Tag Archives: appalachian mountains history

The Russell House

William Ganaway Russell had the good fortune to buy a farm exactly halfway between Walhalla SC and Highlands NC. In 1849 an industrious group of Charleston German businessman were looking for a suitable parcel on which they could create a new settlement in SC, and formed the German Colonization Society to do so. Their plan […]

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All the machinery stopped and the lights went out

Before the days of T.V.A. and large power companies, electricity was supplied to rural areas by such imaginative and pioneering men as Arthur Abernathy Miller. In 1925, Miller, a brilliant self-educated electrical engineer, built the first hydroelectric dam in north Alabama — the DeSoto dam in Ft Payne, AL. Miller had furnished electrical power for […]

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They’s heaps o folks here still believe on Old Christmas

OLD CHRISTMAS They’s heaps o’ folks here still believe On Christmas – that’s Old Christmas – Eve, The elders bloom upon the ground, And critters low and kneel around In every stall, though none I know Has seen them kneel, or heard them low, Unless, maybe, ‘t was Judith Daughn And she’s been dead these […]

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New Year countdown

Ringing out the old, ringing in the new. Everyone’s doing it tomorrow night. One New Year tradition in Appalachia is the New Year baby. The custom of using a baby to signify the New Year originated in ancient Greece, the baby symbolizing in this case not birth, but re-birth. The Germans added the twist of […]

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Breakin’ up Christmas

Breakin’ Up Christmas is both the name for 12 days of partying, dancing, and music making ending up on January 6th, Old Christmas day, and also a song sung during that period. The tradition harks from the area that roughly includes Surry County NC, nearby Grayson and Carroll counties in VA, and the independent city […]

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