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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: Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:42:51 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2010 Dave Tabler
 



Some cows never learn

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000

“That night, as Mutt and I lay on the featherbed that Grandma had made, we talked by the light of the coal oil lamp. We were working on a plan on how to get rid of Old Betsy. That cow just had to go, we reasoned, and soon. Our first plan was to throw rocks […]

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John Amis starts a feud with the North Forkers

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000

(part 2 of 2) In April 1806 John Amis, who lived along the Kentucky River’s Middle Fork, went elk hunting in the area where his cattle were wintering. He discovered some cattle from North Fork farms grazing in what he thought were grass fields reserved for him and his cohorts. Amis proceeded to stab about […]

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John Amis settles on Kentucky River’s South Fork

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000

“That’s a god-damned lie!” cried out Joel Elkins as John Amis spoke to those gathered in the Clay County court. He reached behind the door, grabbed William Strong’s gun, purposely loaded and placed there, then shot and killed Amis. Accounts differ as to why John Amis was in that Kentucky court on August 5, 1807, […]

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Ollie Ollie In Come Free!

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000

It probably started out as All-ee, all-ee, outs in free, a call from the person who was it letting those hiding children (the outs) know it was safe to come back to base in the children’s game of hide-and-seek. The phrase can also be used to coordinate hidden players in the game kick the can, […]

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Hellers or No-Hellers?

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 05:00:16 +0000

Nestled within a cluster of oaks and maples in Shady Valley, TN, the Stoney Creek Primitive Baptist Church meeting house is one of those traditional wood-framed worship structures that ole’ Baptists love so dearly—starkly simple, lap-joint sided, white, unadorned by steeples or Gothic-arched stained glass windows. Noticeably absent are any self-proclaiming billboard, marquee, or other […]

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The spiritualistic singing of the colored people worked over into the white hillbilly

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 05:00:10 +0000

“There were only four kinds of country music. One is your gospel songs, your religious songs. The others were your jigs and reels, like we spoke of a while ago at fiddler’s conventions. Your third were your heart songs, sentimental songs that came from the heart, and the fourth, which has passed out to a […]

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D. Y. might carry his burden too, but he does it debonairly

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000

“As one alights from the train at Hazard and gallant Captain Bocook the conductor waves an ‘adieu’ with a smile thrown in for usury, the first word heard above the bustle and din is ‘D-Y,’ ‘D-Y,’ ‘D-Y,’ and that stands for the most popular, best known, most influential, wealthiest and most progressive man in Hazard […]

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How Carnival Games Cheat Customers

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000

By Sam Brown Modern Mechanix June 1930 issue Did you ever wonder why you came home from the carnival empty handed? Remember how you tried to ring the bell by hammering the catapult or how you tossed ring after ring trying to win a cane? Swindled? Well, maybe! Read how the operators gimmick their games […]

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Telegraphy Shortcuts

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 05:00:23 +0000

When timber and coal camps started springing up throughout Appalachia in the late 19th century, they provided work for surveyors, lawyers, engineers, doctors, dentists, mechanics, railway workers, postal employees, and telegraph operators. The telegraph offered employment to anyone who could master the technology, regardless of background. There was even a hierarchy of status, as operators […]

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The Cherokee Booger Dance

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000

The annual Cherokee Gourd Artists Gathering just convened last weekend in Cherokee, NC. Gourd design today mainly encompasses the arts and crafts world of vases, pots, and plates, but it has a politicized function in Cherokee history. Highly stylized gourd masks have for hundreds of years been an essential part of the Booger Dance, a […]

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Survival of the fittest

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 05:00:54 +0000

“In the courthouse yard a great congregation of Sparrows was rioting over scraps of bread and cake crumbs strewed round the benches by the afternoon concourse of babies and colored nurses of the day before, and in the distance could be seen a cloud of Pigeons drifting and whirling round the upper windows of a […]

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Cotton was his past; Angus was his future

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 05:00:50 +0000

The McPhail Angus Farm, in the vicinity of Seneca, SC, has been a locally significant farm for more than one hundred years. The farm illustrates twentieth century developments in agriculture in the South Carolina upcountry, most notably the transition from a traditional dependence on growing cotton as a cash crop to raising cattle as a […]

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