When growing up, children see through different eyes. They take for granted at the moment their surroundings, only to find when they grow older a different vision becomes their reality. What was once everyday life becomes important memories one wants to preserve and share for future generations to come.
This is exactly what happened to Adam Scales of Russellville. When he was growing up he remembers spending time on his grandparent’s farm in Nolensville, Tenn. Elton and Floraine Scales were dairy farmers who purchased the Johnson homestead in 1959.
“I loved going there,” said Adam. “As kids always seem to do, I never really payed attention to how special this place was for me until I grew up. I took for granted the importance it played in my life until I saw it through adult eyes.”
Adam was very close to his grandparents. His grandfather passed away in 2006 leaving Adam with many memories. His granddaddy, as he called him, was a veteran of World War II. He had been wounded in Italy and lost his leg after gangrene set in. During the war Adam’s grandmother worked at a defence plant on the assembly line producing bazooka shells. She was in charge of adding the TNT to them.
“He had a wooden leg. We didn’t know any different at the time because that was what we kids were used to him having. But after growing up, we all realized how hard that must have been for him,” said Adam. “What was most touching is he never complained once about it and never let it stop him. He was a very hard worker and never wanted anyone to take care of him or look at him any different.”
The family farm in Nolensville was sold in 2015, but before leaving with only memories to hold dear, Adam got an idea in his head that wouldn’t be held at bay. The old log corn crib he remembers playing in as a child was something he wanted to bring home to his family farm in south Logan. This would be a tremendous feat as the corn crib was literally underneath additions built around it over numerous years.
The original structure was built with logs close to 200-years-old. It was built by the Johnson family, who were early pioneer settlers of the area. The structure sat less than 100 feet from the original Nolensville-Franklin, Tenn. Road, and no doubt saw many things over the years, such as Civil War activity with many northern and southern soldiers passing through.
“The logs are cedar, and judging by the growth rings, a majority of them were 150 years old or older when cut,” said Adam adding, “That would put them growing in the early to mid 1600’s. I wonder how many American Indians walked by these trees as they were growing. Another interesting fact is most of the logs have the ends left on them the way they were chopped off the stump.”
Many of the logs have Roman numeral markings from time of the original construction.
The project began with taking down all that surrounded the original log structure. This took time and was very dangerous. Adam and many members of his family helped.
“We took a chainsaw and literally cut away at what was hiding the original structure,” said Adam. “This has really been a great family project. Three generations have been working together.”
Currently, the Scales family are getting ready to put the roof on the log structure. They built sheds around the sides to sturdy it and help protect it from the elements.
Adam’s parents Rayford and Diane Scales are also involved and Adam feels they are just as excited as he is about having the corn crib back in the family.
“One neat thing we did was take a shelf from the old structure that my dad built when he was young to sturdy a transistor radio. We put it up in the same place it was in the corn crib in Nolensville,” said Adam. “Now we just need to find another old radio to put back on the shelf.”
The best part of this project, said Adam, is reminiscing with his dad and his uncle Larry about their childhood. The stories told and the closeness they all have for one another.
“My dad was 14 when he moved to the farm in Nolensville, he is now 70-years-old. I am very happy we were able to save something that was a part of who he is, and his father before him, and for those in our family to come,” Adam said.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.