Blue Ridge Country
by Jean Thomas
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"Both editor and cartoonist have their heads in the sands of the past.

"West Virginians are Mountaineers by geography and tradition, and proud of it. Originally they were induced by wily Virginians to come into these mountains and form a buffer back-country against Indians, French and British. Here they grew sturdy, self-reliant and independent. They fought the first and last battles of the American Revolution, as well as the first land engagement of the war to preserve the Union. They were shooting for liberty while Patrick Henry was still shouting for it among appeasers of King George. A continental commander, it is told, refused to enlist more volunteers from the Colonies, saying he had plenty of West Virginians. General Washington, too, thought these mountaineers were tops, for in a dark hour of the Revolution he said: 'Leave me but a banner to place upon the mountains of West Augusta, and I will gather around me the men who will lift our bleeding country from the dust and set her free.'

"These mountaineers saved piedmont and tidewater Virginia from Indians, helped win the American independence, and made possible the opening up of Kentucky to the West. They then expected a fair deal from the Virginia Government, but they did not get it. So when Virginia seceded from the Union, they seceded from Virginia. And proudly they adopted the motto, 'Mountaineers are always free,' a sentiment so generally subscribed to that it appears over the entrance to our penitentiary.

"The slurs persist through ignorance.

"True, we have had all-out clan wars. We have had violent chapters in our industrial story, under state governments apparently considered benevolent by the Virginia editor. We tolerated waste of both human and material resources under wild individualism. But a new day has come, promising the greatest good to the greatest number, and we shall have much to advertise, as envisioned in Governor Neely's inaugural address when he said:

"'Fortunately impoverished land can be reclaimed; denuded areas can be reforested; unnecessary stream pollution can be prevented; and in our purified watercourses fish can be made to thrive.... For our posterity and ourselves, we must restore as much as possible of the matchless heritage which we wasted as improvidently as the base Indian who threw away a pearl that was richer than all his tribe.... If to West Virginia scenery, which is surprisingly diversified and transcendently beautiful, we add the lure of fully restored forests, fish and game, the State will eventually become a happy hunting ground for the sportsman; a paradise for the tourist; and the home of prosperity more abundant than we have ever known.'

"Progress toward these aims is being made under the direction of various heads.

"In addition to mining areas producing more soft coal than any other state, plus our varied manufactures, we have fertile valleys and slopes from which ... an increasing harvest is reaped. The State's diversity of activity should, in the fullness of time, make West Virginia the most progressive, the most socially balanced, and therefore the most truly civilized State in the Union.

"Our road system is being rapidly improved.... Many of our historic and scenic spots and recreational areas, hitherto locked in the uplands, are easily reached as more and more tourists travel pioneer trails on modern highways.

"All these things now are being discovered, or soon should be, by the whole Nation. Ours is the Vacationland at the Crossroads of the East.

"Just as in other times of national peril the human and material resources of this region figured indispensably, so today its great strength will be used against the Hitler menace.... West Virginia, with its industrial development and strategic isolation from attack, may become the Defense Hero of a war in which states little and large have fallen before the juggernaut of tyranny. Again, as in the time of Washington, the Nation may look to these West Virginia hills, and plant here the oriflamme of freedom.

"Let us sing of the soft, folded beauty of the Alleghenies; of rivers roaring with primeval discontent and streams crystal-clear (save those running red from wounded hills); of Edenlike forests in Monongahela's million acres; of Ohio's fertile valley, placid and hill-bordered, where once 'warwhoop and savage scream echoed wild from rock and hill'; of clean-trimmed rolling landscapes of Eastern Panhandle, famed for history and old houses; of lovely pastoral valleys of the South Branch, Greenbrier and Tygart; of wild, boulder-strewn New River Canyon; of Webster's forest monarchs and her deep, cool woods; of the 'brown waters of Gauley that move evermore where the tulip tree scatters its blossoms in Spring'; of the green hills mirrored in starlit Kanawha; of white-splashing Blackwater Falls, awe-inspiring Grand View, enchanting Seneca Rocks, and the remote Smoke Hole region with its Shangri La inhabitants.

"Sing of our rhododendron and its dark-green, wax-like leaf and purple flower; of Mingo's mighty oak that weathered six hundred winters; of our highest peak, Spruce Knob, bony above the lush forest; of Cranberry Glades and their strong plants native to Equator and Pole; bracing altitudes, averaging highest east of the Mississippi.

"Sing a lay for the strawberries of Buckhannon, buckwheat of Kingwood, our lowly but uprising spud, tobacco at Huntington, and the wine-smell of orchards in Berkeley; for the horses of Greenbrier, Herefords of Hampshire, sheep on Allegheny slopes, deer in a dozen State Parks, and bears in the pines of Pocahontas.

"Sing of timber, iron and steel; of coal heaved by brawny miners into the bituminous bin of the Nation; of oil gushers and gas flow; of vitrolite and chromium, plastics and neon, rayon and nylon; of glass stained for cathedrals of Europe; of billions of kilowatts from coal, and potentially more water power; of fluorescent bulbs at Fairmont, and poisonous red flakes in the Kanawha sky from metallurgical plants—fire poppies blooming in the night.

"Sing of deeds and events of deathless renown; of Morgan Morgan and his first white settlement at Bunker Hill; of James Rumsey and his steamboat on the Potomac; of Chesapeake and Ohio's epic completion across the State in '73 to the tune of legendary John Henry's steel-driving ballad in Big Bend tunnel; of turnpikes, taverns and toll houses long abandoned; of our leaders, Negro and white, in business, industry, education, religion and government; of our stalwarts of union labor whose vision, social comprehension and courage helped to bring a new day for all; of our cherished democracy, flexible and self-righting in a world where popular rule is a rarity.

"I have catalogued in clumsy prose what a Thomas Dunn English or a Roy Lee Harmon could peel off in crisp, singing lines. Surely we have gifted souls who can illumine our story in song—the story of Mountaineers Always Free, of West Virginians always Mountaineers—for a better understanding by the country at large ... of this land of heroic past, exhilarating present, and promising future."

A journey through the Mountain State convinces the traveler that on her side of the Blue Ridge West Virginia offers as many wonders under the earth as above it, if one is not a claustrophobe. There's Gandy Sinks where my friends of the Speleological Society were trapped by a cloudburst on August 1, 1940; and Seneca Caverns, in Monongahela National Forest, once the refuge of Seneca Indians about twenty miles west of Franklin on U. S. Route 33, and six miles from Spruce Knob. Caves as unbelievably beautiful as the Luray Caverns of Virginia, where the great council room of the Seneca tribe remains as it was in the day of the redskins. There is even a legend about Snow Bird, the only daughter of Bald Eagle and White Rock, his wife. Inside the cavern, if you look carefully, there is to be seen the outline of the lovely face of Snow Bird on the great stone wall. There are a Wigwam, and an Iceberg, an Alligator, and the Golden Horseshoe and Balcony of the Metropolitan, all in natural stone formation.

West Virginia has developed 84,186 acres in its state-park and forest system. Sparkling rivers flow throughout the state. At the junction of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers where Daniel Boone once roamed there is a monument commemorating the battle of the Revolution between colonial troops and Indians. Here too are the graves of a woman scout, "Mad Anne" Bailey, and a Shawnee chieftain, Cornstalk. There are hundreds of miles of trails, safe underfoot, but flanked by as wild and rugged lands as ever infested by the Indian.


If Dr. Walker, the English explorer, should return to the earth today and visit the Big Sandy country near the point where he first entered the state of Kentucky, he'd be amazed at the sight which would greet his eyes. Cities have sprung up where once was wilderness. Yet one natural beauty of the country remains unchanged: the great gorge made by Russell Fork of Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy, breaking through the mountain at an elevation of 2800 feet—The Breaks of Big Sandy. Here in the days of the Civil War many thrilling episodes took place and through The Breaks a Confederate regiment trekked back to Virginia leaving behind a string of Democratic counties in its wake.

Recently added to Jefferson National Forest, another link in the chain of Park-to-Park highways, The Breaks of Big Sandy is the most picturesque and historic spot in eastern Kentucky. It is located on State Route 80, just thirty miles from Pikeville where many of the McCoys live peaceably today. Kentucky, with the mother state Virginia, is planning a better and broader highway to The Breaks, which will readily connect it with the Mayo Trail. And the native sons still dwelling in the hills, aided by their neighbors representing them in state and federal offices, are busily planning an improvement program for the area in which The Breaks are embraced.

Once the Dark and Bloody Ground, Kentucky today is fairly teeming with reawakening. Her people are hastening to bring from hidden coves things once discarded as fogey. "We aim for this generation to know how thrifty and apt their forbears were," is frequently heard from their lips. In historic Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park (U. S. 25), near London, there is an old cider press. Far back in 1790 William Pearl, one of the early settlers in Laurel County, made and set up the crude press for making cider, or brandy if he chose. The press rests on a stone base five feet wide. Happily, Pearl's great-grandson was wise enough to preserve the relic and present it to the park. Within the park also is Frazier's Knob, the highest point in the state of Kentucky. On the banks of Little Laurel flowing through the park one may see an old-time watermill in full operation. And if you have a bit of imagination you'll wait your turn and take home a poke of meal and have cornbread for supper.

