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Chimney memories, brick by brick
Readers recall childhood games and experienced stone masons as part of lone chimney histories
A lone chimney stands near the entrance to the River Walk subdivision off U.S. 129 in Hall County. Do you know anything about the home that once stood here? E-mail reporter Ashley Bates at . - photo by Tom Reed

We received multiple calls and recollections of chimneys from readers after we ran a story about abandoned chimneys a few weeks ago.

Everyone seemed to really embrace the historical value of these silent landmarks. So, we decided a chimney update was in order.

Carter cabin chimney

The Carter cabin chimney, located just behind The Times, was the marker that recalled memories for several Gainesville residents.

The Carter mansion was formerly located on The Times property, back when Gainesville and Green Street were still moving at a slow pace.

Rives Carter, whose grandparents lived in the Carter mansion, recalled the chimney as a part of the cabin in the backyard.

"My parent put the cabin on top of a tennis court, so it was not small," he said. "It was pretty good size because there was a ping-pong table inside. The only heat was the fireplace and there was a kerosene stove."

Happy Kirkpatrick lived across the street from the Carters and said many children played in the Carter backyard.

"I played in that cabin and burned marshmallows, played with fire and sticks," she said. "I rode my first pony down there ... we used to have wars and fights."

Kirkpatrick recalled that the house was a "beautiful white-columned house ... they had a formal garden, a informal garden."

Carter added that the family would lock up the cabin, from time to time, to keep the children out. But that didn't stop the Carter children.

"We would climb through the top of the chimney and get in," he said.

Both Kirkpatrick and Carter said the chimney was moved when Sylvan Wood Lane was constructed.

"He (Realtor David Mercer) told me it was moved and it was never on a hill," Carter said.

Italian-built chimney in White County

Gainesville's Alex Taylor noted that a very unique chimney is sitting just past White County High School.

He recalled the chimney was built by Italian immigrants and still sits just off U.S. 129.

"It is looking out over one the most beautiful paintings in North Georgia," he said. "There is a beautiful old chimney right beside a little creek. It was from a two-story house and there was an elderly man named Pardue ... his family settled that valley back in the 1800s and he passed away last year."

The story Pardue told Taylor was of a wealthy family that was an important part of the community.

"It was a very affluent group of people that settled that valley," Taylor said. "Each fall people would gather and drive their pigs and cows and they would pen them up around there.

"This chimney is very unique and very well done," Taylor added. It's different than a lot of chimneys, he said, because the Italian immigrants were masons, "came through there and built that chimney. It's made out of old stone."

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