Post by The Folks @ TanneryWhistle.com on Sept 29, 2003 8:56:28 GMT -5
I've been teaching elderhostels for twenty years now, and I've ended up in a lot of civic groups and small colleges outside Appalachia. There are certain questions that have become predictable and almost all of them have their origin in some stereotype or a misconception (usually generated by the mass media). The question, "Who settled Appalachia" usually leads to discussion of migrations, coats-of-arms (Scottish, of course) and the theory that a significant part of Appalachia can trace its origin to debtor's prisons in London. I usually talk about the theories promoted by Harry Caudill or Jack Weller and discuss the often-quoted comment by the President of Berea College who described the people of modern-day Appalachia as "our contemporary ancestors." All of this is grist for the mill. In time, we will get to moonshine, snake-handling, Snuffy Smith and the movie, "Deliverance." I'm eager to talk about all of this stuff some more, and I'm confident that there is a hell of a lot I don't know that somebody out there can tell me. Gary Appalachia as
Post by Ol' John Brown on Sept 30, 2003 2:44:08 GMT -5
I too would like to know more.
My Grandmother (who was Cherokee) said as far as she knew the Cherokee were always here, but that differs from "settling."
I have read that part of the Appalachias was, as you mentioned, settled by those from debtor's prisons; in fact, (if I remember right) that was where the entire state of Georgia came from.
I would love to hear more moonshine stories. I know that there are a lot of them out there that need to be passed on.
Yes, "The Deleverance" thing was a stigma that we could have done without. Though one would think that people would understand that it was just a film, some seem to take it as "the gospel" and look upon us as backwards perverts.
In truth, the area is rich with culture, history and knowledge . . . a lot of which remains untapped.
For example, a lot of folks disregard what we call "planting by the signs" or "the signs" in general as meaningless hoo-ha. Well, I have news for them:
I have (more than once) planted and canned things purposefully on both "good" and "bad" signs and have found that it holds true!
Well, something is said for "old folks'" knowledge. Sure, we may not be able to say that it is attributed to some mythical something or another, but, somewhere along the way folks have observed that there are certain times that work best for certain things. Science is beginning to catch up with this -- that's right, I said "science is beginning to catch up."
An example is that science has discovered that the moon's grasvitational pull has a definate effect on tides. Science has also found that the moon's gravitational pull affects land as well as water -- thus verifying some of the "old myths" such as "when the moon is in such and such a phase, if you dig a hole, you will have more dirt/or less from it than will fit back into the hole you just dug."
Sure, these things may not have beem based upon "scientific studies" as we like to put our "logic" to nowadays, but they are based upon generations of experience . . . and as I said, today's science is just catching up and proving a great deal of these beliefs to be true.
After some years of testing in my own garden and in in life in general; I do most things strictly by "the signs." We don't know all of the "science" behind it all yet but . . . what works, just works.
Ol John Brown
NORMAL[/i][/color] is a cycle on a washing machine --John McAffee
My name is Sabrina. I'm a student at Ashland Theological Seminary. I am working with a group of people who are trying to learn as much about Applachians as possible. Where they immigrated from, their heritage and culture is what we are looking for. Can you help me?
Post by The Folks @ TanneryWhistle.com on Oct 10, 2003 20:45:23 GMT -5
There is no scarcity of information about migrations, be they Irish, Scot, German and there is certainly a diversity of theories about who came to Appalachia and for what reason. Western Carolina University has a museum in the Appalachian Cultural Center that is largely devoted to the migrations complete with detailed information about houses, food and living conditions. Such books as Roger Cunningham's Apples on the Flood contain detailed information on the migrations complete with maps and an impressive bibliography of resources on the topic. There are a goodly number of "provocative" versions of the migrations, and the most often quoted is probably Harry Caudill's Night Comes to the Cumberlands. Also, he most recent history of Applachia by Drake (can't remember his first name) is frequently cited as an excellent resource. Gary
Post by The Folks @ TanneryWhistle.com on Oct 10, 2003 20:49:41 GMT -5
You might contact the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University which has a museum devoted to the subject of migrations. Then, there is Apples on the Flood by roger Cunningham that contains extensive information on the topic. There is an abundance of additional sources if you need them and most of them are easy to comy by. Gary
(excuse me if this is a double post -- I got an error message on the first try)
Sabrina, you could also check my website -- A Country Rag at www.geocities.com/countryrag -- on-line for background about Appalachia. The site has existed for over six years and has a wealth of material from many sources, including Gary.