Through this region—now The Valley of Parks—Boone blazed his famous trace and Governor Shelby built the first wagon road through the wilderness from infant Kentucky to Mother Virginia. Along the way a pleasant reminder of an almost forgotten past is that of the Wilderness Road Weavers busy at loom and wheel. They process cloth from wool and flax before your eyes and explain with care the art of making homemade dyes from herb and bark. An older woman pauses with shuttle in hand. "See the hollow tree off yonder, a mother and her babe hid there to escape the Indians. And the cabin over there with the picketin' fence around, that's our library now and we've got all sorts of curiosities there too." A visit within reveals the curiosities to be relics of early home arts and mountain industries.

Cumberland Falls, Kentucky's Million Dollar State Park, of 593 acres, was a gift of T. Coleman du Pont and family of Delaware; its chief attraction is the Falls, once called Shawnee, with the profile of an Indian plainly to be seen in jutting rock over which the roaring cataract plunges near Corbin and Williamsburg. In this once Dark and Bloody Ground there is amazing beauty; on July 1st, 1941, Mammoth Cave, the twenty-sixth National Park, was dedicated with imposing ceremonies, adding another link to the Park-to-Park plan. If it had not been for the saltpeter from this cave the Battle of New Orleans would have been lost, for from this mineral gunpowder that saved the day was made. So vast is one of its caverns, the Snowball Dining Room, 267 feet underground, that hundreds of members of the Associated Press held a dinner there in 1940. Mammoth Cave is reached by U. S. Highway 70, west from Cave City, and one hundred miles south of Louisville. The vast national park of which it is a part is watered by the Green River, known to early explorers.

Kentucky's most talked-of cave in recent years is that in which Floyd Collins lost his life in 1925. The tons of rock in Sand Cave under which he was trapped did not cause his death, however. Collins died of pneumonia. His body now lies buried in Crystal Cave, which was Floyd's favorite of all those he had spent his life in exploring.

One travels cross country from Crystal Cave to the Blue Grass on Russell Cave Road, along with some of the 45,000 other people who have come within a single year to see Man o' War, the most famous race horse of all times. "The Blue Grass region of Kentucky," says Prof. E. S. Good, head of the department of animal husbandry of the University of Kentucky, "is the premier breeding ground for light horses because of its ample rainfall, mild climate, abundance of sunshine and a soil rich in calcium and phosphorus, so necessary to produce superior bone, muscle and nerve."

Though mountain men are proud to own a good pair of mules and will praise the merits of this lowly beast without stint, they generally know or care little about blooded race horses. They take pride in less glamorous possessions. For instance, they are proud that in their midst the McGuffey Readers were still taught by an aged schoolmaster in defiance of legislation which barred the classics and that the little log school in which he taught is the first and only shrine in Kentucky to the illustrious educator, Dr. William Holmes McGuffey, who compiled the Eclectic Readers which gave the children of America a different, brighter outlook upon life back in those dark days of Indian warfare. The McGuffey Log School shrine stands not far from the mouth of Big Sandy River in Boyd County. Each year hundreds of McGuffey enthusiasts make a pilgrimage to the humble shrine of learning.

"We've got no end of fine sights to see." Mountain folk are justly boastful. "Down at Bardstown is the Talbott Tavern built 162 years ago, one of the first such taverns where travelers could tarry west of the Alleghenies. On the walls there are the marks of bullets left by the pistols of Judge John Rowan, who fought a duel with Dr. Chambers and mortally wounded him. There's Audubon Memorial State Park with all manner of paintings, books, and pictures left by Audubon, kin of a French King, who spent many a happy day roaming the hills of Kentucky and studying the ways of wild birds. And no country can claim a greater man than was born right here at Hodgenville, and even if we didn't have a memorial built out of stone to Abraham Lincoln he will live in our hearts as long as the world stands." The mountaineer who sings the praises of his native land eyes his listener attentively. "Bless you, folks are so friendly and kind of heart in Kentucky they even have a refuge for turkeys. There is a sanctuary for this native American fowl in the Kentucky Woodlands Wildlife Refuge just west of Canton. And to make sure the wild creatures do not starve there are vast unharvested crops grown on the cleared land and left for them to feed upon. Here too, if travelers will drive slowly along the wooded trails, they are most sure to come upon a startled deer, for there are more than 2000 roaming in the woodland."

Along with other traditions there survives in Kentucky the medieval rite of blessing the hounds which takes place usually on the first Saturday in November. In his clerical robes the Bishop of Lexington, in the heart of the Blue Ridge, performs the ceremony much in the manner of the prelates of ages past. With proper solemnity the bishop bestows upon each huntsman the medal of St. Hubert, patron of the hunt, while the gay-coated hunters stand with bowed heads and the hounds, eager for the hunt, move restlessly about the feet of their masters.

Across the Blue Ridge in the Carolinas fox hunting and horseback riding are sports as popular as in Kentucky. But above all the things in which the people of the Carolina mountains lead are their matchless handicrafts, weaving, spinning, and their skill in play-making.

Who hasn't heard of "Prof." Koch, Director of the Carolina Playmakers and of the group's plays? And the thing about the Playmakers which sets them apart is that they are chiefly of the mountains. Their plays are made out of the life of mountain folk. Archibald Henderson declares, "Koch is the arch-foe of the cut-and-dried, the academic, the specifically prescribed. All his life he has demanded room for the random, outlet for the unexpressed, free play for the genius." Nowadays he travels by caravan with his Carolina Playmakers from coast to coast that the world may see for itself what genius unrestrained can turn out. If one wishes to see them, in their own setting, which thousands of us do every year, there is The Playmakers' Theatre at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the first theater building in America to be dedicated to the making of its own native drama.

"This love of drama is in the blood of Carolinians," they themselves will tell you. "Get three of them together and before you can say Jack Robinson they're building a play. A folk play, each one with an idea, a situation. Why, right over to Kernersville in North Carolina the first little theater was born. And say, if you want to hear ballad singers, stop wherever you're a-mind to in the Blue Ridge in the Carolinas and keep your ears open. There's a fellow over on South Turkey Creek, little more than a dozen miles as the crow flies from Asheville, and you'll hear the finest singing of old-time ballads you ever listened to. Mostly menfolks like best to sing. Womenfolks turn to the loom, particularly in North Carolina."

A visit to the Weave Shop at Saluda convinces the visitor of the skill of mountain women. Fabrics of unbelievable beauty are turned out at handlooms and it is mountain women who lead in the work.

Much has been written on the subject of handicrafts but perhaps the most comprehensive treatment of the diversified subject is Allen Eaton's Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands.

Through Allen Eaton's knowledge of handicrafts and his untiring efforts a great service has been rendered the mountain people of the Blue Ridge in marketing their wares. For he has been instrumental in organizing a handicraft guild which serves the entire southern mountain region. The co-operating units cover various phases of handicraft. The Shenandoah Community Workers of Bird Haven specialize in toy making, while The Jack Knife Shop of Berea College, the Woodcrafters and Carvers of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the Whittlers at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, embrace most every type of handicraft in their output which is the work of mountain boys and girls.

It was to mountain people that George Washington looked for hope and help in the hour of our country's need, and two later presidents held the same opinion. The mother and the wife of a president of these United States have done likewise.

One winter day more than a score of years ago a group of children huddled about the pot-bellied stove in a little log church in the mountains of Georgia. They had trudged through snow and mud and a cold, biting wind to reach this one-room church house. Though the older folk were eager to teach the children lessons of Scripture, few of them could read or write. A mountain child, like every other child, delights in hearing an older person read, whether it be a make-believe story or a real story from the Bible. "Wisht you could read the Word," an eager little girl this winter day said to the old woman who, though she could neither read nor write, was doing her best to explain from a small colored leaflet the meaning of the Sunday School lesson.

The story reached the ears of a lady not far away. After that she began reading Bible stories to the mountain children gathered at a little log cabin near her home. "Martha Berry didn't need eye specs to see how eager the children were for learning," one of her mountain friends remarked, "and then and there she began to ruminate through her mind a way to help them help themselves. 'Not to be ministered unto, but to minister,' that was what Martha Berry said from the very first and that is still the motto of the great institution that has steadily grown up from the humble beginning in a little one-room log house."

It is an unusual institution of learning with a campus equally unique, for in its 25,000 acres are a forest, a mountain, and a lake and more than one hundred buildings which were not only erected by Berry students, but built from materials also made by them. Here mountain boys and girls express the fine spirit of independence inherited from their forbears. Once they enter the Gate of Opportunity, they earn their education. The mountain boy, with his carpentry, brick-making, stock-raising, hand-carving, matches his skill in friendly rivalry with the girl, in her spinning and weaving, making dyes and canning fruits. In one year the girls canned 50,000 gallons of fruit grown within the boundary of the Berry Schools.

