Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Martins Creek Community Center Jamboree

Martins creek community center

Do you have community centers where you live? We do here-actually there are 2 in my neck of the woods-Brasstown Community Center and Martins Creek Community Center.

Over the years for some reason it seems Martins Creek’s Community Center has played a larger role in our lives. Maybe because it’s been there longer-most certainly because we all went to school at Martins Creek Elementary School-which used to sit directly in front of the center.

For the last several years Pap has been MC of the community center’s monthly Saturday night gospel singings, which feature music groups from throughout the area. There is no admission fee-however they do sell hotdogs, hamburgers, and the best banana pudding you ever put in your mouth. They only hold the singings in the summer months-and the money they raise from concessions helps pay the light bill for the center along with other small needs that arise.

Martins creek community center jamboree

Some of you may remember our recording day-from last summer? Well the Martins Creek Community Center is where the Blind Pig Gang was ensconced on that hot July day. In between recording adjustments I noticed a shelf of photo albums and scrap books compiled by folks who’ve volunteered at the community center over the years. I told the girls “Lets see how many people we recognize” as I pulled one of the bigger ones down and began to leaf through the pages.

I figured I’d see a few pictures of a younger Pap-from where he’d sung at the community center over the years. To my total surprise I saw me. I saw a timeline of my growing up years.

Martins Creek Baseball Team

There were indeed pictures of Pap pickin and grinnin. And there were photos of the rag tag baseball teams Pap, Jim Williams, Max Roberson, Jim Mulkey, and Jerry Ledford coached through the years. Memories of those days came flying back at me. While Steve or Paul was on the baseball field I was playing with the other kids nearby. I remembered all those older boys who were Steve’s buddies-especially the ones I had a secret crush on-and I thought of the boys who till this day wear the moniker given to them by Pap-Bluebird, Rooster, Lead Foot, Cutie Pie, Mud Turtle, and Pickle to name a few.

I saw photos of my best friend Tracy and her brother Doug standing at the old Martins Creek School amid a parking lot full of 70 era cars-the scene looked so real I felt like I could reach out and touch Tracy’s rosy cheeks-somebody had a good camera.

I saw faded photos of elders from our community who have long since gone-but whose influence still remains in the minds of those who remember them.

And there were literal pictures of me too-pictures I didn’t even know existed. Me at 4H club-me sitting in the stands at ball games-me in my ball uniform.

Who knew my history was sitting on a shelf less than 2 miles away from me all these years? Actually it was a pretty cool thing to discover.


This Saturday-February 25th 2012-The Martins Creek Community Center will be hosting a Jamboree. It starts at 7:00am and there’ll be:

  • Muffins and coffee for sell during breakfast hours-if you live in the area-stop by and pick up something to eat before you start your day
  • A silent auction-with winners announced at 3:00pm-I hear they have some really good items-including a cornmeal grindstone
  • A country store with a variety of items
  • Several vendors will have booths set up with various items for sell
  • During lunch and throughout the afternoon-hotdog and hamburger plates will be sold-hotdog plates for $4.00 and hamburger plates for $5.00-both come with chips, a dessert, and a drink-if you live in the area please stop by for a bite of dinner or supper or both
  • Chances on a $100 gift certificate for Save Alot will be available for purchase
  • Begining around 12:00pm there will be live music provided from several local bands including the Blind Pig Gang

The community center is hosting the Jamboree in an effort to raise money to update their heating and cooling system. They are still accepting donations for the country store, silent auction as well as monetary donations.


Be sure to leave me a comment and tell me about the community centers in your area.



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  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    February 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Some of my best memories were made at the Martins Creek Community Center. I didn’t know about the pictures. Now, I’ll for sure have to make a trip to see them. Also,one of my favorite memories was riding in the back of your Daddy’s truck to the baseball games…along with the boys.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    To be honest, even though the town I live in is tiny (4000+/- pop) other than the church and military veteran centers like the VFW, I know of none, but they sound wonderful. I guess if your community isn’t one that generally bands together in times of triumph and trouble, there won’t be a community center – and isn’t that sad, for both reasons.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Hi Tipper,
    I read your post on my phone the other day and could not leave a comment. But, we do have a Community Center in Warne, NC. just five or so miles west of Brasstown, NC and we have pot luck dinners the fourth Tuesday of each month.
    We had a fall festival last year and we had crafts, music,and an auction too! Along with a spagetti dinner! There is talk of a spring festival too.
    I would love to see the scrapbooks, that is a wonderful idea I will have to ask about one for our center. I love learning of this area since moving here last summer.
    Smiles, Cyndi

  • Reply
    February 24, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Please tell me where the Martin creek community center is. Would like see it thanks John

