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Appalachian History



Stories, quotes and anecdotes.Stories, quotes and anecdotes from Appalachia, with an emphasis on the Depression era



Last Build Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 10:06:33 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2010 Dave Tabler
 



Final run of the Bellaire, Zanesville, and Cincinnati Railway

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000

It was Ohio’s longest-lived narrow gauge railroad. Monroe County’s rugged terrain hindered commerce and communication during the 1800s. In the early 1870s Woodsfield businessmen, led by banker Samuel L. Mooney, promoted a narrow-gauge railroad to connect to the Baltimore and Ohio at Bellaire. Narrow gauge railroads were popular during this boom era because they cost […]

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Laura Lu, Lay Leader of Lutherans

Thu, 25 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Copenhaver taught at Marion Junior College in Smyth County, VA and assumed positions of leadership in the Lutheran church and on the Marion social scene. Her father, Dr. John Jacob Scherer Jr., had served as pastor of Marion’s Lutheran church before moving on to the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church in Richmond, presidency of the state synod, and a place on the Inner Missions Board of the national church.

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The bootleg capital of Ohio

Wed, 24 May 2017 05:00:35 +0000

New Straitsville, OH was considered the Bootleg Capital of Ohio during the Depression. Its population of enterprising ex-coalminers concealed dozens of illegal moonshine stills in the area’s hollows and abandoned mineshafts, selling it to a nation desperate for a stiff drink. Today, New Straitsville’s bootlegging tradition is honored with an annual Memorial Day weekend Moonshine […]

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He jumped on the bed, held his wife down and shot her through the head

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:00:35 +0000

State’s evidence portion of ‘Beck vs. State of Georgia,’ before Judge Estes, Rabun Superior Court, September Term 1885 In this partial court transcript, Eugene W. Beck is indicted for the murder of his wife, Ella Beck. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He was convicted for life at the state penitentiary, where he […]

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Stearns KY emerges out of the Big Survey

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Louis Bryant and Justus Stearns needed each other, and it’s surely no accident that their worlds finally intersected. Bryant, a bright young mining engineer, had moved into what is today McCreary County, KY at the beginning of the 1890s to consolidate mineral and land holdings acquired there by his father. But while the Bryant family […]

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The Guineas of West Virginia

Fri, 19 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000

In American culture, if you can’t prove you’re 100% white or ‘pass’ for such, you get lumped into the minority by default.  This is a cultural bias the Chestnut Ridge People (CRP) of West Virginia have been familiar with for several hundred years now. “There is a clan of partly-colored people in Barbour County often […]

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Her editor published her work for several years before realizing she wasn’t a man

Thu, 18 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000

“The clouds were blowing away from a densely instarred sky; the moon was hardly more than a crescent and dipping low in the west, but he could see the sombre outline of the opposite mountain, and the white mists that shifted in a ghostly and elusive fashion along the summit. The night was still, save […]

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They were a people called Welsh and they had crossed the Great Water

Wed, 17 May 2017 05:00:16 +0000

In 1170 A.D., a certain Welsh prince, Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd, sailed away from his homeland, and set down in a wondrous new land at what is believed to be the location of modern day Mobile Bay, Alabama. There are a series of pre-Columbian forts built up the Alabama River, and a tradition handed down by the Cherokee Indians of the "White People" who built them.

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No stop-leak for the dripping radiator? Dump in a handful of cornmeal!

Tue, 16 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Relatives of the gone-away families often visited if they owned a car or could get a ride with someone who did have one. Susan’s son Henry Hampton (by a former marriage) and wife Mint lived with their children in the Carcassonne community. Henry worked in the mines and owned a car of what age, make […]

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Operator, ring me up

Mon, 15 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000

In 1879, just 3 years after Alexander Graham Bell first demonstrated the telephone, the Behrens brothers established West Viriginia’s first telephone line, connecting two of their grocery stores in Wheeling. A year later, on May 15, 1880, the city established one of the first telephone exchanges in the country. A switchboard was set up in […]

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I wasn’t such a hot teacher, but we had a swell ball team

Fri, 12 May 2017 05:00:30 +0000

As a ballplayer nothing about Earle Bryan Combs was commonplace except his throwing arm; that seemed ordinary only because he shared the Yankee outfield with Bob Meusel and Babe Ruth, both exceptional and accurate throwers.  Combs was a dangerous hitter, a fleet, graceful outfielder, and the best leadoff man baseball had yet seen.  In the […]

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The world capital for chenille bedspreads

Thu, 11 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Calhoun, Ga. 1934. Mrs. Ralph Haney poses for a photograph in her kimono. The peacock design was made of chenille. Imagine: you’ve piled the family into the car and are driving south for a Florida vacation. You’re traveling along U.S. Highway 41 in northwest Georgia, when suddenly both sides of the road become flanked by […]

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