Memories of The Old Home Place
Pencil drawing of our old home place in Cucumber WV
Drawn by Matt Hess.

I was born and raised in a small town in Southern WV called Cucumber.  It is between Welch WV. and Tazewell VA. On route 16.  About 20 miles from Welch and 17 miles from Tazewell. This drawing was done by my brother, a long time ago, it looks amazingly like the old house, with the out-house in back and the garden.  The coal house in front and the old rock wall.  There was a ditch along the fence line on the side where the coal house is located, that's where we always took a glass of water and our tooth brushes every morning to clean our teeth.  We didn't have indoor plumbing when I was a child, as you can tell by the old out house.  There never was a bath room in the old house but my brother Claude did put a sink in the kitchen some years before it was torn down.  You can see the pump near the back porch, my dad built a little house around that and in winter there was always a light bulb burning in there for warmth  to keep it from freezing up.

The house was a company house, originally owned by the coal company, later sold to my dad.  There was just 3 rooms, then my uncle Ernest built another room in back.  My mom had 11 children in that house, usually before the doctor could even get there.  I was number 8.  Life was hard growing up there in Cucumber, we never had much even though  my dad always worked very hard in the coal mines, but hey!  11 mouths to feed is a LOT.  It was in the little church in Cucumber where I first gave my heart to the Lord so there are a lot of good memories there too.

The rock wall was wide enough to run and play on, I remember so well dangling my feet off that wall, or just running and falling off every once in a while, then running crying to my mom.  Later a family of snakes made their home in those rocks and that was the last of my playing there.

In Cucumber there was a 2 room school house where I went from 1st grade through 5th. grade, then we had to ride the bus for the rest of our schooling.  A post office, grocery store, a bar and a church.  There was a ball diamond in what we called Cucumber Bottom.  I remember my dad and many of the dads played ball and we would sit along the rail road tracks to watch.  As teenagers, we would also play cowboys and Indians in a beautiful place just beyond the ball diamond, we called it Lover's Lane, of course in the day time it was a play ground for us kids, the boys made our bows and arrows and we played really rough.  Being a shy and timid little girl, that sort of toughened me up a little.

For a few years there was a drive in movie in Cucumber.  My dad worked as ticket taker so we got in free, of course when there was what we called "midnight movies"  we could sneak up at night and watch out our bed room window or sneak out of the house and sit on the hill overlooking the drive in and watch, until we got caught, that took care of that.  Well, they shouldn't of shown those things in a drive in where any one could see with out even buying a ticket and going in.

I have shared just a few of my memories of growing up in Cucumber.  Hope I haven't bored you too much. Below is a picture of me and my little sister Ann.  I was maybe 13 and she 3.  Boy! did I think I was something.  LOL  She had been playing in the coal house.

I am pictured here with my little sister Ann, (now deceased).