Tag Archives: appalachian history

The Mad Gasser of Botetourt County, part 1

Whether or not gas will be employed in future wars is a matter of conjecture, but the effect is so deadly to the unprepared that we can never afford to neglect the question. General John Pershing, 1919 At 10 PM on December 22, 1933, Mrs. Cal Huffman detected a gassy odor in her Fincastle, VA […]

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Dedicating the Arrowhead Monument at Old Fort

Old Fort: the name says it. It is indeed one of the oldest towns in western North Carolina, and it was originally a fort, built by the colonial militia before the Declaration of Independence. Once called “Gateway to the West,” the settlement served as the westernmost outpost of the early Thirteen Colonies. Frequent skirmishes between […]

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The ice knocked ‘The Greenland’ off the cradles and down the river she came

This is an excerpt from a 1949 letter written by Capt. Tom Greene, owner of Greene Line Steamers, to his friend Dan Heekin, a Cincinnati industrialist and river buff. The letter was discovered tucked in a copy of Steamboats & Steamboatmen by Ellis C. Mace. “I have about decided to put the CHRIS GREENE’S whistle […]

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No use going inside because this was going to be the day he asked for Lula’s hand

They first met at the Point Truth Primitive Baptist Church near Nickelsville, VA. Charles Nickels was the clerk there, and Mary Louvinia ‘Lula’ Burke came up on Sundays from her family’s home in Grassy Creek, just across the Russell County line. Isaiah ‘Zur’ and Sarah Burke didn’t encourage their daughter’s budding romance. Charles and Lula […]

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Quit your meaness!

“Well, I have talked considerably over an hour. I did not intend to. But hear me, let’s think about these things. I tell you I never – I tell you I never want to see a revival in this city, or anywhere else, that isn’t bottomed on bed rock. Let’s go down until you hear […]

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