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An Old Bossier Family and their Home (January 2014)

An Old Bossier Family and their Home
By Ann Middleton

In the issue for the week ending May 5, 1928, Planters' Press correspondent Mrs. Mollie Banks Gray wrote a column about Gideon Allen and his home in near Red Land. The column is partially reprinted below. No efforts were made to correct syntax of Mrs. Gray.

"This time I want to tell of the old Gid Allen home near Red Land, one of the oldest now left in Bossier Parish. Wednesday afternoon Mr. Green Allen, a grandson of Mr. Gideon Allen, his wife and son John K. Allen, and his mother, Mrs. Emily Allen in her ninetieth year, came for me in their car and we drove up to the old home through the woods all gay and decked as if for a wedding of the fairies or wood sprites, white dogwood blooms, red bud and the ground a carpet of wild violets, sweet Williams and other flowers, and we were tempted to stop and gather some of all but as time was limited we rolled on up over the high hills that gave the village of long ago the name of Red Land. When we arrived there we were met on the front porch by Mrs. Newt Goodwin and welcomed and invited in where her husband, almost an invalid, was sitting by a bright wood fire and he gave us a cheery welcome and then my questions about the old home began and I was shown all over the large place built, I believe, in 1856.The two big front rooms called a double log house with a wide hall between. The rooms were 20x20 feet wide and about 20 [feet] long with side or shed rooms added, dining room and kitchen. The sills and plates of the house were hewed out of one tree and are 52 feet long and are in perfect preservation. The blocks underneath are of solid oak and some of rock just as they were when put there. The flooring and ceiling was hauled by oxen from Webster Parish, and the two big chimneys of rock and brisk (?) are standing like Gibraltar and were built by Mr. Seabring Young of Rocky Mount, and who built all the chimneys in the country. The deep well in they yard, and by the way, we had a drink of water from it, was dug then and has been used all these years and affords water for every purpose and is as cool as ice in summer. They say the bottom is solid rock and a long opening for the water to flow through, and it has never been dry. In the yard were rose bushed, syringe, cape jasmines, one or two planted during Mr. Allen's life and still bearing flowers. Great tall oaks around the place add dignity and charm to this ancient place, and although some were blown down during last year's storm, het there are plenty more left. One tall cedar standing guard beside the front gate like a sentinel. They told me that the morning Mr. Marcus Wingett, a son-in-law of Mr. Gid Allen's, left for the civil war he reached up and cut the top of it off about 1861 with his pocket knife thinking maybe he would never return to see it but he did and lived to a ripe old age. Mr. Green Allen married Miss Mary Horn of Twiggs County, Ga. And in 1845 he came to this parish to bring Major Hamiter's slaves. He lived on or near the Hamiter place until 1855 then he entered this land near Red Land from the government and bought more at intervals until he owned several thousand acres before he died about 35 years ago at a ripe old age."

Numerous phone calls resulted in little information about the current status/condition of the old Gideon Allen home. If you know whether it still stands, please call Ann Middleton at the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.