Andrew Sturgill Home and Mill

Location: Near the Forks of the Roaring Fork Branch and on the right fork, near the Pardee Coal Camp.

Date: 1832.

Owners: Andrew Sturgill had nearly the whole of this land before the formation of the county. He had taken patents on this land as early as 1832. At the formation of the county on the first land book he owned in this
vicinity 2,225 acres of land. Most of this land was in possession of the Sturgill heirs who sold to the Blackwood Coal and Coke Company when that firm was first started.

Description: The Sturgill house was a pretty good house for it's day. It was a two story, five room, hewn log house. Two rooms on each floor and a kitchen built to the back. The house boasted five fireplaces, which was not often found in the earlier pioneer homes. A chimney at the north and south ends furnished the fireplaces for the front part of the house and a chimney at the rear furnished a fireplace where the family cooking was done until the coming of the cook stove. Each of the five rooms had one window. A door in each of the ground
rooms and one opening from the second floor onto the porch. The porch was a two story and ran across the east side of the house. The house was first floored with puncheons and later hand or rip sawed plank. The flooring
of the second story was laid on top of the joists and formed the ceiling of the first floor rooms. The second story was not ceiled overhead, except the gable of the clapboard roof which was the ceiling until the coming of the sawmills. All doors were the batten type.
     About 300 yards up the creek from the Andy Sturgill house was his mill. It was in a log building about 16 x 18 feet square. Board roof, the machinery, burros and hopper were all under the same roof. A dam across Roaring Branch furnished water for the undershot or Tub wheel. Water was let onto this wheel by means of a gate that was raised and lowered by a lever. This was only a corn grist mill.

History: Andrew Sturgill was a son of John Sturgill of North Carolina, and was born July 2, 1810 and died November 16, 1890. He was married to Nancy, a daughter of Preacher William Booth, who was born in
Russell Co., VA in 1811 and died December 16, 1893. Both are buried on the Nine Mile spur. To this union was born five sons and four daughters, whose descendants are numerous over Wise County and Eastern Kentucky.
     It is said that when Andy settled on the Roaring Fork wild animals were plentiful and at night he had to put his sheep in a corral near the house. This corral was made of split rails and poles and covered over the
top to keep out climbing animals. Often at night prowling wolves were heard howling in the nearby wilderness, then Aunt Nancy would go in to the fireplace, take out the burning chunks and scatter them around the sheep
corral to scare off the wolves.
     Andy was quite a bee hunter and tradition says that his goal was to get one hundred stands of wild bees, he succeeded in getting ninety-nine stands but never got the coveted hundredth stand. Both Andy and
Nancy Sturgill were early members of the Three Forks Baptist Church and their son John later became a Baptist Preacher.

Source of Information: J. B. Hamilton, Frank Gardner and Court Records.


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