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Rev. Winburn C. Davis - My Experience With Flag Pond

Miss Sharon nice times she had in Flagpond

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Rev. Winburn C. Davis

       My name is Rev. Winburn C. Davis. My wife, Mary Gail and I lived at Flag Pond, Tennessee in 1966-67. I served as pastor of Flag Pond Baptist Church at that time. We lived in the church's pastorium which was located directly across Rice Creek from the church buildings.
       My wife worked in the old Masonic Lodge Building which was across the creek on Rive Creek, north of the church building. She ran a sattelite office for the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). It was a Community Center for te purpose of assisting residents of the area improve their standard of living, find employment and have social services brought to them. Later, my wife went to work for te Unicoi County Welfare Department with offices in Erwin.
       Mr. and Mrs. Jessie Rice (Eunice) lived at the intersection of the Erwin Highway and Rice Creek Road and ran a general store across from their house. The post office was located south of the store in a small attached buildng. The postmaster was Mrs. Barnes, Eunice Rice's sister, who lived on Rice Creek Road.
       Mr and Mrs. Kurt (Kelly) Hensley lived way back in the woods on the side of the mountain off Rice Creek. They lived in an old mountain home with no electricity, no running water (got water from a spring)and no indoor toilet. My wife and I visited them often. They raised or grew most of what they ate. As the new garden came in, or they killed a new hog, they had tons of food and meat canned in quart jars left over from last year. If we brought an empty jar and 25 cents, we could pick out as many jars of canned vegetables or pork tenderloin as we wanted. A pastor'ssalary was meager those days, and we "shopped" at the Henseleys's as often as we did at the grocery store in Erwin.
       Mr. Hensley ran a PVC plastic pipe from the natural spring above his house on the side of the mountain, down to his house and into the kitchen sink. The water ran continually, there was no way to turn it off and on. The water drained out of the sink ran out under the house and continued down the side of the mountain and sprilled into Rice Creek. Mrs. Hensley was so proud of her "running water" in her house.
       One time, the water took on a funny taste. Mr. Hensley climbed up the side of the mountain to the spring and found that the piece of fencing he had put over the tub into which the water from the spring ran and then down through the pipe to his house had come loose. The fencing was to keep wild animals and derbis out of the tub. A rabbit had gotten into the tub and had died there.
       A lady by the name of Sis Shook lived where Hogskin Holler ran up the side of the mountain off Rice Creek Road. She was a colorful character and always stopped by the pastor's house to talk whn walking to the store.
       Mr. and Mrs. Bob Blankenship lived in a house across the creek behind the pastorium. One Sunday evening, during worship services at the church, Mrs. Blankenship fired a shotgun at her husband and the birdshot peppered the windows in the sanctuary and sounded like hail. The birdshot also scratched the tops of the cars parked in the church yard.
       Parley Rice lived up on Higgins Creek off the main highway. He was a tobacco farmer and I knew nothing about raising tobacco. One day he sent word for me to come up to his house to help him count his tobacco seeds. Little did I know that tobacco seeds are as small as grains of salt. We all had a good laugh when Parley would tell that story on me.
       Mr. and Mrs. Braskey Treadway lived up the highway towards Sam's Gap. We spent many a pleasant afternoon visiting them.
       Mr. Jim Hardin lived on the curve south of Flag Pond on the way to Erwin. He had a daughter named Francis. The "pond" where flowers named "flags" grew was right across the highway from their house.,
       Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Sams lived in a house in front of the Flag pond School. Ralph's brother, Don, was principal at the school.
       There was an abandonded community up Rice Creek Road on the side of the mountain, called "Silver's Town". You had to drive part of the way and hike in the rest of the way. Houses, an old schoolhouse, a church and several other buildings were there. Many of the homes had furniture dishes and other belongings in them. On a hike there once, my wife and I found pieces of an original handmade spinning wheel under a house. We asked several people about it and no one seemed to object if we took it home. We still have it today.
       I have tons and tons of stories in my memory about my short time of service at the church and when I lived in Flag Pond.
       When we left the church in 1957, I was a senior at East Tennessee State university in Johnson City. I finished college, went to Seminary in North Carolina and earned my Master's Degree. For 35 years I served as pastor of church congregations in the southeast, and served as a Home Missionary in Tennessee for 5 years. I am now retired on disability and live near Macon, Georgia. I lost my wife in 2000 and we had no children.

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Miss Sharon

Hello , when I was 10 years old my family went to Flagpond and went to visit my moms family that she hadn't seen since she left home when she was 16 she was about 40 at the time we went back I just loved it there everyone was so friendly and I got to meet my relatives I had 2 great uncles there and one aunt and they all lived by Rice Creek when visiting this site I saw a picture of some people named Henseley and I have relatives by that name if anyone knows the name of Roxie Pack or Bob and Jim Hardin or Mary Ray and you would like to see if your related to my mom Roxie please write me at I would love to hear from anyone that might remember my mom when we visited in 69 my uncles still got their water from a spring and they didn't have electricity I even got to help feed my aunt Mary's chickens we had nice breakfast every morning I woke up to the smell of bacon or sausage and I loved her made from scratch biscuits during the day I would venture above the spring into the trees on the hill but not to far I was afraid I might get lost or meet a bear I never did like to go to far from my mom and dad then another relative came and drove us up a big hill to where my mom went to school when she was a girl then my sister and I got a coke at the little store that wasn't far from my aunts house I used to think that my uncle must have got lonely setting there on his porch all day but now that I'm older I can see that he was enjoying himself my uncle bob got out an old box that he kept some things in and showed me some old greeting cards that he said he just couldn't throw them away because they were to pretty inside their house they had some pretty quilts on their beds and some of those posters of bible scenes on the walls when it was time to go home I really missed being there and I haven't been back there for about 30 years but I would love to someday I know I have relatives there but I just don't know them the last time I was there my aunt got electricity and got her a trailer to live in but now my aunt and uncles have passed on and I will always miss them Flagpond will never be forgotten because I have a granddaughter that is 2 and when she gets a little bigger I'm going to tell her all about my trips there and maybe someday take her for a visit I hope someone liked hearing about the nice times I had in Flagpond sincerely Miss Sharon J

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