Wednesday, June 10

Grand Ole House

When the Rev. A. S. Petrey built his home in the Big Bottom section of Hazard in 1914, there was no East Main Street, only mud. The large area of land covered the Big Bottom of the valley. Petrey's home was merely the third house in the bottom, with lots of farmland in between. Rev. Petrey had the house constructed in the style of a southern mansion, with a porch, brick pillars and white columns, and a large veranda.

One person in Hazard who knew the house from the ground up was Paul Harmon Petrey, Sr., a local certified public accountant. The reason is - he was once stuck between the ground and the foundation of the house when he crawled in to retrieve his kittens.

Paul was only nine when his father built the house, and they lived there only a short time, but he still had vivid memories. Being the only boy raised with eight sisters, he could not forget much.

Paul remembered the big maples in the front of the house and the first ball games that were played in the area. The house had two bathrooms, with the plumbing set in between, but no running water as we have today. The water was pumped into the house from the well out back. Also in back were a coal house, a barn, and various outdoor buildings. A huge garden occupied the space that was later home to A & P.

The last one of the nine children of A. S. and Sarah Harmon Petrey was born in the house. The clan includes: Maude Greever of Hazard, Ruth Petrey, Gertrude Spaulding of Hazard, Marie Dalrymple of Texas, Paul of Hazard, Senethan Blakemore of Florida, Dorothy Combs of Hazard, Kathleen Haydon of Tennessee and Helen Hooten of California.

In 1918, Rev Petrey sold the grand ole house and moved to Whitesburg for a short time to help with the pastorate of the First Baptist Church there. Upon returning to Hazard, the family moved into a large house on Broadway.

The buyer of the place was Dr. B. R. Bodkins, who converted it into a hospital. Shortly afterward, the noted flu epidemic hit the area and many people died there.

The place was then bought by P.T. Wheeler, who built a buff brick house next door. The home was later purchased by Mr. And Mrs. J. O. Harper.

Dave Huff, owner of Huff Drug Store on East Main Street, then leased the property from Courtney Wells. In turn, Huff subleased the land to Pizza Hut.

This historical landmark of Perry County was torn down in 1977 in the name of progress.

The next time you are enjoying a pizzi pie at this particular Pizza Hut in Hazard, stop for a moment to think of the history of the grand ole house that stood on this plot of ground between East Main Street and Highway 15 for 63 years.

1 comment:

  1. The picture of the Petrey house brought back memories. Mrs. P. T. Wheeler was a good friend of my aunt Laura, and the brick they built is in my memory and also the house down from it as you speak of. In later years, Courtney Wells lived on the bottom floor of this house and his son and family lived upstairs as I recall, but that was much later in the history of "this ole house". It still was such a beautiful house after the passing of all those years.

    I am at a loss to know where the Pizza Hut is now but back "when" I clearly remember the row of houses there to include the Faulkner house, the Wheeler house, "this ole house" and Sophie Combs house (Doug, Pauline and Marcus), and on the corner there was Eva Hall's grocery. Progress sure took away a lot of history of the area but still I thank God for these memories because I can vividly see them as they were when I was growing up there.

    You stirred up good memories again. Thanks.