Hey Ya’ll! No secret, I’m a BOURBON LOVER. I drink it straight, on the rocks, mixed in cocktails, and flavored into my food. I enjoy Bourbon, not only for it’s taste, bite and grit, but also for everything BOURBON stands for, and represents in our great state of Kentucky.
That’s why I am super excited to announce that TBSM is headed to The Bourbon Socialthis October, and I’ll be teaming up with them to give away two tickets to the MAIN EVENT!
The Bourbon Social is an eleven day celebration of Bourbon craft and culture. Located in the heart of the Bluegrass, mix in a little Kentucky hospitality and foods we are known for, and you’ve got one helluva party! Guests can choose from 13 events carefully crafted to keep the Bourbon Lover in mind! The Bourbon Social is a place where newcomers and enthusiasts alike come together and celebrate all things KENTUCKY.
The Main Event will host the best of the best in the food industry across the state, as well as the best bourbons that Kentucky has to offer! Guests will travel from room to room nibbling on Kentucky, Bourbon or Southern inspired fare, as well as tastings of American Native Spirit. Live music, signature cocktails, book signings and giveaways, plus the announcement for the 2015 Cocktail Competition! Cash bar is also available!
I am so excited to be taking a part in such a great event! All you Bourbon lovers out there, be sure not to miss this chance to celebrate Kentucky Bourbon culture! It’s going to be a great time!
Be sure to stay tuned for more information about brand releases, the homegrown heroes movement and much more about The Bourbon Social!
If there’s one thing I can’t live without, it’s my crock-pot. Cooking has never been easy for me, and not only because I am impatient and like to skimp on ingredients but because cooking with a three year old and a 15 month old is really, really cringe worthy. Whenever I find a recipe for the slow cooker that requires few ingredients, and even fewer steps, I will take it and run with it.
My favorite food of all time is chicken and dumplins. I mean the actual Grandma-style kind. Now, before I post this I am going to say, this recipe is good, but it is not the same. Are people going to get your dumplins confused with the real deal. No, they will know yours are crock-pot and Grandma’s are Grandma’s. Will this recipe be a quick and easy fix for the times when Circle T isn’t serving Dumplins and Grandma is out town….yes.
What you need:
2-3 Large boneless chicken breasts
1 can of buttermilk biscuits
1/2 TSP Parsley
1/2 TSP Salt
1 TBS Butter or Margarine
2 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Water
1 pinch of celery salt
1 pinch of garlic salt
Pepper to taste
You can also add carrots, celery or peas in. I just added carrots today because, surprise, that’s all I had.
Put your chicken breasts and one can of cream of chicken soup in the crock pot, and cook on high for 4 hours.
After around 3 hours, take a fork and shred the chicken, it should shred pretty easily by then.
Take your second cup of cream of chicken soup, and cup of water and add it to the mix, along with salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic and butter.
Tear apart the canned buttermilk biscuits and toss them into the crock pot. Cook them on high for another hour, breaking them apart occasionally with a wooden spoon.
After the dumplins have plumped up and are cooked, add your seasonings accordingly and serve hot with fried okra, corn break & fresh garden green beans! YUM
If you’re like me, I will not judge you for telling everyone these are the drop kind. I’ve been known to fib a few times and complain about the hours I’ve slaved away on this meal in the kitchen. Our secret!
Okay, so I realize that this mess on my Blue Willow looks kind of gross. Okay, it looks really gross, but DO NOT be deceived. This pile of cheesy deliciousness is an amazing, hearty and filling meal that takes minimal time, ingredients and energy. Plus, whenever fresh garden cabbage is involved, count me in.
I recently bought myself a cook book full of only recipes that were passed around the Eastern Kentucky Coal Camps. So naturally, I want to try them ALL out. Stay tuned for more as a cook my way through!
This casserole was trial number one since my Mother in law just gifted us with a ton of fresh garden veggies right from Caney Creek.
What you’ll need:
Half head of cabbage
Vegetable oil, canola oil, or margarine
1/2 TSP Pepper
1 TSP Salt
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 to 1/2 Lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Bell Pepper
1 (14.5 oz) Can of diced tomatoes
3/4 Cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
In large skillet, cook ground beef, chopped onion and chopped green pepper until browned. Drain off fat.