Boys and girls of the Georgia mountains need not despair nor be backward while the "Sunday Lady of Possum Trot" keeps open the Gate of Opportunity to the Berry Schools.

"There's a heap of change here in these mountains for our children. If a child's afflicted in its nether limbs, it don't need to lay helpless no more, a misery to itself and everyone else. There's the waters of Warm Springs and doctors with knowing that are there to help them on foot," a mountain mother told me last winter when I stopped at her cabin. "Take the night," she urged. "You can get a soon start in the morning, if you choose." I accepted her hospitality and she told me much of her early life there and of crippled children of the mountains who had been restored through bloodless surgery. Of one boy in particular she told who for long years had never walked a step until he had been brought to the healing salt waters. "He can drive a car now and climb a mountain on foot. He drove an old couple that had bought a new car all the way from Warm Springs plum acrost the State of Georgia and back again so's he could travel the Franklin D. Roosevelt Highway. It give him something to brag about when he got back home." The old woman lifted her eyes to the hills reflectively. "There have been a heap of people in this country who stood in the light of their afflicted children claiming it was the Good Lord's will that they were so and that it was a deep-dyed sin to try to change them. Some claimed it was a sin against the Holy Ghost to carve upon their crooked little limbs and shed their life's blood even though it might make them to walk. Folks with such notions as that are plum in benighted darkness. But times have changed and it's learning and good roads that make it. Nohow, there are doctors now with a heap of learning who can straighten twisted joints of crippled children and never shed their life's blood. Not nary drop!" The old woman's eyes widened with incredulity. "I've seen crippled children packed away on a slide plum helpless and come back home on foot as spry as a wren and never a scar on their flesh. They've got knowing ways off yonder to Warm Springs where the doctors and nurse women, to lend a hand, straighten out the twisted little bodies of many a crippled child. They do say it is a sight to the world how them little crippled fellers can cavort around in the salty waters in no time, playful as minner fish in a sunny mountain brook. And they never shed a drop of their life's blood. So you see there's always a way around a mountain if you can't climb over it. And by these new ways of learning the doctors and the nurse women are not breaking faith with the belief of mountain people. It's a great and a glorious gospel, I tell you!"

* * * * *

If you climb to the top of a peak in Dug Down Mountains, a spur of the Blue Ridge that dwindles to a height of 1000 feet in southeastern Alabama, and take a look at the state—provided the binoculars are strong enough-you'll see why there's a saying down in that country to the effect that "Alabama could sleep with her head resting upon the iron-studded hills of her mineral district, her arms stretched across fields of food and raiment, and her feet bathing in the placid waters of Mobile Bay."

This Cornucopia of the South is not sleeping, however; she is on her feet and bestirring herself and aware of her almost limitless resources.

"She could dig beneath her surface and find practically every chemical element required in the prosecution of modern war.... She could fire her guns with 7,529,090 pounds of explosives produced annually in her mineral mines.... In her hour of victory, she could declare herself the Queen of the Commonwealth, mold her diadem with gold from Talladega, and embellish it with rubies from the bed of the Coosa that drains the Dug Down foothills of the Blue Ridge."

In short, her native sons like to boast, "Alabama could isolate herself from all the world and live happily forever after."

And lest they forget the past, the first White House of the Confederacy, where Jefferson Davis lived and ruled, still stands, a grim reminder of the old South.

* * * * *

How amazed the pioneer dwellers of the Blue Ridge would be if they could stalk down the mountain side and take a look at what Uncle Sam has been doing the past eight years! Strange words too would fall upon their ears, modern-made to suit modern things. What with good roads and autos, hotels have sprung up thick as mushrooms; so have motels. There's the Zooseum, combining living curiosities and relics. Pleaz Mosley got together in a corner of his farm a lot of Indian relics, petrified oddities, and a few rare varmints, a five-legged calf and a one-eyed 'possum, and housed them in a shack down by the new road that cut through his bottom land and drew sightseers day after day.

"But Pleaz's Zooseum can't hold a candle to the curiosities down in the Holston and Tennessee River country," his neighbors say. "Looks like they just naturally turned loose the briny deep in that country. When they started in on the job old Grandpap up and spoke his mind. Said he, 'Sich carryings on is destructuous of the Master's handiwork and I don't countenance it.' He'd set there by his log fire in his house all his endurin' life. The fire had never went out on that hearth since he was borned and he told the goverment he didn't aim the embers should die down whilst he lived. Well, sir, to pacify the old man they up and moved him, house, log fire and all, up higher in the mountains and him a-settin' right there by the fire all the time. Now he can look down to them mighty waters and them public works with his door open and never jolt his chair away from the hearth."

If Daniel Boone could retrace his steps along the Holston and Tennessee Rivers perhaps he would gape, too flabbergasted to utter a word. Or he might ask in dismay, "What's become of my elbow room?" The country he once roamed with gun and dog has been transformed into a mighty flooded area to make way for the world's largest project of its kind. At first much was said back and forth about the Tennessee Valley Authority. Some viewed it with a dubious eye, called it names—a New Deal experiment, a merchant of electricity, a threat to private ownership of business, or again merely a new series of letters in alphabetical government, the TVA. To isolated mountain folk who came to look as time went on, it was the plum biggest public works they had ever set eyes on.

Eight years after it was begun—by the middle of 1941—with war threatening the civilized world, the TVA has become a defense arm.

Uncle Sam at once cast his discerning eye down Tennessee way and his National Defense Advisory Committee designated the TVA as one of its defense industries, and an appropriation of $79,800,000 was granted the Authority, and a call from the defense power program went out for TVA "to add to its system of ten multi-purpose dams the Cherokee Power Dam on the Holston River, to build another near the Watts Bar Dam and to advance work on the Fort Loudoun Dam on the Tennessee River."

"About the only things unchanged are the caves under the earth and the forests, I reckon," an old mountaineer observes. "They won't never dig away them Great Smoky Mountains, I'm satisfied, though they've got a roadway on the very top from Newfound Gap Highway to Clingman's Dome. And they've got what's left of the Cherokees scrouged off to theirselves in Qualla Indian Reservation."

Wise and far-seeing men have looked to the preservation of much of nature's beauty through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which embraces Little Pigeon Gorge, and Chimney Tops, which command a breathtaking view of the surrounding country.

"My grandfather journeyed miles on foot over these mountains," a young man told me one day when I tarried at the Mountaineer's Museum in Gatlinburg on U. S. Highway 71. "Look over yonder is Le Conte, the Grand-pappy of Old Smoky Mountain as we say here in Tennessee." He turned about in the other direction. "And off there the rushing waters of Little Pigeon turn an old-time mill wheel."

Leaving the alluring sights of Little Pigeon I turned the nose of my antiquated car toward U. S. Highway 25E to visit Cudo's Cave. It is electrically lighted and bright as day. A cave that appears to be an endless chain of rooms. Within are all manner of rock formations, a Palace, a great Pipe Organ, even a reproduction of Capitol Dome not made by mortal hand; Petrified Forests, Cascades that seem to be covered with ice, and a Pyramid said to be eighty-five million years old. And in the midst of these ageless wonders the names of Civil War soldiers carved on the stone walls.

"If all this had been on top of the earth," my mountaineer guide declared, "destructuous man would have laid it waste long ago. Look about," he urged. "There's every sort of varmint by the Master's Hand, from a 'possum to an elephant, and even the likeness of the American flag."

Outside the caves which lie under three states, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, you look down upon the town of Cumberland Gap to the right of which are remains of Civil War trenches.

"There are wonders no end to be seen around this country," mountain people say, "and things maybe never thought of anywhere else."

Perhaps that is not an unlikely statement, considering the stirring event a few years ago that took place at Dayton, Tennessee, when Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan argued the question of evolution pro and con. Or when you know that at the little town of Model across the Tennessee River from Calloway County, Kentucky, a quiet minister by the name of James M. Thomas, prints his little paper from his own handmade type on his own handmade press. It is a tiny paper called The Model Star and it reaches the far corners of the earth. Most of its content is of a religious nature, though there are a few advertisements. While it brings the minister little in financial return he finds his recompense in the enthusiasm of readers scattered from Pitcairn Island to Cairo, Bucharest, and Shanghai.

Tennesseans have a way of doing unusual things. And they are a religious people, especially those who have spent their lives in mountain coves. There's Sergeant York. He admits he sowed his wild oats in his youth. "We drinked and gambled," he says, "and we cussed and fit." But when this giant mountaineer's eyes were opened to the evil of his ways, after the death of his father, Alvin C. York forsook his old habits once and for all. When the World War came he declared himself a conscientious objector. His church—the Church of Christ in Christian Union—held that war was a sin. York had a terrific struggle deciding his duty between God and patriotism. He loved his God. He loved his country. He made every effort to obtain exemption because he firmly believed it a sin to fight and to kill, even for the sake of one's country. But for all that, he could not gain exemption. Whereupon York went alone into the mountains and fervently prayed for guidance. When the voice of God pointed the way he followed, with the result that all the world knows.

