Monthly Archives: April 2014

Belle Boyd: Her visit to Knoxville and Blount Mansion

Local legend has always held that Belle gave her speech from the Blount Mansion. But there are some issues with that legend. Belle is very specific that she stepped out of a window onto a balcony to address the crowd. The problem is there has never been a balcony at Blount Mansion. There have been porches on both the front (Hill St) and back of the house at times but never anything that could be considered a balcony. Also there are no windows that would open in a way to allow you to step out onto a porch or a balcony. So what is going on with this story?


Happy Easter!

No Appalachian History Weekly podcast today. We’ll be back next week with a fresh new episode for you. Happy Easter! Tweet Send to Kindle


Colaianni Ravioli: an Italian family’s Easter tradition

Like the Feast of the Seven Fishes, Easter also has some unique recipes and traditions that have migrated from Italy, and although we don’t have a festival dedicated to them, they remain a part of our observation of the holiday every year, as they do with Italian-American families across the country. I make an effort every Easter to prepare something that reflects my family’s Italian heritage and through the years have enjoyed making, among other things, Pizza Rustica, Ricotta Pie, and Manicotti.

But ultimately I always come back to the two dishes that I grew up with: Easter Bread and Veal Ravioli. In a few days my kitchen will be filled with colorful dyed Easter eggs ready to braid into warm yeasty dough that will bake into delicious Easter Bread. The workflow that results in the Veal Ravioli will represent an ever larger investment of time and labor (and money – veal is definitely not cheap these days). These two recipes have been prepared for generations in my Italian American family. I love to make them and feel a deep responsibility to preserve them for the future generations.


Changing Appalachia: From Custom to Cutting Edge

Appalachia, by many accounts, seems to be disappearing or vanishing. These accounts, often accompanied by photographs of abandoned, decaying buildings, lament the loss of community places and of a traditional way of life in the mountains. While the nostalgic images and lamentations are often moving and valid, we argue for a more balanced view of Appalachia, one that includes its vital and dynamic elements—honoring tradition, yet taking it in imaginative new directions.


Sharpsburg, KY renovates dilapidated WPA gym, reopens it as community center

The following piece by Cheryl Truman ran April 14 in the Lexington Herald-Leader. It is reposted here with permission.   Henrietta Thomas’ brother Clayton Toy was paid 20 cents an hour in 1936 to help build the gymnasium with smoke-colored Bath County sandstone. That’s him, she said, pointing to photos: He’s the one with the […]

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