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Oh Tipper, that is truly a precious time and discovery with your girls.
    We mostly have Grange halls in these parts, community clubs or community halls are for in town. Except in our neighborhood. We have one of the few rural community clubs. Unfortunately not as community as yours sounds. But my girls have some good memories from there.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    February 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    You are so blessed, Tipper. I know of no place around here anywhere like your center.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    What a nice surprise for you to find pics that you didn’t know were there. Would like to be there to listen to the music and eat a burger.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    February 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun at the Jamboree….Why is it that hamburgers, hotdogs taste so good at those type of events?
    So many nice community centers around and so many folks don’t take advantage of what they have to offer….of course some are more elaborate than others offering indoor swimming, basketball courts, libraries, meeting rooms etc….The last one I visited, I went to a monthly scrapbooking meeting and learned so much from the other gals there…Lots of fun..
    Well be thinking of you this weekend and hope the weather clears for the event…
    It is so warm here today..almost unbelievable…I even turned the heat down to almost off and it hasn’t kicked in at all..Great day for fishin’ or spring cleanin’…Let’s see now…find me that two-headed nickle..Yep, fishin’ won…
    Thanks Tipper, wonderful post..
    You need to copy some of those old pictures you don’t have….

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    February 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Wow! This sounds like a great gathering at the Martin’s Creek Community Center. I’m sure it would be very enjoyable to hear the great gospel music. I would love to attend one of your singings this summer. I’m sure Mama and I would like it very much.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Oh Tipper, what memories you have here of your childhood and the ones you’re making now with your own family for them to have in the coming years. I did not have a community center when I was growing up and I feel like I missed out on so much. Enjoy the Jamboree and if I lived closer I would be right there with you.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Hi Tipper,
    It sounds like a lot of fun at your jamborees too. There is a jamboree within our area every night of the week. I usually only go to the Monday night jamboree here in Woodstock, New Brunswick Canada. It costs $3.00 to get in for two hours of music and dancing. We get anywhere from 60 – 120 people in attendance each Monday night. The funds raised pay the hall rental and the equipment cost. There are very many musically talented folks in this province, and we love to have these jamborees and a great social time for everyone. We sell 50/50 tickets and have door prizes also. Every last monday of the month, we have a potluck finger-food meal with lots of variety of food.
    I sing and play guitar along with the band and record the jamborees on my digital audio recorder and post the music on my Multiply site, as you may have noticed from my link. Thank you for sharing about your jamborees and I anticipate hearing music or seeing videos from your jamborees on your site. They are a whole lotta fun aren’t they?

  • Reply
    Pam Moore
    February 23, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Our center in west Largo, FL is just great. All of the kids in this area learned to swim there and DH works out in the fitness center. There are quite a few classes of all different sorts. After many years of use it was recently remodeled and is just beautiful.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    February 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Wish I were there this Saturday — could use some good music and fun.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Just love it Tipper, all the memories and still being made. Community Centers and/or the local Volunteer Fire Dept where we held all community get togethers a long time ago. I took my daughter to the gatherings where we ate, met friends, listened to music and dance it we wanted. So much fun!

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    February 23, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Hope it goes well. I would love to see the pictures you mentioned. I love trips down memory lane.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 8:38 am

    no community centers here, there are some in the condos and subdiviison but only for the people who live there and pay he fees. what a find, all that history just sitting there.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

    If there were a contest, your center and the one in Sharon Tn would be close competitors. Quilting, ping pong, day trips, dulcimer and counry/bluegrass groups, pot lucks, table games and seasonal parties. It’s like a club for people who wouldn’t want to join a club. They are one of the few things that small communities can own since everything went big and corporate. If there were just more good farmers markets…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 23, 2012 at 7:54 am

    That’s so cool Tipper! Did Chitter and Chatter get to see the picture history of Little Tipper? I’d love to see them sometime.
    I don’t really have anything like that in my past. I guess the YMCA in Canton would be the closest but it’s long gone now.
    The old Y in Canton was built by the paper mill there for the people of the community. Membership was a very low cost and free for folks who couldn’t pay. They had a swimming pool, pool tables, a softball team and meeting rooms for classes and such.
    This old Y was torn down when I was in my teens and a new one was built.
    My aunt worked at the front desk for probably 40 years in both Y’s and my mother became the aquatic director in the new Y……she did that till she retired at the age of 76. Do you know any women who worked in a bathing suit at the age of 76? My mother is the only one I’ve ever known to do that. LOL
    Wish I could be there Saturday for the Jamboree!

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    February 23, 2012 at 7:46 am

    There are three centers within an easy drive of Calhoun, GA. They are all in old school buildings. Oostanaula is the closest and the one my 87 year old mother prefers as it is where she went to school during a very happy part of her life. All are used frequently for craft shows, etc, but their most important function is as a venue for fund-raising benefits. For $100 to the club, they will help you raise money for medical or funeral expenses or any good cause. You and your family and friends must supply a full meal including drink and dessert for which you are are allowed to charge %5. You can have a cakewalk, raffles and a donated goods auction and/or rummage sale. The club has several blue grass and gospel groups who will perform for free if you don’t have contacts of your own. I have been at events that raised thousands of dollars in a single night. But, boy howdy, putting one on is a LOT of work.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Don’t you just love these unexpected blasts from the past? Makes me imagine your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in some far-off moment of idleness, reaching up to that shelf and looking at those pictures. Imagine their pride in knowing their ancestors were such a valued part of the community!

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    February 23, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Sounds like a lot of fun! I wish I lived closer.

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