Tag Archives: appalachia

June bride? Time for a shivaree!

Shivaree was a nineteenth and early twentieth century Appalachian custom (originally dating back to sixteenth-century France) of teasing a married couple on their wedding night or shortly thereafter. The bride was carried around in a tub at times, and the groom was ridden on a rail. In Tennessee the custom was more commonly called serenading, […]

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The Siamese Twins at home in Mt. Airy

(original spellings have been kept from the following narrative  –ed.) In the year 1843, an occurrence took place of not a little importance to the subjects of this narrative.  For some time previous they had been admirers of a couple of amiable and interesting sisters, the daughters of Mr. Daniel Yeats, who resided six miles […]

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The country is full of gold

Here’s a letter written by one George A. Barrows to a Lewis ______ (perhaps Coleman) in Seattle, Washington, dated June 16, 1901. It’s from the James B. Frazier Papers Collection in the University of Tennessee Special Collections Library. James Beriah Frazier (1856-1937) was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1881, and began his practice in […]

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They tell me I can’t pull a flower after there’s a park

On June 15, 1934 it all officially came together at long last. Congress’ act dated that day noted that an area of 400,000 acres within the minimum boundary of the park had been acquired, and therefore it established the Great Smoky Mountains as a national park (GSMNP) with sufficient land for administration, protection, and development. […]

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And it’s home little gal and do-si-do

Traditional dancing in Appalachia includes several types: step dancing, set dancing, and couple dancing. Step dance traditions include clogging, buckdancing, flatfooting, and the Charleston. Set dances, involving two or more couples, include four couple squares, big set (ring) dances, reels, country (contra) dances, and play parties. Couple dancing, often referred to as “round dancing,” includes […]

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