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   Literary Classic Review  

Horse and Buggy Days on Hatchett Creek:
An Alabama Boyhood in the 1890s
By Mitchell B. Garrett
University of Alabama Press (The Library of Alabama Classics), 2003
Hardcover, $24.95  
ISBN : 0-8173-1259-5

First published in 1957, Horse and Buggy Days, is the tale of a southern boyhood in the 1880s and 1890s. 

Mitchell Garrett grew up in Clay County in the valley of the Appalachian foothills in eastern Alabama. The Hatchett Creek community measured three miles wide and six miles long, yet contained farmable land, clear springs, and creeks. Settlers had a grist mill, churches, a post office, a school, a store, a doctor, and an apothecary. Horses and mules to work the land were plentiful. 

While the community wasn't wealthy, the inhabitants were able to grow their own food and entertain themselves. Farmers and their wives "put up" food for the winter and the churches were the center of community life. Revivals, weddings, funerals, political meetings, sorghum-makings, and Sacred Harp singings provided social outings. Children found other ways of amusing themselves after doing their household chores. They skinny-dipped in the pond, hunted and fished, and played games. 

Filled with reminiscences, anecdotes, and homespun humor, Garrett describes his childhood with affection and good will. 

Mitchell B. Garrett was a Professor of Modern European History at the University of North Carolina. Upon his retirement in 1952, he and his wife moved to upstate New York, near Canton, where he began writing his memoir. He died two years after the publication of Horse and Buggy Days on Hatchett Creek.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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