Tag Archives: appalachia history

Let Sears, Roebuck & Co. be your architect

A headline on page 594 of the 1908 Sears Catalog probably startled readers used to page after page of plows, obesity powders, sewing machines, and cook stoves. It announced: “$100 set of building plans free. Let us be your architect without cost to you.” From 1908–1940, Sears, Roebuck and Company sold roughly 75,000 homes nationwide […]

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They would work up the apples the next day

“Pa bought a mountain farm of about eighty acres that was located about five miles up Coon Creek from where the state road went from Pikeville, Kentucky to Williamson, W. Va. This farm had a framed four-room house on it, but Pa was never satisfied with it, as it was all hillside except maybe two […]

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A road opens — bring on the flying machines!

“The old mud road is a road that leads down to perdition. The improved road leads upward to a better land; to better homes; to a better and broader civilization,” said West Virginia Governor Ephraim Morgan as he, along with the mayors of Kingwood and Terra Alta, untied the ceremonial ribbons and let the barrier […]

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Jean Thomas: Kentucky’s Traipsin’ Woman

She had hosted Susan Steele Sampson, wife of Kentucky’s governor, the previous year at her first American Folk Song Festival, held at the Traipsin’ Woman Cabin. Now, in August 1931, Jean Thomas found herself invited to the Governor’s mansion in Frankfort to discuss the creation of an American Folk Song Society and an annual festival […]

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Kentucky’s fotched-on women

In the late 1800s, the Progressive Movement was sweeping the industrialized cities of the North. One of the key features of this urban social and political reform movement was the creation of settlement houses and schools to meet the needs of economically deprived families. Beginning in 1899, two intrepid young women, Katherine Pettit and May […]

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