Anna Oakes

Across the South, more women are wielding the knives and making masterful menus in what have traditionally been male-dominated kitchens—leading exciting eateries that are reawakening palates and reinvigorating communities. Read more


Miss Angel's sonker

Courtesy of Surry County Tourism

Chefs, brewers, distillers, bakers, farmers, and country cooks are preserving traditions and redefining the flavor of Southern Appalachia, from A to Z. Read more

, , , , Food+Drink

Home sweet tiny home

Nick Sloff

In 2011, the concept of tiny homes came knocking, introduced by a video of Jay Shafer, the entrepreneur widely credited with popularizing the miniature housing movement. Read more


Connie Regan-Blake has been taking honest, hard-working folks for a ride for over four decades now. If her lips are moving, she’s spinning a yarn. Read more


Churning away

Adventure Photography photos

Those searching for physical clues about the lives of previous generations find plenty of evidence at the Hagood Mill, a campus that houses a cabin built in 1791 and a functioning gristmill erected in 1845. Read more

Taking a turn

Courtesy of Appalachian State University

As baby boomers enter their golden years, the anti-establishment generation is proving it still has a few conventions to dismantle. Golfing and knitting still hold appeal in retirement, but don’t tell these folks to slow down. Read more


Casters of all ages

Donated photo

Springtime is near, and with budding green and showy blooms comes the beginning of derby season. Not the derbies of fleet-footed horses and fancy hats; not the derbies of cars crunching and colliding in fields of smoke and mud, either. Read more


“‘We’re only doing this for your own good’—words that hide a multitude of sins,” surmised Samuel Carter III in his historical account of the crimes committed against the Cherokee. Read more


Passing the time

Don McGowan Photo

Before suits in corporate boardrooms determined the cookie-cutter layouts and mass-marketed inventories of literally thousands of department stores, it was the general store that served a community, and no two general stores were ever the same. Read more


Catching a feeling

Ed Kelley photo

Jo Ridge Kelley wants you to feel her painting. To clarify, streaking your fingers across the canvas is generally frowned upon and could result in a stern escort out of the gallery. Read more



Photo courtesy of RiverGirl Fishing Company

There exists no other activity more quintessentially “summer” than plopping one’s rear down in an inflatable ring and surrendering oneself to the river, exerting little to no effort as the cool, lapping waters steer one along a meandering journey. Read more


Outdoor adventure programs

Photo courtesy of ASU Outdoor Programs

Though a common offering at universities today, the integration of adventure and academia was a novel consideration in the early 1970s, when introduced at ASU, but the program’s roots reach back even farther to the late nineteenth century. Read more


Halfway between my college years and spinsterhood, my mother and aunt pooled their collective kitchen knowledge together in a book of family recipes, gifted to me in a burgundy, leather-bound photo album, filled with four-by-six recipe guides. Read more


Bus driver blues

Anna Oakes photo

Some folks do what they love and just happen to get paid for it. We all know a few…they’re those people. And some of us harbor an unbridled resentment toward them. Others must negotiate the tradeoffs of work and play, and duty and freedom. Read more


King for a century

Donated photo

Since the early twentieth century, High Point, N.C., has been the state’s furniture city, garnering the highest profile. But vibrant manufacturing bases also rose up in Western North Carolina’s Catawba Valley as industry men were drawn south. Read more


“Old Maude bows to the Virginia Creeper”

Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum, Roanoke, VA. Copyright Conway Link

Railroads did not barrel into the Appalachians until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But when they did, communities lying in the path of the locomotives were dramatically transformed. Mountain enclaves became bustling little towns. Read more

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Master at work

Photo by Hugh Morton

At Grandfather Mountain, the blackberries are always in season, the fragrant mountain laurel is ever-blooming and the lady slippers are never hard to find. Artist Paul Marchand spent his entire lifetime crafting extraordinarily accurate models. Read more


The good doctor

#5260 Jesse James Bailey Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Plenty of wildness remained in the mountains well into the 20th century—in the untamed forests, for one, but also in the fierce, independent spirit of the mountaineers. Many country folks resented government intrusion into their lives on any level. Read more


Recycled regalia

Anna Oakes photo

Bones, lint, Styrofoam, banana skins, the squishes and squashes found on the street: nothing is so humble that it cannot be made into art,” the Hungarian-born artist Sari Dienes once proclaimed, as quoted in her 1992 obituary in The New York Times. Read more


True fan

Anna Oakes photo

A line meandered from one end of Appalachian State University’s new College of Education building, through an open, echoing lobby lit by the late afternoon sunlight, and down a narrow hallway, as visitors murmured excitedly. Read more