Tag Archives: appalachia

I closed my eyes and bent my head to receive the stroke of the tomahawk

On the 8th of March, 1782, William White, in sight of Fort Buckhannon [ed.-in modern day Upshur County, WV], was shot from his horse, tomahawked, scalped and lacerated in the most frightful manner by the Indians. White’s companions Timothy Dorman and his wife were captured. After the killing of White and capture of the Dormans, […]

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The number of railroad accidents made the need for a hospital strongly felt

“The Western Maryland Hospital, the first institution of its kind in Allegany County, was erected on Baltimore Avenue to minister to the suffering. The building stands there as a monument to the public-spirited women who made the hospital possible. “In 1888, thirty five years ago, a group of Cumberland women, realizing their duty to fellow […]

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"Their bodies were covered with the wreckage of logs"

The 1912 Barranshe Run mishap was one of the more dramatic log train wrecks in West Virginia history. As the Nicholas County story became legendary, Cherry River Boom and Lumber Company‘s runaway train gained additional notoriety as the subject of a local blind poet, who supported himself by selling copies of his works for a nickel on […]

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Divining for water

Water witching (rhabdomancy) is very common in West Virginia. According to a study done about fifty years ago, at that time there were twenty-five thousand practicing water witches in this country. The actual practice of divining with a forked stick, as we know it, began in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century in Germany. […]

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Old Order Amish

When you’re in Oakland or Grantsville, MD, you’re in Old Order Amish territory. If you’re not Amish yourself, you may be wondering just how that group got its name. You’d have to go back to the Zurich, Switzerland of the 1690s and make the acquaintance of one Jakob Amman. Amman’s roots were in the Anabaptists, […]

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