HOME AND GARDEN: A family foundation

Published 3:23 pm Monday, June 22, 2020

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The Adams Family Home is where family bonding time has become a tradition. The whole family comes here together every Saturday night for dinner and on holidays to celebrate.

“The home has been filled with weddings, parties, and family gatherings. It’s a second home for all of the family to enjoy,” Melissa Ingram said.

Around 1940, Mr. Dutch Parish, Melissa’s grandfather, purchased 360 acres of beautiful pasture and farmland. The property is filled with petrified wood and rock called iron ore rocks. Parish was a country gentleman who lived off the land, and for several years prior to making this purchase, he worked for General Motors in Flint, Michigan.

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Once Parish purchased the land, he had his first home built right where the Adams Family Home is located today. Dutch and Dot Parish had five children John, Charlie, Patricia, Mary, and Shirley, and early on they instilled the importance of family.

“The Parish family started having family reunions on the last Sunday in April to celebrate the wedding anniversary of Dutch and Dot Parish and lunch every Sunday for their children and grandchildren,” Ingram said.

“The first home that was built on the Parish family property was torn down and the logs from that home were used to build the log cabin of Uncle Tom’s up the street,” Ingram explained. “Dutch built a new home to the side, but it was later destroyed by a fire.”

In his later years, Mr. Dutch Parish sold a portion of his land to each of his children for sixty dollars an acre, and he was able to watch each of them build their own homes and take care of the property.

Parish’s daughter Mary and her husband Lawrence lived in the log cabin that was built by Uncle Tom and was located across the road from the current Adams Family Home. Here they raised their three children Melissa, David, and Kevin.

“My father, Lawrence, began working at a young age, and he worked hard all of his life – eventually working up to three jobs at one time,” Ingram said. “He bought the Banks Buy Rite from Mr. Frank Raines at an early age, and he and Mary started the deli there.”

Later, Lawrence sold the Banks Buy Rite to Chester Garrett, and he and Mary both began working in real estate with their son David Adams in Troy. Lawrence and Mary began their own business, Adams Property Management, and gathered a vast collection of rental properties with their son Kevin Adams.

In 2007, Lawrence Adams built his home, which was designed by his son-in-law Chuck Ingram who graduated from Auburn University with a degree in architecture. Chuck was able to design the home exactly the way Lawrence and Mary wanted it.

Mary and her three children have Saturday night dinners at the home still to this day. “My mother, Mary, always did family dinners and reunions at this home until she got sick,” Ingram said. “She has diabetes and has had several mini strokes, so it was hard for her to continue to do the things she had always done for the family.”

So, Melissa took on the responsibility of cooking and holding family functions at the home. She and her husband Chuck would go out every weekend and cook for the entire family there.

“On Saturday nights, there are certain things that the family expects for dinner including little white peas, peach cobbler, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese,” Ingram said. “We don’t change things much.”

She explained that during these Saturday night get-togethers, the grandkids always do something in the front yard whether it’s playing basketball, kickball, wiffle ball, or football. And while the older grandkids are playing, Rocky and Fred always push their green tractors in the front yard.

“It is a bit overwhelming coming out here on a Saturday night,” said Tristen Carter the boyfriend of grandchild Ansley Adams. “There are so many people there every Saturday night, but once you make it past the first time you will love it.”

“It’s a lot, but to see a family stay together like this is something you would want to be a part of,” said Jayden Webb the girlfriend of grandchild Brian Adams. “They have a strong family foundation and traditions that should be kept for generations to come. You never have to ask what we are doing for a holiday or any Saturday night because we all know we will be there with the family.”

Melissa Ingram remembers how her dad, Lawrence, always told her this was her home that he built for her. “He would tell me each visit that they only have so many more payments on the house. He worked so hard to make sure the home was paid off for us,” she said.

Melissa and her father both worked hard to ensure every detail was taken care of for the family.

“The biggest thing for my dad was Saturday nights and Auburn football,” Ingram said. “He was one of the biggest Auburn fans you will ever meet, and he wanted all his family there watching the game with him.”

“In July 2018, my dad got sick and we found out he had colon cancer,” she explained. “He passed away on October 11, 2018.”

Melissa and Chuck moved into the home when they found out her dad was sick, and they are still living there now.

For Melissa, the most beautiful feature of the Adams home is when the sun sets on it. She said, “I remember the day we laid my dad to rest I sat on the front porch alone and watched the sunset. It is one thing that makes me think of nothing but my daddy.”

Melissa wants her children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews to enjoy whatever journey their life may take them on, but she hopes they never forget their way back home and never forget the importance of the love of family.

“Family will always be there to support and care for you when no one else is there,” she said. “I can only hope that I can instill the sense of love and family togetherness that my daddy did in this home.”

Story by Lauren Johnson

For more stories from the May/June edition of TroyLife, pick up a copy at various locations around the community or at The Messenger office.