Thursday, October 9, 2008

River Town Crossings

Typewritten document dated Jan 14, 1962:

Crossings of Murfreesboro Streets before the paving and when C.C. Lawrence was a child, were of stones. Old folks said they were ballast stones for the sailing ships of olden days. The rocks were placed in the hull of the boats upon return trips from the east Indies to prevent strong winds from capsizing the sailing ships. There were walk crossings to keep folks from the mud.

The stones were laid a little above the surface, and a person could cross without muddying feet.

The one I remember most distinctly was leading from north side of Main Street to the south connecting with College Street.

Another one near present Boyette's Hotel. A big elm tree on the north of the street and there was a big elm tree on the west side of the crossing. Went directly in front of the Boyette Hotel, originally Lassiter Hotel.

In front of Jim Babb store ballast stones (flat sided ones) were used to form a sidewalk. This store was immediately east of the old Methodist Church, now west of the Nicholson Building housing Murfreesboro Pharmacy. West side of the Babb store had a soda fountain.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Witches of Murfreesboro

Some "how to" advice from Roy Johnson seems appropriate as Halloween nears:

Mrs. Lee Smith of Winton, native of Fort Island in Gates County, says if a screech owl is bothering you, tie a knot in the corner of a sheet and he won't hollar but one time more.

Mrs. Smith says also if your husband forsakes you at night for the opossum hunt you can kill his luck. Take off your shoes and stand then against the side of the house with the soles in the direction of the dogs and they'll catch nothing. She says,"I've worked it many a time on my old man and Albert Liverman."

Mary Ellen Crawford Dilday of Route 3 Ahoskie says, "It was popularly known in Gates COunty that a wooden latch was the only sort that could bar entry of witches."

Mrs. Smith says you could take a fork, "stick it up towards the seat of a bottomed chair and a witch would sit there all day long or until the fork was removed."

and my favorite -

Anyone with a rudimentary acquaintance with witchcraft knows a witch will not step over a broom, and often in the Roanoke-Chowan area people suspected of the Devil-pact have been given the broom test. Mrs. Mary Ellen Crawford Dilday of Route 3 Ahoskie, native of Eure community of Gates County, say a Fort Island witch suspect visited a neighbor and they sat in the house talking. The hostess found occassion to go outside for a few minutes whereupon she placed a broom beneath the door step. The visitor extended her visit hours beyond customary and eventually she asked the broom be removed so she could go home.

That tells how to keep a witch from entering the house.

But what can be done to keep ugly old witches from leaving nasty blog comments calling me "pretentious"???