Nov. 3, 1938
Mr. Wilkie Baber lived near Sunshine. He had a very large family—fifteen boys and each had a sister, Among this family of boys was Barney A. Baber, who became postmaster at Shelby, N. C.; W. O. Baber who was one time county treasurer of Rutherford; E. B. Baber, now of Marion, N. C., superintendent of a furniture factory there; Henry C. Baber, who was a railway engineer and was killed a few years ago just above Rutherfordton in a train wreck on the Southern Railway. Joe Baber was killed in an automobile wreck in Gastonia a few years ago. Charlie is in Morganton; Jack is in Arkansas and Bell is in Greenville, S. C. The others are all dead.
Mr. Baber at one time had the contract to carry the mail on a route running from Rutherfordton to Duncan’s Creek post office. For a while they only made one trip a week, then later twice a week, and I believe later on they made three trips each week. There were about nine post offices on this route, starting at Rutherfordton, via Myrtle, Bonny, Brittain, Logan Store, Cliffdale, Sunshine, First Broad, Golden Valley, Gamble`s Store and Duncan’s Creek. This mail was carried on horseback part of the time, sometimes in a two wheeled cart, and paid somewhere around $300 per year. These post offices have all been discontinued, and the territory is served by rural routes.
He would sell his brandy as low as seventy-five cents per gallon or twenty-five cents per quart.
Cedar Grove Methodist church was located at Sunshine and belonged to the Cherry Mountain circuit. Other churches in this circuit were Salem, Golden Valley and Forest City. The pastors resided at Forest City. Later the name of this circuit was changed to Forest City. Among the circuit riders as they were called, as I remember them, were Revs. McLeard, York, Stryder and Dr. LeGette.
Mr. Javan A. Calton was one of the leading citizens of this community and a good farmer: He lived at the foot of Cherry Mountain, just below what is called the Rock House. Back in that period there was a great deal of brandy made in this section and Mr. Calton made brandy nearly every year, both apple and peach. This peach brandy with a little honey was not bad medicine to take. He would sell his brandy as low as seventy-five cents per gallon or twenty-five cents per quart. Later in life Mr. Calton quit making brandy and joined Mt. Harmony Baptist church. He served as county commissioner two years. He had a stroke of paralysis while pulling corn one day, and lived only a short time thereafter. His wife, was a Miss Moss, and a fine, christian character. I believe she is still living at the old home place. They reared a family of five boys and two girls, all of whom are living.
Mt. Harmony Baptist church was about two miles from Sunshine post office, in the settlement locally called Toney Town, there being several families of Toneys residing there. I have seen a number of young men attending preaching services at this church with a bottle of whiskey in their pocket, and frequently there would be those who would imbibe too freely.
There were few buggies in those days so the people would come in wagons and on horseback, very often one would see both a man and woman riding the same horse. A great many would walk to church, walking in many instances three or four miles on Sunday to attend services.
Among the pastors of this church that I recall were J. Monroe Bridges, Robert Poston and Jay Bridges, H. D. Harrill and Z. D. Harrill, of Ellenboro. This was a great place for young folk to go and many couple, have done their courting around and about this old church. Upping blocks were a familiar object at all country churches. Many of the young ladies would ride horseback to church, ride up to the upping block and dismount, and some young man would help her dismount and then hitch her horse for her, and then walk with her to the church door. Occasionally the girl did not want to walk with the boy, so she would walk off and leave him while he was hitching her horse. This was considered very impolite, so a girl of this type would sometimes have to hitch her own horse with probably a half dozen young men looking on.
Mr. Ben Price lived about one half mile from Mt. Harmony church. He was a blacksmith by trade and farmed a little. He joined Cedar Grove Methodist church when he was gray-headed and about seventy years of age.
We held an entertainment at the close of a school at Sunshine, and the house was very crowded with all standing room taken up. Some time during the exercises someone knocked over a lamp and it rolled eight or ten feet, leaving a streak of fire where it rolled, but Mr. Will McClure secured hold of it and threw it out of the window, where it rolled a short distance burning all the time, but never did explode. The people, became very much excited and some of them made for the door, and one young lady was so excited she ran over Mr. Dan Martin and knocked him down. She said the first she remembered after the incident was standing by a tree in the yard, but did not know just how she got out there.