Tag Archives: appalachian mountains history

Which of them REALLY invented ‘Dr Pepper’?

The town boomed when the railroad came through in 1856, and so in 1872 a former Confederate surgeon named Dr. Charles T. Pepper started a soon-to-be-thriving business dispensing patent medicines in a brick pharmacy in Rural Retreat, VA. He also spent time mixing mountain herbs, roots and seltzer into a fizzy brew.   One local […]

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Light up a Spud!

The pack was expensive at 20 cents, but you got the first menthol-infused cigarette, ancestor to “Kool,” “Salem” and others. Why was it called “Spuds?” Lloyd “Spud” Hughes of Mingo Junction, OH gets the credit for introducing Americans to menthol cool smoking. Hughes wasn’t long out of high school and working as a cashier in […]

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The (accidental) discovery of a lifetime

Leo Lambert (1895-1955), though trained as a chemist, was an avid cave enthusiast. He was the first person to explore the Tennessee Cave on Mount Aetna (now known as Raccoon Mountain Caverns), and at one time managed the Nickajack Caverns in Marion County, TN. He moved to Chattanooga because his fiancée Ruby Eugenia Losey moved […]

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Blennerhassett Island – staging ground for high treason

The July 29, 1806 letter was the thing that undid the Burr Conspiracy. Harman Blennerhassett had been a moderately well off Anglo-Irish aristocrat prior to his becoming involved with Irish revolutionaries in the last decade of the 18th century. Fearing that British authorities might arrest him, he sold his property in Ireland and bounded for […]

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Lying on quilts, on the grass, in a summer evening

Listen to Eleanor Steber sing intro to ‘Knoxville:Summer of 1915′ She was the most celebrated American soprano of the 1940s and 1950s. She went on from there to become head of the voice department at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1963 to 1972, to teach at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, […]

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