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 the story of historical presenter Larry Rowlette, who since 2000 has regularly inhabited the character of Johann Culmann, founder of Culman, AL. “I enjoy spreading the message of heritage, tradition, and values everywhere I go,” Rowlette says. “I also try to live by those same words, because it gives me something to work toward – honoring the heritage, speaking and promoting the tradition, and living the values each day.”
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.
Today the Whipple Company Store, built in 1890 by coal baron Justus Collins, is the only remaining coal company store of its architectural design type in southern WV’s Pocahantas coal basin. Its oval arch entry sheltering a deeply recessed porch is typical of a design style once commonly found in the 30 or so company stores that dotted the basin in the early 20th century. “People think of this place as a museum, but to me it’s a place for sharing stories,” says Joy Lynn, who with her husband Chuck purchased the compound in 2006.
We’ll wrap things up with an oral history excerpt from one Mrs. Nellie Wilhoit, about her recollections of life growing up on a farm in Cleveland, GA. Mrs. Wilhoit discusses mountain superstitions in White County, GA from the early 20th century.
And thanks to the good folks at Warren Wilson College’s Archives, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from David ‘Fox’ Watson in a 1979 recording of The Reel of the Hangman.
So call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian history.