Rich Patch Village
Early History of this Mountain Community
The Alleghany Highlander Nov. 13, 1985 By Will Price Staff Writer "Rich Patch IV: Mrs. Reynolds Writes" A.B. stands for Allen Byrd and he was the middle Humphries of 5 generations who owned the home-place that his grandson Teddy Jr. lives in today. It's a fine old house 3 or 4 miles toward Covington from Union Church. You take 616 from the church and go maybe half a mile down 619 to the right. This from Teddy Jr's sister Brenda Napier. Their father Teddy Sr. was A.B.'s son. A.B.'s father was Logan. Logan's father was Jesse and that takes it back to the 5th generation. Brenda's mother is now Mary Reynolds. She remarried when her husband passed on. She has been kind enough to set down a few words for us about the old home-place. "The Humphries house in Rich Patch is not the oldest building in the community but the original structure was built between 1898 and 1900. Some years later another wing was added and a porch which extended along the south and west sides." "One of the older buildings which is no longer occupied is the house where Logan and Elizabeth Humphries lived. They were parents of A.B. Humphries Sr. There are 3 houses in the community which are presently occupied which are partly constructed of logs." "The present farm is part of the estate of Jesse Humphries which consisted of 377 acres which was sold in 1874 to settle his estate. (Jesse's estate included over 1,000 acres at his death) It was bought by two of his sons, Logan and H.P. (Hugh Payne) Humphries. The present owners are the fifth generation to own the structure." "The store building which originally set at the corner of the driveway has been moved back about 100 feet. It was built in the early 1900's and served the community until sometime in the twenties. Today it would be called a one-stop shopping center." "They had just about anything that was needed in those days. There was clothing such as shoes, shirts and overalls, groceries, yard goods such as flannel and calico, some at 6 cents a yard. (Note: Read it and weep.) Also kerosene, nails, horseshoes, hardware and of course candy." "There was a big bell which the customers rang for service when they came to the store since there wasn't a clerk in the store at all times. The salesmen who came to the store in their horse-drawn wagons or surreys were called ?drummers'." One was a Mr. Tyree and there was a Mr. Karnes who had a colored man as a driver. He often brought his little girl along too. They almost always arranged to spend the night at the Humphries home. Mrs. Humphries was a good cook." "In addition to the store, Mr. Humphries operated a saw mill, a canning factory where they canned tomatoes in tin cans to sell, and later he had a dairy and delivered milk to customers in Covington." "He didn't have all these things running at once." She observed "I have one of the milk cans. Grandfather's name was stamped on the lid. The old dairy barn is still there too." "He died in February 1938 and his wife died in February 1947." "We had a crank phone when I was little." She mused "I remember when they put in the kind we have now." Brenda obligingly catalogued her extensive family: A.B. had 8 children. Besides her father Teddy Sr. there was Albert, Lelia, and Oliver S. who have all passed on. There was another sister who died young. Still with us are A.B. Jr., Viola Huffman (Ollie), and Edrie Rose. Edrie is staying with Ollie in Covington. Your reporter didn't dare ask about the next 2 generations. It would probably take a whole new article. There is something very special about a big family, especially when many of it's members live nearby. One of the unfortunate casualties of modern America with its big cities and its constant moving around is that such families are usually broken and with them something else is broken, unseen but invaluable. With the Humphries of Rich Patch it is still intact and it surfaces in interesting ways. Teddy Jr.'s wife Sherry said they were advised not to try to live in the old home place. "Too drafty." People said, "too many problems." There was something about the way Sherry said they were going to do it anyway that hinted at what families mean and tradition and a certain solidness . feelings and values that much of America sad to say has never experienced and never will.
Persinger Family Journal 1907-1910
Read about life in Rich Patch over 100 years ago HERE.
A little history of Rich Patch HERE.
Friends, Family & Neighbors:
Click HERE for an assortment of historical photos!
Click HERE for information on the Jamison-Simmons Cemetery
Click HERE and HERE to read about the Low Moor Iron Company
Click HERE and HERE for Alleghany County history
Click HERE for more Mountain history
Click HERE for the history of Firmstone Manor
Click HERE for more information on Rich Patch... map, weather, local features, etc.
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Genealogies, Court records (deeds, wills etc.)
obituaries, public notices, newspaper articles
WPA National reports, Federal claims, letters,
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editorial comments, and many, many vintage
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