We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. You can start listening right away by clicking the podcast icon over on the left side of your screen. If you’d rather grab the show off itunes for later listening, click here.
We open today’s show with a review of the recently published “Power in the Blood,” Linda Tate’s memoir of how three generations of family women bear successive witness from 1902 till now. Reviewer Lynn Salsi is the author of “The Jack Tales” and “Young Ray Hicks Learns the Jack Tales;” she was named the North Carolina Historian of the Year in 2001.
Pearl Harbor finally dragged the US into WWII in early December 1941, but the government had already anticipated the likelihood of America’s involvement. In spring of 1941 the Feds built a military powder bag-loading plant in Childersburg, AL. It brought new jobs to the area, yes, but it also displaced 210 farm families. Let’s take a look at the upheaval as it was happening.
Can you imagine accidentally shooting your own child while hunting? It’s every sportsman’s nightmare. Your heart will go out to Grover C. Shepherd; listen as this Ashe County Journal newspaper article from 1929 describes how he held the dying boy in his arms.
The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts in Chattanooga houses one of the finest collections of Staffordshire glass, Mettlach steins, and Rockingham-Bennington pottery in the world. What the lovely displays don’t divulge is the desperate situation of the woman who single-handedly assembled the collection. Anna Safley Houston married 9 times, but by the end of her life lived alone, impoverished, in a decrepit barn, surrounded only by her 10,000 pieces of glass and her dog.
If you’ve ever sung “Heralds of Christ” in church, you’ve touched a corner of Laura Scherer Copenhaver’s universe. This Smyth County, VA daughter of a preacher became a widely respected lay leader in the Lutheran church in the early decades of the 20th century. Her passionate advocacy helped establish the Konnarock School, which provided elementary-level academic and religious education for Smyth County children who did not have access to other public schools.
We’ll wrap things up with a look at a little wager from 1900. Young Italian bricklayer Thoney Pietro, who later made his fortune in road construction around Morgantown, WV, was quick. Could he lay enough bricks in a day’s time to topple the proud Irishman who held the local record?
And, thanks to the good folks at the Internet Archive we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from “Uncle” A.C. “Eck” Robertson in a 1922 recording of “Ragtime Annie.”
So, call your old blue-tick hound up on the porch, fire up your corn-cob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian Histo