Tag Archives: appalachian mountains history

Indoor privies for country people at Cumberland Homesteads

Today, it’s Tennessee’s largest historic district, at approximately 11,400 acres. During the Great Depression, the Cumberland Homesteads community came into being as part of a nationwide New Deal agrarian movement to create subsistence farm communities to aid out-of-work, rural residents. President Franklin Roosevelt assigned the homesteads project to Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes. […]

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Ginseng, the curious rootstock

It’s the heart of ginseng harvesting season. The berry clusters have ripened. The leaves are yellowing. The roots are ready. But stay awhile. The best hunting is still to come, after the first hard frost. But don’t wait too long. Because of wild ginseng’s endangered status, the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service has mandated that states […]

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America’s only woman ironmaster

Nannie Kelly Wright (1856-1946) was probably the only woman ironmaster in America’s history. Wright was the daughter of the famous riverboat commodore Washington Honshell, who helped form Cincinnati’s White Collar packet line. She was said to be the second richest woman in the world during the early 1900’s. Wright hadn’t set out to become an […]

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You only got one pair of shoes a year

So we lived at a . . . we was renting off of a . . . some people that owned a . . . a lumberyard there. So on Friday evening I went out to this man that run . . . owned it and run it there, him and his brother. I said […]

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General Braddock’s road through the Wilderness

Today realtors tout the Dingle neighborhood west of Cumberland, MD for its charming Craftsman houses of the early 20th century. But this placid upscale neighborhood was a fierce wilderness when Nemacolin, a Delaware chief, and Thomas Cresap, a Maryland frontiersman, first blazed a trail through here in 1749 or 1750. The trail ran between the […]

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