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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
Mrs. Eloise Smith Haile
C: My name is Marta Cruz-Casse. This is April the first, 1986 at 11:30 A.M.
I am at the Haile Plantation and I'm here to interview Mrs. Haile on
the history and development on the Haile Plantation for the Oral History
Program of the University of Florida. We are sitting in the back porch
of the, of the house. Mrs. Haile, Could you give us your full name?
H: I'm Eloise Smith Haile, Mrs. Graham Haile.
C: And your date of birth, if you can.
H: I don't mind, April the, ah, 12, 1920.
C: Can you explain your relationship with the Haile family?
H: I was married to Graham Haile whose father was born here at the house.
Evans Haile was his name.
C: Could you explain a little more, like,eh, Where did you meet him and
H: Well, we grew up about half a block from each other in Gainesville, so that
ah, I've known him many years.
C: So he wasn't born here?
H: He was born in Gainesville, Florida. His father was born in this house.
C: Oh, so at that time . .
H: Evans Haile was born in this house. My husband was Graham Haile Senior.
And I was born in Gainesville.
C: Where did the Hailes came from?
H: Hailes came from Camden, South Carolina, down here. And we had, we know
they came down in 1854. But we do not know when the house was build exac-
tly. Now, one of the ah, daughters of one of the men that were born here
said her father told her that he was born in this house in 1857. So we
are assuming that we know when they came down here that the house was, ah
that they did, they lived in a log cabin somewhere and we do not know
where. At, while this house was being build. So that's about ah, all we
really know. And we are assuming it was built, well say in 1856. If Willie
Haile is the one that was born here, according to Esther Haile Conelly.
C: That's the name of Graham Haile father?
H: No, Graham Haile's father was Evans Haile. And he just had the one name.
He was number fourteen of fifteen children. But five, they came down here
with five children that were born in Camden. And all the rest were born
here in this house.
C: Are anyone of them alive today?
H: No, none of the fifteen are alive. But a lot of their descendants are.
Their daughters and sons are still alive.
C: So, Who are the owners of this house today?
H: Well I, I am half owner and my brother in law, my husband's brother. We,
since Graham died two years ago, almost three, ah, then it was his and his
brother. They inherited from their father and then, when Graham died, I
got his half, so I own it with my brother in law.
C: How did you became interested in the house?
H: Well, I've been coming out here since 1937.
C: When was it last, eh, lived?
H: Lived in? Ah, well during the War, World Was II there was a family living
in here, if you can call it living. There is no plumbing, no electricity.
And they had chi, ah, a child. And we were turpentining the pine trees on
the place. And so they lived here and I think, they had something to do
with the turpentine. I am not sure about that either. But I know I would
come out here then.
C: Do you remember the name of that family?
H: No, my brother in law might.
C: They were not the Haile family?
H: No they were not, they were not Haile family. Now my father in law used
to have parties out here. That's what's ah, written on the wall.
C: The graffiti?
H: Yeah. And, ah, that was ah, he would have house parties out here after he
became solo owner of it. And I think he just bought the rest of the family,
bought them out. We nev. . we don't know the details on that.
C: But when you say house parties, it means parties that people come.
H: Yes, he'd had people come in and they had orchestras and he'd had food that
would be. . The kitchen used to sit out here, right over there (she points
towards the right hand looking from the porch), and he'd had people that
would cook and they bring in, they had loads of food I understand, I've
heard this. And, ah, thay had dances, and people would spend the night.
Then they would go hunting.
C: Did you ever came to one of those?
H: No, no, I never know him. He died.
C: Oh, that was long before
H: That was my father in law. Yes that was before thirty. . He died in 1934.
And that was ah, I didn't know. I knew him, I could, I knew him, to see
him, you know, but as far as knowing him personally I did not.
C: So you got married after.
H: After he died, yeah. I was married in 42.
C: When did you first become aware of the importance of saving this house?
H: Oh, I've always wanted to save it. I wanted ot live out here but my hus-
band wouldn't because it was too far out in the country.
C: And it doesn't have electricity or anything, right? Or water, or anything.