"You might call my escape from death purely a matter of luck, but I know different," he says. "It was faith in God that kept me safe. I prayed that day alone on the mountain and asked Him to bring me back home alive and well and He did. I knowed He would. That's what faith in God will do for a man."

Alvin York is a true mountain man. He seeks neither praise nor self-glory. Upon returning from the World War he spurned a fortune in pictures and vaudeville appearances, refusing steadfastly to commercialize his war record. And with the same determination he declined to sell out to small politicians who tried to use him when he undertook to raise funds to start a school for mountain boys and girls. Knowing the need of the young people of his Tennessee mountains, York has made his life purpose to give them "a heap o' larnin'." This he has continued to do year after year through the York Agricultural School near Jamestown, Tennessee. Mountain folk call it Jimtown. Now there's a highway running through the town called York Highway.

Sergeant York likes to sing. He "takened lessons in Byrdstown," and being especially fond of singing hymns, he acquired the name of "The Singing Elder." He teaches a Sunday School class and did even before he went to war. He admits smilingly that his fight with "small politicians" who wanted to use him and his war record was a worse battle than that of the Argonne Forest. Alvin York married his childhood sweetheart, Gracie Williams, upon returning from war, and the Governor of Tennessee performed the ceremony at Pall Mall where the mountain hero was born. He is the father of seven children. For some time he served as project superintendent at a CCC camp in the Tennessee mountains. He is president emeritus of the school he founded and has written his life's story in a simple, straightforward way, with never the slightest hint of boastfulness.

When it came to putting in parts of official records and commendation of his heroism, Sergeant York did so reluctantly. "But it has to be put in, I reckon." He finally had to give in.

Sergeant York's achievement, capturing single-handed 132 Germans, killing 20 others, and destroying 35 machine-gun nests stands unparalleled.

This tall, red-headed, freckled mountain man says modestly that he always was a pretty good shot and that he kept in practice by hunting in the Tennessee mountains, shooting turkeys and going to shooting matches that required a pretty steady nerve to hit center of a criss-cross mark.

"I'm happiest here in the Valley of the Three Forks of the Wolf," says the Singing Elder, "here in Fentress County just across the Kentucky state line, once the happy hunting ground of Creeks and Cherokees. Hit's the place I love best with my family, my dogs and my gun. Hit's where I belong."

Looking backward, history shows that mountain men, such as Alvin York, have always led their countrymen in time of war, as I have pointed out earlier. In the Civil War the southern highlands sent 180,000 riflemen to the Union Army. In the Spanish-American War they rushed to the defense of our country. In the World War, Breathitt County, known for its fighting blood, had no draft quota, so many of her valiant sons hastened to volunteer. Though mountain people have suffered the stigma of family feuds, they have lived to see old rancors forgotten. Hatfields and McCoys, Martins and Tollivers shoulder their muskets and march side-by-side when they have to defend their native land.

The Big Sandy country is still filled with patriots. In Floyd County, the father of eleven sons is not worried about the draft, according to the Big Sandy News, November 15, 1940: "Frank Stamper, Prestonsburg Spanish-American War veteran, isn't worried about the draft 'catching' any of his eleven boys, six of whom are of draft age. Five of the bra' laddies already are infantrymen in the U. S. Army—enlisted men. The sixth, Harry, from whom the family has not heard in nine years, may also be in the army now, and not subject to conscription later. Two of his sons—Everett of Jackhorn, Kentucky, and Avery of Ronda, West Virginia, were in the World War as volunteers, and when you take in consideration that Mr. Stamper himself was a volunteer in the Spanish-American War, it makes the adult population of the family about unanimous in the matter of patriotism. The five sons in the army now are: Frank, Jr., Paul, Damon, John and Charles. Mr. Stamper is the father of twenty-seven children, seventeen of whom are living."


Mountain folk, especially those who have had the misfortune of being mixed in troubles (feuds to the outside world) believe earnestly that "when singing comes in, fighting goes out." "Look at the Hatfields and McCoys," they say. "They make music together now at the home of one side and now at the home of them on t'other side. They sit side-by-side on the bench at the Singing Gathering down on the Mayo Trail come the second Sunday in June every year. Off yonder nigh the mouth of Big Sandy, across the mountains which once were stained with the blood of both families. What's more, Little Melissy Hatfield and Little Bud McCoy even sing together a ballad that tells of the love of Rosanna McCoy for Devil Anse's son Jonse. And their elders sing hymn tunes long cherished in the mountain church, whilst tens of thousands gathered on the hills all around about listen with silent rejoicing over the peace that has come to the once sorry enemies."

To be sure, there is the singing of folk songs handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. When the mountain people are asked the origin of their music, the usual reply is "My grandsir larnt me this fiddle tune," or "My Granny larnt me this song-ballet."

Since mountain people have brought their music out of the coves and hollows for the world to hear through their Singing Gathering and Festivals, the nation is fast becoming aware of the importance of folk music in the life of Americans today. Great singers have taken up the simple songs of our fathers. "Wipe out foes of morale with music," says Lucy Monroe, New York's "Star Spangled Banner Soprano," director of patriotic music for RCA-Victor, when she sang on September 11, 1941, before the National Federation of Music Clubs in New York. "Let's make certain that when the present crisis is passed, music will have done its full job of defense," she said enthusiastically. The singer urged federation members to become soldiers of music. "Let us enlist together to form a great army of music!" she urged. Miss Monroe was commissioned by Mayor LaGuardia to devote her efforts to the cause of music for the Office of Civilian Defense. Whereupon she outlined a four-point program: 1. To visit large plants and industrial centers connected with defense work to give musical programs and to suggest that the plants begin each day's activities with playing the Star-spangled Banner—to tell the men what they are working for. 2. To conduct community sings in large cities. 3. To collect phonograph records for the boys in army camps, establishing central depots in every locality in the country. 4. To give talks, with song illustrations, on the history of the United States of America in colleges, high schools, women's clubs, and music clubs.

Though some may see folk song, the basis of all music, endangered by motion pictures, Kurt Schindler, authority on ancient European customs and collector of folk music in other lands, believes the danger lies in another direction. "The young students, the modernists, in their great desire to keep up with the times wish to kill the old things."

All the forces working in America to preserve folk song should share Kurt Schindler's fears. The press is cognizant of the farflung effort throughout the land. The Atlanta Journal (September 19, 1928) says, "The collection and preservation of mountain folk music is a singularly gracious work and one of rare value to history. Collected in its natural environment, it is perforce authentic both in tune and idiom, and sincere collectors are not content with this alone—they complete the record by tracing the songs to their origins. Such is a most gracious work and one which lovers of beauty, whether music or in legend or in local history, throughout the South, would do well to imitate."

Far removed from the metropolitan area where great singers interpret the simple songs of our forbears and urge the necessity of their preservation, an untrained mountain minstrel is lending his every effort to aid not only in conserving but in correlating as well the folk lore of the Blue Ridge Country. He is a kinsman of Devil Anse Hatfield and lives just around the mountain from where the old warrior lies buried. "Sid Hatfield never was mixed up in the troubles in no shape nor fashion," anyone can tell you. "He'd not foir a gun if you laid one in his hand. But just give him a fiddle! Why, Sid Hatfield is the music-makinest fellow that ever laid bow to strings. What's more he puts a harp in his mouth and plays it at the same time he's sawin' the bow. I've seen him and hear-ed him, many's the time."

And so have thousands of others. For Sid Hatfield spends his spare time, when he's not working for the Appalachian Power Company in Logan County, West Virginia, making music first at one gathering, then another. Sid's repertoire is almost limitless. He plays any fiddle tune from Big Sandy to Bonaparte's Retreat. And when it comes to the mouth harp, Sid just naturally can't be beat. "I love the old tunes," he says, "and they must not die. You and I can help them to live. Let old rancors die, but not our native song."

