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We open today’s show with a look at the origin of place names in Rabun County, GA. Like many locations in Georgia, many of Rabun County’s place names are derived from Indian names. In Rabun County that would be the Cherokees. In most Indian place names, we know the English spelling of how the Cherokees pronounced the word, but no actual translation of what the word means. For example, both Chattooga and Chechero were the names of villages. Chattooga was derived from the town which once stood on the South Carolina side of the river, near the mouth of War-woman Creek.
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.
“Until the highlander is out of the field of missions, he cannot command the respect which we all wish for him; he can never build up a high type of rural civilizations,” said Olive D. Campbell, co-founder of the John C. Campbell Folk School, in a 1933 article in Mountain Life & Work. “May we not all look forward to the time when the city says, not ‘That is only a mountaineer’ but ‘He is a highlander!’?”
By the 1820′s, several thousand African Americans had settled in Ohio. Early slave laws discouraged black settlement. In spite of the severe fines and penalties imposed by these laws, Ohioans were quite active in aiding fugitive slaves on their journey north to freedom in Canada on the Underground Railroad network.
It wasn’t the only American city simmering with race riots in that Red Summer of 1919. But Knoxville, TN up till that time had always prided itself as a model southern city when it came to race relations. That civic image changed dramatically starting on August 30, when an intruder shot and killed Mrs. Bertie Lindsey, a 27 year old white woman, in her Knoxville home.
We’ll wrap things up with an essay from the WPA Guide to Kentucky, published in 1939. “The convenient and pithy term for the mountain people of Kentucky, ‘our contemporary ancestors,’ does not indicate the origin of the customs, beliefs, and peculiarities which persist among them,” states the guide. “For they too had ancestors. These were, for the most part, British, and of the soil. Just as today many a mountaineer has never been ten miles from his birthplace, so also his forebears remained at home.”
And, thanks to the good folks at Juneberry78s.com, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music by The Two Poor Boys in a 1931 recording of Sourwood Mountain.
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corn-cob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.