Location and Description of the Emmaus Mission


By John H. Evans


Publication of the Mississippi Historical Society, By Mississippi Historical Society, Volume VI, Edited By Franklin Lafayette Riley, Secretary, Oxford, Mississippi, Published 1902, pgs 411-413


The Emmaus Mission was situated upon a beautiful plateau, about 1,200 yards east of Buckatunna Creek.  To describe the location minutely, was situated on the N. W. ¼ of the S. E. ¼ of section 18, township 1, range 18, east.  It comprised an enclosed square of four acres, 140 yards each way.  The eastern side of the enclosure was composed of pickets driven into the earth.  The other side consisted of a rail fence.  The dwelling of the missionary stood in the northeastern corner of the square, about thirty steps south of the northern boundary.  The gate was in the northeastern corner, and between it and the house were several large post oaks.  There was also a pair of stiles over the fence about twenty feet west of the gate.  The houses on the mission grounds were all made of large hewn logs.  The residence of the missionary was a large two-story building, with a partition running north and south, above and below, the story, of clapboards.  A shed room made of clapboards formed the northwestern corner of the house.  A piazza was on the east or front side of the house, where was the main entrance.  Near this door and to the right of it was a stairway leading up about four feet to a platform and thence to the west, terminating in the upper story.  A closet was under the platform.  The mission library to the left of the door was formed by an opening about four feet long and five feet high, made in the wall by sawing out the logs.  In this opening the shelves of the library were fastened, and the outside of the opening was then cased up with clapboards.  By this economy of space the library took up no room.  There was only one fire place, which was on the north side of the main, or front room.  This room had two windows; a large glass window, protected by a batten shutter on the south and a small window, protected by a sliding shutter on the north, to the right of the chimney.  A door connected the front room with the partition room.  This latter room had a large glass window, protected by a batten shutter, on the south.  To the west was a door, through which one passed out upon a small piazza, with the door of the “shed room” on the right.  The front or eastern room up stairs had two windows, one to the north, and the other to the south.  The western room up stairs had only one window, which was in the south.  A door way connected these two rooms.

A large post oak stood near the southeastern corner of the front piazza.  Another one stood near the southeastern corner of the house.  These trees stood about ten feet apart.  The dining room stood about thirty feet south of the dwelling house and in line with the eastern end of it.  The dining room was about twenty feet square, and the kitchen was built as its southeastern end, the two buildings being connected by a “stack chimney” with a fireplace on each side.  The dining room had three doors, one facing the east, another the west, and a third the south and leading into the kitchen.  There were two glass windows on the north.  Many distinguished men have eaten in this dining room, among them Colonel George S. Gaines and the Choctaw chief, Pushmataha.  In addition to the door connecting the kitchen with the dining room, the kitchen had a door on the east, another on the west, and a window on the south.  There was a cellar under the dining room, and a projecting roof from the west end of kitchen to protect the stairway that led down to the cellar.  A portable dairy stood between the eastern doors of the dining room and the kitchen, and was protected by a shed that projected from these two buildings.

About thirty feet west of the kitchen was the storage house.  It was eighteen feet by twenty, and stood east and west, with the door toward the kitchen.  About thirty feet north of this house was the well, which had an old fashion sweep.  About forty feet due west of the dwelling house was the school house, in which Miss Skinner taught.  It had a chimney on the northern side, and a door on the eastern side, with a window on the south and another on the west.

On the northwestern corner of the enclosure or park was the barn.  Near it stood a large red oak.  All along the western boundary of the enclosure were some large red oaks and hickories.  Thence eastward on the southern boundary were some chinquapin and chestnut trees, which extended to the storage house.  There was a post oak between the storage house and the kitchen, also one between the kitchen and the southern corner of the square.  A few china trees stood in front of the missionary house, near the gate leading into the garden.

At the northeastern corner of the square the ground began to slope.  From this place the garden extended seventy yards to the east, seventy yards to the south and thence seventy yards to the west, striking the eastern boundary of the enclosure.  On the southern side of the garden and covering the remainder of the block, was the cow lot.

There was a large wagon gate near the northwestern corner of the enclosure, immediately south of the barn.  There was another large wagon gate in the northeastern corner of the cow lot.  There was small gate in the northwestern corner of the cow lot, which connected it with the enclosure.  There was also another small gate near the southeastern corner of the enclosure, on the southern line of the fence.

The public road running west from the “Jewel Stand” passed immediately along the northern side of the square.

The Indian graveyard connected with Emmaus Mission was situated in the extreme northeastern corner of the N. E. ¼ of N. W. ¼ of section 19, township 1, range 18, east.

My father, Jehu Evans, bought the tract of land embracing Emmaus in the fall of 1833, during the land sales at Augusta.  He paid Mr. Gage three hundred dollars for his improvements, and in January, 1834, moved into the houses.  In 1846, my father moved into the new house, which he had built near where the stiles were, and all the houses on the mission grounds were finally torn down and used for other purposes.


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