To that end he has become a prime mover in a folksong and folklore conservation movement called American Folkways Association. "There are a lot of McCoys," he says, "who can pick a banjo and sing as fine a ditty as you ever heard. There's Bud McCoy over on Levisa Fork. Never saw his betters when it comes to picking the banjo. We've played together a whole day at a stretch and never played the same tune twice. We just stop long enough to eat dinner and then we go at it again. Bud's teaching his grandson, Little Bud, and he's not yet five year old. Little Bud can step a hornpipe too. Peert as a cricket!" A slow breaking smile lights Sid's open countenance. "Reckon you've heard of our Association," and, not giving anyone time to answer, Sid is off on the subject nearest and dearest to his heart. "We've got the finest Association in the country. Got a nephew of Fiddling Bob Taylor in our Association and by next summer we aim to hold a Singing Gathering down in his country—the Watauga country in Tennessee. Folsom Taylor, that's his name and he's living now in the far end of the Blue Ridge in Maryland. He helped us with the Singing Gathering we held in the Cumberlands in Maryland this past summer. We've got another helper down in Tennessee. His name is Grady Snead. He was in the World War and about lost his singing voice but he's not lost any of his spirit for mountain music and old-time ways. Why, every summer ever since Grady got back from the war he's gathered his people around him in Snead's Grove—he owns quite a few acres down in Tennessee—and they have an old-time picnic and they have hymn singing and ballad singing and fiddle music. This past summer our Association joined in with them at the Snead picnic and you never saw the like that day in Snead's Grove. People thick as bees and pleased as could be. We started off a-singing a good old-fashioned hymn all together and that put everybody in good heart. Never saw such a picnic in all my born days. There's nothing like a good old-fashioned all-day picnic to make friends among people and then mix in a lot of good old-time music. That's what Americans were brought up on and that's what they're going to live on more and more through these troubled hours and as time goes on."

That day at Snead's Grove, Sid Hatfield told them about the Association and how already different organizations had united with it. He told of a preacher over in Maryland who had joined in whole-heartedly. "He's adopted the great out-of-doors for his temple in which to worship with song and prayer. Robinson is his name. Reverend Felix Robinson, as fine a singer and as fine a preacher as you'd ever want to sit under."

Then Sid put down his fiddle and his mouth harp and drawing from his coat pocket a crumpled paper, he began again. "My friends, I want to read you this piece in the Chicago Daily News. This is the place to read it. We ought to be warned about what can happen in this country to our music, by what has happened to some of our people. Though maybe sometime it's been for the best. This piece was writ by a mighty knowing man. His name is Robert J. Casey and he flew from Chicago for his paper the Chicago Daily News to hear with his own ears the music of the mountains from the lips of mountain singers at Traipsin' Woman cabin on the Mayo Trail the second Sunday in June, 1938."

There was a moment's breathless silence over the great gathering there in Snead's Grove. The look of fear and apprehension gave way to that of eagerness and hope as Devil Anse Hatfield's kinsman read with quiet dignity:

"'One breathes a sigh for the Hatfields and McCoys who maintain the Democratic majority in cemeteries along the West Virginia line. One voices a word of commendation for the Hatfields and the McCoys who drive taxi-cabs in Ashland or run quiet, respectable and legal beer parlors in Huntington. And looking from one group to the other, one realizes that something has happened to the hill country.

"'A person of imagination standing on the tree-shaded porch of the Traipsin' Woman cabin up in Lonesome Hollow probably still can hear echoes of "the singing gathering" which only a few hours ago demonstrated the essential durability of the hill folks.... Where a day or two ago there was only a neutral interest in such proceedings, now people are talking of Elizabethan culture preserved completely for a matter of centuries by people who lived on the wrong side of the tracks, just a few rods from the fence of the rolling mills.

"'There is a tendency in some quarters to look upon the sing-festival as a permanent and predictable community asset. But that is because the sophisticated and urban population is ignoring the present status of the McCoys and the Hatfields, as for many years it has ignored the crack-voiced "ballet" singers and the left-handed virtuosi in its own backyard.'"

Sid Hatfield paused in his reading to say a few words on his own. "There is one, not calling any names, who discovered a forgotten England in the Kentucky uplands." He turned again to read from the paper. "'One who set down the words of the amazing ballads and studied music in order to capture the changeless arrangements for psaltery, dulcimer and sakbut, who has no such illusions. The music of the hills today is a thin echo of tunes that were sung on the village greens in Shakespeare's time. Tomorrow it will be gone!'" Sid Hatfield's voice lifted in warning. "'And with it will vanish the early English idiom of the hill folks—their costumes, their customs, their dances, the singing ritual of their weddings. Pretty soon there aren't going to be any more hill folk—if indeed, there are any now.

"'"The Hatfields and McCoys, they were reckless mountain boys," whose history is now as stale as that of the Capone mob. Their feud, which ... threatened to provoke a civil war between two states, gave rise to the general belief in the lasting endurance of the hill dwellers. A race must be hardy as the ragweed when it could not be exterminated even by its own patient effort. The tenantry of the flatlands might be excused for believing that a special Providence intended it to survive, despite poverty, malnutrition, bad housing and wasting disease forever and ever.

"'And so it might have survived, for the hill people had "the habit of standing." They had set a precedent of fertility and hardihood and the will to live for a matter of centuries.... But there had come influences over which not even the carefully nurtured stubbornness of 300 years could prevail.... The railroad and the concrete highway and the automobile and the black tunnels of the coal mine.

"'... The day of isolated communities and isolated culture in the United States is already past.... The hill folk have been known to the flatland people chiefly for feuds and moonshine. Perhaps tempers are no less quick, but it's less trouble to get to court and have grievances adjudicated according to law. And the music is going—and the traditional dances. It is one of the defects of all educational systems that they make it easier for a person to forget by removing the necessity for his remembering.'"

Sid Hatfield again voiced his own observations. "Time was when old folks could recall every word of hundreds of ballads." He turned once more to read from the newspaper in his hand. "'... and every note of a music whose disregard for melodic rule made it exceedingly difficult to remember. Now, when such things can be written down, no "grandsir" will bother to repeat them to the youngins and the youngins will get their music from the radio. By that time there will be no doubt that Queen Elizabeth is dead.'"

Devil Anse's kinsman surveyed his listeners. "My friends, we've got a-bound, me and you and you," he singled out a lad here a man, a woman there, "to put our shoulders to the wheel and save our old ways and our old music."

Then he told about the American Folkways Association and its purpose. "We aim to unify efforts to conserve and cultivate the traditions and customs of the Blue Ridge Country where conditions are ideal for a renewed emphasis on living a simple and natural life ... to preserve the past and present expressions of isolated peoples in the Southern Appalachians which are untainted by any form of insincerity or make-believe. There is growing interest among city-bred people in the folk-ways, and through research and actual experiences, they are learning to appreciate the simple folk-life that is still intact."

Sid, like Devil Anse, understands crowd psychology, though neither calls it by that name. Sid had the attention of his hearers and he told them more. "We're getting our eyes open more every day to the boundless treasures in America. People all through the Blue Ridge don't aim to stand by and see things disappear because new ways have come in. They've started all sorts of gatherings and festivals to keep alive the things that mean America!"

With quick gesture he enumerated upon his fingers as he named some of them: "There's the Forest Festival held in October at Elkins, West Virginia, with a pretty mountain maid for its Queen; the Tobacco Festival in Shelbyville, Kentucky, that pays homage to the leading product of the Blue Grass country, next to the race horse, of course; there's the Mountain Laurel Festival at Pineville, Kentucky, in May, glorifying the beauty and profusion of the mountain flower; the Virginia Apple Blossom Festival in April in the Shenandoah Valley at Winchester, Virginia—a wilderness of blossoms that has made beautiful a once lonely valley; the Rhododendron Festival in Webster Springs, West Virginia, in July, that vies in charm with a like event in Kentucky; the Sweet Potato Festival in Paris, Tennessee, that pays tribute to the yam; the American Folk Song Festival in the foothills of Kentucky. Then there's the Snead Picnic that our good friend Grady Snead has been carrying on every summer ever since he got back from the war across the waters; there's the Mountain Choir Festival over in Oakland, Maryland, in the month of August, when hundreds of mountain boys and girls gather together to sing hymns and old ballads too; there's the Arcadian Folk Festival and the Poet's Fair and the Arcadian Guild all bunched together at Hot Springs National Park and McFadden Three Sisters Springs where down in the Ozark Country folks welcome the advent of 'the Moon of Painted Leaves' and pattern new dreams in the valley of pastoral fancy, listen to the Pipes of Pan, meet old friends, and make new ones in a sylvan environment, where poetry slides down every moonbeam. Every sort of gathering right where it belongs, where it was cradled through all these long generations."

Sid paused a moment for second wind. "When we look about we're bound to own this is a mighty changing world. Time was when the mountain people rode to the gatherings in Brushy Hollow in jolt wagons. They kept it up a while, loading the whole family in the jolt wagon. But times have changed.... A body has to sort o' keep up with the times, like Prof. Koch. Bless you, he loads his whole pack and passel of boys and girls in a bus and packs them hither and yon 'crost the country to show out with their play-making. The Carolina Playmakers just naturally fetch the mountain to Mohammed." Sid flung wide his hands, brought them slowly together. "To get all such folks to work together that's why we formed the American Folkways Association. What's more we've got us a magazine to tell about what we've done and aim to do—the Arcadian Life magazine, with our good friend Otto Ernest Rayburn as editor, 'way down in the Ozarks." Sid Hatfield smiled pleasantly. "There's no excuse for folks not being neighborly nowadays. No matter where they live, what with good roads and the automobile—we've just got a-bound to be neighborly. To sing together, to make music together, to show out our crops and our posies and our handiwork together. Here in Snead's Grove today is the third time we've bore witness that our Association is not just a theory. We made our first bow in the Kentucky foothills in June, the second in Maryland in August, and now in Tennessee. In October we aim to join hands and hearts and our music in Arcadia under the Autumn moon."

