Tag Archives: history of appalachia

We don’t own anything, not a damned thing

“He knows you don’t have any money, doesn’t he?” Sylvia asked.

“Oh sure he knows, but he owes Herman Lambert’s grocery store, and he owes Minear’s Hardware store and Bell Swisher’s service station, he told me, and he has borrowed some money at the First National Bank. So, I know he’s gonna have to sue me to try to get what I owe him, because the people he owes will be pushin’ him to get their money.”

“Elmer, we’ll never be able to have anything. I can see it right now. Never.”

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To the end that man might possess himself of another of the world’s waste places

Now began the building of Middlesborough, the name which [my employer, Mr. Alexander A. Arthur] had proposed for the town having been adopted. Men of all trades and callings were entering Yellow Creek Valley, most of them having come by train as far as Pineville, ten miles away, whence they advanced by wagon, hack, horse, […]

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Stories of Superstition: East TN’s Houston House

One evening Dr. Houston came in drunk. He sat with pistol cocked, waiting for the ghost. As the three knocks sounded on the door he bounded forward to meet it, and followed it up the stairs shooting and cursing volubly. The footsteps were not disturbed by the Doctor’s violence. They made their rounds with regular tread. As three farewell knocks sounded, Dr. Houston emptied his pistol into the outside darkness several times and closed the door.

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The Devil provided Stingy Jack with a coal

If you have ever tramped around the woods after dark, you may have noticed an erie glowing substance on the forest floor. This is the light from luminescent fungi—foxfire. One of the most common fungi responsible for foxfire is Clitocybe illudens, also known as the Jack ‘o Lantern mushroom. Makes complete sense that it would […]

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You won’t let her rest in peace, fussing about her all the time

Ellen Fridley was a central figure in the economic and cultural flowering of Big Ridge, VA during the 1910s and 1920s. An entrepreneur, she ran the Big Ridge Supply Company, lodged in a small building near her home, where mountain residents could buy gum, tobacco, groceries, clothes, kerosene, and other items. She often accepted butter, […]

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