One of the final items I wanted to add to my work on the McClure family history concerned the artifacts we have left over from our ancestors. Things we can hold in our hand and pass down to our children. It also got me to thinking about what I have that means something to me that I would like to pass down to generations to come. In this digital age and throw-away society, those items are harder to come by. Hold onto something that reminds you where you came from. You will treasure it in the future.
August 18, 2012. Antique Handmade Berry Basket & Backpack made by Thornton Jasper McClure when he lived in Allen’s Creek at foot of Pinnacle Mountain. Made in 1880-1890 time frame.
WHERE ARE THE PIECES OF OUR FAMILY HISTORY?
The basket is made from bark with shoulder straps made from thin wood strips (probably hickory). The basket was soaked in a stream the day before going to use it to soften it up and let it conform to your back. It was used to tout huckleberries and other things gathered from the mountains for food or barter. My dad said it was used often to carry huckleberries from trips up to Shinning Rock area where lots of huckleberries grow.
My dad said Thornton Jasper McClure could also make beautiful fishing lines from horse hair (presumably the horse’s tail hair).
Thornton Jasper was born in 1850, son of Thomas Jasper McClure & Sarah Wilson, in Hyder Mountain area near Clyde, NC. He worked for Reuben Eldridge Medford on Allen’s Creek and married his daughter Lydia Areena Medford. They lived in house at foot of Pinnacle Mountain facing east towards Lickstone Bald and the Big Ridge mica mine. A small stream coming off the pinnacle ran by the north side of the house and was their water source. My grandmother bought the Pinnacle Mountain up from his house to protect the small stream from being polluted should anyone move in upstream from them.
Thomas Jasper was son of Andrew McClure Jr & Debra Aiken. He was son of Andrew McClure Sr & Mary Wilson who were Haywood county pioneers living on Crabtree Creek. He moved there from Rowan County in 1780-190 time periods. It is believed both Andrew & Andrew Jr are buried in the McClure Cemetery near head of McClure Cove near Clyde, NC.
From Doris Andersen’s book. A photo of one a hand made quilt made by America McClure. Doris’ parents received it from her ca 1952. She says most of the quilt appears to be made from chicken feed sacks.