Post by The Folks @ TanneryWhistle.com on Dec 4, 2003 20:33:48 GMT -5
Sabrina seems to have vanished, Jeannette. I think she was just surfing through and got lost.....you know, the way people are always doing in those movies like "Wrong Turn" and "House of 1000 Corpsesl" Hopefully, she found her way back to the interstate and is probably safe at home with Johnny Milton who is saying, "Sabrina Fair, listen where thou art sitting." She is damned lucky. You just wouldn't believe what befalls some folks that stray into "the backside of yonder." Gary
I was raised in Jackson County, and really we were raised like people 50-75 years ago was. When I was small, we only went to town once a month. I can remember buying pinto beans in 100 pound sacks. My grandfather lived with us the last years of his life and he was bound and determined that we were going to know how to survive. He taught us about planting by signs, medicines out of the woods, we girls had to learn how to plow with horses, cut wood, build sheds, kill animals, preserve meat etc. just like the boys did, and also the boys had to learn how to cook, can, sew just like us girls. We made lye soap, hominey in a big black kettle, dried fruits and vegs, went sang digging in the fall, collected medicine all year long. When the Y2K things started and everybody was stocking up on stuff, all we got was 5 pounds of canning salt, Moma said that would be all we needed to survive. Granddad also passed down on how to build and run a still (he did it for years), but he would never give us the "recipe" finally before his brother died, Uncle gave us the recipe. They even made sure that we knew the proper way to dig and bury a person. Which to this day, we still consider it a honor to prepare a persons final resting place. Sitting with the dead, we still occassionally do, usually older people. Syurp making was learned too. Lots of words that I use today usually get funny looks, but then I tell them that God talks the way I do. I do feel that children today do not have the opportunity to learn from the older generations that we had, and I am afraid that eventually all of our rich hertiage is going to fade away.
Post by buckbailey on May 22, 2009 21:52:42 GMT -5
Yep, it's difficult to say just who settled Appalachia. Many of the things that mtngirl mentions in her post apply to my grandparents who settled in North Louisiana. Of course, my family came to America via Ireland in the mid-1700's. Apparently, they arrived in the port of Philadelphia, and over the years worked their way down the Appalachian mountain range through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, and then into Louisiana. Many folks of Scot-Irish heritage tended to do the same. As a child I learned to plow with a mule, pick cotton, split stove wood, build pole sheds, preserve meat in a smoke house, and to can all kinds of vegetables, to name just a few of the "ancient" skills. My granddaddy always made cane syrup in the Fall, and everyone in the neighborhood pitched in to help. On Mondays, I helped with the wash down by the creek. We used wash pots, washtubs, lye soap, and a 'battlin stick" to beat the soap into the clothes. Boy, was that water hot that was pounded out of the pile of clothes. As a kid, I always hated it when hog killing time came around. The hogs would squeel and I would run back up the hill to the house until the deed was done. Anyhow, nothing like "shade tree" learning. One can't get enough these days... When the winds from the North and East, they bite the least. When the winds from the South and the West, they bite the best. Appalachian folklore is everywhere, particularly with the people that migrated through that area to other parts of the south.
I am researching the Great Wagon Road down the Shenandoah Valley and found most of the Settlers (European- German, Scots Irish, French Hueguenots (sp) came down slowly like some years as the land was already taken in Va. and they came through Big Lick ( Roanoke va) down the Carolina road which was an Indian trading /war path to the Moravian,s settlements of Bethania, Bathabara, and later Salem. So they settled the Yadkin Valley area and at first has good relations with the Catawba and Cherokee. I also was told my grandmother boilied her clothes in a big black kettle with lye soap and I remember the lye soap it woudl take the hide of you. She would also can outside in the same black kettle,wow
Post by hollerhoojer on Feb 14, 2010 19:33:43 GMT -5
Hello. I'm new here. My first post to be exact. I'm a Melungeon, so I know some about it. Not all, but some. Blue eyes aren't always part of it. We're all dark-skinned. Different folks say we're part Portugese (shipwrecked sailors), part Cherokee, part runaway slave, or what have you. We think of ourselves generally as a separate race, not better or beneath anybody else, just separate. Are you Melungeon?