Mountain Feist

A Mountain Feist is a type of small hunting dog.  Like the many others varieties of feists, it is not a specific breed. The ancestral homeland of the Mountain Feist is the Southern Appalachian and Ozark Mountains. These dogs played a vital role in the lives of...

Land Trusts

Some of Appalachia’s most special places are protected through land trusts. These non-profit organizations work with private landowners and other organizations to protect places of significant agricultural, environmental, historic, and recreational value. Land trusts...

Appalachian Trail Through Hikers

The Appalachian Trail extends 2,160 miles from Springer Mountain in North Georgia to Mount Katahdin in northern Maine. “Through Hiker” is the name given to those who hike the entire trail in one season. It may also be used to describe hikers who walk the entire trail...

Cullowhee

Cullowhee is an unincoporated community located in the Tuckaseigee Valley of Jackson County, North Carolina where Cullowhee Creek joins the Tuckaseigee River. Originally a Cherokee town of ancient origins, its name is derived from a Cherokee phrase meaning...

Cornhusk Crafts

  Appalachian people, of Cherokee, European, and African origin, all share a long history of making useful and decorative items from the outer leaves of ears of corn, known as cornhusks, or corn shucks. The husks are soaked, shaped, and then dried into the...

Woolly Worms

Not too many generations ago, before snow plows, central heat, and supermarkets, winters in Appalachia were a much different experience than they are today. Many basic necessities such as mobility, heat, and food were not taken for granted. . .

Bascom Lamar Lunsford

One voice seized me more than the rest. Over a simply picked banjo, the voice sang mournfully about a mole in the ground. Elsewhere, the same voice preached, over that same simple banjo, about dry bones. Like so many folk tunes, these told strange, elliptical stories, dense with images, exploding with emotion.

Horace Kephart

In 1934, the United States Congress officially established what is today the most popular National Park in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a result, over 500,000 acres of scenic. . .

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.

Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual

Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, located on the Cherokee Indian reservation in North Carolina, was founded in 1946. Its goal is to preserve Cherokee arts and crafts, and provide Cherokee people with a means to sell their crafts year-round. Today, Qualla Arts and Crafts...

Cecil Sharp

In 1915 Cecil Sharp, an important collector of traditional English ballads, was informed that many Appalachian singers were singing old English songs …

Appalachian Trail

As undeveloped land shrank in the East, the desire to preserve a wilderness experience intensified. In 1925 a forester, Benton McKaye, organized a conference in Washington, DC, to plan the construction of a footpath that would stretch the length of the Appalachian...

Shape Notes

    Shape notes were invented in the late 18th century to simplify teaching people to sight-read unaccompanied sacred musical scores. They were called shape notes because, instead of drawing all of the music scale’s seven notes with round shapes, each note was...

Railroads in Western North Carolina

Early in the 19th century railroads were being built throughout the expanding United States. Western North Carolina was growing as well. Asheville, a crossroads for agriculture, was also emerging as a magnet for tourists seeking the healing climate, loggers looking to harvest timber, and miners interested in the large deposits of minerals.

Outlaws

Outlaw heroes in the tradition of Robin Hood have been an expression of Appalachian folklore since the pioneer period. Illegal actions to avenge a wrong or defend the honor of family or community have long been celebrated in songs and stories.

Culture

Catamounts

Catamounts

Catamount, short for “cat of the mountain,” is a generic name describing any of a variety of mid- to large-size American wild cats. It is most often used to refer to cougars and lynxes. In Southern Appalachia, “catamount” is used interchangeably with “panther” to...

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Natural Diversity of Linville Falls

The pamphlet, The Natural Diversity of Linville Falls, was published by Eastern National in 2001.  In 2002 it was awarded the National Park Service Cooperating Association's Excellence in Interpretation Award.  The pamphlet was created by Western Carolina University...

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Economy

Cherokee Fishing Weirs

Cherokee Fishing Weirs

  Fishing weirs are obstructions created in aquatic environments in order to trap or guide fish to a desired location. The weirs are usually formed from stone or wood but can be created from soil and other plant materials. Baskets or nets are often placed at the...

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Cullowhee Idea

  In 1885, when Robert Lee Madison arrived in western North Carolina to teach school, he was dismayed by how rudimentary the region’s schools were. A few years later he transferred to nearby Cullowhee. There he became the founding teacher of the academy that over...

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Land

Cullowhee Idea

  In 1885, when Robert Lee Madison arrived in western North Carolina to teach school, he was dismayed by how rudimentary the region’s schools were. A few years later he transferred to nearby Cullowhee. There he became the founding teacher of the academy that over...

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Facejugs

Facejugs

  Face jugs, a form of folk art, are so-called because human faces are shaped on them. Because the faces usually have exaggerated humorous or monstrous expressions, they are sometimes called “ugly jugs” or “devil jugs.” While it is unclear whether their origin...

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People

Carolina Lily

Have you ever seen a Carolina Lily? Did you know it is North Carolina’s official state wildflower? But take care to avoid mistaking it for its larger cousin, the Turk’s Cap lily. The gorgeous Carolina lily grows up to 3 feet tall. Its 3-4” flowers display colors...

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Horses and Mules

  Although horses and mules have been replaced by tractors on most American farms, some farmers in Appalachia still use them, and many more remember having worked them when they were young. Mules--prized for their hardiness--and draft horses were used both for...

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Institutions

Craft Revival

Craft Revival

From the 1880s until World War II, Appalachian crafts were rejuvenated by a cultural revival. It was led by missionaries and social workers who wanted both to preserve Appalachian culture, but also to improve the wellbeing of mountain people. . .

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Butter and Egg Money

Butter and Egg Money

Appalachian farm wives contributed to their family’s income through the butter and egg money they earned by taking their extra eggs and butter to the general store. . .

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