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 right 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 guest segment from author David Biddix. Biddix is set to release his second book in the “Images of America” series, this one on the formation of Little Switzerland, NC. Heriot Clarkson and his Charlotte investors sought to create an idyllic mountain retreat nestled on the border of Mitchell & McDowell counties at the turn of the 20th century. The political wranglings to birth their development were anything but idyllic. They had to sue the National Park Service not once, but twice, over the encroaching Blue Ridge Parkway.
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.
During the 1930s and 1940s Rose Thompson worked as a home supervisor with the Farm Security Administration in Georgia. While she worked with farmers and their wives — teaching them to put up preserves, make cotton mattresses, and build chick brooders — she listened to the stories they told. Thompson spent some time during the summer of 1946 in Clayton, in Rabun County GA, where an elderly black preacher told her the tale of Fiddler’s Mountain.
Edna Lynn Simms’ original photo caption accompanying her portrait of him reads simply: “George D. Barnes, collector of Indian relics, Dayton, Tenn.” Sounds straightforward enough. But it leaves out the shadings about what KIND of collector — how the man was viewed ethically in the world of archaeologists, collectors, museums, and relic hunters. Collectors of all eras often skirt the edges of the legitimate in their single-minded pursuit of building their collections. Barnes had his admirers, and he had his detractors on that topic.
Cumberland MD had a large German population in the late 19th century, so when Warren White founded a brewery in 1901, the name German Brewing Company seemed like a natural choice. German beer didn’t sound like such a patriotic idea by 1917. With the U.S. entering the First World War and the resultant anti-Teutonic sentiment, German Brewing’s directors thought it prudent to change the name to The Liberty Brewing Company. Nor would this be the only time the company would be forced to change names due to political pressures.
We’ll wrap things up with an appreciation for the joys of homemade ice cream. It’s summertime, and there’s nothing so fine as freshly made rock salt ice cream. Just make sure you gather every kid in the neighborhood to take a turn cranking the dang thing.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Library of Appalachia, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Don Pedi, Robin Warren and Tad Wright in a 1979 recording of the classic Irish fiddle tune “O’Keefe’s Slide.”
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.