That day in Snead's Grove in Tennessee they wanted Sid Hatfield to keep right on but taking a squint at the sun sinking in the west, he said in conclusion, "I've got a long ways to travel back to the West Virginia mountains but I hope we'll all be together again here in the Grove next summer, this day a year, the Lord being willing."


Perhaps it is merely the result of evolutionary process, economic rather than intentional, that man has wiped out many reminders of the past; that the forest primeval has passed to make room for blue grass, tasseled corn, and tobacco; that forts and blockhouses gave way to the settler's log house encircled by a garden patch; that the windowless cabin has gone to make room for the weather-boarded frame of many rooms and glass windows; that the village has vanished for the town—the industrial center.

The Wilderness Trail broken first by mastodon, then panther and bear and frightened deer, has been transformed into a modern highway. The Shawnee Trail along which Indians lurked and tomahawked white men has become Mayo Trail, taking its name from a country schoolteacher. He was a far-seeing man, who stumbled sometimes hopelessly along the lonely way, when he needed help to bring out of the bowels of the earth the treasure in coal he knew to be hidden there. Mayo Trail is an amazing engineering feat that connects mountains with level land. Limestone Trail in Mason County has left along its course only a vestige of vegetation to remind us it was once the path of buffalo and Indian. To motorists hurrying onward it is merely U. S. 60 that leads to another city.

The rugged, unbroken path once pursued by the lad Gabriel Arthur, a Cherokee captive, called on Hutchins Map in 1778 the "War Path to the Cuttawa Country," uniting today with the Wilderness Trails, has become the open gateway to the West. Boone's Trace, or Boone's Path, leading from Virginia through Cumberland Gap, to the Ohio River, still is called Boone's Path. Since 1909 it has been a national motorway, being a part of the Dixie Highway which runs from Michigan to Florida. It was over this same path that Governor Duncannon of Virginia built the first wagon road in 1790. During the Civil War the region of the Gap was fortified and occupied by Confederate and Union soldiers in turn. Later, in 1889, the first railroad entered the Gap. Today Skyline Highway—U. S. 25 and 58—leads from the saddle of the historic Gap to the top of Pinnacle Mountain, commanding a view of six states, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

And the scene has changed.

Spring has come to the Blue Ridge. The hum of industry echoes along once lonely creeks, through quiet hollows. We see no more the oxcart lumbering, creaking laboriously along, higher and higher up the rugged mountain side. The latest model motor glides swiftly over the smooth surface, winding its way upward and upward. Off yonder the TVA has harnessed the waterpower of the Holston and Tennessee, made a great valley to burst into a miracle of man's genius. Modern industrial plants steam along the banks.

Good roads, the automobile, schoolhouses, the airplane have wiped out all barriers between mountain and plain. The Blue Ridge casts a long, long shadow across blossoming valleys. The mountaineer of yesterday with his Anglo-Saxon speech of Elizabeth's time, his primitive plow and loom, has vanished before the juggernaut of progress. But the children of the hills are blessed with a rich, a priceless heritage in tradition, song, and love of independence that will not die as long as mountains stand and men of the mountains survive to defend and preserve it.



Abingdon, Virginia, Declaration of, 31-32 aborigines, 8 adventurers, 15 agriculture, 112-21, 283-89 Alabama, 310 Alamance, Battle of, 28 Allegheny Mountains, 4 American Folk Song Festival, 241 American Folkways Association, 320-27 animal life, 8 Appalachia, 3-4, 5 "Appalachia," by Martha Creech, 210 Apple Blossom Festival, 326 Arcadian Folk Festival, 326 Arcadian Guild, 326 Arcadian Life, 327 art exhibit, Kentucky, 250 Arthur, Gabriel, expedition of, 17-18, 328 Ash Lawn, 293 "Ashland Tragedy, The," by Peyton Buckner Byrne, 228 Athiamiowee Trail, 9 Atlanta Journal, 319 Audubon Memorial State Park, 304

Bailey, "Mad Anne," 300 ballads, 132, 152, 154, 159, 210-47, 249, 306; and music, 43-44; patriotic, 239-47 Baltimore, Lord, 7, 12 Bankhead-Jones Tenant Purchase Act, 286 baptism, 60-61 Baptists, 161-64, 268; Regular Primitive, 161-64, 266 Bardstown, Kentucky, 304 Barker, George A., "Norris Dam," 245; "Skyline Drive," 215 Barton, Bruce, 268 Barton, William E., 268 beliefs, women's, 120-21 belting a tree, 113 Berea College, 259, 307 Berry Schools, 259, 307-10 Big Bone Lick, 8 Big Meeting, 57, 71 Big Sandy Breaks, 301 Big Sandy Improvement Association, 287 Big Sandy News, 286, 317 Big Sandy River, 4, 18, 19, 48, 116, 271, 304; canalization, 287; superstition, 168 "Big Sandy River," by D. Preston, 211 birds, 6-7 black cat, legend of, 189-94 Blackberry Association, 288 blessing the hounds, 305 blindness, conjured, 180-85 block houses, 22 blue grass country, 303 Blue Lick, 35 Blue Ridge Mountains, 4 Blue Ridge Parkway, 292 boats, river, 272 books, 16, 29, 34, 306 Boone, Daniel, 19, 21, 22-39, 295, 302; capture by Indians, and escape, 35-36; death and grave, 39 Boone, Mrs. Daniel, 24-25 Boone's Trace (Trail; Path), 33, 328 Boonesborough, 35, 37, 39; Battle of, 36 Braddock, General, 23 Breaks of the Big Sandy, 301 Breathitt County, Kentucky, 73, 74, 75, 79, 88, 316 Breckinridge, Alexander, 13, 261 Breckinridge, Mrs. Mary, 261 Bryan, William Jennings, 314 Bryans, trek with Boone, 29-30 Buckley, Noah, 169-72 Buffum-Dillam feud, 88-91 "Bundles for Britain," by Jilson Setters, 242 Burchett, Luke, "Jennie Wylie," 219 Burning Spring, 21, 26, 270 Byrne, Peyton Buckner, "The Ashland Tragedy," 228

CCC, 288, 290 CIO, 289-90 Callahan, Ed, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82 Campbell, John C., Folk School, 259, 307 canalization, river, 287 candy pulling, 143-44 "Captain Jinks," 147 Carolina Playmakers, 305-06, 326-27 Carter, Nannie Hamm, "It's Great to Be an American," 239 Casey, Robert J., 322 cat, black, legend of, 189-94 Catlettsburg, Kentucky, 116, 271-72 Caudill, Mrs. Lydia Messer, 250 caverns, 186, 292, 300, 303, 313 Cawood, Mrs. Herbert C., 283 Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 306 Charette, Missouri, 38 Cherokees, 18, 32, 312, 328; legend, 186-89 Chicago Daily News, 322 Child, lost, finding of, 170-72 Christmas, Old and New, 158-61 "Church in the Mountains," by Jessie Stewart, 222 church music, 268 churches, new, 266 cider press, old, 302 Civil War, 47, 55, 72, 231, 310, 313, 316, 328 Civilian Conservation Corps, 288, 290 claims, land, 32 climate, 7, 41 Clinch Valley, 30 coal mining, 250-51 coal mining and miners, yesterday and today, 273-83 "Coal Queen," 283 Cockrell, James, 74-81 Cockrell-Hargis feud 73-88 Collins, Floyd, 303; ballads of, 235, 237 Confederacy, White House, 310 Congress of Industrial Organizations, 289-90 conjuring, 180-85 conservation, 288 Constitution, first American, 29 "convicts," early, 16 corn, grinding of, 112-13 Cornstalk, Chief, 300 corpse, winking, legend of, 203-05 country dances, 148 County Coal Operators' Association, 283 courting and song, 122-34 cow, poisoned, 174-75 Craft, Uncle Chunk, 72-73 Crawford, Bruce, 294-99 Creech, Martha, "Appalachia," 210; "The Robin's Red Breast," 218; "Woman's Way," 226 Crisp, Adam, "Floyd Collins' Fate," 237 crocheting, 120-22 Crockett's Hollow, legend of, 180-85 crops, 112-21 croup, curing, 171 crown, death, 177-78 Crystal Cave, 303 Cudo's Cave, 313 "Cumberland," origin of use of name, 20 Cumberland Falls Park, 302-03 Cumberland Gap and Mountain, 4, 20, 26, 30, 33, 46, 313, 328-29 Cumberland Plateau, 4, 19 Cumberland River, 3, 19 customs, religious, 155-67 Cuttawa country, 17, 19

dancing, 145-50; modern, 264-65; wedding, 153 Darrow, Clarence, 314 Davis, Esther Eugenia, "West Virginia," 214 Davis, Jefferson, 310 Dayton, Tennessee, 314 death, omens of, 177-79 death crown, 177-78 "Death of Mary Fagin, The," by Bob Salyers, 232 Declaration of Abingdon, Virginia, 31-32 Declaration of Independence, 34 deer woman and fawn, legend of, 194-99 Delisle, map, 19 Dillam-Buffum feud, 88-91 dipping snuff, 289 divining rod, use of, 169-72 Dixie Highway, 328 doctor, mountain, ballad of, 223 doctor, wizard, 190 doctors, 173-74, 261 Donegal, Lord, 12 "Downfall of Paris, The," by Coby Preston, 246 drives. See highways Dug Down Mountains, 105, 310 Duke, Effie and Richard, ballad of, 234 Duncannon, Governor, 328 Duquesne, Captain, 36

