Tag Archives: appalachia history

John Henry was hammering

“John Henry was hammering on the right side, The big steam drill on the left, Before that steam drill could beat him down, He hammered his fool self to death.” —stanza 7 from one of the earliest written copies of the John Henry ballad, prepared by a W. T. Blankenship and published about 1900. He’s […]

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Home Sweet Home. For 9,000 years.

Alabama has 3,400 documented caves. The most famous of these is Russell Cave (now a national monument), the oldest rock shelter used regularly for a home in the eastern United States. Named for Thomas Russell, a veteran of the American Revolution who once owned the land above it, this limestone cave is located south of […]

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We used to catch the cat on a trot line

“Us kids used to go down and we’d find a little hole, maybe big as this room, and these suckers had got in there, water was runnin’ into it, and the water’d get up and these suckers wouldn’t bite. You could take your hook and put a worm down there, and they’d swim all the […]

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He brought the deer back to North Georgia

Deer hunting season got underway in Georgia this past Monday, September 9. It’s all too easy to forget that in the early part of the 20th century, there simply were no deer to be had in the northern part of the state. Arthur Woody never forgot that, and today’s hunters in Appalachian Georgia owe him […]

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The day they hung Murderous Mary the elephant

On September 13, 1916 a five-ton circus elephant was executed, hung from a 100-ton Clinchfield railroad crane car, in the little town of Erwin, Tennessee. ‘Murderous Mary’ had killed a man, and for that she had to die. Shooting her in the four soft spots on her head would be both difficult and dangerous. She […]

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