H: In the house? No, there's no plumbing at all. We had a house-party out li
here, uh, about five years ago? Four? Four or five years ago and ah, we
thoughtJwe were going to have just a few people here, like maybe 70. We had
a hundred and forty. And of the 15 children that were born, I mean that
were, yeah they were born here because the ones that. . there were 9
represented. We had a 96 year old lady, she lives in Ocala. We had them
from Texas, from California, ah, Virginia, I don't remember where else right
now. I'd have to look down here (she looks in a photo album).
C: When the house you were telling me, the house was placed, or is it nominated
for the National Regist . .
H: Yes, it's been nominated.
C: Do you know if it's been placed or is still in process?
H: No, we don't know yet from the National, from Washington. We know the State
passed it. But we do not know if the. But Murray Lourie did a beautiful
job on this, on the nomination.
C: So, if you want to help yourself with the pictures
H: Let me see if I can find . What was it that I was going to look for?
Ah, I know, who came. You see, we are connected with the Chesnuts because
ah, Mrs. Haile, that build this house was a Chesnut from Camden, they were
both from Camden, South Carolina. And they came down here to grow ah, (she
begins to look in the album for something). Here's something you might be
C: Oh, it's breaking, it's breaking.
H. Oh shoot. Oh, maybe I've got to leave it. This is an interview that my
husband gave to someone named Carol Linda Conray. And she was writing
on ah, now there are a few mistakes in there but on the whole it's about as
true as anything could be.
C: Yes, I might like to read that.
H; Yes, you might want to read that and get some information. Now this is
from Alston Haile. He was number, I have to find him in this list. Alston
Haile was the son of George Haile, who was number thirteen. And he was the
son of George Haile wh w' rn here at the house. They had about, they
were several children one just died. But we had vi. ., we had ah, one
of this of George's Haile ah, children here. We had about,well I guess
we had about, we had 9 represented and we had about 6 ah, that were in their
eighties, that were the daughters or sons of Hailes. I don't know what I
was looking for. I was looking for the list of the ones that came. But
this was, this is pretty true too. Eighty two was when we had the reunion.
And then we had sign-in sheets.
C: How did you keep track of all this people?
H: We, I had, I have a list of the ah, birth dates and where they live, and
the children. So that's what I did, and I just contacted different ones
that would, ah, might know of others. It was kind about word of mouth.
Cause I would send, I send the invitations out to the ones I knew, and then
they pass the word along. I would get phone calls and they'd say "Can I
come?" And we were delighted because a lot of them. Well, we had several
from Miami coming too. And then, one called from Greensburg, North Caro-
lina that couldn't come, they wanted to. And I heard a lot from them. They
send me information also. But we don't have, we have very little on ah,
well, we know that ah, Thomas Evans Haile married Esther Chesnut and that
they are the ones that build the house. And then she, they were married
and came down here from Camden, South Carolina and build the house here.
C: So they were the ones that came in 1854?
H: Yes, aha. They are the ones that came down. And like I've said, they lived-
in, we were told, and I don't know who told me, ah, well my husband and my
brother in law don't know either but they've heard that they lived in a log
cabin around here. We think it was on the properties, but we don't know.
And they brought slave labor down here. And ah, that was when they ah, well
they brought, they, they build the house with those, and they came down,
they went to Charleston, South Carolina and took a boat down and then I
guess train, I don't know about that.
C: So they had slaves and. .?
H: Yeah, they came down with a lot of slaves.
C: And where did they live ? The slaves.
H: They had homes all out here. And on the walls, when you scrape back you
can find where the gramma Haile, that build the house would write, like a
daily diary on the walls. And on the crops that were being, that they were
planting around here, and also on the. Ah, well different slaves had,
would plant different things and they had their own little farms and when
the, ah slaves were freed they wouldn't leave. They stayed right here.
Cause they just had such a happy life here.
C: There's another thing I wanted to ask you .about. Eh, you told us one day
we came here that they made a movie or something. Is . ?
H: Yeah, they made. Ah, Victor Nuiez ah, from Tallahasee. He's an independent
producer. And he is ah, he lives in Tallahasee. And he made'the, ah Mar-
jorie Rawlings' short story Gal Young'Un. And it's in Marjorie Rawlings
book of short stories When the Whipple Wheel. She has a whole book of short
stories but they lived down here about a year, I guess, doing this, and they
restorkedsa lot of. Now the steps/where off of the house front and back.
And, so they, they made those and they had the pictures we have of the house.
