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East Asheville history and sites

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Feb 27.

The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Scott Dockery Feb 16.

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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Upcoming book--Sacred Sites for Secular Times

Sacred Sites for Secular Times: 50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina by Rob Neufeld              Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences.  They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance.             The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive…See More
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Aim for Beauty

In honor of my blog Plant Whatever Brings You Joy's 10th Blogiversary I've posted a chapter from my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden. This particular chapter was also excerpted in Fairview's GreenPrints magazine, which was greatly appreciated. Read more here: http://plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com/aim-for-beauty/…See More
Sep 11
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McCrumb ghost-opened world in The Unquiet Grave

McCrumb sees stories behind haunting ghost by Rob NeufeldPHOTO: Sharyn McCrumb and her dog Arthur, 2017.  Photo by Laura Palmer, courtesy, Sharyn McCrumb In “The Unquiet Grave,” Sharyn McCrumb once again demonstrates her mastery at turning a folktale into something larger, different, and greater.The legend of the…See More
Sep 10
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James Vestus Miller

­HISTORIC PHOTO James Vester Miller James Vester Miller had been a boy when his mother, a Rutherfordton slave, had responded to Emancipation by taking her three children to Asheville and getting a job as a cook in a boardinghouse—some say Julia Wolfe’s boardinghouse, Old Kentucky Home.  Growing up, Miller hung…See More
Aug 26
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Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Aug 25
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Dellinger's Mill, Hawk, Mitchell County

Meet the 4th generation miller of a historic millby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Triptych of Dellinger Mill and Jack Dellinger in his mill, showing the hopper, the 1859 waterwheel, bags of cornmeal, and the National Historic Place plaque.  Photos and composition by Henry Neufeld.            I had written about…See More
Aug 21
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Glenda Council Beall posted a photo

FullSizeRender Lexie in the pillows

This is my little Lexie, a chihuahua mix who is tiny but so sweet. Here she is trying to sleep under my pillows. She is a burrower. Makes a great watch dog because she has a fierce bark.
Aug 10
Glenda Council Beall posted an event

Tribute to Kathryn Stripling Byer at Jackson County Public Library, Sylva, NC

October 1, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm
On October 1, Sunday afternoon, 2 PM, at Jackson County  Library in the Community Room, NCWN and NCWN-West will honor the late Poet Laureate, Kathryn S. Byer . Everyone is invited to come. We will share her poetry and talk about her achievements and her legacy for writers and poets in NC. If Kay touched your life in some way, come and pay tribute to her. We all miss her and this is a way to share our mourning for losing her and show our appreciation for what she did for us. See More
Aug 10
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WRITERS CIRCLE IN SPRING

"On Saturday, September 9, 10:30 a.m., Richard Kraweic will teach a class at Writers Circle. He will teach how to organize a poetry book for publication. I know I need to learn that lesson. How about you?"
Aug 10
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WRITERS CIRCLE IN SPRING

"We have a memoir class going on now until the first Wednesday in September. Wish you could join us in a class at Writers Circle around the Table."
Aug 10
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East Asheville history and sites

A meaningful tour of East Asheville PHOTO CAPTION: View of Beverly Hills suburb, from a painting by Gibson Catlett that had once hung at subdivision offices.  Courtesy Special Collection, Ramsey Library, UNC Asheville.            I was walking in the Beverly Hills neighborhood the other day and noticed a few…See More
Aug 3
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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Gail Godwin’s latest crosses a mental boundary by Rob Neufeld Asheville author Gail Godwin, now a Woodstock, NY resident, comes back home here Wed., June 14 to present her new novel, “Grief Cottage” at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m. “Grief Cottage” is the story of an orphaned, sensitive, troubled boy, named…See More
Aug 3

Gravity Fed Spring Water In Appalachia


Water-sometimes we take it for granted-the way it magically falls from our faucets or appears on store shelves we visit. For most folks living in the USA, water is easily accessible-even during times of drought.

Throughout the world's history people have used different methods of attaining and using water-from the elaborate schemes of the Romans to present day filtration systems which insure we drink only the purest cleanest water.

In Appalachia today, people generally have wells or get their water from local municipalities. In days gone by, most Appalachians used springs to meet their water needs.


Homes were built in the vicinity of a spring as water had to be carried to the house. To aid in the usefulness of springs-troughs were sometimes used to bring the water straight into the house or yard. Pap can recall folks channeling spring water to their yard or even straight into the kitchen. This was fairly easy to facilitate if gravity was on your side. (Gristmills often used the water chute/trough method to carry water from a nearby creek to turn the millstone to grind corn.)

With the passage of time man invented black rolled pipe. After the pipe became widespread (in our area it was during the mid 1960s), folks begin to use the pipe to carry water from the spring. Since pipe was easier to use and greatly increased the distance water could be carried-the choice of which spring to use could be widened to ensure gravity was indeed on your side.

I was around 3 or 4 years old when Pap built our house-which had gravity water. The spring Pap used was about a half a mile above the house. Pap dug out the spring (a spring used previously by his Grandfather Bird) placed the end of the black pipe in the water, weighted it with rocks, put a screen over the end to keep out trash; ran the pipe along the ground-buried in places-back to our house where it connected with the water system. The fall of gravity along the pipe kept it filled with water-when you turned on the tap viola-water!


Our gravity water was the best tasting water ever-however, there were downsides to it. The biggest aggravation was it's tendency to freeze in the winter. While Pap, buried much of the pipe there was no way he could bury every inch of it-some of it ran along the side of the creek where the ground is literally solid rock. Freezing temps overnight wouldn't freeze the water-but a real cold snap lasting several days was sure to freeze it. Pap would leave water running in one or two sinks at night to prevent freezing. But during harsh winters we often woke to no water-until Pap thawed it out. Pap would uncouple the links of pipe and try to blow out the ice-it often worked shooting solid round icicles from the end-Paul and I liked this part-the pieces seemed liked popsicles to us. If those attempts failed Pap would build fires along the pipe to warm it up-we liked playing in the fires too.

I was a young teenager when Pap had a well drilled. I remember him worrying-would the water taste as sweet as our spring water-would it be as cold and fresh? Pap was ecstatic when the well water tasted just as sweet, cold, and fresh as our gravity water-I suppose he was also pretty happy the days of unfreezing black pipe were over for him.

Many folks have pontificated on Appalachians and their great love for mountain water. Even going so far as to declare "water coming from steep mountain hollers is the only water fit to drink!" A good example of this comes from Horace Kephart's Our Southern Highlanders:

"The mountaineer takes the same pride in his water supply as the rich man in his wine cellar, and is in this respect a connoisseur. None but the purest and coldest of freestone will satisfy him."

Drop back by the Blind Pig in the following days to see me and the girls search for Pap's spring, go back in time with Pap and Uncle Henry as they reminisce about the spring of their youth, and enjoy an extra special post written by the Blind Pig's first guest writer.

What kind of water system did you grow up with?

Tipper

To read more about Appalachian Heritage visit the Blind Pig & The Acorn

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