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Genealogy Pages for Northern Middle TN
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Smith Co., TN Bible/Family Records

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Note: A reminiscence written by Mrs. Eunice Williams FITE (Mrs. Leonard FITE) of Nashville, Tenn., who as a child was a frequent visitor at Greenwood, the home of Robert ALLEN, near Carthage, Tenn.
Mrs. FITE's mother was Lucy Anne WILLIAMS, an intimate friend of Virginia ALLEN.

"Since 'Garden Fever' has manifested itself throughout the country it is meet that a word should be said of old gardens that flourished several decades ago and live now only in the memory of a few.  So I am making a 'memory pilgrimage' to Greenwood, near Carthage, the lovely old ante bellum home of Robert ALLEN built for his distinguished bride, Rebecca GREER.

"The young mistress of the house followed the traditional idea, rare personal charm and dignity were hers, as were the virtues exemplifying the spiritual forces of her day.  Those who are familiar with Carthage, in Smith County, Tennessee, and its environs know that it rivals in beauty the scenery of the most favored upland countries--the steep bluff, the winding river, the purple hills are a never-ending delight.

"About a mile and a half northwest of town up the Old Battery hill and through a wooded drive, flanked on either side by beautiful hills, one came upon Greenwood.  The spot seemed designed by nature for a home.  The house was a two story red brick with white shutters and keystones over the windows.  A brick walk led to a flag-stone terrace and the hospitable door of the manor.  There were no columns.

"On the garden side of the house the earth sloped gently down to a meadow.  On this slope English daisies, pink, white and lavender, carpeted the ground.  The garden was part of the meadow.  I recall no geometrical designs.  Grass grew in the center and was bordered by a profusion of flowers.  Lilacs, syringa, snowballs, lemon lillies, roses, peonies, iris, etc., also the usual herbs that make fragrant the linen shelves and savoury the cuisine.  It was a garden that delighted bees and butterflies as well as children.  At the rear was a latticed summer house which sheltered the cistern over which trailed a handsome wisteria.  The usual smoke-house and cabins completed the ensemble.

"When a little girl I began accompanying my mother on visits to Greenwood, Miss Virginia ALLEN, a daughter of the house being the adored friend of my mother, a friendship hallowed by the vicissitudes of the Civil War.

"Well I remember the last visit, and a sad one, to Greenwood--Miss Virginia, my mother and I (by then a grown-up young lady) went out to spend the night.  A tenant was in charge--all the loved ones were gone.  As we walked up the brick path to the house, not a word was said, the tears were coursing down the beautiful face of Miss Virginia ALLEN, and I, on the threshold of life, wondered if it is ever wise to open the door on so many endearing memories."
                                                  Eunice Williams FITE.

See Robert ALLEN Bible.

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This page was created on 01/21/2003 and was last updated on 01/21/2003.

2003 Vanessa Slea