C: So what they did, they did exactly like the pictures?
H: Exactly like the pictures, yes. And they even welded the wood some place so
that it would all match. And the banisters, they did the same things. They
found parts of them and just res. ., replace certain ones. But they, they
did this and fixed, you know, just repaired it. And you'll notice there's
some wall board in the house. Ah, I guess you call it wall board, that you
may build in houses today.
C: Like this?
H: No, it's not playboard. Well it's not plaster board. It's ah, and they
put a thin coat of plaster over it. But when they took off some of the
original plaster they kept it or took pictures of it. And ah, so ah, any
writing special. And I know they had a fight scene in the movie, in the
front room. And they had just fixed that up so nice, and in the fight -
scene a fellow fell against the wall and put a hole in it. So if you were
to look behind that piece of furniture on that wall you find the hole.
Cause they put the piece of furniture over there.
C: And how about the, the, they put some electricity, right? For the movie.
H: Well yes, we had the, ah, because they had to have that for the lights. So
they put the box out there, the electrical box.
C; And .it's still out there right now..
C: But it doesn't work, it's not connected?
H: Yes, it works cause we have a pump. And we used to have old handpump out
there for the well. We had, we put in an electric pump. So it work, it's
still on, on that. But ah, Gal Young'Un won all kinds of ah, awards. It
won the film festival of New York and, and ah, Kens Bryan's and let's see
where else, the Chicago.
C:: What year was that?
H: Oh my, let me see if I have some, something in here on it, I've got stuff
at home. At least, I was putting things in. I've got things at home that
tell about. I though I had one of these short posters in here. I don't
see it. There it is, yes I did. All right, seventy nine. Copywright'79.
Now she teaches, ah, Dana Prew teaches in Tallahasee at ah, I think is
Florida A & M. And she was fantastic. Oh, she is fantastic.
C: Were you here when they were filming the movie?
H: Oh yes, aha. And then they had, they blew up an old car. They made a:e-
plica-of the car they used, that he used in the film and ah, they had it
sitting right out there (she signals towards the left) and they blew it up.
They made a, an4 exact replica and they had a, what do you call a man that
makes a, blows up things?
C: Stuntman? Demolitioner?
H: Demolition man, I would think that's the word.
C: Why did they blow it up?
H: Because that was part of the ah, movie. And ah, I didn't camt to come out
that day. I wanted to. They said it looked like a nuclear bomb, the way
it went up. But he was here to do it, and set it all properly So it
didn't cause any damage.
C: (Looking at some photographs) Are those all the people who came to the,
to the party?
H: Yes, this is Dana and one of the. Yes she, we invited all of them to come,
the ones that had made the movie, because they were out here for so long it
was like a place that was their's, you know. But you see, here is the crowd.
C: Is this, this is, in this picture, the outhouse? Is this the original one?
The one that appears here?
H: No, that's a new one. The other one, we had an outhouse out there that was
the original and one day my husband and I came out here and it was turned
over, and someone had been digging under it. And what happens is peo. .
we had so much vandalism anyway at the house. That's why we have to keep
it all boarded up now.
C: And why would a person dig under the?
H: Looking for bottles, antique bottles.
C: In an outhouse?
H: That's what we wanted to . We couldn't figure that one out.
C: That's weird.
H: Yeah, it just didn't make a bit of sense.
C: And where are these diaries found? In which walls? Inside the house?
H: Well yes. Now she kept a diary and it was divided into three parts. And
that's what we are looking for now. We know where two of the parts are.
But we are not sure about the third. And we just hope someone hadn't des-
troyed it. But most of it is telling about the weather and the crops, and
what was planted, when and where. That's about the part that we've seen.
C: Do you know if this house is,,eh, as it is? I mean, It was built as it is
now or it had some additions?
H: It's never been added to. It's just like it was build. Yes. Now, the
room over here (looking towards the house she signals towards the right)
that ah, has been used as a kitchen was originally the schoolroom. And all
the children in the neighborhood that, ah, a teacher would come and live
at the house. And then all the children would come to school here, in that
C: So this is not then such a big house because now that if I'm thinking about
fifteen children, there's only two bedrooms upstairs.
