Tag Archives: history of appalachia

When the Grand Jury met, he was not there to appear against me

The following was brought by my father’s first cousin, Roy Hodges, to the family gathering following my uncle’s funeral in 1985. It was handwritten, and in pencil. James Pinkney Pittman (1855-1946) was the grandfather of my father, Victor Randolph Pittman, Jr. The handwritten text ended in mid-sentence on the last page of the steno pad. […]


The ship’s rise was carrying her right into the squall

At 3 A.M. a storm began to brew in the northwest, and a few minutes later Commander Zachary Lansdowne, the skipper of the dirigible USS Shenandoah, was back in the control car. The Shenandoah was making little progress against a strong head wind. Lansdowne ordered the man at the elevator controls to bring the ship […]


Giant Chro-Mo Ginger Beer, ‘the drink that everybody likes’

The following post appears on the Tazewell-Orange.com site, run by Joseph T. Lee III. “This site is my contribution to the preservation of the local history of Southwest Virginia and the Tri-Cities area,” Lee says. “I’ve researched a mostly overlooked industry that affects our lives every day—the soda bottling industry, which I was surprised to […]


On the hottest day you can imagine

The first time I ever visited Georgia was in Habersham County. Uncle John and Aunt Irene had a ridge farm in the Georgia mountains. You may never have seen a ridge farm or if you did you may not have realized how they farm the ridges. You can’t use a tractor. It would roll over […]


The origin of the phrase Duke’s Mixture

Ever heard or used the expression duke’s mixture? It has nothing to do with royalty, unless you consider the tobacco titans of the nineteenth century to be such. Washington Duke of North Carolina was a serious and thrifty man. By the start of the Civil War he’d attained a 300-acre farm four miles north of […]

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