Escape to Her Grandfather’s Ferry

This photo is from “Album of Virginia, Plate 26, Kanawha Fall. Edward Beyer, 1858” –  the time period is very close to the time of this story, which refers to a period between 1847 (Nancy Montgomery Rigg’s birth) and 1852 (the death of her grandfather Henry Montgomery).

Frances Folsom Farley (1886-1076), known as “Aunt Aggie” to her family, recounted a story told by her mother, Nancy Montgomery Rigg (1847-1923), who was granddaughter of Henry Montgomery (1765-1852), founder of Montgomery’s Landing and the ferry service. This story was shared in about 1975 on audio tape.

“My mother [Nancy Montgomery Rigg] said that she was always in favor and got what she wanted from him [her grandfather, Henry Montgomery], and he would spoil her. He saw her coming and would say “Run! Run!” and she got down to the river just in time to jump into the boat [at the ferry]. I think her mother [Cynthia Montgomery Rigg] was after her and was going to spank her or something.

Basketball in the Family

hale-audrey-bball-1923Today is my paternal grandmother’s birthday; Audrey Vellence Hale was born on June 6, 1908. In this really fabulous photo, she is posing in her basketball uniform for Winding Gulf High School. Family lore is that she is turned to the side to hide a shiner received in a game a day or two preceding this picture. Continue reading “Basketball in the Family”

Football in the Family

Winding Gulf High School - 1927
Collins High School – 1927 – See Story Below

Several years ago, my mother-in-law gathered photos of her sons’ grandfathers (with their football teams) and had them professionally cleaned up and enlarged, suitable for framing. My husband and I were inspired to expand on the idea by assembling a collection of photos (portraits and sports both) of grandparents on both sides of the family. I was able to find the football photos for my grandfathers (and a fabulous 1923 photo of my grandmother in her high school basketball uniform – that’s worthy of a separate story coming later). Below are those four photos, and a couple others of related family from roughly the same era. They represent participation in a variety of roles – player, manager, coach. You can click on any photo to bring up a larger version.


Continue reading “Football in the Family”

Rigg Water Pitcher

rigg-water-pitcherThis 19th century water pitcher is one of the more interesting of our family artifacts to survive to the 21st century. It appears to be made of clay; it weighs 10 pounds on the nose and is about 13 inches tall. It originates from the Rigg family in Kanawha Falls, and was also used by the Farley family. It came to my great-grandfather, Frederick Lee Farley (1879-1945) who passed it down to his son (Willis Hite Farley); it made its way to my father and is now in my care.

It seems extremely sturdy to be at least 130-150 (or more?) years old but we still treat it tenderly. It’s a wonderful example of the blend of art and craft, and I imagine it gave pleasure as an item to have for every day use. Continue reading “Rigg Water Pitcher”

Death of Edith Marie Hale

hale-edithmarie1Edith “Edie” Marie Hale was born on 11 August 1906, the first daughter and 2nd of 10 children to Effie Allen Rice Hale and Henry Orville Hale. She was the older sister to my grandmother (Audrey Vellence Hale); by all accounts she and Audrey were very close. At the age of 16, Continue reading “Death of Edith Marie Hale”