H: Well now, what we have been told and that's, there again, that's just here
say, was that this room where the pianos are over there (she signals towards
the left) was the nursery. That room on that side (towards the left side)
was grandma and grandpa's bedroom and this nursery. So we are just
guessing that they had, and I've been told, we are not just guess, we were
told as about certain ones, and we don't know how true it is, but ah, that
this, they would have the children and keep them in the nursery up to a
certain point. And then they'd went upstairs. So we, we think that one
room was the boys dormitory and one was the girls'. And there weren't many
girls to start with. They were just two.
C: Two girls and thirteen boys?
H: Yes, and the rest were boys. Can you imagine?
C: And do you know what, what, what use did the space where the stairs land,
what that space was used for?
H: Under the stairs?
C: No, just up, when you go on off the stairs.
H: Oh, I think that was storage.
H: I believe it was, now I don't know that either. But we all assumed that
was storage space. They might have had to put some beds out there, you
can't tell. I am seing what Murray had written here.
C: And, how about that house that is out there?
H: Oh, all wright. That house is not an old house. It was build in later
years. We had a colored fellow that ah, lived out here and kinda watched
the place. And he lived in it.
C: In around what year?
H: Well I know he was out there in 1937, and I don't know how long.
C: But that's an old house. Anything that's more than 50 years.
H. Oh, you just called us old.
C: It's like, it can be in the National Register also, if it is more than 50
H: If it's more than 50?
C: And it looks, because it has a chimmeney and the porch and everything.
H: But the fellow that lived here, he put a shower in it even.
C: Oh, really?
H: Yeah, and floored part of it. But it's, it's not.
C: Is it open or is it closed?
H: No, you can walk through it, but you can imag, you have to be careful.
C: Are there bats in there?
H: No, no bats in there. No place for them to stay. But you see how many
people we had?
C: Yes, I do. Huge amounts of people.
H: And we had it all out on the ground, and there were no flowers, it was just
great. Now this is the lady, she was 96 then, she is still living in
C: She must be a hundred years now.
H: Have to be.
C: Yes, it was 4 years ago.
H: Yeah, but I know she's still living. But ah, her father was ah, born in this
house. And that's my brother in law.
C: Oh, that's the one we met.
H: Yes, that's right you met him, all right, he and I own the place. And
then there ah, her ah, father was born here, Sidney Haile. That's Esther
Candwid, that said her father has told her that he was born here. She
lives in Monticello. She's a good friend of Blair Reeves. This is Dana
Prew that was in the movie. Let's see who else was here. Oh yes, no this
is Dana Prew, that was in the movie.
C: Oh, and she's signing the posters.
)H: Yes, aha.
C: She's smoking a pipe?
H: She always smokes a pipe.
asked her how long it took
she always smoked a pipe.
she was here.
And in the movie she smoked a pipe and everybody
her to learn to smoke the pipe. She said, well
Yeah, and I don't see Mary Ann Peters, her, but
H: Well I tell you, this is my husband with, his mother was a Graham, she was
H,1,.. -ma-Graham. And this is Bill Graham, his cousin. They're cousins, and they
used to come out here and Grah, my husband, this is my husband, his father
used to make wine out here, blackberry wine, cause there's so many black-
berries. And so they used to come out here as young fellows and drink some
of what ah, Bill called uncle Evans blackberry wine. So when we had the
reunion, just for fun I got some old cheap blackberry wine and put in a jug-
ard that's what so, that's what they were doing.
C: You told us once that this was, the property, it wasn't originally planted.
with all this trees.
R: No one planted. It was just all woods.
C: Oh, so it was like this.
H: Yes, it was all woods. And then, now if you go under the house, the stumps
where they cut the trees to put the house, the stumps are still there, un-
der the house.
-- C: So, where did they have the cr.9ps growing?
H: Well, they had some cleared out all around different places. And when I'I
used to come, we, ah, my husband and I lease the properties for farming and,
to a fellow, he lives across the road, to have cows out here. And he would
farm it, and so he cleared some fields to farm. And then he had cows out
here. So we used to come out and there would be several fields, but they're
all since grown out.
C: It's beautiful, the landscaping.
H: Yes, in fact there were hickory trees all around the house here and my mother
in law during the War decided they were so dangerous, she had them all
C: What are hickory trees?
H: Hickory trees, they have hickory nuts on them. You don't know hickory nuts?
