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 the story of the Carter family of Stoney Creek, VA. For generations, beginning with John Ray Carter, Jr. in the early 19th century, their family store was a pillar of Scott County. It was the place where locals could find out how the neighbors were getting along, find out who was sick, who had been in an accident, who had died, who had got married, who had a new baby. Glenn Carter carried the tradition right on up to the end of the 20th century.
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.
“There was a time when the blacksmith’s shop shared with the general store the honor of being a loafers’ joint,” says Dr. Gordon Wilson in his 1938 newspaper article Tidbits of Kentucky Folklore. “Ostensibly the people who gathered at the blacksmith shop had come on business, but one was in no hurry to get his work done and leave the fascinating conversation that was always going on.”
“Throughout 2011, the National Forest Service is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act, which led to the creation of North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest,” says guest author Mark File, who runs RomanticAsheville.com. “The Weeks Act was signed into law in 1911, after a decade-long debate about the role of the federal government in protecting forestlands. It appropriated $9 million of federal funds to purchase 6 million acres of land in the eastern United States. The act is one of the most successful land conservation efforts in the U.S.”
“As rich as we are as West Virginians in our natural resources, it is indeed lamentable to relate that more than eighty per cent of our fuel and raw material is utilized outside the state,” said the newly elected governor Henry D. Hatfield in his inaugural address, delivered on March 14, 1913. “If this condition is left unchecked, what will be the ultimate result to the state and its citizens? What are we going to do? Are we to permit this injustice to go on without any restraint until it is too late? I wish to say that if my efforts can accomplish anything, these conditions shall not endure.”
We’ll wrap things up with a look at the work of Maryland writer Sara Roberta Getty (1880-1973). Getty chronicled the goings on in Cumberland, MD and the surrounding area starting in 1924, right up to her 88th year. She dedicated her 1930 book ‘Maryland Melodies’ “to the Queen City of the Alleghenies and her warm hearted people who to me have been a never failing source of encouragement and inspiration.”
And, thanks to the good folks at Juneberry78s.com, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Dad Blackard’s Moonshiners in a 1927 recording of ‘Sandy River Belle.’
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.