We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. Check us out on the Stitcher network, available on mobile phones, in-car dashboards and tablets worldwide. Just click below to start listening:
We open today’s show with a discussion of where the word ‘debunk’ came from. In Buncombe County, NC there’s a historical marker that reads: Felix Walker – Revolutionary officer. Member of Congress 1817-23, where, in ‘talking for Buncombe’ (County), he gave new meaning to the word. Home was ½ mi. N. The North Carolina historical marker skirts the issue diplomatically: there’s much more to the story of how Felix Walker ‘gave new meaning to the word’ than the sign is letting on.
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.
Prior to easily retrievable birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates, and digitized record keeping in general, the family Bible held the ultimate narrative of ancestral history. They’re a treasure trove for both genealogists and historians. More often than not, the family Bible was the only written record of births, marriages and deaths of loved ones.
Since being appointed Union County, Tennessee Historian in 1994 Bonnie Heiskell Peters has published a steady stream of books on notable people, places and things in this corner of East Tennessee. She’s just released her seventh, ‘Tales from the Hills and Hollows of East Tennessee.’ We’ll take a close look at it in this book review.
“The mountain people in the past have been good subjects for the creation of this folk-tale [about there being a fabulously productive silver mine in eastern KY],” says historian Henry Harvey Fuson in his 1939 History of Bell County, KY. “They lived for a century far from railroads in a wilderness of mountain country. They made a living, a bare living in many instances, by the hardest of work. People in this condition dream of wealth and luxury.”
We’ll wrap things up with an oral history from the town of Rocky Comfort, VA. In that locale in the 1920s there was a feud between the Buxton and Greenberry families. At last enough blood had been shed that the patriarchs of each clan decided to settle the dispute once and for all. They ended the fighting in a most unusual fashion.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Internet Archive, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music by the West Virginia Coon Hunters in a 1927 recording of Greasy String.
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.