Tag Archives: history of appalachia

The mule I drove was called Old Red

You hear young folk singers today sing happy work songs about mule drivers and mule-skinners. I sometimes wonder if any of them know what driving a mule is really like, and if they’d still sing so merrily if they knew. My first job was carrying water on the Interstate Railroad grade at Josephine, about a […]

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The Belsnickle: definitely NOT Santa Claus

Up until the second World War, if a Shenandoah Valley [VA] family was a member of the Lutheran or Reformed church, the children could expect a Christmas Eve visit from the Belsnickle. The practice might even go well beyond just one evening, running for nearly two weeks, starting a week before Christmas and continuing until […]

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Poor men are buying butterine at rich men’s butter prices

Oleomargarine hearings before the Committee on Agriculture House of Representatives on bills proposing to amend the oleomargarine laws February 28 to April 2, 1912 Statement of LP Bailey Mr BAILEY: Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I come before you today as a farmer—practical dairyman and general farmer. I represent the grange interests of […]

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They did have little dolls for the girls

“Late fall we’d start getting up the wood for the winter. You couldn’t believe it would take that much wood. You would see wood from here, well, say a hundred feet long. You would think, well, golly, that’s a lot of wood! But it didn’t take long to get rid of that much wood in […]

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I’d trust a mountain man before I would a city man any day

The [North Carolina Forest Service] offered me a job then, late that summer or early that fall. I went to work, I had a fancy title: in charge of visual education. They had a three-quarter ton International truck. They had a generator bolted down inside this panel truck. I had a movie projector and a […]

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