Tag Archives: appalachia history

A system of morality veiled in allegory

No, they’re not taking over the world, they’re not Illuminati. The Masons were and are a fraternity of men who all share similar moral beliefs (including a belief in a God) and get together regularly, often to raise money for various charities. And for many decades they were at the center of small town life–being […]

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They drew straws for to see who should shave who first

“Once we hit a place where a feud was being settled. It was back in the hill country of Virginia and the place was called Rocky Comfort. It really wasn’t a town. There was a water-power grist mill, a store, a blacksmith shop and about a quarter of a mile up the little valley there […]

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Chocolate covered cherries for Valentine’s Day? Classic!

William E. Brock’s company wasn’t the first to mass market the delightful French concoction in the US. That distinction goes to the New York City firm Cella’s Confections, which began large scale production in 1929. But Brock Candy Company was well positioned to become a major competitor. During the 1930s, Brock introduced its own chocolate […]

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The Family Bible

Prior to easily retrievable birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates, and digitized record keeping in general, the family Bible held the ultimate narrative of ancestral history. They’re a treasure trove for both genealogists and historians. For example, here’s a simple entry in the Lampton family Bible, which was carried from southwest Virginia as the household […]

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The ice knocked ‘The Greenland’ off the cradles and down the river she came

This is an excerpt from a 1949 letter written by Capt. Tom Greene, owner of Greene Line Steamers, to his friend Dan Heekin, a Cincinnati industrialist and river buff. The letter was discovered tucked in a copy of Steamboats & Steamboatmen by Ellis C. Mace. “I have about decided to put the CHRIS GREENE’S whistle […]

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