Herbert Hensley says emphatically, "we had one thing that you don't see going today, we was a neighborhood." To Jess Gibbons that meant an equality of friendships: "They was just all friends together. Didn't have no special friends amongst them." The value placed on getting along led to expansive hospitality, especially at times such as Decoration Day. Jess Gibbons recalls, "when they got through with their church up at the schoolhouse, the graveyard, why, the people'd just gather up and tell 'em all, just 'all that wants to go home with me, let's go.' Just gather up and take off. I've seed as high as thirty or forty here for dinner."
Sherman Hensley says that, at the height of the settlement's population, when "between fifty and sixty" people lived on the mountain, "most of them was [related]. . .two other people lived up there that wasn't related to any of us." Although he says there is no relation between the Gibbons and Hensleys initially, when Willie Gibbons married "old man Jack Hensley's daughter," the two families became intertwined on the mountain.
This rocking chair in the park collection was made by Willie Gibbons, the community blacksmith and carpenter. Grand-daughter Dorothy Muncey remembered that "grandfather and my grandma always liked to sit in a rocking chair" in front of the fire.
Two of the more popular social activities on the mountain were listening to the Victrola and the radio. Park Hensley and Jess Gibbons both remember the community getting together on Saturday nights and listening to the Grand Old Opry. "It was a big night," Gibbons recalled.
Last updated: June 18, 2015