Since retiring from Harvey Courier six years ago, Darryl Harvey has enjoyed spending his free time atop a stool in his wood-working shed down Dubose Lane, Clarke County. Usually, with just an old photo or a crumpled newspaper clipping in hand, Harvey begins creating something magnificent from his favorite material, wood.
For about 53 years, the Jackson native has been sawing, drilling, whittling, fitting and polishing wood scraps into intricately designed and fully functional pieces.
Some of his recent projects include: fishing lures, tackle boxes, doll houses, replicas of antebellum homes, and a special jewelry box for his wife Rhonda.
His love affair with woodworking began when he was about 13 years old.
“My first project was a bow and arrow,” he recalls. “I spent a lot of time carving the bow from wood, but I was just a beginner, and it showed in the finished product.”
Even though Harvey considered his first project a complete waste of time and effort, he was still fascinated by the craftsmanship and ability to build things with his hands.
In 2009, he discovered another talent – building replicas of antebellum homes and cabins.
Darryl Harvey spent over 300 hours to complete this replica of the York Mansion that was located next to the Myrick Home in Coffeeville.
With a love for history and architecture, he enjoys researching the construction period for each home and learning more about the families who occupied them.
Though each piece requires an abundance of time and patience to complete, Harvey states that he gets personal satisfaction out of bringing the past alive with his hands. “And after all this time, I’m still not tired of it,” he adds.
Harvey begins each replica by researching the original structure, and then scaling down the measurements to the size he would like to create. If the building is no longer standing, as in the case of the York Mansion in Coffeeville, he relies solely on photographs and clippings from newspapers to be as accurate as possible.
Harvey is also a collector of antique pieces and documents. In the top right photo, Harvey holds a Clarke-Washington EMC membership card that he purchased with other documents and antiques more than 35 years ago.
The card dates back to 1937 and includes the signatures of two co-op incorporators, Sec., C.R. Myrick and President, Joe C. McCorquodale, Sr.
Indeed, Harvey has discovered a hobby in the process of collecting antiques and woodworking, which is the reason he has kept at it for over fifty years. Although his gallery is private, he enjoys creating special pieces for his family members and close friends.
A finished piece will bear Harvey’s initials and date completed on the bottom right corner. “This is my mark in the sands of time,” he muses.