Stir in tomatoes, salt and garlic powder. You can also add some chilli powder is you want to add some spice.
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Cut cabbage into wedges, or shred it. Cook cabbage in a small amount of boiling, salted water. I like to add white vinegar when i cook cabbage, it gives it some bite.
Cook covered for 10 minutes. Drain well.
In a lightly buttered 9-inch square baking dish, arrange cabbage on the bottom.
Pour ground beef mixture over and around the cabbage wedges.
Bake casserole, uncovered at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese over casserole and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Note: My husband is a HUGE fan of this meal, and he insists that you douse it in Krystal’s hot sauce to add some real kick to it. Me, not so much.
I usually serve this with cornbread and fried taters but considering it’s 100 degrees today, just the main course was enough with a side of toast!
What do I love more than Kentucky? Kentucky themed jewelry, of course! Even better when it’s a handmade, shop small, shop local businesses!
Katie Harris of Lucky Peanut Jewelry on Etsy is serving up some southern fried, Kentucky proud pieces, and I couldn’t be more excited to introduce my readers to them!
This Bourbon Barrel bangle is perfect for the Bourbon Lover (like me) in your life! Adjusts to fit anyone, and super lightweight. It looks beautiful on with other pieces or just by itself.
You can also custom order your own area code bangle! Each is beautifully hand crafted! Of course, I had to show love to the 606.
You would, of course have to order the Kentucky State necklace to match the bangles! This one is a favorite staple piece of mine. I like to layer it with other gold toned necklaces for everyday wear.
No look is complete without this beautiful Kentucky ring. Completely adjustable, I alternate wearing it on my thumb and index finger, and it’s the perfect addition to all your Kentucky proud jewelry! I’ve gotten so many compliments on it since getting it, plus it’s super comfortable (I have a weird thing about rings) and so light I almost forget it’s there.
If you’re in the market for some unique gifts for the Kentuckian in your life, or just for yourself, be sure to head on over to Etsy, and check Kate, and her beautiful little shop, Lucky Peanut Jewelry out! She has a variety of other goodies, not exclusive to “Kentucky” items! Something for everyone!
The Ballad of Old Joe Clark is a famous mountain song, sung mostly during WWI, and later wars by Kentucky soldiers. The ballad itself is about a rough and shiftless mountaineer, Joseph Clark, born and bred in the Sexton’s Creek area of Clay County, whose homestead still stands today. He is an elusive, and controversial character, who was as mysterious, as he was wild. An outlaw, a moonshiner, womanizer, pioneer on the government controlled whiskey frontier, as well as a proud farmer, and solider.
Joe Clark was born September 18, 1839, to a farmer whose roots in Clay County ran deep. He was married in 1857, to Elizabeth Sandlin, who was then only fifteen years old.
At the age of 22, with three kids and a wife to support, Civil War broke out in the United States, and Clark was among the first to enlist. He served in Colonel TT Gerarrd’s 7th Kentucky Infantry and fought at the Battle of Wildcat, the first major battle in Kentucky in the fall of 1861. Clark, however, did not last long in the army, after becoming ill he was honorably discharged in 1862 and returned to Sexton’s Creek to resume his life as a farmer.
In 1868, he purchased 700 of acres of land from his father, believed to of been in the Clark family for generations. He established a two story log cabin, and a store on the grounds. It was during the period of his life, that Clark began to earn a bad reputation. His wife left him, and he was known to keep company with many different nefarious characters, and also he lived with several different women, producing many children.
Clark, in his day, ran one of the first government supervised stills, where he peddled brandy, moonshine and whiskey. According to oral accounts passed down, Clark would load up an ox cart with whiskey and take it to the round bottoms to sell, with a Spencer rifle laid across his lap. He was, by all accounts, a wild character, losing an arm in a knife fight, and later repaying the favor by taking the arm of his neighbor.
