Tag Archives: appalachian mountains history

There’s more than one definition of fruitcake in Appalachia

Yes, it’s heavy as a brick, and lasts long enough that you can re-gift it year after year without anyone commenting on its shelf life having expired. Blame the Scots. Early versions of the rich style fruitcake, such as what we know today as Scottish Black Bun, date from the Middle Ages, and were luxuries […]

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I tried to get her to sing all the song

John Jacob Niles composed the Appalachian influenced Christmas carols The Carol of the Birds, The Flower of Jesse, What Songs were Sung, Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head, and Sweet Little Boy Jesus. I Wonder As I Wander, one of his most popular carols, illustrates the working methods of this inveterate collector of homegrown musicality: “I […]

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We are anxious to know how far the broadcast is reaching

Certainly if you were in Wheeling, WV or Parkersburg, WV that night you could have received it. Even as far out as Zanesville, OH or Gallipolis, OH, if you had a crystal radio set, you could have picked up the very first commercial radio broadcast from Pittsburgh station KDKA on November 2, 1920. With a […]

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Old Order Amish

When you’re in Oakland or Grantsville, MD, you’re in Old Order Amish territory. If you’re not Amish yourself, you may be wondering just how that group got its name. You’d have to go back to the Zurich, Switzerland of the 1690s and make the acquaintance of one Jakob Amman. Amman’s roots were in the Anabaptists, […]

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"Their bodies were covered with the wreckage of logs"

The 1912 Barranshe Run mishap was one of the more dramatic log train wrecks in West Virginia history. As the Nicholas County story became legendary, Pardee and Curtin Lumber Company‘s runaway train gained additional notoriety as the subject of a local blind poet, who supported himself by selling copies of his works for a nickel on Oakford […]

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