Hammering up history in Chickasaw County

HOUSTON – David Moore hammers a little bit of history into every nail he strikes.

Moore, 80, is busy on Phase One of the Chickasaw County Heritage Museum and brings more than 50-years of construction experience and impeccable craftsmanship not often seen on today’s job sites.

“Community organizations in small towns or large cities rely on volunteers for certain skills and services to assist them in being successful,” said Larry Davis, President of the Chickasaw County Historical and Genealogical Society. “Some people volunteer to serve as elected officers, others to lead special project, still others to promote a particular group’s purpose within and outside the community.”

The Historical Society has found such a volunteer in David Moore of Thorn.

“The Historical Society needed someone with a construction background to volunteer with Phase One of the Chickasaw County Heritage Museum,” said Davis. “Currently underway is the building of a barn that will house and display farm equipment that reflects the horse and mule era of our county’s agricultural heritage.”

Moore’s construction career began at age 17, when he hopped a train to New Orleans. The train stopped in Houston one night, and Moore got on – without a ticket – to head south to work for his brother’s construction business.

Moore said working construction means you travel where the work takes you. He has lived in several states. Past projects have included a 36-story office building and a 400-foot-long apartment complex in Maryland. He has worked construction crews of 100 men.

Several years ago Moore returned home to Chickasaw County and eventually retired.

He was approached by James Clark saying the historical society needed someone who could do the job right on a very limited budget. Moore not only agreed to the job, he brought his own tools, including a generator and a truck to haul lumber and supplies.

And Moore’s personality is such that volunteers are welcome on his job site.

With his nail pouch on his left hip and his hammer in his right hand, Moore sets the tempo for people who show up to help. His philosophy is to do the job right and not how fast it can be done.

Moore still climbs the ladder and scrambles over scaffolding. He weaves around framing and under boards with the agility of someone half his age.

He is also quick with construction humor for those who bend nails and and bang thumbs. Despite half a century of hammering, he grins when he admits he still does both.

“Due to the recent winter weather work has progressed slowly on the barn,” said Davis. “However, within the past few weeks or so the barn is starting to look like a barn.

“Without Mr. Moore, Phase One of the Chickasaw County Heritage Museum would still be on the drawing board rather than in the construction process,” added Davis.

Moore is an active member of Thorn Church of God and his actions reflect well on his strong sense of family and faith. A regular at Moore’s Restaurant and the Sparta Opry, Moore is known by most in these parts.

“If you see Mr. Moore out and about, I think a handshake or thank-you would be appropriate for someone who is trying to make our community a better place to live,” said Davis. “The Chickasaw County Historical and Genealogical Society certainly appreciates what Mr. Moore is doing.”

Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal