Individual Presentation or Panel Title

Those Who Pass Before: Through Mountain General Stores

Abstract

Deep in Appalachia are communities that exist only as a crossroad—a meeting of two roads that lead from small farms and other winding roads coming together in an unseen magic—one that became a named place. Early mountain settlers and their families lived in and “became” these crossroad communities, naming them and creating them by filling them with life.

Along a few miles of rural two-lane road are numerous crossroads are communities that now have disappeared. And sitting silently at those crossroads are now empty general stores. What happened to these general stores that were once vital to the people as a primary source of much more than supplies and news? The buildings themselves appear as a visual history and yet now a silent one.

There is a Native American religious belief that “every event that occurs at a place will always live at that spot” (Murray). It provides an understanding of their reverence for sacred ground. And if the belief has a reality, these old and weathered store buildings still hold moments inside or an echo of a “spell” on the porch providing a glimpse into the lives and events that happened daily within these quiet monuments to the souls that passed through their doors.

This work takes us through first person narratives with photographs of many of these buildings allowing us to hear moments from the past and see the contrast and reality of what remains today.

Presentation Description

Narrative and photo essay exploring the loss of Appalachian mountain communities and their general stores.

Keywords

Appalachian culture, Narrative, Appalachian history, Community

Location

Forsyth

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Jun 9th, 11:00 AM Jun 9th, 12:15 PM

Those Who Pass Before: Through Mountain General Stores

Forsyth

Deep in Appalachia are communities that exist only as a crossroad—a meeting of two roads that lead from small farms and other winding roads coming together in an unseen magic—one that became a named place. Early mountain settlers and their families lived in and “became” these crossroad communities, naming them and creating them by filling them with life.

Along a few miles of rural two-lane road are numerous crossroads are communities that now have disappeared. And sitting silently at those crossroads are now empty general stores. What happened to these general stores that were once vital to the people as a primary source of much more than supplies and news? The buildings themselves appear as a visual history and yet now a silent one.

There is a Native American religious belief that “every event that occurs at a place will always live at that spot” (Murray). It provides an understanding of their reverence for sacred ground. And if the belief has a reality, these old and weathered store buildings still hold moments inside or an echo of a “spell” on the porch providing a glimpse into the lives and events that happened daily within these quiet monuments to the souls that passed through their doors.

This work takes us through first person narratives with photographs of many of these buildings allowing us to hear moments from the past and see the contrast and reality of what remains today.