Grandfather Built It.

Angie Ledbetter's grandfather built this home sometime between the late 1800s and 1901, just down the hill and across the creek from where his father originally homesteaded the place in the 1800s. At one time, after her grandfather's death, the family sold the place. Angie's parents, Myrna Garner and late father Robert "Bob" Garner, bought it back in 1974. "I suppose anyone who tries to get it now will draw back a nub," I surmised and told her the same. She agreed. The place has an interesting history.


Sunday, September 8, 2013
Pine Buff, Arkansas

I had a serious case of cabin fever, having not sallied forth to discover something new for far too long. It was May 4, 2011. I picked a direction and drove. And drove. And drove. And drove. I found a few goodies, but not the pictures and story I wanted. I was about to throw in the towel when my peripheral vision served me well. I saw an old home, promptly turned around, and drove onto the premises. As I was about to shoot, a family member drove up. At this point, the story could go either way. I got lucky. The lady was more than happy to fill me in on facts and turn me loose with a camera. Read a nice family story.

leaning barn

All but the Porch

The original homestead place was behind this old residence and high on the hill where Angie Garner's home now sits. The family removed the porch several years ago after a friend managed to crash through the 110-year-old-plus structure. Rebuilding the porch is an impending family project.

Originally published on Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thank the Almighty for peripheral vision. That's how I saw this old home off Arkansas Highway 128 in the Lonsdale community. Had I blinked, I would have probably missed it. After turning around I eased into what appeared to be a driveway, exited the pickup, and started my initial reconnoiter. I had walked no more than 10 yards when a car following the same path that I did approached. I approached the car and asked the driver, Angie Ledbetter, if this was her place.

     "Yes it is."

     "Mind if I photograph it?"

     "Not at all"

     "Is it a old family home?"


     "Can you tell me about it?"

Yes, she could.


Survivor Through and Through

The final resting place for Robert "Bob" Garner was recently assaulted by Mother Nature during the rash of storms that battered Arkansas and other southern states. As you can see, the mausoleum survived nicely. Endemic of this place. See another unsuccessful tree attack on a grave at Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind, linked below.

Angie's great grandparents were farmers and, unusual for the time, vegetarians, a requirement of their church. They built the original home from scratch, at that time, deep in the boondocks. They raised mules and 11 children. After Angie's grandparents' death, there was some controversy among surviving siblings as to who was going to get what and when were they were going to get it. The argument festered, went from bad to worse, and one of the children torched the original place.

After that unfortunate burnout, Angie's grandfather took it upon himself to build this house just down the hill from where he first drew breath. He did it in 1901. Angie's late father, Robert "Bob" Garner, was born in the house and is entombed in a mausoleum on the premises. During the recent rash of storms that have plagued the South, high winds sent a tree crashing down on the mausoleum, but it survived Mother Nature's assault.

Despite a fire, family controversy, a sale and buy back, and Mother Nature's ire, the Garner Place remains, well, The Garner Place. The family cares for the premises and one suspects with certainty that the family will have an anchor point for years to come. Good for them.

Photo Notes

Nikon D300, ISO 200, tripod mounted, AF S Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 VR. House shots composited, base exposures: porch 1/50 @ f4, house 1/40 @ f5. Mausoleum, hand-held 1/60 @ f3.5. Post processed with Perfect Resize Pro, HDR Express, and Photoshop CS5 Extended.


see more
See the puppies who call the old Garner place home at Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,   along with other pictures of the place and another grave that barely escaped Mother Nature's wrath.

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