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Kentucky Color: My Homeplace

By Billy Joe Fudge

Although I was born in the Toria Community in 1951, my Dad Ordell bought my maternal-great-great-grandfather James A. Furkin's homeplace in 1955. The house is located at 990 Sparksville Road, aka Harvey's Ridge Road, Chance Road and of course is 10-hundredths shy of a mile off Wheeler Hill Road on East Hwy 768.

As I stated in my friend Ben Arnold's mini-documentary recently, the house sits on the topographic divide between the Green River Watershed to the North and the Cumberland River Watershed to the South. Rain that falls on the front of the house goes to Cumberland River and on the back of the house goes to Green River. However, there are a couple more attributes sort of unique to the construction and location of the house.

The attached--not to scale--drawing will hopefully help you to see the uniqueness of construction. Firstly, the house had three front doors and a side door giving outside entrance to the living room, private entrance to bedrooms (1) and (3) and private entrance to bedroom (2), bedrooms (4) and (5) upstairs via the hallway. Also, direct outside entrance to the kitchen was available via the hallway. Secondly, there were 8 interior doors that maintained privacy and outside entrance for all five bedrooms and gave private access to the kitchen from the living room and all five bedrooms. It was designed as either or both a boarding house and or for adult children and their families.

The other attribute is the topographic location of the house. Sitting in a saddle between a knob on the immediate West and knob on the immediate East acted as a funnel, so to speak, allowing for air flow from the steep, wooded, moist and cool North slope at the rear of the house and the moderate, grassy, dry and warmer South slope at the front of the house. Many Summer days with nary a leaf being moved by a breeze, I would notice the curtains being held inward by the Northward movement of air coming through the house from the front. Suddenly, the curtains would ease back to vertical for a period of time as the air mass would stand still. Then to be followed by the curtains being sucked toward the windows by the Southward movement of air moving through from the rear of the house.

Also, the steps on the front porch gave access to a huge root cellar underneath the house. It was always nice and cool down there during the summer. There was a wooden trap door covering the descending steps.

Our ancestors were very aware of the natural world in which they lived and knew how to harness all the forces of nature to make life somewhat more pleasant prior to air conditioning and central heating systems.

This story was posted on 2023-07-09 10:41:58
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Kentucky Color: My Homeplace

2023-07-09 - Adair Co., KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
The layout of the house allows for very flexible access for either or both a boarding house and or for adult children and their families.

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Kentucky Color: My Homeplace

2023-07-09 - Adair Co., KY - Photo from Billy Joe Fudge.
Billy Joe writes, "My Dad Ordell bought my maternal great-great-grandfather James A. Furkin's homeplace in 1955." This photo, taken in front of the house in 1964 or 1965, shows from left to right, "Margareta Robinson, wife of James Elwood Robinson, Janice Robinson, Aunt Myrtle Robinson, Ma Fudge, Uncle Gordie Campbell, Aunt Mable Campbell, me, Duke, Ma Stotts, Bert Stotts, my Dad and Mom, Ordell and Zelma. And no, we didn't name our cats!"

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