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 guest author Dr. Robert F. Maslowski, editor of the journal West Virginia Archeologist and a professor at Marshall University. “In early April,” he tells us, “we drove west to Hopewell country to meet with Nancy Stranahan, Director of the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System and Bruce Lombardo, Director of Heartland Earthworks Conservancy. The two of them were instrumental in a recent successful effort to preserve one of the largest and most complicated earthwork complexes built by the Hopewell.”
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.
Jonathan Winskie, who’s about to graduate from the University of North Georgia with a history degree, got interested in the heirloom seed saving community in surrounding Lumpkin County in 2012. How had heirloom seed gardening helped to develop community in Lumpkin County, he wanted to know? What was the status of the tradition? What heirloom seeds still existed within the county? He and 6 other students helped form Saving Appalachian Gardens and Stories. SAGAS, a collaboration between the Departments of Biology and Visual Arts, and the Appalachian Studies Center, is now one of 15 Appalachian Teaching Projects sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission.
We’ll wrap things up with a review of Ben Montgomery’s new book Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. Emma Rowena Caldwell Gatewood was 67 years old in 1955 when she started on a trail that would lead her, not only to the top of a mountain, but to fame, celebrity and status as an inspiration to hikers (and non-hikers) for years to come. At a time of life when most women her age were settling into quiet domesticity, Emma took a hike. She started at Mt. Oglethorpe, Georgia and stopped 2,050 miles later at the top of Mt. Katahdin, Maine to become the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail alone.
And thanks to the good folks at Old Hat Records, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from the North Carolina Ridge Runners in a 1928 recording of Nobody’s Darlin’, re-issued on Old Hat’s 1997 CD Music from the Lost Provinces.
So call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian history.