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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: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:36:39 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2010 Dave Tabler
 



Hang down your head Tom Dula

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Hang down your head Tom Dooley Hang down your head and cry Hang down your head Tom Dooley Poor boy, you’re bound to die. It’s the most famous murder ballad in American folk music history. And chances are, if you know it, you know the version popularized by the Kingston Trio. Their recording of the […]

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Shivarees, Spin the Bottle, and Post Office

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:00:59 +0000

If you’ve taken part in a shivaree and played post office and spin-the-bottle, chances are you’ve been around a half-century or more. In fact, you’ve been around so long the anthropologists may come looking for you to get information about those fine old East Tennessee customs of courtship and marriage. Dr. Charles H. Faulkner, a UT […]

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Did Clark Dyer fly before the Wright brothers did?

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 05:00:57 +0000

“When he was not busy with cultivating the land on this farm and tilling the crops necessary to the economy of this large family, Clark Dyer labored in his workshop,” says his descendant Ethlene Dyer Jones.

“There he experimented with a flying machine made of lightweight cured river canes and covered with cloth. Drawings on the flyleaves of the family Bible, now in the possession of one of Clark’s great, great grandsons, show how he thought out the engineering technicalities of motion and counter-motion by a series of rotational whirligigs. He built a ramp on the side of the mountain and succeeded in getting his flying machine airborne for a short time."

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Moving cotton through the upcountry

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

In the decade after the Civil War the new Air Line Railroad connecting Charlotte and Atlanta was laid through upcountry South Carolina. Two Confederate veterans saw an opportunity to create a new town at the junction of the older Blue Ridge Railroad and the new line, a town which because of this location would serve […]

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The cake was emblazoned with Illuminated candles

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

It’s Valentine’s Day. We know lovers everywhere are preoccupied, but what about everyone else? Here’s a day in the life as reported in the February 14, 1930 edition of the Clinch Valley News in Raven, VA: “A delicious and exquisite birthday dinner was served by Mrs. Parson at her home in North Raven at 7:30 […]

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We need a certain class o’ people workin’ in the mine

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Black Mountain, near the town of Lynch in Harlan County, is Kentucky’s highest point, rising 4125 feet above sea level. It runs along the border of Harlan and Letcher counties, and also along the Kentucky -Virginia border. Thousands of families, most of them Eastern European immigrants, streamed into the shadows of Black Mountain between the […]

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Where’s the Valle Crucis post office? Well, that depends

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

In 1889, William West Skiles described a North Carolina location “entirely shut in by forest-clad mountains.” The area “was watered by three small, limpid streams, two of them leaping down the hillsides in foaming cascades,” Skiles wrote in Missionary Life at Valle Crucis. “It was this secluded valley which, from the cross-like form of the […]

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Sweet, Sticky Maple Wax

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

“Sugar making time was looked forward to with pleasant anticipation by the young people,” writes George Benson Kuykendall in a family geneaology published in 1919. His uncle, Isaac Kuykendall, purchased a 670 acre farm near Huttons, Garrett County, MD in 1881. “It came along in the early spring when there were clear days and frosty […]

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Now don’t tell a soul I told you this…

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

“Why–it’s taken for granted that women are gossips by nature, by instinct and by training,” said the Sparrow. “Women ought to deny that charge every time they hear it, too!” she exclaimed. “It’s just one of the many accusations men have repeated over and over until they have come to believe it.” The birds are […]

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A flamboyant man who in many ways resembled Elmer Gantry

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

“We go to bed at night and get up in the morning, and our Milk Bottles are standing on the back porch waiting for us,” observed Rev. W.L. Stidger in a sermon titled ‘Milk Bottles & Monotony.’ “Fifty years ago we got up at five o’clock, dressed in the cold, shivering as we dressed, went […]

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Virginia outlaws marijuana

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

By 1937, when “Drug Czar” Harry Anslinger, then Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, introduced the Marihuana [sic] Tax Act to Congress, lurid testimonies were being introduced that cannabis caused “murder, insanity and death.” And just the year before, the film now known as cult classic Reefer Madness was financed by a church group […]

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Superabundance of Religious Fervor Lands Holy Roller in Police Court

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Middlesboro Daily News Middlesboro, KY Feb. 5, 1921 There are some persons who are emotional to such an extent that they completely lose control of themselves and let their emotions sway them. When persons of this nature are overcome by their emotions, they cannot control themselves and they are not in a position to judge of their actions. […]

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