You can read about how we found our #famfivefarmhouse here.
We found out after we moved in that the man whose family built and lived in this house for about 100 years lived just down the street.
Of course, what’s a girl to do… but drive by and stalk… and stalk often. Never seeing anyone outside, I was working up the courage to go knock on the door and just introduce myself. Meanwhile, I had been to the county archives and center for historic presevation and found some jewels, like the census from 1910, showing the family (the Hoovers who lived in our house) and pictures of the house from the Historical Inventory done in the 80s.
One Sunday afternoon there was a knock on the door and at our door was Mr. Jimmy, the man who I had been stalking.
It was incredible to walk through the house with him and listen to his stories and the history of the house and show him the changes we have made. He showed us pictures of the house from years and years and years ago and told me there is a trunk of information on the house (including the original bill of sale!) at his house and he’s happy for me to come down and go through it and make copies of whatever I want.
He left us with this letter on the history of this house.
The Hoover House
“James Ledbetter Hoover married Lizette Norman on December 13, 1877. They lived in a log house in the Wayside Community. They had 5 children during their early years together. Frank was the oldest. He married a girl named Mary Lou in 1916. They moved to Murfreesboro so that he could sell insurance. Their first child, Frank Jr., was born while they lived in town.
Holland was three years younger than Frank. Holland was the craftsman of the family. He knew just when to cut an oak tree for basket splints and hickory so that the bark would remain on the wood. If a chair needed to be repaired of harnesses made for the animals, Holland would do the work. He also made brooms for the family to use and took care of the families animals.
Herbert was the next of the brothers. He only lived for six short years.
Next was Ben. He was called to serve our nation in WWI. While he was in the Army, he married and lived in Nashville. Ben and his wife Blanche had three children. Evelyn, Jean, and Norman. They came to visit often.
Little sister Mattie Lou was the baby of the family. She became a school teacher until her death at the age of 28.
Around 1903 or 1904, the family decided to build a new house. Holland set down with his paper and pencil and drew out the plans for the house. It took two tries before the design was just right. Then he figured just how much lumber it would take to put this house together. Each room had it’s own figures for the supplies that would be needed. Windows for the entire house cost $65.00. Each room is storm sheeted for strength and warmth. Holland measured and figured so well that he didn’t have enough lumber left over to even build a dog house. When he had all of the lumber, shingles, doors, windows, decorative features, and nails figure out, Holland ordered the materials from Sears and Roebuck. The total cost for the materials was $850.00. (All of these records were found in the house along with the original plans) The lumber came in on a train car to the tiny community of Rucker. Holland took a team of horses and a wagon to the train and hauled the supplied to the new home site. Over the next few months the house was built. James Ledbetter Hoover passed away in January of 1915 at the age of 63. We don’t know for sure if the house was finished or not.
By now, Frank and Mary Lou had moved into the old log house across the creek and had added two more children, Sara and Robbie, to their growing family. Lizette Hoover passed away on February 11, 1925. This left Holland all alone. He asked Frank and his family to move into the new house with him. In 1926 another child was born to Frank and Mary Lou. This girl, Mary Norman, was the first born in the new house. Frank Jr passed away then Frank Sr. Mary Lou stayed on with her three daughters and took care of Holland. Sara, the oldest daughter, married and moved to town. Her husband passed away and left her with a small baby. Sara moved back in with her mother and sisters. These two aunts helped raise their young nephew, Jimmy. A few years later Mary Norman married Frank and moved to Rucker. Robbie married Thomas and moved to Barfield. Each Sunday, Mary Norman, Robbie and their families gathered around the big table at the Hoover House for a Sunday meal with Mary Lou, Holland, Sara and Jimmy.
Jimmy went to school in Nashville, then married and moved away, but the Sunday dinners continued to be a focal point of the family for many years. The three first cousins, Randy, Cindy, and Diana has many adventures in this house and down at the creek. Jimmy would come back and bring his two young sons to see their grand and great grandmothers. Each summer would bring family reunions and visits from many friends and family members. There was always fruit on the trees to be shared and something in the garden to take home with you.
Holland continued to live in this house until his death in 1972. Mary Lou took over until her death in 1982. Sara continues to live in this house until health problems caused her to move in with her son and daughter-in-law just down the road.
This old house has seen many storms and lots of sunshine and still stands strong for the future generations who will make their own memories inside her warm and welcoming walls.”