A Tribute to my father, Elmer Edwards

Elmer Edwards

Life in the 1920s when my father was born was extremely hard. My grandparents, Bessie and Trigg Edwards had left the rolling hills of Virginia in 1924 to make a better life for their family in Detroit, Michigan. They returned to Virginia in 1927 when work became scarce. My father was born in Sandlick, Dickenson County, Virginia on April 19, 1927. There is no doubt that his parents inspired a great love of family in him. They must have shared stories of family history with him through the years. They returned to Michigan in 1929.

The years flew by and my father fell in love, served in the Navy during WWII, married my mother, Jean, and raised six children. By 1992, I was married and had four children of my own. That summer, my father planned a trip to Virginia to attend the Edwards family reunion at the Breaks, Virginia over the July 4th weekend. He planned to take his widowed mother and invited his children and grandchildren. My opportunity had come to visit the land of my ancestors. This monumental vacation was to be shared by four generations.

Brice Hamilton and Sallie Edwards Homestead 1992
Brice Hamilton Edwards and Sallie (Hay) house chimney 1992

Southwest Virginia’s unique hills became alive with my father’s narrated history. We visited the town where my father was born, where his parents went to school and lived, and the house where his grandparents, Noah and Crissie Edwards lived.

We searched the hollers for his great-grandfather, Brice Hamilton Edwards and Sallie’s (Hay) house where they had raised their family. We discovered the remnants of the foundation of the homestead and chimney hiding tucked beneath the lush emerald foliage. We were awed with the site of his great grandfather and Civil War veteran, Andrew Jackson Edwards’ house and barn still standing. We peered up the impassable road to the land that his great, great-grandfather, Lewis Edwards once lived on.

We stayed at the Breaks Interstate Park with breathtaking views of the “Grand Canyon of the South.” My father’s mother, Bessie, had been raised in this absolutely gorgeous terrain that is now a state park. Too soon, our trip through history had come to an end. The memories that were etched in my mind have brought many precious memories.

Our extended family has attended the Edwards family reunion in the Breaks, Virginia many times since 1992. Through the years, we have lost many of our loved ones, and the importance of recording family history is ever essential to preserve our heritage. This website is intended to aid in that preservation. It also serves as a testament of a wonderful father. Elmer Edwards is the crowning jewel in our family. He exemplifies the meaning of “father.” His love, patience, understanding, kindness, and servant’s heart serve as examples of our Heavenly Father.

May this website continue to serve as a wonderful gift to my father for many years to come. May it also inspire others to record the precious memories of their loved ones for future generations.

Robin, Web Designer & Webmaster