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 look at maple sugar making time by George Benson Kuykendall in a 1919 family geneaology. His uncle, Isaac Kuykendall, purchased a 670 acre farm near Huttons, Garrett County, MD in 1881. “Those were sweet times, indeed, for everybody concerned in making maple sugar,” Kuykendall tells us. “Every step of the process was watched by them with frequent libations of the fresh sap–that which had been boiled to a more syrupy consistence, and with scraping of the kettles for the sweet, sticky maple wax.”
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, we’ll hear a harrowing family tragedy written in 1890 by one Dr. Chester Bullard, of Snowville, VA. “A childless couple was my father’s nearest neighbors. During my Brother Stillman’s infancy, they were—or professed to be—very fond of him, which induced my parents to leave him in their care while making a visit of several days to relatives. On going to the house for the child after their return they found it deserted.”
In 1902, James Calloway Campbell of Madison County, GA, wrote of series of daily ‘dispatches’ to his children and grandchildren which are both newsy and philosophical, a summing up of his world view. “What have become of Gip and Hatty? I recon they are looking after their own business, I hear nothing from them. I note there is nothing pure now, from the pulpit down, every thing is corrupt. Selfishness and money is all the religin. Most all is in the brod road. They say there is no hell fire. You most keep in the narry road.”
The largest Waldensian colony in the world outside of Italy–Valdese, NC–was officially incorporated as a town on February 17, 1920. The Waldenses, or Waldensians, are a Christian sect founded in the 12th century by Peter Valdo, a merchant of Lyons, France who lived only a short time before St. Francis. Toward the later part of the 19th century many Waldenses emigrated to North and South America to form missionary colonies.
We’ll wrap things up with a fierce 1911 editorial urging the passing of a Prohibition amendment, from Madison County, KY native Frances Estill Beauchamp. “We mean death to the distillery and the brewery,” she says, “and on the way to that end we will lend a hand to put out of commission all their retail agents, provided we are not expected to halt or turn aside from our great purpose to free this Nation from the liquor traffic by National Political Prohibition.” Beauchamp was president of the Kentucky chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union from 1895-1923.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Library of Appalachia, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Clarice & Jesse Shelor in a 1978 recording of ‘Arkansas Traveler.’
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.