Junior Johnson

Junior Johnson

Essay by Timothy N. Osment History, M.A. WCU 2008 Back in the 1930s and 1940s, when moonshining was a means of survival in the mountains of Western North Carolina, a young man emerged who would go on to become one of NASCAR’s founding fathers. Like many Scotch-Irish...
Sanitariums

Sanitariums

For several years during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the United States. Consequently, a wide variety of treatments emerged claiming to sooth. . .

Penland School of Crafts

Penland School of Crafts

The widespread poverty that the Great Depression brought to Appalachia led to the founding of one of the area’s most valuable treasures: the Penland School of Crafts. Nestled deep in the hills of western North Carolina’s Mitchell County is the small community of Penland. . .

John C. Campbell

In a time of turbulent change in Appalachia, John C. Campbell helped define America’s understanding of this great mountain region. Campbell was born in Indiana in 1867 and studied theology at Union Theological Seminary.

Mountain Heritage Center

The Mountain Heritage Center was created by Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, in 1975. Combining a museum with a research center, it preserves the history and culture of western North Carolina in a time of rapid change.

Wilma Dykeman

Wilma Dykeman

Wilma Dykeman of Asheville, North Carolina, was a major Appalachian author. Her novels “The Tall Woman,” “The Far Family,” and “Return the Innocent Earth” vividly evoke life in the region as it experienced rapid change between the Civil War and the 20th century.