Sep 23

Family Recipe Friday: No. Ga. JAY Food, Part 2

The following come of Joe Bailey’s manuscript, North Georgia JAY Food? It’s Growing, Harvesting, Preparation and Other Interesting Stuff with his permission.

The first food that comes to my mind is “Mamma’s” FRIED POTATOES AND ONIONS. I have had this dish many times, cooked in a black iron skillet on a wood stove, in Dawson County, GA on the War Hill Rd. It consists of 3 – 4 Irish potatoes cut up into ¼” – ½” cubes. The cubes are dropped into about a ½” of hot “hog lard grease” (HLG) and fried until they are about ½ done. Then you add 1 – 2 cups of coarsely chopped onions and cook until the onions and potatoes are done. Turn out onto a paper towel to soak up the grease (I don’t believe Mamma ever did this). These are better than “Waffle House” scattered and smothered”.

HOE CAKE. This is biscuit dough that was never made into biscuits. You make biscuit dough and shape it into something resembling a big pancake. This is placed in a black iron skillet with a light coating of HLG and baked in the oven till done. This is served on a platter and everyone picks up the hoe cake and “tears him off a piece the size he wants”.

Contact the Author

Mr. Bailey would like to hear from anyone about their memories of any foods they think may have been passed down from their Jay Ancestors. Just send me a message at linda @ and I’ll see that Mr. Bailey gets the message.

Joe Bailey owns the copyright for this story and the three images in this post. Please respect his copyright.

Sep 22

North Georgia Jay Food

Recently, I had the opportunity to read a couple of excerpts from a manuscript written by Joe Bailey in which he relates memories of growing, harvesting, and food preparation of the Jay Family. The title: North Georgia JAY Food? It’s Growing, Harvesting, Preparation and Other Interesting Stuff.

We are fortunate that Mr. Bailey provided me with the complete eleven-page manuscript and has given me permission to publish his work in this blog. I really enjoy his way with words and know y’all will too. My plan is to include Mr. Bailey’s introduction in this post, then tomorrow and subsequent Fridays to post one or two additional entries.

Joe Bailey is a descendant of Mary Emily (Jay) Martin shown in the above photograph.

Manuscript Introduction

“I knew my grandma (Mamma), Bessie Mary Ann Martin (1879 – 1965) and I ate a lot of the food she cooked between my birth in 1940 and her death in 1965. While I did not live full time in the rural Dawson County home place, I spent enough time visiting to have participated in all of what I have written here regarding the subject of the food that was served here. I must only assume that most of what she cooked was learned from her mother, Mary Emily Jay – Martin (1847 – 1934). Both of these ladies, my grandmother and my great grandmother spent most of their lives in rural Hall and Dawson Counties in Georgia. Mary Emily Jay was the daughter of Isaac Morrow Jay (1820 – 1894), son of William Jay (1789 – 1860), son of David Jay (1765 – 1839), son of William Jay (1711 – 1773). My reference in this article to “Mamma” is identifying Bessie Martin. Reference to “Uncle Charlie” is her brother who never married and remained with his parents on the home place. Mamma’s husband, J. O. Hughes died in 1923and Mamma returned to the Dawson County home place to live with her brother, Charlie.”

The Marion Martin Home Place on War Hill Road, Dawson County, Georgia (Ca 1900)

[Left to Right: Charlie Martin, Marion Martin, Mary Emily Jay-Martin, Odus Martin, and unknown male]

Mary Emily Jay-Martin (1847-1934)


“All the food I mention here, with the exception of Popcorn, was cooked on a woodstove with four burner eyes and double ovens. The stove was fired by pine “stove wood”, which was my job to keep ‘toted in” from the woodpile. Water was drawn with a rope tied to a well bucket from a 50’ deep well located in the side yard. The rope was wrapped around a pole made from a pine log with a handle attached at one end. The rope ran through a pulley in the rafters of the “well shelter”. One of my jobs, when I visited, was to keep the two 2 gallon water buckets in the house supplied with fresh well water.”

“With this as a background and introduction for presenting this information, I felt it might be interesting to the Jay Family Association members to hear about what I remember of my grandmother’s food, which I am sure she learned most of from her mother Mary Emily Jay and can be considered “Jay Food”. Maybe some of this will sound familiar to you also as being on your tables when you were growing up. Probably there will also be some regional variations in the food selections. I would suspect that the Texas cousins would be exposed more to beef than the pork that was the mainstay of the Southeast. Our Northeast and Midwestern cousins also may have many recipes/remberances of good foods that they enjoyed as “pass downs” from their Jay ancestors. ”

Contact the Author

Mr. Bailey would like to hear from anyone about their memories of any foods they think may have been passed down from their Jay Ancestors. Just send me a message at linda @ and I’ll see that Mr. Bailey gets the message.

