Monthly Archives: August 2013

He removed his eyeglasses and lit the pipe by focusing light through the glasses

When he was only five or six years old, James Brennan delivered a pail of water to a farm worker on the grounds of what today is Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The worker took a drink, pulled out a pipe, removed his eyeglasses and lit the pipe by focusing light through the glasses. Brennan […]

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Queen of the Meadow cures all

If butterflies are about this week, you can be sure you will find them on the heads of sweet Joe-Pye-weed (Eupatorium purpureum). This perennial herb, found in moist woods and fields throughout Appalachia, is at its height of bloom right now through September. Atop each stem is a rose pink to whitish domed cluster of […]

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Listen Here: Appalachian History Weekly podcast posts today

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 wonderful old 19th century Cherokee tale set in upcountry South Carolina, by William Gilmore Simms. […]

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‘My name is Mike Fink!’ was the curt reply

He was the most famous of the keelboatmen, who plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for two decades until they and their watercraft were displaced by steamboats. Born near Pittsburgh, PA (at the headwaters of the Ohio River), around 1770, Mike Fink —‘Miche Phinck,’ as he learned to spell it from his French Canadian parents—gained […]

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Oh brother I am dying now

Listen to Buell Kazee play “The Dying Soldier”   Oh brother Green, oh come to me, For I am shot and bleeding, Now I must die, no more to see, My wife and my dear children. The southern () has layed me low, On this cold ground to suffer, Stay brother stay and lay me […]

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