Learn­ing about the places we call home Ed­i­tors’ note: The fol­low­ing is from the WCHS meet­ing min­utes.

Walker County Messenger - - Sports -

The Au­gust 2017 meet­ing of the Walker County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety was held the af­ter­noon of Sept. 24 at the Daugh­erty Man­sion at Moun­tain Cove Farm.

The pro­gram was pre­sented by Char­lotte Bible Ward­law and Susan Bible Jes­sup who spent much of their youth in the Daugh­erty House. They had gath­ered sev­eral stacks and books of pho­to­graphs which doc­u­mented their child­hood liv­ing in the house and at Moun­tain Cove Farm in Cedar Grove. The house was built be­fore the Civil War and has had sev­eral own­ers. Athens, Ge­or­gia, at­tor­ney Wil­liam Dougherty pur­chased 3,440 acres in McLemore Cove and, in 1835, built the large home that bear’s his name. He owned 31 slaves, and the fam­ily lived in the man­sion for 60 years. By 1899 dur­ing hard times, the fam­ily lost home to fore­clo­sure to James B. Moore. Dur­ing the next half-cen­tury, Moun­tain Cove Farms changed hands three times. Dan B. Mur­phy bought the es­tate to har­vest the tim­ber and lived there un­til a dev­as­tat­ing fire de­stroyed the man­sion in 1923, leav­ing only the ex­te­rior walls. It was va­cant through the De­pres­sion, un­til the prop­erty was ac­quired by the Hargress fam­ily, who re­stored the hose and sold it in 1931 to James Smith who raised cat­tle, corn, wheat, and cot­ton.

By 1943, T.V. Dubois, a soap and chem­i­cal man­u­fac­turer from Cincinnati, Ohio, bought the es­tate and re­fur­bished the man­sion. He de­vel­oped Moun­tain Cove Farms as a cat­tle farm with Here­ford live­stock. Ge­orge Bible was hired by Dubois to man­age the op­er­a­tion. In the spring of 1947, DuBois had a $40,000 show barn built to house his prize Here­fords. The es­tate and show barn be­came the fo­cus of the lo­cal cat­tle com­mu­nity. Susan Jes­sup re­counted that, around 1946, eight ad­di­tional houses were built for farm work­ers in ad­di­tion to five ex­ist­ing houses. She re­called go­ing with her fa­ther to the big barn on top of the moun­tain where cham­pion Duroc hogs were raised and shown. By the mid1940s, there were 25 em­ploy­ees work­ing the 4,528 acres of the farm. Susan and Char­lotte shared many sto­ries from their child­hood when there were only two au­to­mo­biles in Cedar Grove.

Dur­ing this pe­riod, there was a dairy op­er­a­tion, large veg­etable gardens, and UGA stu­dents lived in the house to work on the farm. Mr. DuBois came of­ten as did his ac­coun­tant, Mr. Lorenz. Their vis­its were oc­ca­sions for ex­cite­ment in the Bible fam­ily and com­mu­nity. At one point, there were 17 chil­dren liv­ing on the farm and many more in the large fam­i­lies nearby in Cedar Grove. This led to a vig­or­ous ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram at Cedar Grove School with fam­ily and chil­dren’s events in the com­mu­nity.

In 1958, Dubois died. The man­sion and farm­land were sold to Ge­orge Bible, who op­er­ated Moun­tain Cove Farms along­side his brother, Sam, be­fore sell­ing to Wayne Rollins about ten years later. Rollins raised cat­tle The Walker County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety wel­comes any­one who is in­ter­ested in Walker County and pre­serv­ing lo­cal and re­gional his­tory. Mem­ber­ship is $12 per year, in­di­vid­ual or fam­ily, and brings an in­for­ma­tive news­let­ter which doc­u­ments much lo­cal his­tory found nowhere else. Mem­ber­ship forms are avail­able at the Marsh House or at the LaFayette Li­brary His­tory Room.

on the prop­erty un­til he sold to de­vel­op­ers, De­los Yancey and Edmond Cash who formed Moun­tain Cove Prop­er­ties, LLC. They pre­served the es­tate around the barns and man­sion for hunt­ing and recre­ational use and di­vided the re­main­ing prop­erty into parcels and sold them as smaller farms.

Dur­ing the early 1950s, the com­mu­nity wanted a club house so the fam­i­lies started a rodeo as a means to fi­nance it. The rodeo was a ma­jor event in Walker County for many years. The Bible sis­ters shared pho­to­graphs with those present, who in­cluded five other per­sons who had grown up the Cove dur­ing th­ese years and who also shared sto­ries. They talked and rem­i­nisced for sev­eral hours en­joy­ing mem­o­ries of their youth in a vi­brant farm­ing com­mu­nity.

The next meet­ing of the Walker County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety is sched­uled for Tues­day, Oct. 24, at the Rossville Li­brary. The pro­gram — “His­tory of Rossville as a Mill­town” — will be­gin at 3 p.m..For those who wish to car pool, please be at the Marsh House Park­ing Lot, in LaFayette, at 2:15 pm.

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