Friday, August 28, 2015

Mid-November 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
Mid-November 1998

This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in Mid-November of 1998.

The Oaks Springs Historical and Genealogical Society held a regular monthly meeting at the Oak Springs Public Library on Tuesday evening, November 17. Jennifer Kirk presented the program on her experiences using the PAF computer program for storing her researched family history data. Discussion after the meeting was split between those who saw the computer program as a ‘great new tool’ and those who only wanted to continue to use paper records and notebooks as they had always done it. 

A joint press release from The Bevins Trust and the McDonald Conservancy was published in the Oak Springs Enterprise on Wednesday, November 18. It simply stated that agreements had been reached among all parties involved with regard to land assignments and distributions to the various ongoing projects related to the two entities and related individuals. These agreements would allow planning for the individual projects to move forward. Both entities expressed their appreciation to all other entities, both public and private, for their cooperation. Ronnie Cox, Executive Director of the McDonald Conservancy, in response to questions following the press release, added: “We felt it was important to let the public know that these negotiations had been completed. It was one of the loose ends following the awarding of the DNR grant that had held up or delayed some other project planning. Those plans and projects can now move forward.”

Meanwhile, construction work at the McDonald Conservancy Visitor Center on Highway 37 was moving along briskly.

Paul Gates, Manager of the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market, confirmed that plans for the Par-3 Golf Course near the Mill along the creek were now proceeding forward. He added that clarification of the land ownership interests had opened the way for the golf course planning as well as the modifications to the kayak/canoe portage roads and the proposed new housing development in the area. These would all now be done in concert with the trails system of the McDonald Conservancy funded by each phase of the DNR grant.

Traditional Thanksgiving holiday activities in Oak Springs and the Oak Creek Valley were continued with a focus on “food and football” for most of the local residents.

Thanksgiving Day family gatherings reported included:
1) Harry and Sarah Flanders hosted Jacob Howell, his wife, Lisa Flanders-Howell, and their son, Tommy Howell.
2) Jack and Mona Evans hosted Travis and Laura Inman and their children along with his parents, Grover and Hedda Inman. Mona’s father, Lyle Cunningham, and Jack’s father, Doc Evans, were also among their guests. Late afternoon guests were Christopher, Nicole and C.P. Ogden.
3) Karen and Lori Winslow hosted the extended Bevins family in the Heritage Hall at the Homeplace Country Inn, including:
a) Bart and Diane Bevins; Christopher, Nicole and C.P. Ogden; Brian, Jennifer and Ashley Kirk; Don and Linda Kirk
b) Paul Gates, Julie Barnes, Scott, Rachel and Faith Gates, and Heather Gates
c) Peter, Sheila and Jeremy Bevins
d) Matt, Susan, Tyler and Emily Winslow
e) Mark, Erin and Jessica James, visiting from Austin, Texas
f) Raynor Crimmons and his daughter, Randi, visiting from the Washington, D.C. area
g) Dick and Penny Nixon

"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. I wish I could force writers on HP to read your series. It's that good. It should be required reading for anyone considering the life of a writer.