Interview with Mattie Rawls

Mattie Rawls was the sole author of the history of Sandy Bottom.  It was written in 2007/2008.

Interview was done on 1 Sept.  2010

Mattie was born Nov 7th 1924.  She is 85 years old.  Born in Nansemond County (Sandy Bottom).  Dad was James H. Cowling,  Mother was Golie Hicks Cowling.  Both were original residents of Nansemond County.

Her Granddaddy Nathinal Cowling and his wife Mary Jackson were both born in Chuckatuck.

Her original house was next to the church.  Thinking back to her earliest days, what was this area like.  Not as many houses since many were farm kids.  Stores were Sam Chapman’s and Dailey’s store.

11:30  She discusses the various farms and where the children came from.

In your younger days what did you do:  Baseball, Dodge Ball, Merry Go Round,  Mr Reed built them a Merry Go Round.  Hop Scotch and Marbles.  She also enjoyed playing house .  14:10  Discusses making a doll out of an ear of corn.

16:00  Talks about buring Ice Cream, Canned Peaches and Small Cakes.

Mother was a housewife,
Daddy was a farmer, oysterman and then into the Navy Yard from where he retired.

Oyster boats were in Crittenden.

Mother passed when she was very young.  She was raised primarily by her dad and then a step mother.

Married in 1952 and has one child, Lisa, and she is in Churchland.  Husband passed March 5, 1987.  Moved into her current residence in 1955.

22:25:  Discusses her education;  has her master’s degree.  Taught for 40 years.

29:00  Dad was very instrumental in her getting an education.

38:30  Talks about discipline in schools and baby girls having children.  Also talks about welfare cases.

If she had her time to do over again what would she change???

58:00  Mr. Walter Jordan had a positive effect on her life and that of other children in Sandy Bottom.  Talks about building the Merry Go Round for the kids.

Step Mother was Eunice Wells.  Married her dad when she was in a second year of colledge.  Her big sister was her main support.

3 girls and 2 boys in her family.  James Columbus, Ethel, Francis, Mattie, and Elmer.  All are dead now except Mattie.  Sisters went to Cosmetology school, Oldest brother was an  oysterman and the youngest was a policeman.

83:00  Rev. Diggs was a main stay in Sandy Bottom.  Pastor for over 30 years.

95;00  We talk about the water system in Sandy Bottom in 1974.