishings of the time period, which put into stark perspective how many modern home amenities we take for granted. Coming out onto the front porch, we were greeted by Nelda Kennedy of Quitman, rocking in her chair on the front porch and puffing on a corn cob pipe.
Walking from the cabin, we visited the chapel, which also served as the school. Children in 19th century garb were busy learning, while writing on their desktop chalkboards. Next to the chapel was the General Store, which had full shelves stocked with canned goods, grains, cooking equipment, and, for those wanting to add a little spice to their weekend, there were even some moonshine jugs in stock.
As a band played songs that wafted through the air over the homestead, we continued onwards, visiting the mill, barn, duck pens, and got a good chuckle from the pigs, Ethyl and Lucy, who seemed eager to 'ham' it up for the visitors. Before leaving, we decided to wander off into the woods, where we discovered the infamous still. We decided not to get involved in any domestic squabble between the candlemaker and her husband, so we learned how the still worked and carried on about our business.
Jackson Creek Homestead came into being after owner Susan Griffith and her brother Gary discovered antiques and other collectibles upon their mother's passing in 2002.
"We thought 'why don't we building something to share these antiques with people'?" said Griffith. "So we started from there and since that time we've bought a little and people have donated a little until we've got what we have now."
Griffith said the homestead is named after Cleburne Jackson, who bought the property in 1860. The area was known as the Jackson Community before it came to be called the Cove Creek/Pearson community.
"It is an honor to our parents who moved to the property in 1947," said Griffith. "Daddy bought the first tractor in Cleburne County. The boy that preached on Sunday morning [Bobby Jackson] is the third great grandson of Cleburne Jackson."
Griffith said it has taken thirteen years to make the property the living history attraction it is today, with many of the buildings made from trees cut by her brother Gary on the Jackson Creek property. The barn was originally located on Adams Road and owned by Stanley Kennedy. It was disassembled, moved, and reassembled to be a part of the homestead.
The Living History Weekend was the first of what Griffith plans to be a biannual event.
"The plan is to do this twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall," said Griffith.
Even though the attraction is only open to the public at those select times, it is always available to reserve for reunions or weddings. They have already had multiple weddings in the chapel and in the yard by the cabin.
If you are interested in holding your wedding or reunion at Jackson Creek Homestead, you can call Susan Griffith at 501-589-3588 or you can message them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Jackson-Creek-Homestead. For more photos from the event, see pages 9B and 10B. You can also see more photos on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thesuntimes or our website at www.thesuntimes.com.