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 a new CD collection of ghost stories and ballads, “Beyond the Grave,” produced by storyteller Susanna “Granny Sue” Holstein of Sandyville, WV. Lots of real dates, places and people are mentioned throughout each of these delightful narratives. But are the stories themselves true? “I can only answer that if you believe, then it is true for you,” winks Holstein.
We’ll pause in between things to catch up on a Calendar of Events in the region this week, with special attention paid to events that emphasize heritage and local color.
Next up, an 1898 ad for Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription. Every woman who is called upon to bear the ordeal of bringing many children into the world needs the support and reinforcement of that wonderful tonic, claims the copy. A testimonial letter from a TN user gives us a social window into a presumably typical view of menstruation of that era.
On January 17, 1781, American General Daniel Morgan scored a stunning victory over British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre “Barbarous Ban” Tarleton’s regulars at the Battle of Cowpens, in what is now Cherokee County, SC. This win came at a crucial time for Revolutionary War patriots in the South, who had been repeatedly forced to retreat.
Winter’s the quilting season. Laurel Horton interviewed 6 women in Blue Ridge, VA in 1999 for the Library of Congress’ American Memory project. In this excerpt from the recordings they share their experiences of quilting over the years.
In the tragedy of the Galveston hurricane of 1900 — the most fatal natural disaster in U. S. history — more than 6,000 souls perished. Yet that number would have nearly doubled had it not been for the efforts of Dr. Isaac Monroe Cline. Cline, born in 1861 near Madisonville, TN, was the weather-forecasting pioneer who went on to become the world’s foremost authority on hurricanes.
We’ll wrap things up with an appreciation of the Appalachian dulcimer, by luthier Anthony J. Huvard. “The Appalachian Dulcimer is not to be confused with its biblical counterpart, the hammered dulcimer,” he tells us. “Rather, in its current incarnation, it is believed to have evolved from a northern European instrument, the German scheitholt which like the Appalachian Dulcimer is played with a bow and plucked or strummed as well.”
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Library of Appalachia we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music by Ray Alden, who just passed last fall, in an undated recording of the fiddle tune “Calahan.”
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 History.