Tag Archives: appalachia history

You’d have that feeling then of being way far back

From 1935-1943, President Franklin Roosevelt looked to the U.S. Farm Security Administration, under the direction of Roy Stryker, to photograph people in need across the country in order to help sell his New Deal programs to the public. Ben Shahn was one of the first photographers Styker hired. Shahn worked for a part of the […]

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The pitiful victims live in a protracted hell

Before the organization of the Diamond Match Company in 1867, there were in existence throughout the United States over thirty match factories, employing about 4,000 people, and several of those were found in Kentucky and West Virginia. The typical match factory was very small, often simply the size of a medium sized house, and consisted […]

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Ginseng, the curious rootstock

It’s the heart of ginseng harvesting season. The berry clusters have ripened. The leaves are yellowing. The roots are ready. But stay awhile. The best hunting is still to come, after the first hard frost. But don’t wait too long. Because of wild ginseng’s endangered status, the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service has mandated that states […]

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He answered the call, not by a natural death

‘Wright’s Fork of the long ago — McRoberts of Today’ by Burdine Webb September 4th, 1941 edition of The Mountain Eagle [KY] “A few days ago I saw Wright’s Fork and the town of McRoberts that lies along its waters, Shea’s Fork, Chopping Branch, Tom Biggs and Bark Camp– but it was a different picture […]

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Only play this game with an honest man

The game was described on images in Theban tombs. Romans played a variant called micare digitis (of which Cicero said “you must have great faith in the honesty of any man with whom you played in the dark.”) The French, who still teach it to their children, call it la mourre. And in Appalachia, starting […]

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