|By Bob Weaver 2001|
Ernestine Keaton was cookin' ramp soup when we stopped to take a look
stately country home along U.S. 16 south of Orma. "Ramp soup has a
great flavor. Ken
and I really like it," she said. They had just returned from a ride
on Ken's motorcycle.
They have been married for 45 years.
Kenneth and Ernestine Brannon Keaton purchased the eight-room, two
which his family owned since 1947. His mother, Judith Duncan Keaton,
was the last
occupant, having lived out her life there after her husband George
passed on. George
was a well-known veterinarian up and down the West Fork.
The Keatons returned to Calhoun in 1997 to commence work on the
living and working in Ohio for many years. Ken was in the military
for a few years and
retired from Ohio Edison. Ernestine, who worked as a hairdresser, was
the daughter of
Ernest and Martha West Brannon of Little White Oak.
Ernestine graduated from Calhoun High School in 1955 after attending
Grade School. "I walked 4 1/2 miles out of Little White Oak to Thelma
Conley's or the
Price Jarvis' where I changed clothes to catch the bus to Calhoun
High," she said.
"During the winter months it was always after dark when I got
The Keaton house, which was built by Joseph Knotts about 1905,
actually faces the
West Fork and the original creek road. Andy Parsons cut the trees,
finished the lumber at a water-driven mill beside the house. The
Knotts family also
operated a grist.
Much of the inside walls of the house is the original wood finishing.
living room, dining area and kitchen is reminiscent of large farm
homes. A large
downstairs bedroom was called the "Preacher's Room," often occupied
clergyman brought to the area by the Knotts family. "They were very
Ken enjoys sitting on one of the two original porches. "We have
returning to the house and working on it," he said. "Actually, even
though we worked
away for many years, we never really left, coming back every two
weeks or so," he
Ernestine said she has really liked decorating her home for
Christmas. "It is a
wonderful place to live," she said.
View from Route 16 near Orma
Front of house faces West Fork, original road
The pump house
Ernestine making ramp soup
The "Preachers room"
Ken "talks" on original phone
Interior of the house is finished with natural wood.
The Keatons have been married 45 years