Stories & Recollections of Etowah . . .
as told by ~ Eade Anderson, Reverend
b. 1926, Etowah Native
Memories of Etowah
Reverend Eade Anderson delivered this address at the 2014 dedication
of the Memorial Plaque for Etowah High School 1928-1960,
held October 25, 2014 at Etowah Elementary School
I was born at home (the ninth of eleven children) to Roe and Syble Anderson on Jan 2, 1926 on what is now Mocking Bird Hill Rd. in Etowah. Mrs. Laughter, a neighbor, acted as mid-wife; Dr. Greenwood, the family physician, came by later in his buggy to check on mother and child.
Our house, now replaced, was separated from a spring by a rude, sunken, dirt roadway connecting Brickyard Road with Highway 64 in Etowah. Most of our farm is now a part of the Etowah Golf Course. Our house had no insulation, electricity, telephone or in-house plumbing. Light came from kerosene lamps. Heat was provided by wood cook stove and open fireplace. Water from the spring, fetched by pail, supplied both the house and large, iron vats where laundry was boiled with octagon soap, scrubbed by hand on a corrugated wash board, rinsed in clean water, wrung by hand and hung out to dry. Selected items were starched and ironed, using a thick mixture of flour and water. Vegetables and fruits were canned or pickled. Applies were sun dried on the tin roof. Lean pork was cured in a mixture of salt, brown sugar and spices; fat, rendered to produce lard and, of course, there were cracklings, chitlins and liver mush.
My father was a farmer and grocery man. Earlier he had been injured in an accident at the brickyard where he worked. Moland and Drysdale, owners, were generous in supporting the family during his lengthy rehabilitation. My grandparents, Charles and Emma (Reece) Eade, lived on their dairy farm at the end of Eade Road. Pearl and Pink Gash ran the one room, yellow Etowah Post Office where we picked up our mail.
Early in the great depression my father lost the house and farm. We moved to Boylston where my grandmother, Roxanna (Gullick) Anderson, had lived.
My older siblings and I rode the bus and attended Etowah School (Grades 1-11). Two of them completed high school there. I attended Grades 1-4 before transferring to Mills River School where I graduated in 1942.
Earliest memories of Etowah are vague but happy ones. They include setting our haystack on fire and feeling the heat of it later on my backside, carrying water from the spring, napping after lunch in a darkened bedroom, slipping through a dormer window to play on the roof, and riding our horse. The Grier's were our closest neighbor on the brickyard side; the Kerr's, on the Boylston side. I remember a visit to the Grier's. My sister, Mary Kate, and I had been sent on an errand by our mother with explicit orders, "Don't ask for food." (An appropriate admonition provoked by previous behavior.) Entering the house we were immediately aware of the mouth-watering odor of baked goods. Mary Kate, skirting the murky, outer edges of obedience announced, "Miss Grier, I smell cake." How's that for a "win-win" performance.
There is a vivid memory connected with Etowah School. Vera Allison was born on the same day as I. (Her father was superintendent of the Sunday School at Etowah Baptist Church.) She was very attractive. The very sight of her made my heart go pitty pat. Because we shared a common birthday and age I entertained the possibility of a romantic relationship down the road. One day during third grade study hall I slipped a piece of candy into my mouth. She ratted on me. I felt betrayed; my reputation as a "good boy" stained. Our bond was shattered. Later she married a Methodist preacher. I hope she improved with that association.
Etowah Presbyterian Church was our family church. It was a white, clapboard, one room building sealed inside with white knotty pine and located where the present manse stands. I have many memories of growing up there. Miss Margaret Gash was my Sunday School teacher. With her encouragement I memorized both the Child's and Shorter Catechisms, receiving awards of a New Testament for one and my own Bible for the other.
Once a month our pastor, William Samuel Hutchinson, collected our family (we had no auto) and took us to church. He remains a revered person in the halls of memory. Between the Grier's and the brickyard was a big hump in the road. Mr. Hutchinson always speeded up as he approached "The Hump." All of us children in the back seat would cling to each other in fearful anticipation, flying off the seat and being scrambled as the car topped and descended "The Hump." It was the highlight of Sunday worship.
Later, when I was ten years old, my mother wanted the family to attend a church service when our regular transportation was missing. My brother, Harold, owned a rumble seated, straight shifted, A-Model car but was away in college. Having recently practiced driving his car in our yard, I volunteered to chauffer. The ride to church was uneventful, but when we loaded up to leave following the service calamity struck. Backing, I froze in reverse with front wheels locked sharply right and the accelerator firmly depressed. The car careened round and round, scattering screaming parishioners still visiting in the lot until, after a couple of loops, I was able to ease off on the accelerator and stop. Considerable congregational and family discussion followed as to who should drive home. I was chosen since by this time I was the most experienced. We proceeded at a slow pace with considerable directions from my mother. Later, I had a one sided conversation with Harold.
At age nine I made a public profession of faith and was confirmed. It was a memorable experience. On the weekend of my confirmation relatives from Knoxville were guests in our home at Boylston. A cousin had just learned to drive. Early on Sunday morning and wanting to "show off" she invited the children (without checking with our parents) to ride in her boy friend's new car to the old home place in Etowah. She lost control on Guerin hill and rolled the car over on its top, scattering children all around. When my mother and our pastor arrived on scene, she was more than a little upset. Gathering up her dirty, ragged and bloody children and, judging that no one was fatally injured, she pressed on to the church where I, a royal mess, "joined the church." After all, it was Sunday and my confirmation date. She considered the event to be predestined and, being Presbyterian, was always of a mind to cooperate with that.
Later I was recommended by the Session (Mr. Lee Gash, Clerk) to be a candidate for the ministry. After graduating from Davidson College and Columbia Theological Seminary I was ordained in 1950 and proceeded to the evangelization of Georgia. After retirement I had the high privilege of serving as Interim Pastor at Etowah Presbyterian Church. The congregation always challenged, inspired and encouraged me. If I were to live a thousand years I could never repay the debt I owe that grand little church.