Snapshot: "A Boon[e] to Health"

Boone Cola advertisement, featuring a label inspired by a lithograph of the famous frontiersman and his hounds. The soft drink was manufactured in Spencer, Rowan County, North Carolina in the 1940s. Image from AC.500: Appalachian Cultural Museum Records.

Snapshot: Edmonton Mitchell

"Edmonton Mitchell (1803-1919) Mitchell was 112 years old when the photo was taken in 1917. Thomas Jefferson was President when he was born; Woodrow Wilson when he died."

Photograph and description from AC.500: Appalachian Cultural Museum Records within the Lentz, Ralph- W. R. Trivett: Appalachian Pictureman file. For more on the photography of "pictureman" Willie Robie Trivett (1884-1966) take a look at W. R. Trivett: Appalachian Pictureman by Ralph E. Lentz.

"Martha Washington Draft"

The Appalachian Cultural Musem featured a variety of exhibits focused on the eras, events, vocations, and artforms important in understanding the region. One such exhibit featured artifacts related to the evolution of textiles, weaving, and sewing throughout Appalachian history, tracing the production and usage of fabrics from the tools used in the homes of 18th century pioneers to the mechanized sewing machines of the early 20th century. The exhibit's collection of looms also displayed the development of weaving from the from its heyday in the years preceding the Civil War up through the 20th Century. Photographs, text, and research information behind all of the Appalachian Cultural Museum's exhibits, including materials such as weaving drafts and patterns, will be available within AC.500: Appalachian Cultural Museum Records when processing is completed within several weeks.

Image of "Martha Washington Draft," a weaving draft found within AC.500: Appalachian Cultural Museum Records. 

Snapshot: Land of Oz

Images of the Land of Oz theme park once located on Beech Mountain, North Carolina from AC.500: Appalachian Cultural Museum Records. Left: Land of Oz publicity photograph, Right: Original sheet music manuscript of "Did You Come to See the Wizard?" an original composition from the Land of Oz theme park soundtrack.

Shull's Mill Papers

As processing continues on the Appalachian Cultural Museum Records (AC.500), new collections have emerged from within the museum's wealth of historic documents and photographs. One prime example is the recently processed Shull's Mill Papers (AC.621). This collection features information about the family of Phillip Shull who, in 1835, set up a grist mill along the Watauga River. Through documents and photographs the collection follows the history and development of the Shull's Mill community from the early 1800s up until the mid-20th Century. Many of the documents relate directly to the Shull family and cover almost a century and a half of their history. Items of note include deeds from the early 1800s, mid-1800s debt settlements and deeds concerning the ownership of slaves, and photographs of Watauga County, North Carolina landscapes and people circa 1900.

Images from AC.621: Shull's Mill Papers, letter from Shull's genealogy information, circa 1965, group photograph includes from right to left: Jessie Shull, Ben Hardin, Bessie Isaacs, Russel Gragg, Addie Isaacs, Ernest Lineback, seated: Robey Shull, Mamie Shull, and Jim Brown.

Snapshot: North Carolina Foxhunters

Images from AC.500: Appalachian Cultural Museum Records, photographs originally included in an exhibit on foxhunting in North Carolina. Left: "Buster Ford , Blowing Rock, NC," photographed by Nancy Ford, 1996. Right: "Cornell and Blackie."

Appalachian Cultural Museum

Currently on the processing table this week are the Appalachian Cultural Museum Records (AC.500), an unprocessed collection of materials from the files of Appalachian State University's now defunct museum which focused on the mountains of western North Carolina. Until the museum's close in 2006, tourists, school groups, and locals experienced the history of mountain life through exhibits concerned with all things Appalachian- from the tools of early pioneer life to Civil War artifacts to Junior Johnson's NASCAR stock car to items from Beech Mountain's Land of Oz tourist attraction. The museum also hosted programs, rotating exhibits, and special events highlighting the arts, environment, and heritage of Appalachia, including workshops by area artisans, musical performances, lectures by regional authors, a festival of regional toymakers, and the University's holiday celebration, An Appalachian Christmas. The papers now housed within the Appalachian Collection provide information about the museum's daily operation, events planning, public image, and include a trove of audiovisual materials. Updates on the collection will be posted here regularly.  

Photograph: George SerVance Jr., limberjack maker. Image from the Appalachian Cultural Museum Records. For more information about George SerVance Jr. visit the North Carolina Arts Council website: 

C. Howard Dorgan Papers

The Baptist Church often springs to mind as one of the most readily identifiable forms of Christian worship associated with Appalachia. Claude Howard Dorgan (1932-2012), a professor of Communications at Appalachian State University, devoted much time and research to understanding the history and culture surrounding the Baptist faith as practiced by a wide array of denominations including the Old Regular Baptists, Missionary Baptists, Freewill Baptists, and Primitive Baptists. During his research Dorgan recorded ministers and elders preaching, congregations singing, copied the minutes of church meetings, and collected materials significant to the histories of both the Baptist style of worship and individual churches. Churches visited by Dorgan were primarily rural congregations from across the Appalachian region meeting at such places as Ash Camp, Little Martha, Bent Branch, Tivis Chapel, Little River, Mount Union, Upper Mayo, Point Truth, Little Dove, and Shabby Run. Dorgan used this research to construct his works on mountain religion including:  Giving Glory to God in Appalachia (1987), The Old Regular Baptist in Central Appalachia (1989), The Airwaves of Zion (1993), and In the Hands of a Happy God (1997).

AC.116: C. Howard Dorgan Papers include primary sources- from copies of centuries-old church ledgers to recordings of sermons and revivals- that offer windows into the lives of particular congregations as well as provide information on the larger stories of the varied sects of Baptists who worship across the Appalachian region.  


Snapshot: Stanley Hicks and Leonard Glenn

Images (clockwise from top left) :  Stanley Hicks playing banjo on front porch, Leonard Glenn with homemade banjo, Stanley Hicks playing dulcimer with unidentified, Stanley Hicks' personalized mailbox, circa 1986. 

The soon to be completed and available for research AC.510: Dr. William Gilbert Spencer Photograph Collection contains photographs of musicians and artists noted throughout the Appalachian Region. Featured above are Stanley Hicks and Leonard Glenn, both noted musicmakers and luthiers from Watauga County, North Carolina.