published Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Chickamauga couple lovingly decorate a log cabin

Terry and Peggy Jones live in a log cabin in the Garrett's Chapel neighborhood south of Chickamauga, Ga., surrounded by acres of property and a whimsical garden.
Terry and Peggy Jones live in a log cabin in the Garrett's Chapel neighborhood south of Chickamauga, Ga., surrounded by acres of property and a whimsical garden.
Photo by John Rawlston.

IF YOU GO

What: Spring Gathering antiques and crafts show.

When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 27 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 28.

Where: 3674 North Marble Top Road, Chickamauga, Ga. (parking in an adjacent field).

Admission: Free.

Terry and Peggy Jones of Chickamauga, Ga., have a little bit of heaven on Earth they call home.

The couple spend hours tending to their 41 acres in Chickamauga, Ga. They both enjoy working in the yard, which includes mowing several acres and maintaining 3,500 square feet of "perennial and whimsical gardens," Mrs. Jones said.

Their home, a log cabin built in 1978, is filled with family antiques and unusual furnishings, including an end table made from a beehive.

Next month, they will host their first Spring Gathering, an antiques and crafts show in which 31 vendors will display a variety of handmade items, antiques and primitives. Also featured will be demonstrations of spinning alpaca wool and two alpacas on-site.

The Joneses are not new to this type of endeavor. They hosted a Holiday House at their cabin for 15 consecutive years.

"We enjoy sharing our love of nature and beauty of the seasons with those who come to visit us," Mrs. Jones said. "Since the acreage and gardens are so pretty at this time, it is time for gathering together to enjoy the fruits of the labor."

Mr. Jones, 64, is a retired probation officer with the Georgia Department of Corrections, and Mrs. Jones, 63, is a retired medical office manager.

Her parents, Hugh and Pat Russell, purchased the land in 1966 and built a home, Mrs. Jones said.

Last year, Mrs. Jones began looking into the farm's history, spending many hours at the Walker County Courthouse researching previous owners.

"I traced property ownership as far back as the late

1800s," she said. "The farm had been a dairy, apple orchard, strawberry and grape farm owned by the Talley family."

A partial rock wall and a building of days gone by still stand on the property

"The small barn on our property was once a storage for potatoes, Mrs. Jones said. "It is still at the original site, but has been rebuilt, adding a top floor. An etching in the concrete on the original steps reads 1914."

Mrs. Jones said her sister lives in their parents' original home on the property. The Joneses' cabin was built from a kit by Log Crafters.

"It was a kit, much like the Lincoln Log toys," she said. "Construction took six months. It was literally trimmed out by a chain saw in order to get the wiring into the ... Western cedar beams for light fixtures."

Mrs. Jones designed the light fixtures, which include a double ox yoke, graters and horse's harness.

Most every furnishing is an antique passed down from parents or grandparents. Other decorative items and furnishings are either vintage or handmade from recycled materials found at junk shops and flea markets.

Once, when Mrs. Jones came home from an auction with four doors, her husband transformed them into a china cabinet.

"Terry has built many pieces of our furniture from old doors, tables, windows," she said. "He takes my ideas and turns them into reality.

The couple's son, Vance Jones, a horticulturist, designed the gardens and their irrigation systems. Mrs. Jones said they are mulched and pruned yearly, with new annuals added each spring.

Mrs. Jones said the whimsical garden is her favorite. Growing next to their workshop, it is filled with colorful flowers, herbs and yard art.

"It will make you smile to see a sewing machine, a 'pot' man, garden girl, farm implements, bicycle, boots with blooms and 'Mr. Gourdie,' a garden security officer, all placed very strategically in the garden," she said.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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