Hard things, really hard. So the trees that you see around the house have
grownup since, since then. We need to take some off the house. (She is .
looking through the album) It was a lot of fun, we really did had a lot
of fun. This is another family, and this was the fellow that was from
Miami. Now this, this two were Chesnuts, they are their distant relatives
C: There are pictures here when they lighted the house. I never saw it like
this. Are this windows, the windows of the house, original?
H: Yes, aha. this over in this room right here in the corner. Yes. And this
is my son's piano (Evans Haile).
C: Oh I see here, this here, Was it a well? It looks like one, in this pic-
H: Oh, they had, they had a well there for the movie. It was a fake one.
C: Oh I see, so then, where was the original?
H: Where it is know. Over there (the points towards the left). And it was -
just old hand pump.
C: Where the metal tank is?
H: Yes, you see the metal piece over there? Yeah, that's it. And then we made
C: I was going to ask you what that was (Pointing at the remains of the fake
well), then that is not original.
H: Oh yes, no it wasn't real. In the movie she has to get some water for the
hunters and so they just use, made that, cause they needed one they could
put a bucket down, you know. And it rotted out, it was just a temporary
thing, you know.
C: It's amazing how different the house look with this (pointing at the co-
vers over the windows). When did you had to put those?
H: Ah, must be about a year. About a year that Sean lived, yeah Sean lived.
Or two years, cause it was before Gra., no it was right after Graham died.
C: I'm amazed how long, because all the furniture you have here.
H: Yeah, and that's what I said we had it wide open you know, and it was so
nice, because it just looked like it.was alive again. Yes, now this, we
had the, the beam or whatever you call it underneath the porch and the steps
had rotted out. So, ah, this fellow was the one living here, Sean Coyne.
C: Living here, in this house?
H: Yes, he lived here about a year or two years.
I: In 1982?
H: Oh, well he helped with the movie, then he came back and was working around
here and so my husband and I let him live here.
C: What was his name again?
H: Sean Coyne. And this is Mr. Taylor, that you've met, that let you in.
C: How long has Mr. Taylor been here?
H: All his life. What was he telling, ah, Susan Tate, I think, he told her
73 years. He was born out here, and all his family. He's known this area
all the time.
C: Because when he was talking to us this morning he sounded like he really
loves this place.
H: Yes, this is just like,this is home. But he and Sean, ah, that's the rotten
beam, so they took it out and then they found a tree out that was down, a
big pine tree, and they took it into the mill and had it, ah, made. And so
they put it under here and then he builded the steps, he build the steps.
C: Oh, so this back steps are not original?
H: They're new, yes.
C: But this was after the movie.
H: Yes, this is after the movie, because the original ones rotted out. And he
had to make, he made I don't know if the front one was all right, I think
so, I don't think he made a new front, they did for the movie.
C: But this is original, this eh. .((looking at the railings)
H: Yes, he made those, and they are handmade.
C: Because inside the house, in the graffiti room, we found two of them with
the, how do you call this things that come down?
H; The banisters? Yeah.
C: Maybe they belonged here?
H: Well, there were,never were any on here.(she looks in the album). I used
to go through this thingsand find everything right away. There, you see
there never was any, the banisters are just.
C: But it looks exactly like the one that's now.
H: And you see what they had was a wooden gutter across, all across here (poin-
ting at a picture) and then it ran down to the cistern down there, and
that's where they got their rainwater.
C: And I see the shingles.
H: Yes, see it was shingles roof then. And my husband and a fellow in 37 put
the tin roof on. It's 1937 and that's, and we needed a new one real bad.
C: Where is this? (Points to a photograph)
H: That's ah. Now, that's out here. There was a barn, the barn where they
kept their cattle and horses and all of this right there by the pump. Now
let's see that might have been one of the kitchens, I think. No that's at
the side of the house. So we think this, we don't know for sure, this fel-
low from Miami, he came up with this pictures and gave them to us. But,
you see this, see how there were never any, this is back, this was in1926.
But there never were any. This is that day they put the steps on, for the
C: But this were also fixed for the movie? The front porch.
H: Yeah, that's this porch, no that's the front porch with the columns. Yes,
that's the front. Yes, there, there were no steps there either, tThey had
to make new steps, they just rotted out.
C: Did they had to change any of the columns at that time?