As I said Joe was a bit of a wild man and his friends, taking note of his wild and crazy exploits started making rhymes out of them. There was a popular break down tune at the time that they chose to put those rhymes to and then was born “The Ballad of Old Joe Clark”. It is said at first Joe was amused with it at first but then his friends starting embellishing some of his exploits, or did they? He sure didn’t do anything to help them write better lyrics about him.
In 1886, Joe Clark was shot and killed on the back porch of his home. Legend has it, one of the women he lived with, planned with her boyfriend to kill Clark and claim he had bequeathed his homestead to her. After Clark was shot, two men from Clay County sought out the boyfriend and shot him, his debt came due.
I’m the Granddaughter of a late tobacco farmer named Edward Grubb, from Sexton’s Creek Kentucky. My Dad’s family farm is only a mile away from the Clark homestead, and I recall driving past the two story cabin many times in my life.
Clay county has always held a certain fascination for me, due in part to the many weekends I frequented the area. It is rumored, (although I’ve never been able to prove) that my family (Hunters or Grubb, I can’t remember which) are the descendents of Clark himself, probably in part because Old Joe had a gaggle of kids, and lived with many, many different women.
I first remember driving by the magnificent two story cabin when I was very young.This was before the Weavers restored the place, and it was eerie, untouched, and in true 1800’s form. I was always begging my Dad to take me down to the bottom so I could just peek inside the windows. From the looks of the homestead, it hadn’t been touched for many, many years. The well was still in the front yard, the front porch, though dilapidated had a certain scary vibe, and I was DYING to meet a ghost at the front door.
When I was around 15, myself and a bunch of friends were at the farm, took off on four wheelers and crept down to the old place, which then, was basically like it was when Joe died. We looked in the windows and tried to get into the crawlspace, only to be met with a few gun shots and someone telling us to get the hell off his property. I understand it, we were trespassing, but ever since, I’ve been determined to somehow go inside.
I got my wish, after the Weaver family completely restored the cabin, the owner took my Dad and myself inside for the grand tour around 5 or 6 years ago.Everything was true to era. Corn stalk mattresses, 19th century tools, and cookware. Jugs of moonshine. Home made decorations. I’m told the cabin isn’t up for viewing all the time, but if you let the family know, they are more than happy to take folks inside. It was truly beautiful, and such an asset to the Sexton’s Creek area and to Clay county itself, and a great testament to such a unique character, and time in Appalachian history.
Clark is rumored to be buried in the Clark cemetery, overlooking the 700 acres of land that was in the Clark family for generations.
Ballad of OLD JOE CLARK
Old Joe Clark, the preacher’s son
Preached all over the plain
The only text he ever knew
Was high low jack and the game
Old Joe Clark had a yellow cat
She would neither sing nor pray
Stuck her head in a buttermilk jar
And washed her sins away
Old Joe Clark had a house
Fifteen stories high
And every story in that house
Was filled with chicken pie
I went down to Old Joe’s house
He invited me to supper
I stumped my toe on the table leg
And stove my nose in the butter
Wished I had a sweetheart
Put her on the shelf
And every time she’d smile at me
I’d get up there myself
Old Joe Clark’s no friend of mine
Treats me like a pup;
Kicks my houn’ dog under the porch
An’ drinks my booze all up.
Old Joe Clark came to my house
Scared my little pup
Broke up all my chairs and stuff
And drunk my liquor up
Old Joe Clark he had a mule
His name was Morgan Brown
And every tooth in that mule’s head
Was sixteen inches round
Old Joe Clark was married
His wife was ten feet tall
And when her head was in the bed
Her feet were in the hall
I went down to Old Joe Clark’s
Old Joe wasn’t home
I ate all Joe’s meat and bread
And I gave his dog a bone
I went down to see my gal
She met me at the door
Shoes and stockings in her hand
And her bare feet on the floor
Raccoon has a bushy tail
‘Possum’s tail is bare
Rabbit has no tail at all
‘Cept a bunch of hair
Sixteen horses in my team
The leaders they are blind
And every time the sun goes down
There’s a pretty girl on my mind
Eighteen miles of mountain road
And fifteen miles of sand
If ever travel this road again
I’ll be a married man
Well, I wouldn’t marry that old maid,
I’ll tell you the reason why,
Her neck’s so long and stringy, boys,
I fear she’d never die.
