Charles Scott Harkey
February 29, 2004
Conducted by Joe Liles
We cut our boards one inch and two inches thick. When we were cutting timbers for bridges, we would cut it three inches. In building houses, we would cut four inches. We furnished the wood for a house out there in Forest Hills in Durham. There were forty 4 X 8ís in that went into that house for corners. S. M. Bradsher built that house. These days, they put the 2 X 4ís together to make a strong piece. Back then, they used a 4 X 6 in every corner and the door posts were 4 X 4. That Forest Hills house, they used 4 X 8ís in the corners and 4 X 6ís for the door posts!
I couldnít saw walnut. I might have been able to saw green walnut, but a man brought some dry walnut to me one time and wanted me to saw it, but it was so hard that when the saw went into it, it would just lock up. The sawyer stopped and sharpened his saw, but it didnít do any good. I said, ďIím sorry, we just canít do it.Ē
The sawyer would sharpen the saw with a file. That blade was 52 inches and had 54 teeth in it. There were 54 rings that held the teeth. You would use the file to sharpen the teeth. It was an art to know how to file your saw. A set of teeth, unless you got into some dirty logs, would usually last about four days.
When my wife and I got married, I bought me two lots in Creedmoor. I was going to build a house on one of Ďem. But right about that time, my wifeís mother had a heart attack. My wife said that there ainít no need for these lots now, I got to go back and look after my mother. So we lived here in the Connelly house. Her mother died first, and when her daddy died, he left this place to my wife and her brother, the only two children. So I said to her brother, ďNow Iím a trading man. Iíll give or take. Iíll give you X number of dollars for your half or weíll take that, whatever you want.Ē He said that he already had a house, so I bought his part out, and we got this place.
The back part of the house was built before the turn of the century. The front part was added on in 1918. When we tore out the back wall back there to add on a room in 1975, we found checks her daddy wrote in 1908.
These columns on the front of the house came from California. They are redwood. They were shipped from California to here in a boxcar. Thatís what my daddy-in-law told me.
Back over here, there is a road called Stool Tree Road. There was a tree over there that came up this high and then it was bent over. It might have been a youngíun or something that did it, and then that tree turned up like this, and thatís where that name came from. It looked like a bench or sitting place. That area became known as Stool Tree. That tree has been gone several years now.