Joe Bailey owns the copyright for this story and the three images in this post. Please respect his copyright.


Sep 21

Wordless Wednesday: Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls

Sep 14

Wordless Wednesday: Apple Country

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Sep 07

Wordless Wednesday: Identification Desired

Keown Falls Trail, Walker County, Georgia, 9/19/2008

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


Aug 31

Wordless Wednesday

John's Mountain Overlook, near intersection of Walker, Chattooga, Floyd, & Gordon Counties

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights Reserved.

Aug 28

Museum Talk: Old Pickens County Jail

Old Pickens County Jail

The Pickens County Jail served Pickens County, Georgia, as a jail from 1909 through 1982. The building, now on the National Historic Register, served two purposes—to house the county inmates on the upper level and to serve as the residence of the county sheriff or his deputy on the first level.


The building continues to be owned by Pickens County, but it is the Marble Valley Historical Society that maintains the facility and the heritage cabin on the property.

The Mission of the Marble Valley Historical Society

  • To gather and record the history and happenings of Pickens County
  • To promote an interest in and appreciation for local history
  • To promote exhibits and recordings of the history of the area
  • To encourage a strong, active interest among our youth in the history of the area
  • To solicit and receive funds for the accomplishment of these goals

The Society operates a museum stressing the heritage of Pickens County. The museum is opened for limited hours. Call 706.253.1141 for hours of operation for the Old Pickens County Jail Museum and the Heritage Cabin.

Bean Hole


© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Aug 17

Faulkner Family Cemetery, Pickens County

In late October of 2008, Tony Poss (a long time Pickens County resident) contacted me about a family cemetery not far from Four Mile Baptist Church, in the southeastern part of the county. He took me to visit the long abandoned cemetery that was still marked by a wrought iron fence. The fence enclosed a square area of about 36 x 36 feet. Within the area we found one sunken grave marked simply with a field stone.

The gate to the little cemetery is unique. As seen in the accompanying photographs, the gate is clearly marked  with the surname Faulkner. Just above the name plate the manufacturer is identified—The No Nelson Iron Works, Knoxville, Tennessee.

The iron wok is exquisite and its sad to see that no one has taken care of this little burial plot.


© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights reserved.

Aug 15

Military Monday: Sloan H. Abbott, Confederate Veteran

The family of Salome Abbot was enumerated in the Dug Road District (Jasper Post Office), Pickens County, Georgia on 6 June 1860.[1] The household consisted of Salome Abbott, age 27, born in S.C. farmer, real estate valued at $200, and personal estate valued at $150; Anna Abbot, age 30, born in S.C.; and Georgia Abbot, age 1, born in Georgia.

S.H. Abbett appear on the muster roll of Pickens County Militia on the 4th of March 1862.[2] On that same day Sloan Abbett enlisted in the 43d Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry. His service record[3] indicates that he served in Company C, lead by Captain Benjamin T. Hanie’s. Abbott appears on the company muster roll for 10 March to the end of Augusst 1862 with a remark stating that he died of fever on the 28th of June [1862].

Anna Abbott filed for a Confederate Pension on the 18th of January 1899.[4]

According to her pensaion application her husband, Sloan Abbott, died of typhoid fever on the 29th of June 1862. [5] Sloan H. and his wife, Anna, are buried at the Four Mile Baptist Church Cemetery in Southeastern Pickens County. His headstone has the dates 27 November 1832 to 29 June 1862.[6]

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved

[1] 1860 U.S. Census, Free Population Schedule, Pickens County, Georgia, page 885, dwelling 65, family 47; NARA micropublication M653, reel 133.

[2] Tate, History of Pickens County, 224

[3] 43d Inf. Service Records, M266, Reel 460

[4] Confederate Pension Application of Anna Abbott, Widow of Sloan Abbott, Pickens County, Georgia; Georgia Archives micropublication GCP 372.

[5] Pickens County, Georgia, Confederate Pension Records, 1890-1910; Georgia Archives microcopy RHS 4108. Hereinafter cited as Pickens Co. Confederate Pension Records, 1890-1910.

[6] Tombstone of Sloan Abbott viewed and read by Linda Woodward Geiger, 15 February 2002.


Jul 26

Tombstone Tuesday: Some Early Burials at Price Creek Cemetery

Price Creek Baptist Church and Cemetery are located in northern Pickens County, Georgia, near the Gilmer County Line.

One unusual burial site is that of “Two Little Indian Boys.” The marble stone appears to be rather modern and the identity of the boys is a mystery.

Elizabeth Wheeler, wife of Absolum Wheeler

Thomas Grizzel

Octaver Bradley


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