Tag Archives: appalachian culture

The Santa Train pulls into town

In Appalachia Santa Claus comes the weekend before Thanksgiving. Since 1943, the Santa Special, more commonly known as the Santa Train, has traveled 110 miles through the mountains of eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia and northeastern Tennessee to distribute loads of candy, toys and other goodies to eager bystanders, most of whom have made it a […]

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To make their life in the country better

“The first session of the John C. Campbell Folk School at Brasstown, N.C. is scheduled for this winter,” says the October 1927 brochure. “It will begin December 1st and cover the months of December, January and February. The course is open to all sixteen years and over, regardless of the number of grades they have […]

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You’d have that feeling then of being way far back

From 1935-1943, President Franklin Roosevelt looked to the U.S. Farm Security Administration, under the direction of Roy Stryker, to photograph people in need across the country in order to help sell his New Deal programs to the public. Ben Shahn was one of the first photographers Styker hired. Shahn worked for a part of the […]

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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 pitiful victims live in a protracted hell

Before the organization of the Diamond Match Company in 1867, there were in existence throughout the United States over thirty match factories, employing about 4,000 people, and several of those were found in Kentucky and West Virginia. The typical match factory was very small, often simply the size of a medium sized house, and consisted […]

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