"Grubber" Tom Johnson

Paul Derthick of Ravenna, Ohio, visited the mountains of Eastern Kentucky during 1910-1920 and took several photos. During the upcoming months these photos will appear on the pages of The Kentucky Explorer. The following information was written on the back of the photo by Derthick, "This is the home of "Grubber" Tom Johnson, near Tallega in Lee County, Kentucky. This house was built of poles and there was no chink used. I had to give the woman the dress she was wearing and the children clothing before I could take this picture. The couple was not married. Tom built this house himself, which had only a dirt floor. The door was a slab. This was not a typical mountain home, but the worst I ever saw. My first wife was with me when I took this photo. You can see part of the bed extending out of the house, which was made of poles and fence rails. The whole family slept on this bed. The mattress was composed of rags laid over the poles. Tom and the woman were Hardshell Baptists." This photo was taken ca. 1910. Patsy Woodring, P. O. Box 2, Vancleve, KY 41385, shares this photo, which was in the belongings of Lela McConnell of Mt. Carmel.