H: Yes, one column had fallen and they found a tree and took it in and had it
milled, and that's the one on that end.
C: The one on the far right?
H: Yes. But that's, all others are the originals. But that one had fallen
and rotted out. So they got a, they had another one made to match all the
others. Everything they did for the movie was authentic. They got all ti-
this pictures there, the pictures we have and copied it right to the, as
near as they could.
C: Can I see the picture again?
H: Sure. See, now that's the front. Now this is my husband's mother and
father. This Evans Haile, he was born next. We don'tknow.
C: This out here must be the barn?
H: That's the barn, yeah. And there's the kitchen. Yeah, the kitchen was right
over here (she points towards the right).
C: Oh, it was outside.
H: Yes, you never had a kitchen in the house, so you had it out and the, it
would regularly burn down. The last one that was here, that I knew about,
a hurricane blew it down. Came through here and just took it down.
C: Do you know who this people are?
H: I just know this two, and I, that's my husband's uncle Lee Graham, he's a
brother to my mother in law. No I,,we think that some of the, they were
some of the children that were born here, but we don't know. But this is
in the late 1800's.
C: Oh, and this picture?
H: That's there, in the room with the bats. See that's the back of the house.
Now these are some of the slaves. Now I knew two of them and my husband
knew all of these. My husband's brother in law. And it was Beneth and
Smith and his wife, and I don't, and then I don't know who that was. They
were the last ones.
C: Do they live in Gainesville now?
H: They're gone. And Beneth, ah he is buried in the Haile Cemetery at
C: Where is that?
H: The Arredonda Cemetery, off of sixth to third street up here. There's a
Haile lot with the mother and grandmother, grandfather and a lot of the
C: This are the barns?
H: I don't know who those are. This pictures like I said were given to us by
the fellow from Miami. And he didn't know who they were either, so it
didn't, so this, this I don't know the people, but I know that, see I know
that's the front of the house in '26. And the others were late 1800's.
C: How about the furniture that is inside the house? There are some that are
not original, but there's some that is?
H: Well, when we had the reunion I had to have some furniture, so I brought that
sofa and that rug, I brought out here, and some tables. But most of it is
what belonged here. And then my brother in law and his wife, and Graham
and I took a lot of it in town and we have it in our homes. I still have
some. For the movie they took, brought a lot of it out here and used it.
But ah, and then my mother in law, I know some of the, it's in my house
now, was furniture that was out here. And I know which ones I brought, I put
C: How about the future plans of the house, do you see any future?
H: We don't have anything definite right now. I know my brother in law would
like to, well I don't like to say restore, I like to use the word stabilize,
to stabilize the house more than anything.
C: Just so that it won't fall down?
H: Yeah, but we don't have any big plans out. Like I said, I always wanted
to live out here, but I could not convince my husband. He said it was
just too far out in the country, and now it's right in town. I'm the one
that's in the country.
C: It's a less than 15 minutes drive. It would make a nice house.
H: And, you see, my grandparents came down from New York and they lived on,
well, what is now Haile Plantation. And my daddy and my aunts were all
born out here.
C: But this is not the Haile Plantation?
H: Well, Haile Plantation, this is confusing I know. But Haile Plantation, we
sold some of the property you know the development back here? You don't
know, you haven't been around there. Well we sold the back part of the
property, the north part really that we owned to a group from Miami and
they have developed it into a plant unit development over there. It's really
rather nice, a lot of homes in there. And we sold that to them and they
named it Haile Plantation. And we call this a Haile Homestead.
C: Oh, that's what I saw in a sign in one of this pictures.
H: Yes, we call it Haile Homestead rather than, and it was originally called
C: Then, what is Kanapaha?
H: All right, Kanapaha, let me see what Murray say about that, he has something
in here, she had research about that, on the word, name-for Kanapaha.
Kanapaha, a fellow from Jacksonville named Childress, bought a big acrage
west of us, and next thing we know he had called this Kanapaha. They
called his Kanapaha and my husband and my brother in law always said that
they knew that at that end, all the family was turning over in the grave
because he had taken that name and he shouldn't have. But he's still, he
has, since that his daughter, and son in law have him written out. I don't
know whether his wife is living or not, I just don't know.
C: So now they call everything Kanapaha.
