Updated Tue, Jul 9, 2013 10:23 am
Three years ago, Eva Tatman began the long and tedious process of compiling her book Memories of South Perry for the Hocking County Historical Society.
Tatman has lived in South Perry for nearly 86 years, and now at the age of 90, has created one of the most knowledgeable accounts of South Perry from her first-person accounts.
The devoted South Perry citizen did not just stop at her personal experiences, though, and also put in “a tremendous amount of research,” according to Tatman.
In her book, Tatman recalls details such as the first churches to be built in the tiny village, as well as people driving around with horse and buggies on the three streets and three alleys that make up the roadways for the entire town.
Tatman recalls the roads being made of gravel in the beginning, and eventually being covered with black tar. Her accounts paint a vivid picture of what life was like in the early 1900s, a time when South Perry flourished and was home to nearly 200 inhabitants.
The first sermon preached in South Perry was by Rev. David Dutcher in a log cabin, she recalls in her book. The sermon was interrupted when a bear attacked a pig that was kept in a pen near the cabin, and was then killed by the members of the church who were protecting the pig.
The settling of churches was a major part of the original South Perry, as noted in Tatman’s book, and evident through her own personal accounts.
Another important facet of South Perry were the local businesses and shops, including grocery stores and blacksmith shops. The two grocery stores were Bill Weaver’s and the Karr store, along with the Stage Coach Shop.
Tatman has pictures decorating the walls of her home, some with five generations of her family who have lived in the small town. Each picture captures the memories of the life she has spent in South Perry.
She married her husband, Paul Tatman, in 1952, and had three children together. Tatman now has seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Each photo is a keepsake and memory of the life her and her husband Paul created in South Perry.
After 86 years of living in South Perry, the world has changed around her, buildings have been torn down, and new buildings now stand in their place.
“Well, you just have to accept it, everything is gradual [and] you don’t realize it,” she explained.
Contact the Hocking County Historical Society at 740-385-6026 for information on how to purchase Tatman’s book.
Morgan Sigrist is an Ohio University student interning at The Logan Daily News.