Yearly Archives: 2017

Shivarees, Spin the Bottle, and Post Office

If you’ve taken part in a shivaree and played post office and spin-the-bottle, chances are you’ve been around a half-century or more. In fact, you’ve been around so long the anthropologists may come looking for you to get information about those fine old East Tennessee customs of courtship and marriage. Dr. Charles H. Faulkner, a UT […]

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Did Clark Dyer fly before the Wright brothers did?

“When he was not busy with cultivating the land on this farm and tilling the crops necessary to the economy of this large family, Clark Dyer labored in his workshop,” says his descendant Ethlene Dyer Jones.

“There he experimented with a flying machine made of lightweight cured river canes and covered with cloth. Drawings on the flyleaves of the family Bible, now in the possession of one of Clark’s great, great grandsons, show how he thought out the engineering technicalities of motion and counter-motion by a series of rotational whirligigs. He built a ramp on the side of the mountain and succeeded in getting his flying machine airborne for a short time.”

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Moving cotton through the upcountry

In the decade after the Civil War the new Air Line Railroad connecting Charlotte and Atlanta was laid through upcountry South Carolina. Two Confederate veterans saw an opportunity to create a new town at the junction of the older Blue Ridge Railroad and the new line, a town which because of this location would serve […]

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The cake was emblazoned with Illuminated candles

It’s Valentine’s Day. We know lovers everywhere are preoccupied, but what about everyone else? Here’s a day in the life as reported in the February 14, 1930 edition of the Clinch Valley News in Raven, VA: “A delicious and exquisite birthday dinner was served by Mrs. Parson at her home in North Raven at 7:30 […]

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We need a certain class o’ people workin’ in the mine

Black Mountain, near the town of Lynch in Harlan County, is Kentucky’s highest point, rising 4125 feet above sea level. It runs along the border of Harlan and Letcher counties, and also along the Kentucky -Virginia border. Thousands of families, most of them Eastern European immigrants, streamed into the shadows of Black Mountain between the […]

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