And I wouldn’t marry an old school-teacher,
Tell you the reason why,
She blows her nose in old corn bread,
And calls it pumpkin pie.
There is more than one chorus. Choose the one you like or use ‘em all.
Chorus: Fare thee well, Old Joe Clark
Fare the well I say.
He’d foller me a thousand miles
Just to hear my fiddle play. (banjo, guitar, harmonica, whatever)
Fare thee well, Old Joe Clark
Goodbye, Betsy Brown
Fare thee well, Old Joe Clark
I’m goin’ to leave this town
Round and round, Old Joe Clark
Round and round I say.
Round and Round Old Joe Clark
I’m a goin’ away.
For more information about Clay County attractions and tourism visit:
Early life in Appalachia was both difficult and wrought with many perils. Some of these perils were very real. Mountainous, vapid land. Wildlife. Neighboring mountaineers. However, some perils known to the early Appalachian settlers were of their own creation, but none the less as real and dangerous to them as the black bear or any band of looters.
Much of life on the frontier in those days had superstitious overtones, and countless commonplace occurrences were carefully studied for meaning.The new mountaineer had brought with him from the Old World, many superstitions, and these were augmented by additions from Africa, on the plantations, and stone age legends acquired from squaw mothers and wives of the Native American tribes who had long settled the area.
In the stillness of the vast, and lonely Forrest, many of these legends were called upon to give explanations for the mysteries, and consolations for the miseries of living in the wild, untamed and formidable land that would become known as Appalachia….
Witchcraft was a well know and much believed superstition. Many believed that any misfortunes they suffered would be at the hands of a spell, cast by a real life witch. The four legged, straight backed, cane bottomed chair was said to have a singular role in a Witch’s nefarious activity.
It is said that the Witch would only have to tilt the chair on one leg, and spin around to make the “devil come a’ runnin.”
The saying, seven years of bad luck was one such legend originating from Appalachian folk tales. The mirror possessed great meaning and potency. Mirrors were arranged, in those days, in room so that the person in bed could not see their own reflection.
It was thought that to see yourself in the mirror before rising would be to risk terrible luck and ill will until the next winter’s snowfall.
The owl was thought to be in service of the devil, and was looked upon as an evil symbol. Many people thought he was a spy for the evil one.
Many people would shoot owls, but the general consensus on them seemed to be it was best not to disturb or offend them. If he flew off to the left of a cabin door, bad luck was in store. If the owl flew directly over the house, death was coming soon to one of it’s occupants. If the owl flew to the right, the house was spared and a run of good luck was sure to come.
Spider webs were thought to be spun by creatures friendly to the righteous. If someone woke up to spiderweb across their door, it was a sign that one should not cross the threshold.
Babies Born on Certain Days
It is said that this legend is a mix of old world tales, and native American musings, but children born on specific dates were willed to have certain powers. Children born on the birthdays of their father’s, or on Jan 6 (old Christmas) were rumored to be able to speak with animals.
Occult Personalities & Presences
The early mountaineer believed in spirits, ghosts and banshees, and their associations with Native American tribes only strengthened their beliefs. These ghosts roamed forest trails, knocked on cabin doors at night, and wandered down country roads, the living dead looking only to torment the living.
Many frontiersman encountered these spirits, and countless “hainted” places can still be pointed out today by their descendants.
The devil was thought to be of real person, able to take form and wander the valleys and hill, with eyes red as coals and large as saucers. He could be heard at night, passing by the door of a cabin, accompanied by the blood curdling clank of chains which he carried for his victims…
The moon has always been believed, not just in Appalachia but many parts of the world, to have supernatural influence over the lives of humans. The phases of the moon were carefully noted in Appalachia, and crops were to be planted accordingly, babies were expected during certain times, and weather was predicted by their signs.
Cult followings were common for people who were supposedly gifted with supernatural powers. Sometimes a 7th son was said to be able to heal sick people. A woman who had seven children was able to cure the thrash by blowing into someone’s mouth. A gifted person was likely said to be able to banish evil spirits by exiling them into a plant, animal, or seed.
