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  • Writer's pictureOCAAHS

The Mickey, White, and Long Families of Shady Grove

My name is George Long and my great grandfather was John Mickey. My great grandfather lived in a log cabin just on the other side of Shady Grove Baptist Church. He owned his own land and was known throughout the area for making bushel baskets and caning the bottom of chairs. He would take in chairs for caning with strips of wood and would earn about 50 cents for putting a new bottom on a chair. My great Grandfather is buried in the Shady Grove Baptist Church.

This photograph of my Grandmother, Estelle White, was taken sometime in the 1940s.

She was the daughter of John Mickey and during her lifetime was highly regarded as a midwife to the area of Shady Grove.

Photograph of the site of John Mickey’s home. My great Grandfather Mickey’s home was a log cabin with a stone chimney that served the fire place for the main room and a wood stove on the other side for the kitchen. As a boy, I remember Grandfather Mickey making apple turnovers in that big hearth for me when I would visit to bring him water from the spring. To bake the turnovers, he would draw out some of the fire coals onto the hearth, place the turnover among them, and then cover the whole affair with a skillet.

The Shady Grove Baptist Church was founded in 1871 and was purchased from land owned by the Woolfork family.

Our first church was a bush arbor in our churchyard and by 1872 our forefathers were able to build a new church.

The present church is our second church and includes a new parish hall.

Photograph of the site of Estelle White’s home (dashed line denotes house location). My mother raised her children in her childhood home and there were several additions placed on the home to house the growing family. When I grew up there, we had no plumbing and I would retrieve the drinking water from a spring downslope from the house. That spring still runs strong today.

While my grandmother’s home was out on the edge of a finger ridge, we did have neighbors that we would look after. Our nearest neighbor, Tom White (known locally as Long Tom) was an old man who would walk to our house for dinner using two walking sticks. One winter storm the snow got so bad he stayed at our house for several days. Once Long Tom got to feeble to walk, I would bring his meals over to his house on the next ridge over. I remember bringing Long Tom his breakfast one morning and finding that he had passed away. Several days later, the wagon carrying a wide range of coffins came out to fit him and he was buried right there at his home in the family plot.

I attended the Shady Grove School as a child. Known as school #8??, this school was built by the county in 1925 and was based on a design known as the Rosenwald style. Prior to this school being built, I know of no other earlier school for African American children in the Shady Grove area.


long family
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