Reminiscences from Dr. Deborah Bauers
October 30, 2008
My name is Deborah Bauers (Coates) and I am the daughter of Mary Hannah Kerrick, formerly of Bluemont, Va. I recently came across your website while doing some research for my mother. She resides with me and I am helping her document her family history. I am currently involved in helping her audio-tape her memories so that they can be handed down in the family.
Mom is 90 years old and has many precious memories of the Bluemont area, including numerous stories that have been handed down about the region that date back prior to the Civil War when folks in the area owned slaves. Mom attended school at the old Bluemont School House and even danced in the old dance hall next door to her home. Her parents, Frances Marion and Mary Cynthia Kerrick owned the home next door to the Snickersville Store from the early 1900's until the mid 60's. My maternal grandmother was a Wynkoop before marriage and her father owned a plantation down toward Middleburg. My mom recalls that her parents were the first to have electric lights in their house and believes that they had the first indoor plumbing as well.
I spent many summers and holidays in Bluemont in the 50's and 60's while growing up and have my own set of memories which encompass everything from attending church at the Bluemont Methodist Church to bagging groceries at Mann Store (formerly Snickersville Store.) I am very interested in what your non-profit is doing and would love to be able to connect with other individuals who have first-hand history of the area. I would be pleased to communicate with you further should you be interested in responding to my e-mail.
Mom's house was the frame house next to the dance hall. There was one very small lot that was vacant that separated my grandmother's house from the dance hall. The last time I was in Bluemont the house had fallen into considerable disrepair. It was, at one time, painted all white and had a lovely hardwood staircase and a formal sitting room. It also had an ornate iron fence across the front with a wide iron gate that had the Kerrick monogram on it.
Mom has told me stories about Clayton Hall being used to hide slaves as a part of the underground. From Clayton Hall, they were taken by wagon to the rail line.
Mom also attended Bluemont Church with her parents when Lupton Simpson was the Pastor. I still have a niece and nephew in the area and my nephew's family, Dale and Valerie Reid, still attend there.
When I was a child I hiked a good bit of the mountain around the Bear's Den area. My aunt and uncle were caretakers for a big farm next door owned by the Weeden family. When I was back several years ago I attempted to access the old home site but was only able to get partway through the brush. The house that my aunt and uncle lived in is now in ruins.
Well, I am tending to run on, as I do when I start reminiscing. My father was our family historian and since his death two years ago, I have taken over his work which also includes documentation on my mother's side.
The other house that you are speaking of [with the two chimneys opposite Clayton Hall] was apparently a large home that had been converted into three smaller apartments during my mother's lifetime. She says, however, that it was not as old a house as hers.
The little log cabin that you referred to as the Snickersville Academy sat back on a small lane that ran perpendicular to the Turnpike. Mom says it was at one time a school but a black woman,whose mother had been a freed slave, lived in the cabin when my mom was growing up and worked for my grandparents.
Dr. Deborah Bauers
16216 Windsor Creek Drive
Monument, Colorado 80132