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 Beth Durham. Durham blogs weekly about the legends and lessons from Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau at www.TennesseeMountainStories.com. “We’ve all enjoyed the B-westerns where the trail-weary cowboy rides into a town only to discover it has been abandoned and is now only a ghost of a town,” she says. “At the mention of ghost towns, that’s the image that comes to mind – the gold rush settlements of the Old West. But Appalachia has her own version of ghost towns and they are plentiful.”
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.
“The Chattahoochee Park pavilion was part of a Gainesville, GA amusement park, Chattahoochee Park, built about 1900 on the banks of what was then Lake Warner. The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, an Atlanta-based non-profit, included the aging pavilion in its 2012 list of the state’s top 10 “Places in Peril.” Journalist Jeff Gill tells us how the structure was rescued in this Gainesville Times article.
We’ll wrap things up with an excerpt from the introduction to Sheree Scarborough’s latest book, African American Railroad Workers of Roanoke: Oral Histories of the Norfolk & Western, which just published. “Roanoke is one of America’s great rail centers and prides itself on that history,” she says. “It was the original headquarters to N&W Railway for 100 years and continues to be an important location for Norfolk Southern Corporation. African Americans have a long history with the railroad, a history that began before the Civil War when enslaved people helped construct tracks across the country, and one that exists through to the present day.”
And thanks to the good folks at Champion Electrograph Records Archives, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Pie Plant Pete in a 1930 recording of Waiting For the Railroad Train.
So call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian history.