Frank Slake (right) and Ray Stratton gathered holly and mistletoe in the hills near Lerose, KY for Christmas 1907 when they worked for the K. & P. Lumber Company established there. Full caption at Owsley County Historical & Genealogy Society.
In collaboration with the Elk Knob Community Heritage Organization (EKCHO), Appalachian State University students have for more than a decade collected the remembrances of mountain life as it used to be at the headwaters of the New River’s North Fork – beginning at the gap between the Elk and Snake Mountains in Watauga County, including the area in between Boone, Mountain City, and Jefferson in Ashe County, NC.
The interviews gathered by the students of Patricia Beaver in Sustainable Living classes at ASU help clarify what hardship and joy the people of this area come from. Here are the stories of several generations, from those who first settled to those living in the present day. While dispelling the specific myth that one might get shot that dissuades even local people from visiting Pottertown, these stories collectively help diminish mountain stereotypes altogether.