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Christine Lajewski posted a blog post

Suitcase Charlie: A Recommended Crime Thriller

     John Guzlowski is a writer and poet whose parents were forced laborers in Poland during WW II. He was born in a refugee camp before he came with his family to live in the Polish neighborhoods of Chicago. Already a highly regarded poet, he turned his childhood memories (including some gruesome child murders) into a novel titled SUITCASE CHARLIE.    Two war-weary Chicago detectives investigate a series of horrifying child murders. Before the crimes are solved, the reader follows the…See More
3 hours ago
William Roy Pipes posted a discussion

Mammy, A Term of Endearment

I read Rob Neufield's article Visit OUR PAST in today's Asheville Citizen-Times.It was a super article, but caused me to want to share my novel:  Mammy: A Term of Endearment.Mammy: A Term of Endearment. is now available as an ebook on Kindle, but the publisher, Ecanus Publishing, Great Britain tells me the paperback edition will be out soon (2 to 3 weeks).The novel is fiction but came from my father who was born in 1895. Due to his mother's sickness Grandpa hired her to be a Mammy to my father,…See More
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City Lights Bookstore posted events
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City Lights Bookstore posted events
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Shannon Quinn-Tucker posted an event
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Writers on the Rock at Chimney Rock, NC

June 28, 2015 from 1pm to 4pm
The culture and heritage of Appalachia is an experience like no other, and it serves as the perfect backdrop for a variety of storytelling. View the soaring cliffs and stunning valleys of Chimney Rock and the Hickory Nut Gorge as you get to know your favorite author and meet new ones. Join Ann B. Ross, Tommy Hays, Sheri Castle, Evan Williams and more as they share their experiences and autograph copies of their books. A selection of titles by each author will be available for sale. See…See More
Jun 8
Lockie Hunter updated an event
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West End Prose and Poetry reading series: June at West End Bakery

June 13, 2015 from 7pm to 9pm
The West End Bakery & Café will host the final event for the 2015 Spring Poetry and Prose Reading Series on Saturday, June 13th at 7:00 pm. The June event will feature an excellent cast of local writers including David Novak, Katherine (Bonnie) Soniat, Luke Hankins and our very own hostess and curator Lockie Hunter.Past readings included a special holiday performance by Allan Wolf as well as local writers such as Susan Reinhardt, Tommy Hays, Tom Chalmers, Matthew Olzmann, Alli Marshall,…See More
Jun 8
Lockie Hunter posted an event
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West End Prose and Poetry reading series: June at West End Bakery

June 13, 2015 from 7pm to 9pm
The West End Bakery & Café will host the final event for the 2015 Spring Poetry and Prose Reading Series on Saturday, June 13th at 7:00 pm. The June event will feature an excellent cast of local writers including David Novak, Katherine (Bonnie) Soniat, Luke Hankins and our very own hostess and curator Lockie Hunter.Past readings included a special holiday performance by Allan Wolf as well as local writers such as Susan Reinhardt, Tommy Hays, Tom Chalmers, Matthew Olzmann, Alli Marshall,…See More
Jun 4
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri--and book discussions

How Lahiri’s “The Lowland” excites discussionby Rob Neufeld             When an American woman in Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, “The Lowland,” realizes how she has, in her mind, objectified a certain childhood horror, she flashes to her Calcutta grandma, who “used to spend her days overlooking a lowland, a pair of…See More
Jun 2
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Tina Barr posted a blog post

Sharing Information

Iris Press just released a new book of my poems, Kaleidoscope!  These are poems written over the last 10 years, set in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina---!See More
Jun 2
Christine Lajewski posted a blog post

Hiking the Landscape of JHATOR

I just posted a new blog entry describing the real places frequented by my characters--human and animal--in my novel. Most of the action in JHATOR takes place in these beautiful natural spaces that are protected throughout southeastern Massachusetts. Whether you have read my book or not, I hope you will visit them if you are traveling through the area.You can read "Hiking the Landscape of JHATOR" as well as excerpts from my novel, at Christine-lajewski.squarespace.comSee More
Jun 1
City Lights Bookstore posted an event
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Kathryn Byer & Richard Krawiec Joint Poetry Reading at City Lights Bookstore

June 14, 2015 from 1pm to 2:30pm
Former North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Byer and Richard Krawiec will be reading from their new collections of poetry on Sunday, June 14th at 1 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore. Kathryn’s new chapbook from Jacar Press, The Vishnu Bird, is both a memorial and memoir in lyric poetry. This clean-spoken, deeply-felt chapbook remembers the poet’s dear friend by tracing his vocation of anthropology, and honoring his spiritual depth through vignettes from the speaker’s own past. Richard Krawiec will…See More
May 30
Glenda Council Beall posted an event
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Steven Harvey at Writers Circle at Writers Circlle around the Table

June 27, 2015 from 10am to 1pm
Writing workshop with Steve Harvey, retired professor at YHC and on faculty for Ashland University MFA.See More
May 30
Ron Cooper replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash
"Terrific review and interview, Rob. Glad to see that Ron had full control over this collection. All of his work deserves to be read and re-read."
May 28
Kathryn Stripling Byer updated their profile
May 28

A rosette and a mountaintop recall a Civil War murder

by Rob Neufeld

See video.

