Tag Archives: appalachia

The Great Pandemic of 1918, part 1

Across America in the fall of 1918 the Spanish influenza-and the fear of it-was everywhere. The flu’s name came from the early affliction and large mortalities in Spain where it allegedly killed 8 million in May that year. No one knows exactly how many people died during the 1918-1919 global influenza pandemic, but estimates place […]

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The story of the Wampus Cat

In Missouri they call it a Gallywampus; in Arkansas it’s the Whistling Wampus; in Appalachia it’s the just a plain old Wampus (or Wampas) cat. A half-dog, half-cat creature that can run erect or on all fours, it’s rumored to be seen just after dark or right before dawn all throughout the Appalachians. But that’s […]

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And the goats are fine, thanks

The poet who penned “the fog comes in on little cats’ feet” moved to western North Carolina for the sake of the little goats’ feet. Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandburg and his wife Paula had lived for 17 years on Chicago’s foggy shores by Lake Michigan, but left it all behind in 1945. Flat Rock, […]

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The sorghum season is on!

Kentucky and Tennessee are today the leading sorghum syrup producing states, and neither are shy about the fact. The Tipton-Haynes Historic Site in Johnson City, TN hosted a sorghum festival September 20, and over in West Liberty, KY the locals of that district celebrated their own 44th annual Sorghum Festival last weekend. Georgia has an […]

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America’s only woman ironmaster

Nannie Kelly Wright (1856-1946) was probably the only woman ironmaster in America’s history. Wright was the daughter of the famous riverboat commodore Washington Honshell, who helped form Cincinnati’s White Collar packet line. She was said to be the second richest woman in the world during the early 1900’s. Wright hadn’t set out to become an […]

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