early shields ethridge home

Constructed in 1866 by Joseph Robert Shields upon his return from service in the Confederate Army, the house retains many of its original features; however Ira Ethridge – ‘Mr. Ira’ – transformed its ‘plantation plain’ appearance in the early decades of the 20th century. In 1914 he removed a single-storey shed porch from the front… [Continue Reading]


Bacherlor's Academy Students

The two-room county Schoolhouse stands beside Ethridge Road about half a mile north of the farmstead. Ira Ethridge who had been a teacher before he married Susan Ella Shields supervised its construction in 1909. He persuaded Alex and Emory Shields, grandsons of James Shields, to donate two acres of land and the school was named… [Continue Reading]

The Farm Landscape


The landscape of the farm in 1938 is recorded in an aerial photograph found in the commissary. At this time there were about 15 tenants most of whom were African Americans, who supplemented what they could earn as croppers by earning wages as farmhands. Joyce Ethridge remembered that hands were paid 75 cents for a… [Continue Reading]