Born in 1934, in the years following the Great Depression and World War II still to come, Grandma Mattie grew up knowing what it was like to ‘use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.’ In 1957, she married Melvin, and they settled onto a farm in Indiana. 12 years later, they bought a dairy farm in southern Kentucky and moved their family of 7 to Kentucky.
In 1977, eight years after moving to KY, Grandpa Melvin was tragically killed in a farm accident. At age 43, Grandma was left a widow now with 9 children at home, the youngest being an infant of 4 months. Times were tough but Grandma had a God in heaven to help her and she never gave up. In 1987 Grandma moved to Maryland to live close to her oldest daughter and son in law Urie and Dayle Ann Kanagy. Ever the resilient woman, in 1995 at age 61, Grandma and son-in-law Urie Kanagy, teamed up and began making jams and jellies in the basement of Grandma’s house. This was the impetus for the name “Grandma’s Jam House”
Grandma’s Jam House grew as more and more people realized the extraordinary and amazing taste of the jams and jellies that were being produced, taking them back to a time when life was simple and Grandma’s cooking was central.
Active in the jam making process and serving as secretary, Grandma was a vital part of the business until her death. In 2012 she went home to be with the Lord, but her legacy of faith, family, and good food lives on.