City Directories and History: The Blain(e)s, my mother’s family, arrived in Fairfield District about 1790 and over the 19th century intermarried with the McQuiston, Robinson, Sterling and Brice families. The first record of land purchase was of 450 acres in December of 1799. The farm grew over the next 100 years to about 1000 acres. My grandfather, John Melville Blaine (1875-1933) lost the property to the bank during the depression, a year or two before his death. The farm was just past the second creek on Two Creeks Road out from Woodward. I am aware of two dwellings that were on the land. My g’g’grandfather, Andrew Blain’s (1805-1892) Home, was in ruins when I located it in 1976. My g’grandfather, James McQuiston Blaine’s (1842-1913) burned in about 1938, several years after the family moved away. I have photos of the James McQuiston Blaine house prior to the fire. The family story is that the this house was built shortly following his return at the end of the Civil War.
BACKGROUND ON BLAIN(E) FARM AND FAMILY – James Blain, Sr. (abt.1759-1832) immigrated from County Antrim, Ireland
in the early 1790’s. He married Margaret McQuiston and their first child was born in 1793. James Blain purchased a 450 acre parcel in 1799 that had been part of 500 acres granted to Isaac Mazyck in 1772. In the ensuing 103 years the Blain(e)s added an additional 500+ – acres. There were at least two home places on the land. They were the Andrew Blain (1805-1892) house and the James McQuiston Blaine (1842-1913) house.
Throughout my childhood I heard my mother tell stories of the James McQuiston Blaine home. She had lived there from 1922-1933 (age 3-14). My grandfather, John Melville Blaine, Sr. (1875-1933), moved his family from Montgomery, Alabama back to the farm when he began to have health problems, what, in later years, my mother became convinced was Parkinson’s disease because of his shakiness.
The Great Depression began shortly after they tried to make the farm profitable. According to family stories, my grandparents decided to borrow from the bank so they could expand the crops they grew and improve the situation. They borrowed from the bank using the farm as collateral. Again, a family story tells that both a severe drought and the boll weevil hit the next year and wiped them out. It was disastrous! They “lost the farm to the bank”, a common refrain at that time. Very shortly thereafter my grandfather went into the Veterans Hospital in Columbia, SC where he died in 1933. My grandmother and my mother had moved into Blackstock and were “living in the Presbyterian Manse”. By this time, my uncle, “Johnny M.”, was about 20, and as I understand it, went to work with cousins in Georgia or Alabama. The farm house sat empty, but as with such buildings, from time to time transient homeless people stayed there. The house burned to the ground about 1938 or so “because of those people living there”. [Written and contributed to R&R by Blaine Walker on 7/14/14]
Also see Elkins’s Map #2 for the Blain Family, ca. 1876.
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