The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Special Mountain Auction - November 9, 1985

By Bob Heafner © 1985

Issue: November, 1985

Buffalo Mountain Presbyterian Manse where personal property of the Reverend Robert Childress will be auctioned.Buffalo Mountain Presbyterian Manse where personal property of the Reverend Robert Childress will be auctioned.Nearly 60 years ago, the Reverend Bob Childress moved his family into the big white Buffalo Mountain Presbyterian Manse. Many of you have read the book, "The Man Who Moved A Mountain" by Richard Davids, about Reverend Childress' life and accomplishments. For many years, the old manse has stood empty, with only silent echoes of the Childress family and visiting neighbors, relatives and church members lingering in memories of those who passed through that house.

Soon, the old manse will come to life again because the son of Bob Childress, Brian, and his wife Polly Vaughn Childress are coming home. Brian is retiring from the ministry this year and moving from Marion, Virginia back to the home he grew up in. Members of the Childress family have been helping Brian and Polly for the best part of two years to restore the old house. Professionals were called in to do such things as plumbing and wiring, but the Childress' themselves did the painting and refinishing the floors.

The house didn't exactly stand totally empty all those years. Traces of the Childress family remained in the form of left behind items. Some of these things such as the piano Reverend Childress bought for his daughter, Marie, to take music lessons when she was 12, discarded dishes, iron skillets, picture frames are still there.

This brings us to the point in this story. On November 9th, 1985 at 10:30, Brian Childress is going to have an auction adjacent to the Old Manse, in preparation for moving into the house.

While there will be some new modern items for sale, there will also be antiques. Not just any old things, but items owned and used by Bob Childress and his family. Of course, the family is saving the majority of their father's belongings to hand down to their descendents, but all of the items mentioned above will be for sale as well as three iron bedsteads, one of which Bob Childress slept in during his last years.

Add to those things chairs, a cast iron kettle "wash pot," stone crocks, and even an old cut glass honey stand. Best of all, add the old pot bellied stove that was used in the mission school across the road from the manse.

As in days gone by, the family and neighbors are getting together for this sale, and there will be things for sale from several families. Among these items there will be a spinning wheel, oak library table, 8 day oak mantle clock and others.

So, if you are a person who likes auctions, or an admirer of the accomplishments of Reverend Childress, you will want to mark this day on your calendar. Space did not permit us to mention all the items that will be for sale. More than furniture or household goods will be sold that day. If you're lucky, you'll be buying a piece of the history of the Blue Ridge.

The rain date is November 16, 1985 at 10:30. The Buffalo Mountain Presbyterian Church and Manse are located on state road 628 in Floyd County, Virginia. It was featured in our August 1985 BACKROAD Tour, and may be found by taking state 758 west off the Blue Ridge Parkway for 5 miles, then turn left onto state road 629. When you come to a stop sign, turn right onto state road 628, and you're there.