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It was the finest house we’d ever seen

Viola Brown Black wrote the poem below about her childhood home. It still stands on Bell St. in Hiawassee, GA. It was built by her father, Lona Cicero Brown, in 1909.


The tall, white House on the high green hill,
looking down on the sleepy little town,
was the home of my childhood, home of my heart, still,
though I’ve lived and roamed the world around.

At first it was a dream in my father’s heart,
who wanted the best for his own,
the house we lived in was falling apart
with six children all overgrown.

Father chose the trees and had them felled,
then logged to his sawmill beside a stream,
from early until late the whir of saw swelled,
making stacks of lumber to give life to a dream.

Then to a planer thirty long miles away
the lumber on wagons was hauled,
to go or to come took all of a day
and often the teams in snow were stalled.

Many a tree gave up its life, so
as to become a part of the house so fine,
it was many years ago and now no trees grow
where stood giant oak, poplar, hickory and pine.

Two stories and a half tall the house stands
and it has twelve large rooms in all,
it was built by the labor of many hands,
complete with bath, balcony, each floor a hall.

Oh, it was the Finest House we’d ever seen!
Its rooms jutted out with big windows clear;
snow-white it was painted, with high roof of green,
no other house could compare, either far or near.

It protected us from without, watched over us within
through joy, sorrow, sickness and in health,
it mourned as we mourned the sad day when
it could not hold back the angel of death.

The dear old house will ever be a part
of we who romped within its walls;
childhood, youth, and affairs of the heart,
visions of it poignantly recall.

Viola Brown Black


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It was the finest house we’d ever seen


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