Since Doctors and medicine were not yet introduced to the Appalachians, the people relied on a number of quick fixes, Indian legends, and witch doctoring to cure them of any maladies.
A buckeye carried in the pocket of those with rheumatism would cure them of aches.
If a person had a painful sore which refused to heal, they were to squeeze a drop of their blood onto a bean.
It was believed that steel could ward off pain, and when a woman gave birth, her husband would place an ac under the bed to “cut the pain in two” .
Birthmarks could be cured, and banished by rubbing them with the cold dead hands….of a corpse.
Other Sayings that are SCARY AS HELL
Wind Chimes summon the dead
A ghost will beat on the walls of house when someone inside is about to pass.
A bird hitting your window, or flying in your house is a sure fire sign you are about to die.
If you walk on someone’s grave, their ghost will haunt you.
If you let birds gather your hair for their nest, you’ll soon lose your mind.
If you rock an empty cradle, you will lose your baby.
If your ears are ringing, you’re hearing the death bell and someone you love is dying.
If rain falls into an open grave, the deceased is bound for hell.
So, the next time you see an owl, take care to note his flight pattern. If someone knocks on your door, pray it isn’t a ghost, and run the other way if a bird flies into your house. I hope you all enjoyed these sayings, and legends as much and I enjoyed researching them.
Note: Some excerpts of this blog were taken from Harry M. Caudill’s book “Night Comes to the Cumberlands”.
Other sources include the American Book of Folklore, and of course, here-say from my very superstitious Grandparents.
The East Kentucky Blog Society has officially and formally met, and man, was it fun. There is something special about being in the company of such beautiful, and intelligent women who are all about empowering one another, sharing mutual interests, and working toward a common goal.
Erin Joseph hosted us at her beautiful home in downtown Hazard, displaying her fine china, cut glass decanters, crystal stemware, fresh flower center pieces, and lace tablecloths. The brunch was as elegant as it was fun. The spread of food was fresh, light, and perfect for a day filled with peach mimosas, and fruity cocktails.
I enjoyed sitting down and chatting with other ladies who blog, often times many people (especially in my hometown) do not understand blogging, why we do it, or what we get out of it. It was truly refreshing to bounce back and forth some ideas for collaborations and shoot the breeze with those who know and understand what I am talking about.
Not to mention Natasha Raichel took some extremely beautiful pictures of the day. She is amazing, and so young level headed, and hardworking. I was certainly proud to have her with us. She does some amazing work.
I am so proud to be included in this group. Look for more from us, we will be doing some BIG things. Promise.
The girls from East Kentucky Blog Society Include:
I’ve been a stay at home Mother to two sons for going on four years now. While it’s the most important job I have ever had, or will ever have, it’s also the hardest and most challenging, both mentally, physically and emotionally.
I have found that to get through it, it’s best to indulge in a little humor and laugh at the mess, and enjoy the chaos that is raising children….
That being said, there is an unspoken plethora of things, bribes, actions and tactics that Moms cling to, in the hopes of having a dignified and civilized household. These “unmentionables” are the last resort of desperate women to regain control over the tiny dictators who now own them, body and soul.
Trust me, it gets real.
SPOILER ALERT: This article is meant to be light-hearted and humorous, so if you can’t take a joke, go ahead and exit on out of this one.
1: There really is a 5 Second Rule
You spent all evening preparing that lovely meal for your beautiful family, and right when you are FINALLY sitting down to eat, your toddler plunges his plate from the high chair to floor. The hours you just spent Clorox-ing your kitchen tile just went up in smoke, and unless it’s something UN-salvageable, I’m going to scrape it up, blow it off and say “5 second rule” or “god made dirt”! Eat up.
2: Bribing with Candy, Gifts or Television is essential.
With the promise of a celebratory gulp of Mountain Dew, or a piece of reward candy, my toddler will fold clothes, clean up his room, be nice to his brother and help me do dishes. I know there are child labor laws, but I just call this smart, and advantageous parenting.
