Mountain Homestead Copyright: Harold E. Sparks

The Mountain cabin Displayed above is quite possibly typical of some of the homes in the hills of Eastern Kentucky a century or two ago. The display depicts the four seasons and winter day and night scenes.


On September 29, 1998 I visited the Sparks Cemetery on Hood's Creek, Kentucky and other cemeteries in the Louisa, Blaine, Martha, Isonville area.

I stopped in a little country store near Martha, Kentucky. The "Pop case" sat in front of the left end of the counter , which was diagonally across one corner of the store. (It is strange to use that word "pop" again after being away from that area so long. I wonder where the phrase came from? Could it be because you "popped" the cap off the bottle?)

This little store was actually between Martha and Blaine. Two men named Skaggs were sitting on a wide window ledge in the front window. As I parked in front of the store, I could see the words "Isonville Volunteer Fire Dept." on the back of a red T-shirt which one was wearing, Johnny Boggs was sitting in a decrepit old overstuffed chair to one side and between the window and the counter. Johhny offered to take me to see a cemetery "full of Sparkses" up in the hills where it could only be reached in a "four wheeler". Time was too short at this point, but I plan to make that discovery trip in the spring.

You know, I don't exactly believe in re-incarnation, but I don't disbelieve it either. I think Edgar Cayce may not have been too far off. I almost felt like I had been some of those places before, and have always felt as if I knew some of the people and places I read about as I research this genealogy.

Speaking of "POP", when I was a "kid", I remember another little store on old US 52 between Portsmouth and Ironton, Ohio which had a sign out front which read: "We don't know where MOM is, but we've got POP ON ICE."

I grow nostalgic!! Until next time,


For other Eastern Kentucky Genealogy

See Mary Kathleen (Sparks) Goodyear's Web Site



Civil War Cap Emblem

Worn by Daniel Hagar

The Emblem is in the possession of Con Edward Lavender and was photographed and scanned by Con and used here with his permission.

The Tavern Pipe

The Picture above is of a pipe known as the "Tavern Pipe".  The pipe was made of clay with a small bowl and a long stem with a hole through the entire length.  The pipe could be found at many taverns in colonial days, such as "The Ordinary" which one of our ancestors William Sample Sparks was licensed to operate in the state of North Carolina, near the forks of the Yadkin river.

The pipe was "for rent" by the tavern keeper for the use of his patrons who may have forgotten to bring their own, or possibly because it was not easy to carry around because of the frail construction.  Whenever a patron "rented " the pipe it was his to use while he was in the establishment and upon his departure, was returned to the host who broke off an inch or two of the stem and placed it back on the shelf or wall to be rented again by another patron.  Not too hygenic by todays standards, but in spite of this, many of our ancestors lived to ripe old ages anyway.


For queries to Nancy or me please use the Mailboxes below.

(Harold) (Nancy)


We welcome Your questions and will answer all we can, or refer you to other help!.............Check back with us often, as we are in a continual state of change.....

Caveat Emptor (Disclaimer)

Please be aware that except in the case of my or Nancy's direct ancestral lines, the connections may or may not be proven or documented by us. Use the data as you wish, but be responsible for your own documentation.