We often talk about how successful men credit their wives and mothers with their success, and rightly so. It’s fitting that we recognize that the contributions that women have made should not be overlooked.
Another side of that coin, though, is the untold stories of prominent men, stories of their home life, their hobbies, their spare-time pursuits away from their professional and civic lives. We too often take for granted our everyday surroundings and the talents of the people we see every day.
I realized this in a special way recently. We have lived a stone’s throw from Main Street on Woodstock’s north side for 47 years next month.
We still have a few of the same neighbors even after all these years. Although Glenn Hubbard died a few years ago, his widow and daughter are still in the house he built in 1949.
I cannot begin to count the number of times I have been to that house. More often than not, I entered through the back door.
I had admired the rock lighthouse, a real structure in the backyard, but it just blended in with the overall scenery. It actually has a light bulb in the top, and is the source of light for the back entrance to the house.
There had been a little problem with the light recently, and the MOTH went over to check on that. Somehow, for the first time in my memory, I asked about the lighthouse, how it came to be. Turns out it is yet another example of historic preservation.
It goes back to Glenn’s boyhood on the family farm, which was located in the area of today’s Hobgood Park on Bells Ferry Road. Rose Creek flowed through the farm, and Glenn’s father panned for gold there.
Glenn attended the one-room Othello School. One of his friends was Charlie Poore. The two of them, along with other boys in the area, organized the Night Owl Christian Club, and it was there the boys learned and put into practice those attributes that would serve them well in adulthood… adherence to the club’s by-laws and code of ethics, prompt payment of dues, regular attendance at meetings, and participation in debates on such timely subjects as trains vs. automobiles, Woodrow Wilson vs. Abraham Lincoln, and timber crops vs. cotton crops.
Glenn’s friend Charlie was a talented artist and craftsman, and when Charlie built a lighthouse at his home many years later, Glenn took note. He gathered rocks from his father’s farm, from the creek bed of Rose Creek, and from the foundation of the old Othello School, and fashioned his own lighthouse.
Now that is preservation. I doubt that Glenn had preservation in mind when he built the lighthouse, but years later, in 1997 when Woodstock celebrated its centennial, he used his talent to create a reproduction of an old-fashioned water well housing, complete with a bucket and rope on a pulley.
The structure was on display on the sidewalk near the Main Street intersection with Mill Street, approximately where the original town well was located.
Glenn also built a bench resembling the one he remembered and placed it at a storefront near the well, probably where the townsmen sat in bygone days. The items served to remind citizens and visitors of the city’s history.
It’s too bad that Glenn’s lighthouse is not visible from Main Street. It stands as a monument to Glenn’s creative abilities, but also as a symbol of what one person can mean to a community.
Of all Glenn’s accomplishments … and there are many … the one to be treasured most is his writings about the way of life in the area where he grew up.
His purpose in “jotting down” some facts, stories and happenings, was “to preserve some record of what has become the background of Charlie and me as well as the lifestyle of a very small corner of Cherokee County, Ga.”
The time period covered is 1915 (the year of his birth) to 1960, and the area is from Little River Landing to Oak Grove School, and Victoria Landing to Woodstock.
Entitled “Before Allatoona,” it cannot be called a memoir because Glenn is not the main character. Rather, the community is the protagonist. Glenn is the voice, but the story is the place and its influence on the lives of its inhabitants.
Glenn’s birthday is Sept. 21. He would be 98 years old. We miss him still.
Juanita Hughes is Woodstock’s official historian.