Tag Archives: appalachian mountains history

Water ran rippling and singing a merry song

Not far from the towns of Boone, Blowing Rock, and Asheville, deep inside Humpback Mountain below the Blue Ridge Escarpment, lie Linville Caverns, North Carolina’s only publicly accessible caverns. For 30 million years, as the nearby Catawba River ate away at the valley between the Humpback and Linville mountains, the water-filled caverns have slowly drained […]

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The man who gave his life to name NC’s highest peak

Mitchell climbed the slopes for his final time in 1857 in an effort to defend his title as discoverer of the high peak. In September 1855, United States Congressman Thomas L. Clingman ascended several peaks of the Black Mountains and took his own set of measurements. He immediately claimed to be discoverer of the high peak, “Clingman’s Peak,” and published his claim. Upon reading Clingman’s claim, Mitchell was determined to defend his own discovery, and the ensuing controversy ultimately cost Mitchell his life.

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Summer pastimes

Albert J. Ewing (1870-1934) was a traveling photographer who worked on a floating studio aboard the Water Queen showboat that cruised the Ohio River. Way’s Packet Directory, 1848 – 1994 indicates that the Water Queen operated from 1880-1915. Ewing, who lived in the town of Lowell, Washington County, OH, photographed thousands of residents of southern […]

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The Devil danced on Fiddlers Mountain

During the 1930s and 1940s Rose Thompson worked as a home supervisor with the Farm Security Administration in Georgia. While she worked with farmers and their wives — teaching them to put up preserves, make cotton mattresses, and build chick brooders — she listened to the stories they told. Thompson spent some time during the […]

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Petticoat Politics

The Petticoat Government consisted of Mrs. Minnie “Sis” Miller, mayor, and Mrs. Ferne W. Skeen, Mrs. Buena H. Smith, Mrs. Ida M. Cunningham, Mrs. Kate Friend, and Mrs. Marion Shortt, town council.

Letters poured in from around the world wishing them luck and expressing amazement that an all woman government could be elected anywhere. The State Department featured the story in its Voice of America broadcast.

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