• 1846 Homestead Renovation

    Finishing the New Floors in the Old House

    Background Work The floors in the original house.  I wanted to keep them, but they were damaged.  We knew that wasn’t an option.  The original floors were nothing more than boards nailed to the floor joists.  There were gaps between them so you could see the dirt under the house.  As much as I wanted to restore the house, even I knew that we were going to have to do something different than what there originally. The first flooring job was to work on the structural parts.  We installed plywood under the joists so we could insulate the floors.  We then installed the floor decking material.  That was a lot…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson,  Uncategorized

    James “Squire Jim” Ferguson’s Account of Their Trip to California

    Background We’ve all heard about Robert Andrew Ferguson’s exploits as a cowboy.  He helped tame the wild West, had more horses under brand than any man in the world, and was one of the wealthiest men in Hill County.  Before all of that, he was a young man in Gaston County, North Carolina when opportunity in the way of a gold rush in California came knocking.  Gold was discovered on January 24, 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of the discovery of gold was first announced in San Francisco by a newspaper publisher in March of 1848.  Evidently, he walked through the streets with a vial of gold…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson

    Ferguson Men and the California Gold Rush – George P. Ferguson Account

    Background Four Ferguson men left Gaston County, NC for the California gold fields in 1849.  They were James “Squire Jim” Ferguson, his son William; Squire Jim’s nephew, Robert Andrew Ferguson, and Alfred Hall Ferguson, son of George W. Ferguson. The following was written by Alfred H. Ferguson’s brother George Porter Ferguson.  He lived in Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas for a number of years and certainly knew R.A. Ferguson as they did not live far apart.  It is interesting that George P. Ferguson states that his brother, Alfred, died in California.  This is not true.  Alfred remained in California until his death in January of 1909.  A quick search for our…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson

    Robert Andrew Ferguson’s Buried Gold in Hill County, Texas

    Background I am thrilled that the Gaston Gazette published these stories about R.A. Ferguson.  However, I am not certain about the dates and all the details.  For example, in one of their articles, they have him heading to the gold fields of California before gold was discovered.  In another, they say he went with one companion when we know that he went with his uncle, Squire Jim Ferguson, Squire Jim’s son, and another cousin.  Still, the articles provide insight into what happened.  We need to piece all the facts and details together from all the articles if we are to have a clear picture of R.A.’s adventures. The Article Excerpt…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson

    Robert Andrew Ferguson: Not a Common Man

    Background Following his death in March 1910, an article illustrating Robert Andrew Ferguson’s life appeared in the Gaston Gazette.  Some of the dates and timeline are incorrect, I believe, if you compare them to other documents we have.  Over all it is an amazing tribute fitting for an amazing life. The Article Published in the Gaston Gazette, Gaston, NC on Tuesday, April 12, 1910 NOT A COMMON MAN. Late R.A. Ferguson, Gaston County Man Who Recently Died in Texas, Was a Hero from His Youth – Caught Monkeys in South America and Mined Gold in California- Sketch of an Interesting Career. Some weeks ago the Gazette published an account of…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson

    Robert Andrew Ferguson Dies In Texas: Gaston, NC Obituary

    Background R.A. Ferguson is kind of a big deal in our family.  I suppose that this is because he lived a larger-than-life sort of life.  Robert Andrew Ferguson was a cowboy in Texas before and after the Civil War.  He went on horse and cattle drives and is reported to have had more horses under brand than any man in the world.  His was the C-5 brand and we are all just a little bit proud of him for his accomplishments.  Lately, I have found documents that paint a clearer picture of him.  R.A. (Uncle Bob to many) had beautiful penmanship.  He was a good friend.  Grandpa Ferguson liked to…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation,  Wood

    Treasures from the Wardrobe

    The Treasure Hunt It takes no stretch of the imagination to believe me when I tell you that the house in the photo above was full of nasty trash, furniture, rat droppings and general yuckiness.  How much imagination would it take to believe that we found some really cool stuff as we pawed through every stinking item wearing latex gloves and respirators? Before we threw one thing away, Jerry and I went through every box, drawer, and closet in the house item by item.  Some folks had already come and stolen items from the house and went through things.  Jerry and I were the only ones who could have told…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation

    Wedding Bells Ring!

    Not Your Typical Wedding Planning Have you ever heard the joke about going to a fight and a hockey game breaking out?  That is what Jillian and Mike’s wedding reminds me of.  We were in the middle of saving the house and cutting back and burning limbs one minute, and the next, we are planning a wedding. Jillian and Mike came to help us with the house this weekend.  We spent the day using the chainsaws.  And then, Jillian and Mike shocked the socks off of us at dinner.  They announced that they wanted to get married…in two weeks.  And they wanted the wedding near our place.  And they thought…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation

    Reusing the Original Stone in the New Fireplace

    Things I Hate for $1000 If you have read anything on this blog, you can probably guess that my number one most hated thing when we started was having to alter the house.  I wanted to keep it original.  Period.  The first thing we needed to do was shore up the foundation and get the house out of the dirt.  That made sense.  Of course, the first thing we had to do was (insert drum roll here) tear down the beautiful (to me) chimneys.  Dang it. Looking at the photo above, and also now that I am in a more rational state of mind, I can see clearly that the…