The Cuckoos Nest

"The Cuckoo's Nest"
Somewhere in Kentucky aka McCutchanville, Indiana

If you landed on this page from a search engine link, you may already be confused.  We're talking about a place in the Little Colonel stories.  In those stories, the place known almost lovingly as the "Cuckoo's Nest", Betty's home,  is introduced in The Little Colonel's House Party, Chapter II as somewhere at a remote crossroads in rural Kentucky.  Throughout the Little Colonel stories, we return again and again to this place,  which may be no surprise when you consider the place that Annie Fellows Johnston was thinking of here for the most part was her own childhood home in McCutchanville, Indiana. 

So in the stories only, this place was supposed to be in Kentucky.  In real life, it was Indiana.

Drawing of her childhood home by Albion Fellows Bacon (Annie's sister's)

Here in McCutchanville, just north of Evansville in Southern Indiana, was the old church Annie wrote about that contained "all that was left of a scattered Sunday-school library, that had been in use two generations before."  It was also in McCutchanville that Annie remembered playing Barley-Bright around an old barn we're told still exists. (The Little Colonel's Holidays Chapters IV,  V,  & VI and mentioned again in The Little Colonel's Hero Chapter XI and The Little Colonel in Arizona (Lost on the Desert), Chapter 15)

"The Church, just beyond the big gate, at the end of Cherry Lane"
Albion Fellow's Bacon, Beauty for Ashes, 1914

Alas, Annie's childhood home no longer exists, but the homestead can be found on Erskine Lane (formerly Cherry Lane) and as of this writing some of Annie's relations still live there.  The old church pictured above has also long since been replaced by a more modern building.

"That vision of wind-swept, sun-crowned hills, and great free spaces"
Albion Fellow's Bacon, Beauty for Ashes, 1914

Sisters Albion and Annie Fellows as young ladies, ca 1880
Albion would have been about 15, Annie 17

Albion's story is given to Mary Ware in Part 2 of Mary Ware's Promised Land.  The rest of the story is written by Albion herself in her own book, Beauty for Ashes, 1914.  Because of her work for decent housing for the poor, Albion is noted by history among the leading social reformers of her day.

(an old mis?-spelling)