H: Yes, this, this is the section of Kanapaha. Arredonda is a town of the
street here, up the road. That's call Arredonda and when I was young and
used to come out here a lot with my folks, where the Butler shopping cen-
ter was known as Daysville. And when I used to came out here on Archer
Road, where the soccer field is there, you know, where they play soccer upr
there near Butler's Plaza, oh when you cross 34th, there's a big field
there. Well that was a big porch and when it rained it was full of water,
then it would dry out, sometimes. But that was called, that was the little
settlement of Daysville. And then you came on up that way and you were on
Arredonda. Arredonda, Florida, and it's still on the map as:Arredonda.
Daysville is gone. And then, you came on up here and this was the settle-
ment of Kanapaha. And if you go on it to it, on up the road I thin, there's
one called Peachstreet or something like that, near Kingsberry park. We
own that properties now. So it's ah, there's been a lot of little settle-
ments in. They would kinda' name the settlements.
See we know than my, we can't go very far back because we just, my
brother in law and I are trying to find out more about the, his grand-
parents. Well, we know about his grandfather's father and grandfather, I
guess. But we haven't been able ot go any further back so someday we'll go
up to Washington to the archives and then we can chase that. And I think
the mormon group have a great library of genealogy, and we just haven't
gone back into it. I haven't have time to, but I've done a lot on this
one, then I've got my family I'm trying to do also. Now my husband gave
this information and he said that the history of the family, this young
lady that wrote this said "the history of the family and the house is some-
times vague and sometimes contradictory." Well it really is because it's
just by word of mouth that we've had to get some of it, you know. And, now
now it say in the mansion, they called us a mansion but I call it cracker
house, was build in the years 1857 to 1860, well it says he's a cotton
grower. They did, they grew some, what kind of cotton is it? Sea Island
cotton? But, and they grew some type of rice two.
C: So they had cotton, rice and corn?
H: Yeah, I think so. Now she says "piered on coquina blocks, limestone made
from broken sea shells," but I don't think that's what this pillows are
made of. They put concrete over whatever. I think they were just field
C: If you go under the house you can see them.
H: They're not coquina, I think. Did you go up in the attick?
C: No, I'm a coward. No.
H: Yes. See (looking through pictures) he called that the nursery too, and
music room, and the room with the graffiti on it was the music room.. We
have a lot of, different people call the two front rooms different. One
was a parlor and was music room.
C: The graffiti room .
H: I think that's where the pianos were. In latter years anyway.
C: Do you know when it all begin, started? The graffiti room? Because you can
see some very old ones.
H: Well there are some real old dates. I think, you know today you'd probably
get spanked for writing on the walls. Well I think back then they'd had
everybody write everything on the walls because there are some old dates.
C: Which one is the oldest, do you know?
H: I don't know. I've read so many times and there are some new ones. I know
when we had the reunion all, Gal Young'Un put a lot of, they wrote up there
and the, where ever they had on the walls they painted it with, ate off
the pencil writtings.
C: Oh, they painted over the graffiti for the movie.
H: Yeah, but they took it down and they, I've got a whole box full of the
plaster with some of the writing. And they took pictures of everything
before they put up new wallboard.
C: But then the ones that are written now?
H: That's, that they did not touched. That has been there.
All wright, Kanapaha, I knew I have read it somewhere, says "Kanapaha is an
indian word meaning palmeto leaves and has . referring to the dwelings
of the historic indians of the province of Potano." (She read from the
Murray Laurie's report)
C: What wood was used in the construction of the house? Is it pine wood?
H: It's pine, yes.
C: All of it was taken from here?
H: No, I think it was brought down here from, it was brought down here from
South Carolina. I believe they might have used some down here also, you
know, I'm not sure.
C: They are big pieces of wood.
H: Yeah, tremendous big. And if you try to drive a'nail in a piece of it
you'd need a drill first because the nail just bounces back.
C: And it's in such a good shape after all this years.
H: Well yes, and there's never been painted. But Murray Laurie made a lot of
research. Now this say the building is build of cypress wood, that is
all cypress. So that would explain that, yeah this is cypress. And it
was originally wood shingled. I know that because you can see that in the
pictures Yeah, now she says fieldstone piers. That's fieldstone and then
they put cement over them.
C: For the pillows.
