Happy New Year to every one! Hope you had your hog jowl, greens and black-eyed peas for good luck, as well as good baked goods. Of course I can't know about your family traditions, but this time of year always makes me think of baking because special baked goods that were only made during this time of year were a part of our family traditions. With that in the back of my mind, I noticed in reading through the old newspapers beginning in the 1905 Chronicle articles that a Mr. Bloomfield and his family had moved to Cumberland County, and that Mr. Bloomfield was a baker. It will take us a little while, but we're going to see how a hometown newspaper in the early 1900s reported on what was going on in the lives of their families and businesses.
We begin the journey in the March 15, 1905, Chronicle which reported, “R. G. Bloomfield moved his family from Frankfort Thursday and is occupying the residence next to the office of Dr. A. J. McCarney. Mr. Bloomfield is a practical baker, having been engaged in that business all his life. He moved from Chicago to Frankfort a little over a year ago. He will put in an oven and equip for running a modern bakery on a small scale. He will commence work on the oven as soon as the weather will permit. Our people will be glad to welcome such an enterprise and likewise Mr. Bloomfield and his family.”
Frankfort, Tennessee, located in Morgan County, was advertised as a wonderful place to live, and around 1897, lots for a town were sold by a land company who owned much of the area. If you try to find information on Frankfort, you will find it is sparse picking. If you drive out Genesis Road and keep going into Morgan County you will see a small sign that says, “Frankfort.” Today it is just a space you drive through without any kind of a city in sight.
An April 1905 Chronicle reported Mr. Bloomfield's progress, “R. G. Bloomfield has the oven almost completed for his bakery and will commence baking for the trade next week. The recent rain has retarded the work to some extent. The oven will have a capacity of 200 loaves at a baking and three bakings a day. The oven is of brick and was built by Wm. Jarrett.”
A visit by Mrs. Bloomfield's parents is reported in May, “Mr. and Mrs. Peter S. Slauter, father and mother of Mrs. R. G. Bloomfield, arrived here from Frankfort Sunday. Mr. Slauter returned home Monday, but Mrs. Slauter will pass some days here with her daughter.” In June 1905, “Miss Goldie Slaughter, of Frankfort, is here to pass the summer with her sister, Mrs. R. G. Bloomfield.”
We'll see more of the saga of the Bloomfield family coming up in the Chronicle next week! Isn’t' it amazing how we could learn so much of their lives through the local newspapers?
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Old Uncle Gib is a weekly historical feature published each Friday. Old Uncle Gib is a pseudonym that was used by S.C. Bishop, who founded the Chronicle in 1886. Bishop actively published the Chronicle until 1948.