Passed down from one generation to the other, the now Clark Farm dates back to the late 1800's, making the original home approximately one hundred years old.
First owned by Jim D. Helvey around the late 1800's the farm extended from the present Ramsey line fence, westward to the top of Linkous Ridge. It was later purchased by John B. Wright in the 1930's and then by Bernard Clark in 1948.
The late Bernard Clark distributed his land evenly to his thirteen children: Ralph, Arnold, Larry, Jackie, Wayne, Shelia, Peggy, Linda, Pasty, Steve, Ray, Charlene, and Yancy. The original house is still owned and lived in by his wife, Bea Sarver-Clark. Bea ( who lived approximately a half mile from the property her whole life), stated that the Clark Farm was also owned and operated by her late grandfather, J. B. Sarver.
The Clark property, as well as the rest of Pinch Creek (Mire Branch), has always held the tradition of farm life. This tradition can still be seen as well as felt through the generation that has been left to handle and care for the land.
MAY 10, 1994
Lori: What are the earliest families that you remember living up here, the main families that lived up here?
Bea: The Nunns and the Williams
Lori: Were they just stretched out along this road?
Bea: All along this road, the Nunns lived right below our house, the Nunns did and the Williams and also the Ramseys and the Helbys, they lived at the foot of the hollow.
Lori: What did most of them do for a living?
Bea: Most of them farmed, farming was about all there was then, and
worked on railroad, they worked on the Dinky Track, hauling timber out of the hollows.
Lori: What did they grow and raise on the farms?
Bea: They grew everything, corn and beans and wheat and oats, that you
could use for a living and then all their food, about all their food. Lori: What kind of tools and stuff did they have, or did they just use horses?
Bea: Just horses, no tractors or nothing, horses was everything.
Lori: When you were a kid, what were your chores, you had to help raise
yourfamily didn't you?
Bea: Yeah, we washed dishes and milked cows and helped with the washing
and hanging up clothes and babysitting.
Lori: Same stuff. Okay, what did you do for fun, though-games and recreation and that stuff?
Bea: Well we made most of them, we just made them up. We played Hopscotch and we had some weeny roasts back years ago, and then when Halloween came we went out and, but we never did nothing bad, we just piteled.
Lori: What kind of stuff did you do?
Bea: What are you talking about?
Lori: I mean like on Halloween, did you all play tricks and stuff on people?
Bea: No, no, we never played but one trick. We never played but one trick
the whole time and I'll I can remember is that one year we went down and Clay Bolgle was staying with Mr. and Mrs. Helby and we got the wagon out, they stole the wagon and took the girls on a wagon ride and then got up on Kimberlin and dumped the wagon in a whole of water. And he was working for them, so the next morning he had to take the mules and go get the wagon.
Lori: Did you all get in trouble?
Bea: No, no, they never did know who done it.
Lori: What all kids did you hang around with up here, who were they, or just your brothers and sisters?
Bea: Well your brothers and sisters, the Wrights, the Wright childern lived here, they had moved here then, the Helbys lived here before but the Wright kids. I had them for friends and then our school buddies-Blankenship girl, Catherine Ramesy, Jane Nunn.
Lori: Okay, where did you go to school at, Holly Brook?
Bea: My first year at school was at the Dehart School House down were
the Shady Grove Church is now, we went in that. Then we went from there to Holly Brook.
Lori: Do you remember who your teachers were?
Bea: Jackson Tabor, and then Clair Tickle, I think. The earlier teachers, now not the really early ones, Truby Mitchel was one, Harry Byrd, this is my school years and some of my teachers in school, my school years, Harry Byrd, and Truby Mitchel and well we didn't have very many cause on teacher had about five or six grades.
Lori: Didn't you teach?
Bea: I taught for Miss Tickle and for Ms. Mustard too. Miss Tickle was sick and taught for her for about a month, and then I taught for Ms. Mustard, Marie Mustard when she had the mumps.
Lori: How old were you when you taught for them?
Bea: About seventeen, sixteen.
Lori: Do you remember any old stories about school?
Bea: We played basketball, we had a basketball team. We played basketball and we had plays and had different types of plays at Christmas. And ya know, maybe in the middle of school, we'd get up a play and everybody would take part in it.
Lori: Did you all have report cards, is it basically same thing?
Bea: Yeah we had report cards we used, I think we used Os, Ss I think was
the way you were graded.
Lori: How did you cook and what kind of foods did you eat, just everything you could grow?
Bea: Well we had to cook on a wood stove, we used a wood cook stove, cooked on that. And we ate ... well we killed hogs, we had all kinds of meat, we killed beef. We canned all types of vegetables, and .... we eat just like we do right now except we raised most of it, and now we buy it.
Lori: Okay, did you have a lot of gardens?
Bea: Large gardens, a big garden. We raised chickens, we had our on eggs,
and our own chickens, you'd kill the chickens. If you wanted some chicken
you'd go out and chop its head off and cooked him and eat him.