 

Trip to the site

 

            The road to Noland Gap in Haywood County ascends 800 feet in a mile and a half, leading to a crest where Ultima Junaluska Development of Atlanta has recently constructed the subdivision, Avalon at Junaluska Highlands. 

            Here, the realtors’ website entices, you can experience “what ‘sitting on top of the world’ really means.”

            The landscape has changed.  Now, at the entrance to the new community, Signature Row Boulevard forks from Valhalla Cove to travel via the greenery of Tapestry Trail to Sleepy Hollow Drive, formerly connected only by a ridge along Utah Mountain.

Same place, generations ago

            In 1860, sitting on top of this world meant the families there could live and farm in peace, and, according to family lore, turn corn into liquor, which historically involved evading taxes imposed much more heavily on whiskey than on wine.

            That year saw the completion of the Cataloochee Turnpike, built by Jonathan Valley farmers to move livestock from East Tennessee and the Cataloochee area to eastern markets.

            The turnpike, Hattie Caldwell Davis notes in her book, “Cataloochee Valley,” was completed “just in time to be used by Teague’s Scouts” during the Civil War.

            “Captain Albert Teague of the Home Guards and his Scouts had been active in raids on the Union sympathizers, especially in the Big Bend section…where it was mostly prounion in sentiment in at least ten or twelve families.  Several of these were known as outliers.”

            The myth of Unionist sentiment in Western North Carolina stems from changes in loyalty late in the war, due to conscription and the course of the war; attempts to get federal benefits during Reconstruction; and one erroneous, much-quoted source (“Knocking at the Door” by Alexander Hamilton Jones).

            However, if there was one region where Unionism was strong, it was along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, a battleground for loyalty and east-west supply routes.

Cold Mountain fear

            When, in 1862, the Confederacy enacted conscription, draft-dodgers hid in caves, supplied by their women.  Teague’s men followed the women to the lairs and, in one famous incident, found and shot three men, “George and Henry Grooms and a simple-minded man named Mitchell Caldwell,” an article in the Fall 2007 issue of “Great Smoky Mountains Colloquy” stated.

            Before being executed, Henry played “Bonaparte’s Retreat” on his fiddle.  (Clark Medford said, in his 1961 “The Early History of Haywood County,” that it was Anderson Grooms, not Henry, who was present.  Some accounts say the fiddler was the dim-witted one.) 

            The story made it into Charles Frazier’s novel, “Cold Mountain,” with the location moved, and the names Grooms and Caldwell changed to Stobrod and Prangle.

Remembeing the shot sheriff

            Now, we are back at the entrance to Avalon, Jan. 24, 2013.  Lynn Noland, a Haywood County attorney, has brought family members and local lawmen together to transfer a framed rosette to Bobby Suttles, the Sheriff of Haywood County.

            Noland had received the rosette from Chuck Jenkins of Rockport, Washington, who revealed it had belonged to his great-grandfather, John Phillip Noland, Sheriff of Haywood County, who’d been murdered on September 22, 1862 when he’d followed JoAnn Robinson up what is now Breckenridge Road from the old county jail, where she’d been visiting her husband, Bud, arrested for draft evasion.

            John Franklin, a Robinson neighbor, was the sheriff’s target.

            “Sheriff Noland was attired in a black hat, long black frock coat, black trousers, a white shirt, and a black “string” or “bow tie,’” Lynn writes in his family history.

            “On his left lapel he wore a crimson fabric ‘rosette’ as his badge of office.  The original official sheriff’s badge had been donated for its metal in furtherance of the Confederate war effort.”

            As JoAnn Robinson neared the crest of the ridge, she gave a pre-arranged signal to her kin, hiding in the laurels, Lynn relates, having heard the story from both Jenkins and Lourena Troutman, granddaughter of Phillip Noland, in 1982.

           “The words from the old hymn, ‘How Firm a Foundation,’ floated through the clear mountain air…A heavy lead ball struck Philip Noland in the throat, knocking him from his horse.  He died there in the high ridge gap that now bears his name.”

Guilty go free, and othe legacies

            The county arrested James H. Franklin as one of the outliers who caused Noland’s death, and sentenced him to death in a week devoted entirely to capital offenses in mid-October, 1862.  There is no record of the sentence being carried out.

            Several Robinsons, including Bud and JoAnn, fled west.  Some family members changed their name to Roberson to distinguish themselves from the assassins.  In 1868, the Union Army dropped charges against the Unionist killers.

            Noland family members continue to live in the Rogers Cove and Jonathan Creek areas. 

            Lindon Nichols, Philip’s great-grandson, worked for many years installing septic tanks and water lines for developers, sometimes having to park a bulldozer in front of his backhoe to avoid slipping downhill as he dug into the stony soil, which offered little dirt for fill.

            A four-time-great-grandson of Philip Noland tells about his love for fishing and how now he is sometimes picked up by police for trespassing on streams he’d used to fish unbothered.

            Lynn Noland relates how, in staging the ceremony on Noland Gap, he is fulfilling Jenkins' wish  to  honor the “memory of all Haywood County law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.” 

 

SEE MORE

See a video of the pilgrimage and ceremony.

PHOTO CAPTIONS

Family members and lawmen gather at the spot where Sheriff Philip Noland had been shot and killed in 1862.  Lynn Noland is holding the framed rosette; Lindon Nichols holds a portrait of Philip; and Sheriff Suttles is to Nichols’ left.

 

Sheriff Philip Noland, photo courtesy Lynn Noland.

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