Monthly Archives: September 2011

He answered the call, not by a natural death

‘Wright’s Fork of the long ago — McRoberts of Today’ by Burdine Webb September 4th, 1941 edition of The Mountain Eagle [KY] “A few days ago I saw Wright’s Fork and the town of McRoberts that lies along its waters, Shea’s Fork, Chopping Branch, Tom Biggs and Bark Camp– but it was a different picture […]

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Ginseng, the curious rootstock

It’s the heart of ginseng harvesting season. The berry clusters have ripened. The leaves are yellowing. The roots are ready. But stay awhile. The best hunting is still to come, after the first hard frost. But don’t wait too long. Because of wild ginseng’s endangered status, the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service has mandated that states […]

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Dirt racing at Pennsboro

The town was once a stop on the Northwest Turnpike, one of the main roads west in the early days of the country, running from Winchester, VA to Parkersburg (now West Virginia). Later the town was a stop on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad that ran between Clarksburg and Parkersburg. During those early 20th century […]

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Once the fire is lit, we are no longer separated

From the dawn of the Iron Age through the 19th century, the blacksmith trade grew in demand in tandem with the rise of agriculture and built civilization. The importance of the blacksmith through all those eons can’t be overstated. His place in industrializing society seemed permanently assured. But then, something happened: machines appeared. In Appalachia, […]

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A school for subversives and Communists?

How would you like to have attended the same school that Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, and Fanny Lou Hamer all attended? That would be Highlander Folk School, near Monteagle, TN, for many years the only place in the South where white and African-American adults could […]

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