Ballenbaugh's (Location Key)


Ballenbaugh's, the place where Lucius and Boon spend the first night of their trip in The Reivers, has had a very colorful past. The river crossing it stands at was first settled by a man named Wylie, who was shown the location by the Chickasaw Indians (71). From his "peaceful one-room combined residence and store," he ran a ferry that carried freight across the river; the road north from Jefferson was built "as straight" to Wyott's as it could be made to connect the town to Memphis (72). Sometime before the Civil War, the place was taken over by the first Ballenbaugh; under its new ownership, it became "a roaring place indeed," the center of a settlement of "drunks and fiddlers and gamblers and girls" (72, 74). In 1886 it was cleaned up by a Baptist minister. When the travelers stay there in 1905 it is once again a country store run by the daughter of the original Ballenbaugh, with a "loft" full of "shuck mattresses" for "fox- and coon-hunters and fishermen" (74). The laws of Jim Crow remain constant; Ned sleeps nearby, in "Ephum's house" (77).

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