Tag Archives: appalachian history

You murdered that you and your wives might have palaces

Mary Harris Jones (1837-1930), better known as Mother Jones, was an American labor organizer and one of the founders of the Social Democratic party (1898) and the Industrial Workers of the World (1905). Her August 1912 speech to striking coal miners in Charleston, WV was one in a series of organized activities which were blamed […]

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Modern carpenters would not know what cracking a log was

Those who never lived in a mountainous country are often surprised at the sight of what we call sleds, slides or sledges, made of the bodies of small trees with crooked ends, turning upward like those of sleigh runners, though much more clumsy and heavy. As these runners wore down they were “shod” by tacking […]

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Hang down your head Tom Dula

Hang down your head Tom Dooley Hang down your head and cry Hang down your head Tom Dooley Poor boy, you’re bound to die. It’s the most famous murder ballad in American folk music history. And chances are, if you know it, you know the version popularized by the Kingston Trio. Their recording of the […]

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Shivarees, Spin the Bottle, and Post Office

If you’ve taken part in a shivaree and played post office and spin-the-bottle, chances are you’ve been around a half-century or more. In fact, you’ve been around so long the anthropologists may come looking for you to get information about those fine old East Tennessee customs of courtship and marriage. Dr. Charles H. Faulkner, a UT […]

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Did Clark Dyer fly before the Wright brothers did?

“When he was not busy with cultivating the land on this farm and tilling the crops necessary to the economy of this large family, Clark Dyer labored in his workshop,” says his descendant Ethlene Dyer Jones.

“There he experimented with a flying machine made of lightweight cured river canes and covered with cloth. Drawings on the flyleaves of the family Bible, now in the possession of one of Clark’s great, great grandsons, show how he thought out the engineering technicalities of motion and counter-motion by a series of rotational whirligigs. He built a ramp on the side of the mountain and succeeded in getting his flying machine airborne for a short time.”

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