H: For the pillows that hold up the. Yes, now we, some of the pillows had
gone to pieces so we had to do something. And we jacked up part of the
house and had to use concrete block, and then we plastered over it to make
it match the rest of it. So there are three, I would say three or four
pillows that are concrete blocks. We had to. Because you just don't get
any fieldstone work, you know. And I'm not going to break it up to begin
C: When did she make this study? (Murray Laurie)
H: She just did this this year. And we submitted it to Tallahasee.
C: In '85 or '86?
H: '85 yes. And she did an awfull lot of research, I'd say. I foundcout
there's a lot of things here. Yeah, it was '79 when they did Gal Young' Un.
So there's no lighting fixtures until, because until 79, when the house
was used as a background for the movie. There was no electricity, still no
kitchen and bathrooms. And so I brought, I had, well I planted some plants
in the front. I had Mr. Taylor put a water line, so that's why the faucets
in the back and the front because I knew that they needed water.
C: Did they, for the movie, you said they used for a background. Did they
paint it on the outside?
H: They didn't paint anything.They just used it as natural as it was.
But we had such a time. All the doors were in good shape when I first
would come out here. And we had paddlocks on them. Then we'd come out
and find that people, well, had come in and just axed the doors to pieces.
Ju taxed them, they would just.
C: What for?
H: I don't know. They wanted to get in, and they've heard heard so much about
the house, that they just really tored it out. And we arrested a lot of
people. But the history classes at the University would talk about it and
make it sound so exiting. It doesn't sound nice, but most of them were
C: How did you come to arrest them.
H: Well, the man that was renting, leasing the property for farming cattle,
he would hear something over here and come. And as we come out we would
see cars on the road, you see and they planed the thing to come.
Sea Island cotton plantation is what they came down to. You see she said
(Murray Laurie) it was probably completed by 1860. Well, that's a big
question. No one really knows just when. And, so we just have to I guess,
and by golly.
C: So this house is older than the Matheson house?
H: How old is the Matheson house?
C: Oh, lets see, I can't find it, it was, I think 1862.
H: Well, I think they were down here before.
H: Well it was build before then. Gainesville was just a little old, it wasn't
anything when this house was build, when this area was build up. Everybody
lived out here and to go into Gainesville it would take a whole day because
thay'd had to go by horse and buggie. But my grandmother taught piano in
Archer and so she would catch-a train out here on a friday and go into
Archer and teach, and stay at the hotel in Archer and teach piano and come
back on saturday night or sunday, I'm not sure.
If you were to read the story of Gal Young'Un and Marjorie Rawling's book
of short stories you would, when you read it you realize why they pick
this house, because it sounds just like this house. Everything.
C: So, how did the producer know about this house?
H: Well they've being going around all over the state asking and they happen
to talk to a fellow in Gainesville that happened to know. You know Sam.
He works at the library of the University. But he knew about it and I
think he told them andi, then got us all together. She did just, she's jus
a fantastic girl (Murray Laurie). She is with your, she knows of all the
group out there. And see she took some pictures. That's the stairway.
C: This is the front porch.
H: From looking down this way?
H: You can read this things, I can't. She has a, isn't that nice? There it
is. And I remember when she took that and I though "that's not going to
come out, there's no way." And look, it did. I just think it's amazing.
Then she took one that shows the fireplace. So they were really impress
with it. But those doors, I don't know wether the movie people restored
some of the doors. I think in fact we had all the parts and they might had
have had to add some parts in there. We know about hose cause we were glad
they were stabilized and put them back together. I don't know anything
else to add to it.
C: If you can think of anything else just call me or call the school.
H: Okay, I have you number and all.
C: I think I have Murray Laurie's telephone number.
H: Good if you have her telephone number because she can tell you. I was tal-
king to her one day and I told her, I said "you know, you know more about
it than I." She did a lot of research. I said "you did a lot of research
that I read yours and found about." But she took a lot of the Scrappbook
and all the things I had too. She knew a lot of places to look for
information also, that I just had not had time and didn't know anyway.
But I do want to try and get more information on Graham's great-great
grandfather. And there's got to be something somewhere. It was a long
time ago but there still must be.
C: Well, thank you very much for your time.
- H: Well I've had a nice time and it's been a lot of fun. But if you think
anything call me. If I can find the answer I'll tell you.
C: Thank you very much Mrs. Haile. Thank you.