Tag Archives: history of appalachia

Frank James, of the James Gang, acquited in Huntsville

On a cold day in March 1881, three masked men on horseback, brandishing revolvers, held up an army paymaster on the banks of the Tennessee River near Muscle Shoals, AL. The paymaster was on his way with the payroll to pay the construction workers digging a canal near Muscle Shoals. The masked men kidnapped the […]

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The feud that erupted over John Gunter’s estate

One of the first whites to settle in Marshall County, AL was John Gunter (1765-1835), a Scotsman who migrated from North Carolina after the Revolutionary War. Gunter came to the great bend of the Tennessee River near the present Veterans’ Memorial Bridge around 1785, where he was fortunate to find a salt deposit. He decided […]

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All We Need Is Love: A Project of the Ohio Valley Young Preservationists

Driving through downtown Wheeling, it can be easy to overlook the old buildings that flank each side of Main and Market streets. Motorists are more likely to focus on traffic lights or be too busy searching for a place to park. With the decline of pedestrian walking and downtown shopping opportunities, the truth is that people just do not spend much time walking around—much less looking at—the buildings in downtown Wheeling. In many cases, people who have spent their entire lives in Wheeling may not have ever appreciated the architecture and environment of our downtown.

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Foxfire Museum adds a rare German-style barn to its collection

Donated by Mr. Sam Beck, a native of the Warwoman community in eastern Rabun County, GA, this “four-pen, crossed-hall” log barn has stood on his family’s property for generations. Foxfire curator Barry Stiles estimates that the barn was originally constructed around 1900, built from mostly clean, straight 8”-10” diameter pine logs. Four separate log structures measuring approximately 11’ square, the “pens,” make up the base of the barn and leave the namesake open hallways between them, similar to “dog trot” cabins like the Museum’s Moore House. A few upper log rows running the full 31’ length and width of the four pens tie the structure together and anchor the roofline covering the barn’s massive hay loft. When first given to Foxfire in 2010, the barn was almost entirely clad with tin roofing, so the bulk of the structure had been well-protected from the elements for decades. Barry noted, “The cross-hall design is supposedly a German style…which is very unusual for this area.”

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The iron horse throbbing on the ribbons of steel

On December 30, 1882 one of the most horrible of railroad tragedies occurred.

All accounts state that it was a cold, blustery day. The “Tuck” (Tuckaseegee River) was flowing hard, rain had fallen over the past several days and had caused the Tuck to be high and turbulent. In order for the convict workers to get to the western end of the tunnel worksite for a day of crushing granite rock with 10 lb. hammers, they had to cross the fierce river.

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