Tri-Bee News • Rachel Harper
Union Chapel celebrates its 157th Homecoming
On Sunday, Mama and Daddy and I went down to Union Chapel Methodist Church's homecoming service. This is the little white church that is right at the entrance to Rock Eagle when you turn at the first entrance to the park. This was their 157th Homecoming and there were around 100 people that attended. This little church has not changed very much at all through all these years. The members have been very careful to keep everything as it was and it is indeed a beautiful little church. I am going to copy something my grandmother wrote on July 21, 1955 when she attended Homecoming services there. " On Sunday, my sister, Miss Bertie Baldwin, Miss Emma Maddox and I went down to Union Chapel Methodist Church in Putnam County, just this side of Rock Eagle Park to celebrate with them their Centenniel Service. This church, built of virgin pine lumber, the ceiling and pews hand-planed, the framework put together with wooden pegs, and the windows brought from the coast in ox-drawn wagons, is in remarkably good condition. It was built in 1855 and was given the name of Union Chapel because it united two small churches into one more centrally located and stronger because of the merging of the two. The church and grounds are beautifully kept and the auditorium was lovely with tastefully arranged flowers and ferns. Rev. Marion Poe, of Eatonton, is the pastor of the church and Mr. Price is the Sunday School Superintendent. Mrs. Sim Fuller is the pianist and the writer of the history of the church. It was read by her son, Curtis Fuller. During the day many names of the founding fathers and older members were mentioned–the Boswells, the Hearns, the Joneses, the Shorts, the Baldwins, the Priestlies, the Reids, the Burkes, the Vinings, the Fullers, and many others that I can't remember. At noon, a bountiful lunch was spread under the trees down by the Community House, which used to be the schoolhouse in years gone by. My father and mother were members of Union Chapel when I was a child. Every quarterly meeting we had dinner on the grounds. I never will forget the chicken pie brought every year by Mrs. Henry Jones (Miss Viola). It was in a pie pan nearly as large as a dish pan and must have had at least three chickens in it. It was swimming in rich gravy and would really melt in your mouth. Miss Viola would go all over the crowd asking everyone to come to her table and sample her food. Well, Miss Viola is gone, but the people at Union Chapel have taken note of her ways and they are just like her–even the chicken pie. Mr. Bob Jones, Mrs. Henry Jones' father, used to say that he would rather read his death notice in the paper than for anyone to go away from Union Chapel and say they didn't have enough to eat! Union Chapel has been a lighthouse set on a hill in that section of Putnam County for 100 years. I hope it will be there, handing out the Bread of Life, to all who come, for still another 100. Nancy Cochran is the oldest living member of this church. Many thanks, people of Union Chapel, for a lovely day full of happy remembramces. Dr. Virgil Y.C. Eady, dean of Emory University, was the speaker of the day." Due to other plans we were not able to stay for lunch, but I am sure they had a spread on Sunday, too. I have another story about Union Chapel and my great-uncle Dick Wilson that I will tell next week, Lord willing!
In other news, an era has come to a close as Roger Bruce sold his dairy herd this past week and is officially out of the dairy business. We also hear through the grapevine that his younger brother, Ben, is soon to follow. There will be no more Bruces running a dairy and shipping milk. This family has been milking cows for probably 60 years or so. They both feel the time is right as feed prices are going out the roof as well as they are probably just plain TIRED! The Bruce dairies have been a real stalwart in the Fairview community and Hwy. 441 for many, many years. They have all worked hard and done a good job of shipping high quality milk. We wish them the best in this new chapter of their lives. I think I am right in saying there are no daries now on 441 below I-20 and on above town going toward Athens, the only one I can think of is Jimmy Sidwell's in Apalachee. I may be wrong, but please let me know.
Speaking of the Bruces, Dick Hodgetts did a wonderful article on Joanie Bruce, Ben's wife. Joanie is an accomplished artist and has done many beautiful paintings, some of which have made their home in the White House and at our state Capitol. She is also an accomplished musician who can play any musical instrument that is put in front of her. She is indeed multi-talented. It is a very complimentary article on her life as a dairyman's wife as well as her many other interests in addition to she and Ben raising a family of three smart children.
We have also learned that Bud Cronic of Buckhead is now a resident of Madison Health and Rehab as of late. His friends report that he is very happy there and is receiving excellent treatment. He wants all of his friends to know his whereabouts and to please come and visit him there and keep him company.
Tommy and Raynor Cathey have returned from a wonderful vacation trip and cruise to Alaska.
Scott Porter has returned from a month's stay in Switzerland where he visited Katja Sieger and her family. Madeline was happy to see her Daddy! Sally said Katja and her mother sent her a box of Swiss chocolate which she says is so, so good!
The Richard Carver's visited with Dan and Sally on their way to the Georgia game on Saturday evening. This was Jake and Mary Elizabeth's first game and they really loved it.
Sarah Nell and Steve Craig had the Porter family for lunch on Saturday with fresh vegetables and fried pork chops along with homemade pear relish compliments of Dan and Sally and also of Sarah Nell so they could have a friendly game of whose was better! I don't know who won! Nell Porter was able to join them all for lunch.
Peyton Kenny of Acworth was also guest of her grandparents, Sarah Nell and Steve Craig over the weekend. Peyton's parents are getting ready for her twin sisters to arrive before too long!
Josh Stephens was home from Atlanta this weekend and he and his daddy went to the Braves game on Saturday. Josh has a new job; he has accepted a position with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (P.A.G.E.) in Atlanta as their Policy Analyst and Lobbyist. Congratulations Josh on your new position!
Sally Stephens enjoyed a lunch on Saturday at The Chowder House restaurant with several of her classmates from the Class of 1974. They all try to make this a monthly affair.
We all want to wish Sharon Maddox a very Happy Birthday as she celebrated at home with her famly on Sunday. Sharon is doing well and trying very hard to regain her strength. She does appreciate everyone's concern and covets your prayers greatly.
The Porter boys traveled to the Gwinnett County Fair on Saturday. Ben showed his sheep and won Division 1 Grand Champion and also won showmanship. Will will leave today (Monday) to show his Polled Hereford heifer, Tina, in shows. Clay Porter is settling in nicely at ABAC and loves college life. He has been elected Secretary-Treasurer of the shooting club down there.
Printed in the September 20, 2012 edition