Lori: What about heating? You were heated by a wood stove, too.
Bea: Wood stoves, wood stoves all the way.
Lori: How was your alls rooms decorated and stuff? Did you all make your
Bea: I think my mother made our curtains but we always we had like a
regular room. I mean we didn't have a lot of fancy stuff not radios and televisions and stuff like that.
Lori: Yeah. Okay, did you have any special traditions for like Christmas or Thanksgiving?
Bea: Well Christmas, we always had uh .... cooked dinner and a lot of people would come. The family would come in, ya know a lot of my mother's sisters and brothers.
My daddy's sisters and brothers would come in on Christmas. I know I had one aunt that came to my house every Christmas, and she rode a horse, she couln't drive a car, she rode a horse ... from over on Nobuisness up here.
Lori: Good Lord.
Bea: Every Christmas she'd come.
Lori: Did you all have a tree?
Lori: Did you all have a tree?
Bea: Yeah, we usually put up a little tree. We just made our own
decorations, popcorn and stuff like that.
Lori: What kind of food did you all have at Thanksgiving? The same stuff, did you all kill a turkey?
Bea: I don't remember, I don't remember ... I don't believe we had a turkey. Now we raised turkeys, we raised turkeys, we had turkeys..we raised turkeys.
Lori: Okay so this road up through here, has it always been the same or has it changed in any way?
Bea: Its changed a little in two or three places.
Lori: How has it changed?
Bea: Well right down here it ... the road followed the creek and they moved
it back up from the creek up here and then on up there where David lives the road went down around under the hill and back up there and there wasn't... and people lived back up in there, but the road went down around..the road just followed the creek, not in the creek, but away from the creek. We crossed the creek several places. Down here where the bridges are, we had to cross the creek in a car ... you had to drive through it and if it was up till you couldn't get through it, stayed..you waited till you could. And then when we walked to school we crossed the foot bridge and ... cause I fell off and fell in the creek in the winter time and went under the ice and Curtis Blankenship caught me as I came up the third time. I come to this house here, the Helbys lived here, and spent the night and thawed out..it was in the winter time and the creeks were froze over. Lori: This is a long walk from here to Holly Brook, did you have to walk it everyday or did you ride horses?
Bea: Well, we walked to Holly Brook everyday excepy when Ina and me and some of us would ride horses, but we walked and everybody else walked.
Lori: How long did it take you?
Bea: I think about thirty, fourty-five minutes ... it wasn't that far, it wasn't that bad .... we had to walk it everyday.
Lori: In the winter, too?
Bea: Yeah, I never rode a school bus in my life.
Lori: Okay, this road was a dirt road for a long time.
Lori: What kind of maintenance did they do on it, did everybody just...
Bea: When there was snow storms, people would get together a dig us out, and they would shovel us out .... cause we never saw many state workers.
Lori: Did you have alot of floods, like major big ones?
Bea: No I can't remember any, the creeks were pretty well in their banks then, now they've done scattered everywhere.
Lori: Did you all fish and swim alot, during the summer times.
Bea: Say what?
Lori: Did you all fish and swim alot?
Bea: Oh yeah, Aunt Minnie, Ina, and I fished alot. We caught Suckers in
the creek, big Hog Suckers.
Lori: Do you remember any major blizzards or storms or droughts, anything that you can remember being real bad?
Bea: Lord honey storms back then is what we call blizzards nows, we had bad winters, bad winters. You would get snowed in and have to dig out and just the men would go out then. We wouldn't have school. But winters back then, is just like what we call blizzards now. They were bad winters, with big snows, deep snows.
Lori: Do you remember who had the first cars up here?
Bea: The first car my daddy had was a Chevorlet, I think, and it had curtains up you didn't have no glasses in it, it was before the glasses put .... rolled up glasses ... you had curtains that you put up to keep from freezing in them.
Lori: Who had the first car in the hollow, the very first car..do you remember?
Bea: I believe ... Mr. Doc Ramsey's boys had the first car I believe in this hollow..... that I can remember.
Lori: Do you remember what kind the were?
Lori: Do you remember who had the first telephones, or did everybody get them at the same time?
Bea: Yeah the telephones..we had telephones back then .... it was just a community. You didn't dail numbers it was like two longs and a short, a short ring and a long ring, or two longs and short ring.. and you had to have a paper up on the wall tell you each persons telephone number.
Lori: Okay thats cool, what about electricity, do you remember the date, about what time when electricity came up through here ... or how old you were?
Bea: We were done living here, and Larry Ross was born in forty-six..so I'd say it was close to fifty, in the fifties..maybe more than that. Cause we moved here when Larry was a baby and we didn't have no electricity that and we washere for quite a long time .... gosh Patsy and them was big kids ... I expect it was in the sixies, maybe early seventies before we had elelctriciy. But anyway, in the sixties.
Lori: Airight, what church did you go to?
Bea: Well at that time I went to the Methodist Church down here when I
was a girl, Shady Grove Methodists.
Lori: What about Pa Paw?