3: Washing yourself in any form (bath or shower) takes complete planning and mastery.
There are a few approaches to taking a bath or shower alone. You can plan your bath around nap-time. (I would not recommend.) You could get up extra early and do it before they awake. (Too much trouble, and did I mention how tired I constantly am?) Or you could do the real zinger and load up the bathroom with toys and lock the door and make them sit there and scream whilst you attempt to efficiently shampoo your hair.
4: See #3, only replace “washing yourself” with “using the bathroom”.
Seriously, tell me the last time you peed in peace….
5: Baby wipes are your go to form of cleaning….anything.
There is a reason why I keep a pack of baby wipes in every room, and even in my car. Kids are gross, or at least mine are. They spill stuff, they puke a lot, and if they are like my 15 month old, they are privy to pulling off their diaper and taking a big poop right in the middle of the living floor. You need baby wipes. Trust me. They are a necessity.
6: Most of your clothing has poop or puke on it, and it’s not yours.
I really do mean literal shit. And vomit. Snot. Any bodily fluid you can think of will eventually end up on your clothing. My stuff is stained, (nobody tells you that Enfamil AR will stain like the cheapest nastiest wine) and my prized pieces have been washed so many times they are falling apart.
7: No smell or gastrointestinal issue on the planet can disturb you now.
Nothing says I love you like plunging your thumb in a poopy diaper and not even so much as mustering a gag. Yep, you’ve seen and, more than likely, cleaned your fair share of goop and grime, but it’s okay, you do so with a stomach ( and gag reflex) of steel.
8: Screaming children are the background music of your life.
You don’t even need earplugs anymore, it’s just a normal part of everyday life. Kids screaming, running amok and wreaking havoc on your entire world. And you love them so much you put up with it.
9: The only true means of fully asserting your force is meaningfully pronouncing a toddler’s first, middle and last name.
The only way my kids ever take me serious is when I say their first, middle and last names in such a way that it strikes absolute fear in their tiny beating hearts and causes them to stop whatever shenanigans they are planning. It’s called a bluff and thank god they are still young enough to think I am serious enough to discipline them heavily, or else I would be up sh**creek.
10: You are used to the unabashed and brutal truth.
They say that no one tells the truth except drunk people, and toddlers. Well, that’s about spot on. Kids do not care to tell you if you’re fat, if your clothes are ugly and if you’re being stupid. Seriously, my toddler has told me “Mommy, you’re being dumb.” Not to mention the time he got me in a Boutique dressing room and berated me with a brutally honest commentary of my backside.
So go ahead moms, jump on the band wagon and admit motherhood has plunged your etiquette and standards through your own cultural floorboards. If you happen to be reading this with someone over your shoulder, you have my permission to scoff, turn your nose up, and deny, deny, deny. However, the next time you swivel your head around to look for witnesses, before you toss that organic cookie back on your kid’s tray (that was just on the ground), remember these words and just let the feeling of hypocrisy sink on in.
This summer, I have really gotten into Appalachian history, as well as Appalachian based authors. I’ve managed to put a list together of just a few of my favorite “Appalchia” based works.
Two of these are children’s books by one of my favorite authors, Cynthia Rylant. They are essential to the boys’ library, and both are two of their favorite bedtime reads, especially When I was Young in the Mountains….
Be sure to browse through these! You may click on the image, which is already linked to Amazon to purchase any you are interested in reading on the Kindle, or to actually purchase the books themselves!
1: Weed Monkey by Lisa Proulx
This book is not for the faint of heart. This memoir explores prostitution, discrimination, hardships, poverty and the coal camps of West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky during the Great Depression. Be sure to buy tissues, it’s a tearjerker.
2:Blood Feud by Lisa Alther
Lisa Alther tells the tale with surprising humor and insight into one of the most famous and bloodiest inter family wars in history. Not to mention, the love story between Johnse Hatfield and Roseanne McCoy is straight from a Shakespearean novel.
3: Night Comes to the Cumberlands by Harry M. Caudill
Harry M. Caudill examines the history, stereotypes and future of coal country in this dramatic, and at times, painful novel. I enjoyed reading it, but beware, Caudill isn’t much for coal.
