Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anderson Homeplace Burns (1927)

May 15, 1927 (Possibly The Caswell Messenger)

The Old Home Place of the Anderson's Burned

Was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Otis Reagan and Family. Fire Occurred Sunday Morning.

A fire, which occurred last Sunday morning during the preaching hour, completely destroyed the old Anderson home, owned by George A. Anderson and located in Anderson Township, together with all the household effects and personal belongings of Otis Reagan and family who have been living at the Anderson place.

Both from the financial and sentimental standpoints the fire caused a great loss. The house itself was partially covered by insurance. But the insurance coverage will not begin to replace the large, old 12-room building. It has not been learned whether or not Mr. Reagan had any insurance on his household goods. But it is certain that his loss is great, in which he has the sympathy of many friends.

But the destruction of this famous old southern home, built by Quinton Anderson in 1820, and kept in the Anderson family for three generations is irreparable when the sentiment, traditions and historical associations that have gathered about the place are considered.

It is said that Quinton Anderson was a prominent politician and that many distinguished men have been entertained within its portals. So it can be confidently asserted that what is commonly known as history was made about its blazing hearths and around its hospitable table. No amount of money and effort of the skilled artisan or artist can restore such a structure, rich in historic traditions, any more than the old table, benches and flagons used at the "Cheshire Cheese" by Dr Johnson and his contemporaries could be reproduced be modern mechanism and art.

Aside from this the old house had been HOME to three or four generations. This fact has hallowed the house and the memory of it, to every one who has warmed himself and herself by its fire places, slept in its beds, played about its doors, eaten at its table, looked out on the landscapes from its windows and sat on its porches on summer nights beneath the star-domed canopy, looking to heaven, dreaming of the ages, past, present and to come. In this home the youngsters were cuddled in the arms of the mother who rocked them to sleep as she sang the old plantation melodies or crooned to them the eternal songs of mother love. The problems of all homes were entertained and settled there as the growing children trooped in and out of its open doors. The old fashioned parlor was the scene of many a courtship. Matches were made and unmade there. Gala days filled with high spirited romance {and} adventure come both ceremoniously and un-ceremoniously, to that home. Mother(s) hearts were torn in that sacred place called home, and mothers heads were bowed in agonizing grief when the fledglings of the house spread their wings and flitted from the old home and left father and mother to sit with empty hands about a lonely hearth. And it was from the front door of the old home place that the still forms of the sacred dead were borne by sympathizing neighbors and placed tenderly under the cedars in gods acre.

It is true that a fire cannot destroy all the hallowed association and memories of a home. But the house about which they have clustered comes in time, to be a sacred place. And the disappearance of such an ancient edifice is sometimes next akin to tragedy to those who for several generations have known it as home.


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