The Dugan Smith House


Webster’s New Word Dictionary defines the word “home” as “a place where one likes to be... a restful or congenial place.” That is a very good way to describe a home I visited in recently, thanks to Gentry Ledford, who was my tour guide.

The house is located seven miles northeast of Alpine. Gentry’s great grandparents, John Calvin (Dugan) Smith and Analiza Jackson Smith, bought the home in 1910.  This particular house is probably among the oldest brick homes, if not the oldest, in this area. It is unusual in that the bricks were made in the yard of the home by slaves. A kiln used by the slaves to bake the bricks stood in the yard of the home for many years, but is no longer there; however, a slope where the kiln once stood can still be seen today.


The Smith home back Bolestown Road in Ivyton is one of the oldest brick homes in the county. The bricks used to make the house are said to have been made in the yard of the home by slaves.


It is unknown today where the clay came from that was used in the brick making. Although it can’t be said for certain, a fellow by the name of Allen McDonald was supposed to have built the house in 1842. A door in an upstairs bedroom has his name and the date of 1842 written on it. The walls of the home are 12 inches thick, 3 bricks laid side by side, making the construction of the outside walls solid brick. The original farmhouse did not have a front porch; one was added at some point in time.

The house has three spacious rooms downstairs and two large bedrooms upstairs, and contains three fireplaces – one in the kitchen, one in the living room or parlor, and one in an upstairs bedroom. Over the years, some remodeling has been done to the home to add closets. A combination bathroom and laundry room has been added on to the back of the house.

Opha Smith Reynolds told me that in the very early years, the kitchen was an entirely separate building that stood in the back yard. I have been told that this was something that was done quite frequently in the 1800s and early 1900s to prevent the entire home from burning down in case a fire should start in the kitchen. Grant Smith, the son of John Calvin (Dugan) Smith and Analiza Jackson Smith, was the husband of Sarah Smith. Their children were Oren Smith, Opha Smith Reynolds, Guy Smith, Reva Smith Ledford, and Bethel Smith.



Grant and Sarah Smith raised their family in this log home, which is still standing just up the road from the brick house on Bolestown Road.


Grant and Sarah Smith raised their family in a log house, which is still standing and is just up the road from the brick house. Opha told me she lived in this log house until she married. She is the only one of her immediate family still living.

Even though the Smith home is not presently occupied, its appearance and the atmosphere of the home simply amazed me. It was as if the people who lived there many years ago were just in the next room and any minute they would walk into the room and invite us to sit down and visit.

The wonderful old-fashioned kitchen is a very large room with a fireplace, and I could almost feel the warmth coming from the fireplace when I walked in that room. It wasn’t hard to imagine the big antique table that stands in the middle of the room loaded down with good home-cooked food, which I’m sure it has held for many, many delicious meals over the years.

It’s hard to describe, but I definitely had a feeling of being at home... “a restful or congenial place,” and a place that welcomed visitors to come and stay a while.

If walls could talk, what wonderful stories this home would have to tell. It’s well worth a drive to see this very interesting old home. With its history, it should definitely be a candidate for a place on the historical register of older homes for this area.

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