4: When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant
One of my favorite children’s books. Rylant writes about her favorite experiences growing up in Appalchia, including swimming in the swimming hole, eating fried okra, and watching baptisms at the one room school/church house.
5: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
Rylant recalls hilarious and heartwarming remembrances of her relatives coming to stay the summer from Virginia. So much hugging, and breathing, and cooking.
6: Appalachia: A History by John Alexander Williams
A detailed history of Appalachian land and it’s people.
7: South From Hell-Fer-Sartin: Kentucky Mountain Folk Tales by Leonard W. Roberts
Any lover of the vanishing art of tale telling will relish this rich treasury of folklore and humor. Full notes on sources, types, motifs, parallels, and possible origins of the tales make this collection valuable also for folklorists.
8: Images of America: Hazard Perry County by Martha Hall Quigley
Hazard and Bobby Davis Museum’s own Marth Quigley penns this book about Hazard and Perry County. This work traces the area’s development from an isolated mountain village to a center of Eastern Kentucky commerce and culture. Recorded in these images are the devastating floods that often threatened the community, as well as the building of the railroad that brought in everything from automobiles and telephones to Sears and Roebuck prefabricated homes. Aerial shots from the 1940s and 1950s are also included, and accompanying captions document the names and places familiar to oldtimers and intriguing to newcomers in Hazard, Perry County.
9: Kentucky’s Famous Feuds and Tragedies Authentic History of the World Renowned Vendettas of the Dark and Bloody Ground by Chas G. Muzember
This book presents accounts of four of Kentucky’s most infamous feuds, (1) The Hatfield-McCoy Feud, (2) The Tolliver-Martin-Logan Vendetta (also known as the Rowan County War), (3) The French-Eversole War, and (4) The Hargis-Marcum-Cockrill-Callahan Feud in Bloody Breathitt County.
10: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, a Confederate soldier named Inman decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge mountains to Ada, the woman he loves. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign.
11: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
An epic love story, this book weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia.
12: Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
Ivy Rowe, Virginia mountain girl, then wife, mother, and finally “Mawmaw,” never strays far from her home-but the letters she writes take her across the country and over the ocean. Writing “to hold onto what’s passing,” she tells stories that are rich with the life of Appalachia in words that are colloquial, often misspelled, but always beautiful.
13: River of Earth by James Still
First published in 1940, James Still’s masterful novel has become a classic. It is the story, seen through the eyes of a boy, of three years in the life of his family and their kin. He sees his parents pulled between the meager farm with its sense of independence and the mining camp with its uncertain promise of material prosperity. In his world privation, violence, and death are part of everyday life, accepted and endured.
14: One Foot in Eden-Ron Rash
Will Alexander is the sheriff in a small town in southern Appalachia, and he knows that the local thug Holland Winchester has been murdered. The only thing is the sheriff can find neither the body nor someone to attest to the killing.
15: The Thread that Runs so True by Jesse Stuart
First published in 1949, Jesse Stuart’s now classic personal account of his twenty years of teaching in the mountain region of Kentucky has enchanted and inspired generations of students and teachers. I love this book, and I am always reminded of my Grandpa when I read it, who first began teaching in Pigeon Roost in a one room schoolhouse, and was an educator in Eastern Kentucky for 30 + years.
Every summer, I like to set aside a list of things that I want to do for myself, or that I want to do for my kids. After some pretty extensive searching, I’ve come up with a collection of a few things that I’ve either already done, or am planning to do this summer. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for a “Kentucky” road trip, or maybe even a mini-vacation right here in the Bluegrass State.
1: Kingdom Come State Park & Little Shepherds Trail
2: Loretta Lynn’s Birthplace, Van Lear
3: Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate
4: Visit the Hatfield-McCoy Feud Sites, Pikeville
5: Holly Rood Mansion, Winchester
6: “Mayo Mansion” in Paintsville
7: The Mary Todd Lincoln Home in Lexington KY
8: Old Talbott Tavern, Bardstown
9: Belle of Louisville
10: Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, Bardstown