Eaton, Allen, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands, 306 education. See schools electrification, rural, 263-64 Elizabeth, Queen, 10, 43 Evans, Lewis, map, 19 evolution trial, 314 excise laws, hatred of, 11, 43 explorers, 16

Fagin (Phagan), Mary, ballad of, 232 fairs, state, 284 families, large, 285-86 family honor, 106-11 Farm Security Administration, 284, 285, 286, 287 farming, 112-21, 283-89 "Fate of Effie and Richard Duke, The," by Coby Preston, 234 "Fate of Floyd Collins, The," by Jilson Setters, 235 fauna, 8 feather, white, 178-79 festivals, 325-26 feuds, 45-111; ballad on, 216; vanishing feudist, 248-55. See also family names fighting and singing, 317-27 Flanery, Mrs. Mary Elliott, 262-63 flora, 5-6, 56 "Floyd Collins' Fate," by Adam Crisp, 237 Foley, Ben, 105-11 Foley, Jorde, 105-11 Foley Sods, 105 folk festivals, 325-26 folk lore, and conservation of, 320-27 folk singing, 317-27 Folk Song Festival, 241 Folkways Association, American, 320-27 foot-washing, 161-64, 266, 268-69 Forest Festival, 325 forestry, 288 forests, national, 300, 301 Fort Boone, 39 fortunes and riddles, 135-50 fox hunting, 305 Frank, Leo M., ballad of, 232 Franklin D. Roosevelt Highway, 309 Frazier's Knob, 302 Frontier Nursing School, 261 Fugate, Chester, 74-75 funeralizing, 155-58, 267 furs, 17, 19, 22 Future Farmer Association, 283

games, kissing, 144 Gandy Sinks, 300 Garrett, Aunt Sallie, 55-72 Garrett, William Dyke, 55-72, 201, 202, 295 Gentry, Pol, legend of, 189-94 geography song, 128-29 Georgia Warm Springs, 308-10 Good, Professor E. S., 303 "Good Shepherd of the Hills," 55-72 Great Kanawha River, 37 Great Meadows, and Battle of, 23, 26 Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 292, 312-13 Green River, 19, 303 Greene, General Nathanael, 19 Greenup (Hangtown), Kentucky, 231

Hamm family Eisteddfod, 239 handicrafts, 306-07 Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands, by Allen Eaton, 306 Hangtown (Greenup), Kentucky, 231 Hargis, Beach, and murder of father, 79, 82-87 Hargis, Elbert, 254-55 Hargis, Judge James, and murder by son, 75-87 Hargis-Cockrell feud, 73-88 Harkins, Hugh, 269-70 Harkins, Walter Scott, 269-71 Harlan, Kentucky, 283 Harlan Mining Institute, 283 Hart, "Honest" John, 15 Hart, Nathaniel, 32 Hatfield, "Devil Anse," 46-67, 250; anecdote of, 62-63; conversion and baptism of, 63-67; ghost, 199-202; statue of, 199-202; stories told by, 49-54 Hatfield, Jonse, 251 Hatfield, Levisa Chafin, 46-72; grave, 200 Hatfield, Sid, 320-27 Hatfield, Tennis, 251 Hatfield burying ground, 199-202 Hatfield-McCoy feud, 46-72 Hatfields and McCoys, reunion, 254-55; singing together, 317-27 haunted house, legend of, 205-09 Hedrick, Ray, and his "haunted house," 205-09 Henderson, Archibald, 305 Henderson, Richard, 32, 37 Hennepin, Louis, 18 Henry, Patrick, 30 highways, 291-93, 309, 315, 328, 329 hill people, tribute to, 322-25 "hill-billies," 41-42 Hindman Settlement School, 259 Hodgenville, Kentucky, 304 Holden, West Virginia, 282-83 Holston River, 17, 33 home industry, 117-19, 262, 306-07 honor, family, 107-11 horses, race, 303-04 hospitality, 42 hounds, blessing of the, 305 house with the green gables, legend of, 205-09 hunters and trappers, 17 Huraken and Manuita, legend of, 186-89 Hutchins, Thomas, map, 19, 228 hymns, 66, 67, 70-71, 157-58, 162-63

illiteracy, 40; adult, school for, 260 improvements, modern, 263-64 Indents, 15 independence, spirit of, 286 Indians, 9-10, 13, 15, 17, 18, 21-22, 28, 30, 33, 35; legend, 186-89; picture language, 9-10; ways and customs, 9-10 industry, home, 117-19, 262, 306-07 infantile paralysis, 308-10 infare wedding, 151-54 Ireland, English invasion of, 10-11; oppression of, 11-12 "It's Great to Be an American," by Nannie Hamm Carter, 239

Jack Knife Shop, 307 James I of England, 10 James, Frank, 49, 51-52 Jefferson, Thomas, 293 Jefferson National Forest, 301 "Jennie Wylie," by Luke Burchett, 219 Jett, Curt, 74-81, 88 John C. Campbell Folk School, 259, 307 Jones-Wright feud, 73

Kentucky, art exhibit, 250; beginning of colonization, 32; first white man in, 18; past, commemoration of, 301-02 Kentucky Progress Magazine, 259 Kentucky River, 18, 19, 33, 35 Kentucky Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, 305 Kernersville, North Carolina, 306 killings, 42, 43 kissing games, 144 Koch, "Prof.," 305-06, 326-27

labor, coal-mine, yesterday and today, 273-83 land claims, 32 Land of Saddle-Bags, The, by Dr. James Watt Raine, 16, 34 land-purchase program, 286 land reclamation, 284 Lawton, John and Dessie, story of, 58-59 learning. See schools legends, 180-209, 218 Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, 302 Levisa River. See Louisa River Limestone Path, 9, 328 Lincoln, Abraham, 304 Little Theatre, 305-06 Logan Wildcats, 47, 55 logging and loggers, 5-6, 112-17, 270, 271-72, 288; superstition, 168 London bombing, ballad on, 241 Louisa (Levisa) River, 21, 46 "Love of Rosanna McCoy, The," by Coby Preston, 216 Loyal Land Company, 19-21, 49 lumbering. See logging lynchings, 74, 96-97

Main Island Creek, 250 Mammoth Cave and National Park, 288, 303 Man o' War, 303 Manuita and Huraken, legend of, 186-89 maps, and making of, 18-19, 328 Marcum, James B., 74-81 marriages. See Weddings Martha Berry School, 259, 307-10 Martin-Tolliver feud, 91-104, 203-05; end of, 249 May, A. J., 287 Mays, John Caldwell Calhoun, 273 Mayo (Shawnee) Trail, 301, 317, 322, 328 McCoy, Harmon, 46 McCoy-Hatfield feud, 46-72 McCoys and Hatfields, reunion of, 254-55; singing together, 317-27 McGuffey, Dr. William Holmes, Readers, and shrine, 128, 289, 304 McIntyre, O. O., 267 McNeely, Reverend John, 70 Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Resolutions, 22, 34 medicine, 261 Meeting, Big, 57, 71 meetings, religious, 155 memorials, 267 men, mountain, 269-72 minerals and soil, 8 mining, coal. See Coal Model Star, The, 314 Monongahela National Forest, 300 Monroe, James, 293 Monroe, Lucy, 318 Monticello, Virginia, 293 Moonlight School, 260 "moonshine," 43, 46-111, 248, 255-58; origin of, 11 Morehead, Kentucky, 249-50 Morgan, General John Hunt, 72 Morgan's Riflemen, 34 Mosley, Pleaz, Zooseum, 311 mound builders, 8, 9 Mountain Choir Festival, 326 "Mountain Doctor," by Jilson Setters, 223 Mountain Laurel Festival, 325 "Mountain Preacher," by D. Preston, 221 "Mountain Singers," by Rachel Mack Wilson, 228 "Mountain State" (West Virginia), 294-300 "Mountain Woman," by John W. Preble, Jr., 225 mountaineers, the, 40-45 Mountaineer's Museum, 313 mountains, 4-5 murders, 42, 43 museums, 311, 313 music, and ballads, 43-44; church, 268

