Tuesday, July 27, 2010


While I was in the area, I decided to make a quick visit to Erbie. Past the campground along the Buffalo River is another great collection of old buildings - the Parker-Hickman Homestead. Several old barns stand next to the home, which is the oldest surviving building along the Buffalo National River.

The old home was built between 1847 and 1849, by two brothers in the Parker family. They had travelled west from Tennessee and North Carolina, and settled in this valley. They were master builders, their construction on the house was so detailed that even today, it is impossible to stick a knife blade between the cedar logs (if you were so inclined to do so).

The Parkers sold the home in 1857 and moved further west. Other owners added barns, and a lean-to room that served as a country store in the 1920s. In 1912, the Hickman family occupied the home. The last person to occupy the old house was Gradon Hickman, who lived there with his dog until 1978. Then in 1982, the National Park Service bought the house and property. In 1984, the old homestead was stabilized and is now open for anyone to go in and have a look around. In 1987, the property was added onto the National Register of Historic Places.

The old house is empty now, except for a few bumble bees, wasps and butterflies. I walked through the house, and went into the room that was added on as a lean-to. The early morning light was streaming in through the window.

One really interesting detail here are the old newspapers that are plastered on the walls and ceiling. This was a common practice back in the olden days - the newspaper acted as a type of insulation. There are still lots of legible pieces of newspaper, which include comics, ads and stories. This is a close-up shot of an ad for overalls - a bargain at only $1.69 a pair.

I tried to get a few shots of the old barns on the homestead property, but the sun was out in full-force and the light was too harsh. I went to open the gate, in order to head back to the car, but stopped to get a shot of this moth (or butterfly). It was perched a bit lazily on top of the old weathered wood, and didn't mind getting its picture taken.

From there it was getting hot and muggy, so it was time to head on back home...

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