Bea: He went to a Holiness Church, in the wilderness, and he went to a Holiness Church, Pentacostal.
Lori: How did you all baptise, in Methodist?
Bea: In the Father,Son, and Holyghost.
Lori: And how did you all get married, was it a normal ceremony? Was it
big? Was there alot of people there?
Bea: When we got married, Bernard's sister and her husband went with us and we went to Bland, got our licence, and a Prespetarian precher, Newton married us. But there wasn't big weddings back then, they didn't have them. You just went and ... alot of people went to the Justice of the Peace.
Lori: What about your ceremonies when people died, did you bring them here?
Bea: Yeah, they brought them to the homes, when people died they brought them to the homes and people went in a sit. Carry in food and they would sit up all night, when they died they would bring them to the homes and keep them to the time of the funeral.
Lori: How did you and Pa Paw meet?
Bea: Well l saw him from time to time when I went to Bluefield with my daddy. I was just a young girl, we'd pass by his house and my daddy peddled ... he peddled eggs and chickens and stuff like that. So he'd stop up there at Bernard's daddy's mothers and a they would send to Bluefield by him, even Ila sent by me and told me to bring here a tube of lipstick, and thats the first time I ever spoke to Bernard-I handed Ila the lipstick and told her to use some on Bernard, he'd be pretty. And the the next time, my mother was dead..my mother had done died and my daddy was a dating a woman and they were going to church down at Wasen Doc and he stopped up there to pick her up and Bernard was sitting on the fence and I ask him if he wanted to go with us and he said yeah and he went. That was our first date down there to the church and then that was in March and we got married in June.
Lori: So you olny saw him a couple of times and that was it, you married him?
Bea: No, we started ... he had a car, he had a little car and he'd come to see me.
Lori: Where did you all go, like on dates and stuff?
Bea: Well we went to the movies a few times, you'd go to Bluefield and
you'd go to the movies.
Lori: Was it like a drive in movie?
Bea: No it was inside.
Lori: Do you remember any movies that you all saw?
Bea: No, No, No.
Lori: Alright what about doctors?
Bea: When I was little Dr. Davidson was the doctor and he'd come to ... he would come..and he rode a horse. If you wanted the doctor you got on a horse and went out and told him and he'd come and see ya .... and he would ride his horse and come to see you.
Lori: Where was his office? Where did he live?
Bea: He lived in Rocky Gap, and it was Dr. Davidson, but he rode a horse and you would have to go get him, and tell him that you needed him and then he'd ride his horse and come and see ya. And then usually from time to time if somebody got sick he would make calls, ya know come by, he'd come back again and check you out. And when we could we would go out to his house..he had an office in his house.
Lori: Okay. Who were your brothers and sisiters? What were their names?
Bea: My sister is Lina May Gilmer and my brother is Railey Sarver, Edward Sarver, and Emmery Sarver ... I had two sisters that died.
Lori: When did they die? When they were little?
Bea: One of them was a baby, eight month old and the other one was four years old and she fell and broke her neck.
Lori: Didn't Pa Paw have a Clark's Service Center?
Bea: Yeah, see thats businesses we've been in..l mean he went to work for
Carl DeHart driving a timber truck and then he went into business for himself and we had a saw mill business, we had a Clarks Service Center, we ran the Bland Sanitation and we was in the saw mill business..we had a saw mill just about constantly throught the whole ... while he was living.
Lori: How long were you in school? How was you when you got out?
Bea: I was almost seventeen when I quit, but then they didn' have but ten grades..to tenth grade, you graduated and I was in the ninth, I was going to graduate the next year but my mother died and I had two little brothers. One was two years old and the other was four,and they weren't big enough to go to school, so that year my sister stayed home and I went on and finished school and went to school and the next year I stayed home and she went to school and that was the way we had to do it. So finally then when I was just ready to go into the last year of school, I'd just get tired of it ... you had already forgotten so much, you just couldn't keep up with it.
Lori: How old were you when you got married?
Bea: I was seventeen.
Lori: How old is this house?
Bea: This house was built in about 1930's, this house has been here right
close to a hundred years, this side of it..that side in there was built about 1930 ... down yonder on that little lot, they took a team of mules and pulled it up here and put it against this one, My grand daddy did.
Lori: So who was the first person who lived here, or do you know?
Bea: The first person ... my grandpa Sarver I guess was the first person I know of, yeah my grand daddy. My aunt died right in there in that bedroom.
Lori: Did you ever here anything about slaves around here?
Bea: Well I just heard about them, but there wasn't any around here the I
know of ... of course we thought we was!
Lori: So what about Indians or anything? You gave me some arrow heads.
Bea: Now there has been an Indian war groung around here on this farm. Cause in my garden we've picked up all kinds of arrow heads and knives, that they skinned animals with and this was an Indian hunting groung or war ground or something, we never had no places were people were buried, but there was in my garden every year that you plow .... we've had some of the prettiest arrow heads you've ever seen from that garden down