People like to name natural features. In Appalachia, place names often stand out because of the wide variety of ethnic groups that have settled the region. Many places, like Cullowhee and Nantahala, retain their Cherokee names. Other places were renamed by European immigrants–for early settlers (Boone), politicians (Asheville), military heroes (Jackson County), biblical places (Mt. Pisgah), or local significance (Bear Wallow, Honey Cove, and Rattlesnake Ridge). Some names exhibit the region’s colorful folklife (Chunky Gal, Frog Level, Holy Butt, and Sweat Heifer). Naming the landscape brings a sense of ownership and also creates a personal relationship with it. Many place names are purely local and informal, existing only in the conversation of neighbors and never found on maps.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Ghost Towns Towns do not survive forever. Western North Carolina has a number of its own lost towns. They disappeared for a number of reasons.
- Hanging Dog The Hanging Dog community in Cherokee County got its colorful name when a Cherokee Indian’s hunting dog barely escaped getting hung up in a mass of jammed logs and vines in a flooded […]
- Judaculla Rock Judaculla Rock, located along Caney Fork Creek in Jackson County, is North Carolina's largest example of a Native American petroglyph, or rock carving. . .
- Grandfather Mountain Over 700 million years ago two gigantic plates within the earth’s crust slammed together. Among the results was the creation of one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountain range, […]
- The Biltmore Estate George Washington Vanderbilt II was born into money. His grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt, amassed a huge railroad and shipping empire. His father, William Henry Vanderbilt, financed the […]