Tag Archives: history of appalachia

Harness race king Sanders Russell wins the Hambletonian, at age 62

[Walter] Sanders Russell (1900-1982), was born in Stevenson, Alabama. Sanders began harness racing while still in high school and won his first race in 1915. The U.S. Trotting Association’s official records credit him with 1,116 first places, 531 seconds and 503 thirds. He won more than 20 major stakes with world records in 1946 and […]

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You murdered that you and your wives might have palaces

Mary Harris Jones (1837-1930), better known as Mother Jones, was an American labor organizer and one of the founders of the Social Democratic party (1898) and the Industrial Workers of the World (1905). Her August 1912 speech to striking coal miners in Charleston, WV was one in a series of organized activities which were blamed […]

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Modern carpenters would not know what cracking a log was

Those who never lived in a mountainous country are often surprised at the sight of what we call sleds, slides or sledges, made of the bodies of small trees with crooked ends, turning upward like those of sleigh runners, though much more clumsy and heavy. As these runners wore down they were “shod” by tacking […]

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Shivarees, Spin the Bottle, and Post Office

If you’ve taken part in a shivaree and played post office and spin-the-bottle, chances are you’ve been around a half-century or more. In fact, you’ve been around so long the anthropologists may come looking for you to get information about those fine old East Tennessee customs of courtship and marriage. Dr. Charles H. Faulkner, a UT […]

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Did Clark Dyer fly before the Wright brothers did?

“When he was not busy with cultivating the land on this farm and tilling the crops necessary to the economy of this large family, Clark Dyer labored in his workshop,” says his descendant Ethlene Dyer Jones.

“There he experimented with a flying machine made of lightweight cured river canes and covered with cloth. Drawings on the flyleaves of the family Bible, now in the possession of one of Clark’s great, great grandsons, show how he thought out the engineering technicalities of motion and counter-motion by a series of rotational whirligigs. He built a ramp on the side of the mountain and succeeded in getting his flying machine airborne for a short time.”

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