This home and land is filled with vibrations of love, caring, joy and tolerance with realized experience of situations and solutions that ended happily. Great blessings occurred to all who passed through these doors. This will continue. The Jacob Thomas Smith Homeplace on Sedge Garden Road was hundreds of acres that reached from Sedge Garden Road to the Hastings and Joyce land on highway 150. Carl Smith, one of the earliest chiropractors in the south, bought a small acreage that had two little log cabins and a pond. In 1941, he sold this acreage to his brother Cyrus Paul Smith and Louella Matthews Smith- a perfect team. Cy was extremely charismatic, entertaining everyone he encountered, kings to paupers, and Louella was a true survivor and matriarch to her family. She was the last survivor of her nine siblings and their spouses and of Cy’s thirteen siblings and their spouses. She outlived three children. Cy, a fascinating character, was a talented baseball player- a pitcher in the Babe Ruth era. He played against the best of that period. As a young person, there was not a school he could attend after the eighth grade so he jogged to Oak Ridge Military Institute every Sunday night and jogged home on Friday. He roomed with Caesar Cone (of Cone Mills Estates) and became an excellent pitcher while there and from high school until the age of 32. He played for Minor Leagues and the Texas league that was a level between Minor and Major Leagues. He was a pennant- winning farm teams from The Yankees to The Cardinals, his favorite. (Somewhere on this property, there is a lost baseball signed by Babe and the greats of his time; the ball was lost by Wallace Paul Smith and his best friend, Joe Whicker.) The Whicker family property adjoined the original Smith property on Sedge Garden Road.
Cy came home after his team refused to sell him to the Majors because they wanted his skill that season. He came home to Standard Oil Company and found his precious wife, twelve years younger than he. Louella, (Pelly, to him) was salutatorian in her high school class in the height of the depression and her English teacher tried to get her to agree to go to Puerto Rico to teach English. She wouldn’t go. She and Cy married on December 4th, 1934 and had four children in 5 years- Kay, Pat, Wallace and Linda. They built this home in 1941, paying the carpenters 9 cents an hour. The head supervisor made 12 cents an hour. One of the cabins became the kitchen and the other downstairs bedroom. The story and half middle section was attached between the cabins and this became the wonderful Homeplace. There was no electricity on this section of Hastings Hill Road but the Ebert’s and others allowed electro lines to be pulled through to the house in 1941. This was the first house to have inside plumbing also. Wow! Cy farmed on the large family property there.
Much fun was had in the house behind the Homeplace. (Originally a pavilion.) Class pictures were held for all of Cy and Pelly’s children with baseball games in the pastures, fishing in the ponds, learning to swim in the cold spring-fed swimming pool behind the dam and jumping on the pontoon. The pavilion was built and Cy cooked bar-b-que for as many as a thousand republicans at a fund-raiser. Cy hosted many bar-b-ques on a smaller scale. They would play games like coon-on the log (socially incorrect now.) He held wedding receptions also. Cy had a true love of animals and carts that they could pull. He got ponies, goats and horses and entertained everyone. Wallace and then Mark continued the traditions. Oh! He could teach crows to talk.
Later, as Wallace came home from the Vietnam War, he and his wife Sandy turned the pavilion into a warm home, which became eight rooms through the years and was a center for family fun.
Four children and six grandchildren were raised here (grandchildren on weekends.) Mark Wallace Smith and Erin Kay Gambrell Kangiser were here every weekend climbing in trees, walking on the frozen pond, riding in boats, riding go-carts and generally pulling pranks on Forest Gambrell, Krista Des Champs, Joel Combs and brother Stephen Michael Smith. Cy died at the age of 63 and Pelly at the age of 97. The Homeplace was purchased by grandson Mark and his wife Teresa, and daughters, Ashley and Lauren. They continue to make improvements with potbelly pigs, goats, horse riding lessons, fieldtrips, barns, birthday parties and weddings. Joy reigns and family traditions continue.
Psalm 36:5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
(Written by Kay McEntire- Louella & Cy's daughter)