N Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Rocking Chair History Shared with Superintendent Miller

Jewell-Spears-Griner-rocking-chairJewell Spears Griner stopped by the Superintendent’s office, with her sons Jon and Kevin, to see and sit in the rocking chair her grandfather, Joshua Franklin Spears, designed and built more than seventy years ago. Mrs. Jewell Spears Griner was born at home in Crawfordville and graduated from Crawfordville High School in 1943.  Her family tree has many educators who served throughout North Florida and she believes it is quite appropriate that one of her grandfather’s rockers sits in the Superintendent’s Office, which at one time was Dot Miller’s classroom, Superintendent Miller’s mother, for 20 years.

The rocking chair that sits in the Superintendent’s office is a shaker style rocker and was first introduced to North America during the Revolutionary War.  Superintendent Miller added, “My granddad actually acquired the rocker in a trade.  The rocker is noted for its austere beauty.  It is functional in design and well proportioned.  It’s a favorite sitting place for my assistant superintendent, Jimmie Dugger, also a Crawfordville High School graduate.”

The School District Office, built in 1933 by Works Progress Administration (WPA), a relief program set up during the Great Depression by Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The School District Office provides a history for many residents, who enjoy the annual Crawfordville High School reunion.  During her reminiscing Miss Jewell shared, “I can remember my grandfather soaking the cow hides, used for the seats, in Whiddon Lake and hanging them on the Ivan work shed.”  She further explained, “He selected trees from the local forest for the rockers.  As kids we would play in the wood shavings that lay on the floor and use them as hair decorations.”  Miss Jewel’s parents, Curtis and Ethel Spears kept three of the rocking chairs on their front porch and eight of the rockers sat in front of Tallahassee’s, The Floridian, the one time home of Miss Ruby Diamond.

Pictured L-R:  Kevin Griner, Jon Griner, Superintendent David Miller and Jewell Spears Griner

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