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 look at child lore: the folklore of children, by children, about children. Fairmont State University has just published Mountain Mother Goose: Child Lore of West Virginia. It’s chock full of jingles, jangles, rhymes, riddles, games and lesson stories chanted and sung by children of Central Appalachia. And it’s a book that took three generations to reach fruition.
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.
“Hancock and its surrounding area during the main span of the 20th century was one of the largest fruit producers in the nation,” begins the Maryland Historical Marker along West Main Street in that same town. “In 1886 Edmund Pendleton Cohill began the cultivation of fruit crops. Over the years his planted acreage increased, and Cohill formed the Tonoloway Orchard Company. Other company and family names followed…” Nowhere does the marker mention Henry E. Van Deman, and that’s a shame, for without him Cohill’s Tonoloway Orchard may not have risen to the dominant market position it ultimately achieved.
Next, we’ll take some time to consider the childhood forces that shaped Roy Rogers before he became Roy Rogers. One of Hollywood’s most famous cowboys wasn’t raised on a western ponderosa. Leonard Slye grew up west of Lucasville, OH on a small farm in Duck Run.
We’ll wrap things up with the story of a rare Appalachian amphibian, one of only three giant salamanders found in the world. North Carolina is home to at least 48 species of salamanders, and the mountain counties are the most productive with at least 35 species. And among those 35 species is the hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis).
And, thanks to the good folks at the Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music by Frank George in a 1976 recording of I’ve Got No Money, But I Will Have Some Payday.
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.