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History, up in smoke
Abandoned chimneys evoke times past and faded memories


Sheila Schumer talks about the old chimneys that will serve as the entrance to her new home in Clermont.

Since our update a few weeks ago on local abandoned chimneys, we have been deluged with calls and e-mails telling us of even more.

These silent landmarks seem to be an important part of local history, and so another chimney update is in order.

Clarks Bridge Road chimneys

Sheila Schumer is building her dream home in northern Hall County on a plot where two old chimneys stand. And instead of knocking down the two chimneys, Schumer decided to incorporate them in her new home.

"It's just an old homestead and it's part of history," she said. "I wanted it to feel like my home, too. So, I would hate for someone to tear something down of my home that had been there forever.

"So I thought the people in the area that did know the people that had lived there would like to see a little piece of them left behind." Schumer is planning to incorporate the chimneys in the gate that welcome visitors to her new home.

"They are exactly where they were and luckily they were wide enough apart that we are going to be able to get our gates in between them," she said.

Elmer Hopper, the builder for the project, said the chimneys were altered slightly.

"We added new tops, made one a little lower for more character," he said.

Schumer said the chimneys had deteriorated slightly and "had been open to the weather after the house had been torn down ... we closed them up and closed off the tops so rain wouldn't get on the inside, and we are going to seal the bricks," she said.

Schumer didn't know much about the old homestead, but she did hear why the house was no longer standing when she purchased the property.

"Apparently it was owned by a man that owned a furniture company in town," she said. "He wasn't a big believer in banks, so he had stored a lot of his money in attics and dugs holes and buried it and things like that. And (he) told his relatives where the money was, but when people found out there was so much money lying about there, they started tearing the house down looking for more money."

Carter cabin chimney

After the long-debated story of the chimney located just behind The Times, we have now acquired a photo of the original Carter cabin chimney, courtesy of Rives Carter.

Carter, whose grandparents lived in the Carter mansion, recalled the chimney as a part of the cabin in his grandparents' backyard, in a July 17 interview with The Times.

"My grandparents 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."

Gainesville resident Happy Kirkpatrick grew up across the street from the Carter home and recalls many fond memories of the cabin.

Although, there has been some disagreement over whether the current chimney is the same as the original, 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.

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