Corley Gift Brings
Rocking Chair Back Home
By Susan Freis Falknor
July 30, 2013
Before they left for their new home in North Carolina, long-time Bluemont residents Don and Linda Corley donated this beautiful antique rocking chair to Friends of Bluemont.
This picture shows a little great-great-great-granddaughter of Susie Neal, the beloved Black cook who lived in the Snickersville Academy building from the 1940s through the 1970s. On a recent visit to the Snickersville Academy in Bluemont, the little girl tried out this antique rocking chair.
According to Susie Neal's grandson, Ronn Spinner, this was his grandmother's favorite chair. It was found in the Snickersville Academy.
The beautifullycrafted chair contains inscribed "guide marks" -- indicators that it was carved by hand, according to Bob McCann of Iron Gate Antiques. It is sized for a rather small person.
The rocking chair was hand crafted more than 50 years ago, most likely by an artisan who lived near Bluemont, McCann believes -- perhaps by some resident of the Black community established after the Civil War on the Old Mountain Road.
Friends of Bluemont warmly thanks Don and Linda Corley for bringing Susie Neal's rocking chair back to the Snickersville Academy.
Several of the grandchildren of Susie Neal, now themselves grandparents, plan to come to the Snickersville Academy during the Bluemont Fair (September 21-22, 2013) to tell stories of visiting their grandmother in Bluemont as children.
For recent article by Margaret Morton on the Snickersville Academy restoration in Leesburg Today, visit http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/snickersville-academy-restoration-advances/article_dd6b261a-ff65-11e2-9ec7-0019bb2963f4.html