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...

Annie Lee Bryson, 2010

Heritage awards presented at festival Western Carolina University presented its 2010 Mountain Heritage Awards on Saturday (Sept. 25) to the late Annie Lee Bryson, a Cullowhee craftswoman who was known as the “Corn Shuck Doll Lady,” and to Asheville’s summertime...

Daisy Zachary McGuire-Dentistry

This project will explore the history of dentistry in Jackson County from the 1860’s to present day dentistry in Jackson County.

Buncombe Turnpike

To truly appreciate the value and impact of western North Carolina’s historic Buncombe Turnpike it is useful to have a basic geographic understanding of the region it served. Today’s Buncombe County looks much different than it did over two hundred years ago when it...

Lloyd Arneach, 2011

Storyteller, Stecoah Center Receive Heritage Awards September 24, 2011 Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher presented 2011 Mountain Heritage Awards on Saturday (Sept. 24) to well-known Cherokee storyteller Lloyd Arneach as part of activities at the...

Penland School of Crafts, 1985

Penland School of Craft Honored By WCU John Parris Asheville Citizens Times 9/29/85   CULLOWHEE - Western Carolina University’s 1985 Mountain Heritage Award went Saturday to the Penland School of Crafts, a mountain institution founded by a mountain woman for mountain...

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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