Friday, July 13, 2007

Buzzardtown on the Boom

by David Parmer

"Buzzardtown" is Orlando ’s neighbor to the west on the Burnsville road. In the early 20th century, Orlando was an important town because of the train transfer station for the two branches of the B & O railroad at the Orlando Depot. Buzzardtown also had the same two railroad branches, as well as a siding. The McCord siding, as it was known, had been built to serve the oil and gas exploration and production companies which were active in the area at that time in the Buzzardtown area.

Uncle Zeke who lived in Buzzardtown was ever the booster of his little village. While Orlando had genuine commerce taking place and hundreds of train passengers disembarking daily in that town, and spending money with the local merchants, Buzzardtown was still just a sleepy little town with an occasional business transaction. Those are the transactions Uncle Zeke, of the local chamber of commerce, liked to tout in his Buzzardtown news column. In March of 1923, Uncle Zeke sharpened his pencil and wrote of the recent business transactions in Buzzardtown.

"Our town is considerably on the boom this spring. Bill Henline has got out seven crossties for Jack Posey; Oscar Posey and Lee Skinner have each built a house in their imagination; George Riffle has set two hens; P.N. Blake is dealing in cats; Bud Hamilton has five dogs; O. P. McCord has two cows and a piece; Burr Skinner is improving in business transactions; and our old cow has mended up until she gives nearly a pint of milk; M. J. Riffle has secured a quarter’s worth of Mail Pouch for the summer; A. N. Posey sold a peck of potatoes last week; Charley Ratliff talks of going to church some day; Tom Brown saws a log a day in spite of all he can do; and Poke Sharp just keeps a’pokin".

In view of the magnitude of the Buzzardtown economic news of March 1923 as reported by Uncle Zeke, it was no wonder the American economy was booming in the roarin’ Twenties.

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