Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ancestral roots


Great Grandfather Jim Bales home place

A heartfelt thank you to my friend and co-worker Rex McDaniel who never goes anywhere without his camera.

Rex sent me autumnal photos of my ancestral homeland, Roaring Fork, on the north flank of Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are several home sites preserved and maintained along the Cherokee Orchard Motor Nature Trail, two have special significance to me.

Jim Bales was my grandfather Homer's father. Granddad spent his boyhood at this location.

Ephraim was Jim's brother or my great-great grand uncle. Granddad was born in Uncle Ephraim's cabin on January 5, 1899.Their lives were hard; many died too soon. The cemetery is filled with young ones that didn't survive childhood. Two were my grandmother's.

Both sites are maintained by the national park as representative mountaineer structures.

My own father Russell was born on this date, December 4, 1928 just over the ridge in the Baskins Creek watershed. A location that is now also inside the national park but the cabin no longer remains.   

Bales Cemetery
Ephraim Bales home place

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