Appalachian Thursday – Westsylvania

I’ve shared before about how West Virginia came to be a state in a pretty unusual way. Basically, some mountaineers west of the Allegheny Mountains vacated all the state (of Virginia’s) offices and filled them with their own elected officials. President Abraham Lincoln went along with it and West Virginia became the only state formedContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Westsylvania”

Appalachian Thursday – A dog named Lant

I’m a dog lover. And I enjoy researching family history. Imagine my delight in finding the two passions intersecting! I’m descended from David Phillips who first purchased the property we now own in West Virginia back in 1833. In reading up on the family, I found a story about David’s brother, Elijah Phillips, and aContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – A dog named Lant”

Appalachian Thursday – Ghostly Testimony

More than 120 years ago, in July 1897, Edward Shue was convicted of murdering his wife Zona “Elva” Heaster Shue–thanks to HER testimony. The story out of Greenbrier County, WV, actually rates a state historic marker. And it goes something like this: On January 23, 1897, Elva Shue was found dead–either at the foot ofContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Ghostly Testimony”

Appalachian Thursday – Coffin Quilts

I love it when I discover something wonderfully Appalachian that I didn’t know about! I was researching Appalachian funeral traditions for my 2021 story (oops, I think I just gave away that someone dies–well, several someone’s actually!). I knew about cooling boards, sitting up with the dead, hand-digging graves, silver dollars on the eyes (penniesContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Coffin Quilts”

Appalachian Thursday – 187 Years of History

When my husband and I took on the family farm in West Virginia, a big part of the reason was to preserve family history. Turns out I’m pretty sentimental and I’m fascinated with history–especially my own. I’ve known for years that my brothers and I are the seventh generation to live on that particular parcelContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – 187 Years of History”

Appalachian Thursday – Tyree Tavern

I love digging into random bits of history about my home state. Sometimes, when I’m traveling through on my way to or from the farm, I take side roads and just see what turns up. Like the Tyree Tavern aka Halfway House in Ansted, WV. It’s an old stagecoach inn that was built around 1810.Continue reading “Appalachian Thursday – Tyree Tavern”

40 Days and Nights

Did you know quarantine comes form the Italian, quarantina, meaning 40 days? Having just concluded the 40 days of Lent by celebrating Easter, that number seems particularly significant. And it is–there are quite a few Biblical 40s: After Noah shut up the ark, it rained for 40 days and nights. Moses led the Israelites throughContinue reading “40 Days and Nights”

Appalachian Thursday – WV Schools for the Deaf & Blind

When I decided to write a story about a deaf boy who discovers a dead body (The Right Kind of Fool–Nov. 3, 2020), I knew I wanted him to know sign language. But how would a 13-year-old boy in West Virginia learn sign language? Just a little research solved the problem! The creation of theContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – WV Schools for the Deaf & Blind”

Appalachian Thursday – the care and feeding of elk

When we visit the farm in West Virginia we ALWAYS see deer. Lots of deer. But elk? Well, there are some at the Wildlife Center we drive past on our way in. And yes, I did try to trick my husband by pointing one out the first time we drove by as if seeing elkContinue reading “Appalachian Thursday – the care and feeding of elk”