Tag Archives: history of appalachia

Sevier County’s African-American architectural legacy

“The architectural landscape of Tennessee’s rural areas, small towns, and large cities is comprised of hundreds of historic buildings designed and built by African Americans. “One rural county in East Tennessee has an extraordinary history of African-American builders. Established in 1794 along the North Carolina border, Sevier County has never featured a large black population; […]

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Who’s kidnapping whom? Indians and settlers mix it up

“When Kentucky was first being settled, emigrants from either North Carolina or Tennessee, headed by a man named Cornett, reached the Kentucky River late one evening. They decided to camp and wait until daylight before crossing the river. They had wives, children, livestock and equipment with them. After supper they were sitting around their campfire […]

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Eats 2,000 mosquitoes a day?

America’s most sociable bird is getting ready to pack up and head south for the winter in the next couple of weeks. That would be the purple martin (Progne subis), whose usefulness was already recognized in Appalachia by the early Cherokees, who hung bottle gourds horizontally on long poles to attract them. Not only did […]

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We spoke just Italian at home

“My parents were Italian immigrants, and they settled in West Virginia, where my father came over at the age of seventeen, where he was a bookkeeper. He came over as a bookkeeper for an Italian, Mr. Fucci [sic], who was building a railroad through a great part of West Virginia at the time. [ed. note: […]

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