Home to the Heart of Kentucky - Again
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23rd Psalm for Genealogists
L.D. Buckner
2002 Trip

On to the Clarks - Sat., Sept. 14th

From Leatherwood Creek, we drove back in the direction of Greensburg, turning off of route 68/70 shortly after crossing the county line into Green County. We headed southeast on Maple Hill Church Road and turned left onto H. Clark Road (the “H” is for Houston -- or Cousin Nuddy, whose given name was Houston Geoffrey Clark and whose house sits just off the first curve in the road after leaving Maple Hill Church Road.) Stopping to open two gates as we drove through the pasture, we eventually arrived at "Peaceful Valley," where we explored tobacco barns and drove down a washed out road to the location of the house we called the "old home place" (home to William M. Clark and children, then later home to Herschel and Anna Clark and children.) The house is no longer there but the site is now marked by the location of a steel bin which sits on a road indicated on present-day maps as H. Cox Road. Nearby, on the hill to the north, sits the modern home of Doug Clark, son of Richard and Jean Clark.

Eleanor Clark in the doorway of the homeplace
Eleanor Clark stands in the doorway of the old home place


Homeplace photographed ca 1957
The home place (perhaps ca. 1957), from the photo collection of H.S. Clark

the home place as shown in Natl Geographic
Image of the home place fron 1982 (photo by William Strode for National Geographic magazine)

2001 Home place
The Home Place, 2001 photo

2001 Home Place
The Home Place, 2001 photo

Home place, 2001
The Home Place, 2001 photo

Home Place 2001
The Home Place, 2001 photo

July 2002 home place
The Home Place (2002 photo)

Martha, at the home place, July 2002
My sister Martha at the Home Place (2002)

the Home Place, July 2002
The Home Place (2002 photo)

site of the homeplace, 2013
Site of the home place today (2013)

We got into a bit of predicament on the gravel road to the home place, with the underside of Sara's van scraping into places in the gravel road and making us a little nervous about possible damage to the car’s underside. Because we had to return back over the same trouble spot in the road, I got out of the car to help direct Sara, and that quickly attracted the attention of a young man at a nearby house. He got in his truck and came down to see if he could help. It was of course one of our cousins, Doug Clark. Along with him came his kids Andy and Jessica, and we were immediately charmed by all of them. A few minutes later, along came another pickup truck, this one driven by Doug’s brother Joey, who was returning from cutting tobacco in a field just north of us. Following him in another truck was their brother Wayne.

Doug, Jessica, Andy and Joey

More cousins
Molly, Joey, Wayne, Jessica, Doug, Andy

Tobacco barn, Clark farm
Tobacco barn on the Clark farm

We were all mesmerized, looking at their faces and seeing so much family resemblance. After we all introduced ourselves and recalled times when we might have met one another in the past, the men graciously answered our many questions about the tobacco harvest. We had been building up our questions all day! (Why do they leave the plants in the field after cutting them and putting them on the tobacco sticks? Are tobacco allotments a thing of the past? How long does the tobacco cure in the barn? What’s the next step before marketing the crop? How do they plant the fields? How many people does it take to get the crop planted and harvested? How much of the work is done by machine? Etc., etc.) I imagine Doug, Joey and Wayne were eager to get home to their dinners, but they patiently gave explanations and flashed handsome smiles, which made us want to keep them in our company even longer.

Wayne, Doug, Jessica, Andy

Kentucky Pastureman

Ray and Robert in the tobacco fields
Our Kentucky cousins have been putting up with regular invasions from their Illinois cousins for a long time. Above, Ray Clark stands with his nephew Robert (my father) in a Kentucky tobacco field (ca. 1933.)

Martha, 2002
My sister Martha, in Clarks' tobacco field, July 2002

Cousin in 1982
Cousins reunited, 1982. From left: Richard, Nuddy, Robert and Chunk Clark.

Finally, we let them go, promising to see them again tomorrow, and we headed toward the home of Cousin Bernita Clark, on the Edmonton-Greensburg Road (Hwy. 68/70 near Exie.) There, we found Cousin Bernita and her daughter Connie, who promptly called Ramona to come over. Lots of hugging and laughter! We sat and visited for about an hour and then suggested we all go to the Dairy Queen in Greensburg for dinner, where we visited some more and finally parted ways after making plans for the next day, which included part of our group reconnecting for church services at Greasy Creek Baptist Church and two of us going to Sunday school and worship services at Maple Hill Church. We knew there was much more in store for Sunday, and Mom suggested that we get on the road to Campbellsville so we could "start sleeping" for the early rise the next morning.

Ramona shares a joke with Roberta



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