Neely, Matthew M., 295, 297 neighborliness, 44-45 Nelson's Riflemen, 34 New Light, 164-67 "Norris Dam," by George A. Barker, 245 North Carolina, settlement, 21-22, 26-29 Nursing School, Frontier, 261

"Oh, Brother, Will You Meet Me!" 157 oil, 270-71 Old Buffalo Path, 9 "Old Time Waterfront," by Coby Preston, 213 omens of death, 177-79 oratory, 155

paleontology, 8 Paris, downfall of, ballad on, 246 Park-to-Park Highway, 291-93 parks, national and state, 288, 291, 292, 302-03, 304, 312-13 parkways. See highways Partlow, Deborah, story of, 60-61 paths. See trails patriotic ballads, 239-47 Pearl, William, 302 Pennsylvania, Proprietors of, 13 people of the Blue Ridge, 10 petroleum, 270-71 Phagan (Fagin), Mary, ballad of, 232 physicians, 261 picture language, Indian, 9-10 Piedmont Plateau, 4 pig, bewitched, 189-94 Pilot Knob, 26 Pinnacle Mountain, 329 pioneers, 10 play-game songs, 145-48 play-making, 305-06 Playmakers' Theatre, 306 poems, mountain, 210-47 Poets' Fair, 326 "Pop Goes the Weasel," 148-50 poteen, 11, 43 Powell Valley, 30 preachers, mountain, 267-69 Preble, John E., Jr., "Mountain Woman," 225 Preston, Coby, "Old Time Waterfront," 213; "The Downfall of Paris," 246; "The Fate of Effie and Richard Duke," 234; "The Love of Rosanna McCoy," 216 Preston, D., "Big Sandy River," 211; "Mountain Preacher," 221 Prestonsburg, Kentucky, 272 Primitive Baptists, Regular, 161-64, 266 products of the soil, 112-21 progress, gains and losses by, 264-69 Proprietors, Pennsylvania, 13 public works, 274-83 purchase, land, program for, 286

quilts, 120-21; poem on, 226 quitrents, 13-14

race horses, 303-04 Raine, Dr. James Watt, The Land of Saddle-Bags, 16, 34 rainfall, 7 Rangers, 21-22, 27 Rayburn, Otto Ernest, 327 reclaiming the wilderness, 248-329 reclamation, soil, 284 "recorder, the," 43 redemptioners, 15 Reffitt, Aunt Lindie, 135-43 reforestation, 288 Refuge, Kentucky Wildlife, 305 Regular Primitive Baptists, 161-64, 266 Regulators, 27, 28 religious customs, 155-67 rent system, 13-14 reptiles, 7 Revolutionary War, 34; battle monument, 300; commemorating, 290 Rhododendron Festival, 326 riddles and fortunes, 135-50 river boats, 272 river improvement, 287 rivers, 3-4 roads, improvement of, 286, 287 Robertson, James, expedition of, 27-29 "Robin's Red Breast, The," by Martha Creech, 218 Robinson, Reverend Felix, 321-22 Rockcastle River, 18 Rockefeller, John D., Jr., 294 Roosevelt, Franklin D., Highway, 309 Roosevelt, Theodore, The Winning of the West, 29 Rowan County, Kentucky, 92, 250-51, 260; art exhibit, 250 "Rowan County Troubles, The," 249 rug-making, 262 rural electrification, 263-64 Russell, Captain William, 29 Russell Cave Road, 303

"Sad London Town," by Jilson Setters, 241 Saint Valentine Day charm, 136-37 salt licks, 8 Saltpeter Cave, 186 Salyers, Bob, "The Death of Mary Fagin," 232 Sand Cave, 303 Schindler, Kurt, 319 schools, 258-62. See also names of schools and colleges Scopes trial, 314 Scotch-Irish, 10-14, 31 Seneca Caverns, 300 "Sergeant York," by Jilson Setters, 243 Setters, Jilson, and his ballads: "Bundles for Britain," 248; "Mountain Doctor," 223; "Sad London Town," 241; "Sergeant York," 243; "The Fate of Floyd Collins," 235 settlers, 10 Sewell, Willie, 73 Shawnee (Mayo) Trail, 9, 301, 317, 322, 328 Shawnees, 18, 19 Shelby, Isaac, 302 Shenandoah Community Workers, 306 Shenandoah National Park, 291, 292 Shenandoah Valley, 4, 13 showboat, 116-17 silver mine, lost, legend of, 186-89 Silver Moon Tavern, 251-55 silver tomahawk, legend of, 186-89 singing and songs, courting, 133-34; folk, 317-27; Gatherings, 317-27; geography song, 128-29; mountain, 210-47; mountain, poem on, 228; play-game, 145-48; school, Philomel Whiffet's, 122-34; societies, 266 Skyline Caverns, 292 Skyline Drive, 291-93, 329 "Skyline Drive," by George A. Barker, 215 Smith, Kate, 260 snakes, 7; use in religious services, and bites, 164-67 Snead, Grady, and his picnic, 321, 326, 327 Snow Bird, legend of, 300 snuff, dipping, 289 soil, and minerals, 8; products of, 112-21; reclamation, 284 Songs. See singing and songs Sorghum Association, 287 sorghum making, 118-19 Spanish-American War, 316 "speakings," 155 Speleological Society, 300 Spring, Burning, 21, 26, 270 Spurlock Station, 272 Stamper, Fred, 317 Stewart, Mrs. Cora Wilson, 260 Stewart, Jessie, "Church in the Mountains," 222 stills. See "moonshine" superstitions, 168-79, 180, 181 surgery, primitive, 173-74 Sweet Potato Festival, 326 Swindle Cave, 186

TVA, 311-12 taffy pulling, 143-44 Talbott Tavern, 304 Taylor, Fiddling Bob, 290 Taylor, Folsom, 321 tenant purchase program, 286 Tennessee, 311-17; first permanent settlement, 26 Tennessee River, 3, 4, 19 Tennessee Valley Authority, 311-12 Theatre, Little, 305-06 Thomas, Reverend James M., 314 timber. See logging Tiptons, the, legend of, 180-85 Tobacco Festival, 325 Tolliver-Martin feud, 91-104, 203-05; end of, 249 tomahawk, silver, legend of, 186-89 topography, 8 tradition, 122-54 trails, 9-10, 17, 19, 20, 26, 33, 39, 273, 328 Traipsing Woman cabin, 322-23 Transylvania, and Company, 32-35, 36-38 trappers and hunters, 17 trees, 5-6; belting, 113. See also lumber turkey refuge, 304-05 "Twa Sisters," 152

Unaka Mountains, 5

Valley of Parks, 302 Valley of Virginia, 17 "Vauxhall Dance," 50 Virginia Apple Blossom Festival, 326 Virginia reel, 148-50 vote, women's, 263

WPA, 289 Walker, Dr. Thomas, expeditions of, 19-21, 46, 49, 270, 301 Warm Springs, Georgia, 308-10 Warrior's Path, 9, 17, 19, 20, 26, 33, 273 Washington, George, 23, 34, 292, 296 Watauga Association, 29, 290 Watauga country, 25; settlement of, 26-29 Watauga River, 32 water-witch, 169-72 watercourses, 7 Weave Shop, 306 weavers, Wilderness Road, 303 weddings, infare, 151-54; on horseback, unlucky, 172-77 Wellford, Clate, 274-83 wells, finding, 169-72 West Virginia, 294-300 "West Virginia," by Esther Eugenia Davis, 214 West Virginia Review, 295 Whiffet, Philomel, singing school, 122-34 whiskey, 11, 43. See also "moonshine" white feather, 178-79 Whittlers, 307 whittling, 259 wilderness, reclaiming, 248-329 Wilderness Road Weavers, 302 Wilderness Trail, 33, 39, 328 Wildlife Refuge, Kentucky, 305 Williamsburg, Virginia, 294 winking corpse, legend of, 203-05 Winning of the West, The, by Theodore Roosevelt, 29 witch, legend of, 189-94 witchcraft, 180-85 wizard doctor, 190 woman, mountain, 262-64, 272; poems on, 225, 226; work, 117-21, 263-64 woman suffrage, 262 "Woman's Way," by Martha Creech, 226 Wood, Colonel Abraham, 17 Woodcrafters and Carvers, 307 Works Progress Administration, 289 works, public, 274-83 World War, 316, 317 Wright, Judge William, 260 Wright-Jones feud, 73 Wylie, Jennie, ballad of, 219

Yadkin River, 4 York, Sergeant Alvin C., 295, 314-16; ballad of, 243; school, 259, 315 York Highway, 315 Yorktown, Virginia, 294 Young, Judge Will, 88 younger generation, the, 264-66

Zimmerman, Dr. C. C., 285 Zooseum, Mosley's, 311


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