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The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

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

The history of Oakley

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History May 13, 2016.

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City Lights Bookstore posted events
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Montreat College Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon at Montreat College, Gaither Fellowship Hall

June 10, 2017 from 12pm to 2:30pm
Author Vicki Lane, who is working on her seventh novel, will be the guest speaker at the Montreat College Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon at noon on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Gaither Fellowship Hall.  Reservations: 669-8012 Ext. 3502Open to the Public.See More
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Rose Senehi posted an event

Rose Senehi will read from her new novel: CAROLINA BELLE at MALAPROPS BOOKS & CAFE

May 3, 2017 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Belle McKenzie is obsessed with finding the best apple anyone ever bit into and determined to rekindle the love this obsession has nearly destroyed.        Woven throughout Carolina Belle is the fascinating history of Henderson County, North Carolina’s, apple orchards that endlessly unfold on the county’s horizons and still bear the same names as the early settlers to the area. Senehi, known for her historically accurate novels, sprinkles the book with stories of the development of the Southern…See More
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Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Becky Stone Presents Maya Angelou

Chautauqua Alive! Becky Stone Presents Maya AngelouWednesday, May 24 at 6:30pmPack Memorial Library67 Haywood Street250-4700The Buncombe Chautauqua Committee and Pack Memorial Library will present a pre-Chautauqua special event in Lord Auditorium at Pack Memorial Library at 6:30 Pm on May 24.  Renowned storyteller Becky Stone will present “Becoming Maya Angelou.”   Ms. Stone will be appearing as Maya Angelou in the opening program of the annual Chautauqua series that begins June 19.  On May 24,…See More
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City Lights Bookstore posted events
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Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Prize-winning YA author Sedgwick at Literacy fundraiser

Fundraiser for Literacy Council & Book Launch Marcus Sedgwick Tuesday April 25th 5:30-7:30 p.m., Twisted Laurel, downtown Asheville, 130 College Street COST: $45 per person (ticket includes hardcover book, food, and non-alcoholic beverage) All proceeds go to Literacy Council from press release Marcus Sedgwick, author of Saint Death Spellbound Children's Bookshop, Asheville's locally owned independent bookstore for kids and teens, presents a special event with one of the most critically…See More
Apr 17
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Dellinger Mill--sacred place east of Bakersville

A Mitchell County gristmill sifts through 150 yearsby Rob Neufeld PHOTO CAPTION: Book cover, “Dellinger Grist Mill on Cane Creek” by Jack Dellinger.             In 1861, when Bakersville got a post office, locals changed the town name from Bakersville to Davis, after Jefferson Davis, President of the…See More
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Susan Weinberg posted an event

Reading by Poet Al Young at Table Rock Room, Plemmons Student Union, App State University

April 6, 2017 from 7:30pm to 8:45pm
A reading by past California Poet Laureate Al Young in Appalachian State's Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series. The reading will be preceded by a craft talk titled "No Poem, No Home" from 2-3:15 the same day.Both are in ASU's Plemmons Student Union. Free admission; books will be available for sale and signing. See More
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Citizen science author in Asheville April 6

Eco author in Asheville April 6 Citizen science can foster earth-saving policies Journalist Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, speaks at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 6 in conversation with Mallory McDuff, Warren Wilson…See More
Mar 23
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Appalachian Authors Book Signing and Reading at Historic Carson House

April 8, 2017 from 10am to 3pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author and reader at the Appalachian Authors  Book Signing and Reading to be held at the Historic Carson House on Saturday, April 8 from 10-3. She will debut her new poetry collection A Part of Me. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.See More
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Mar 22
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2012 Award Winner for Literature -- Gary Neil Carden

A literature and drama teacher turned storyteller, Gary Neil Carden is an award winning playwright whose tales are informed by mountain life in North Carolin...
Mar 22
Gary Carden updated their profile
Mar 22

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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