Circling Windrock Mountain: Two Hundred Years in Appalachia

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Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1998 - History - 312 pages
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Around 1800, a Revolutionary War veteran named Micajah Frost came to the Cumberland Mountains of East Tennessee and cleared a portion of virgin forest in what is now Anderson County. Others followed, and eventually this small area was dotted with settlers. In the years since, those settlers and their descendants witnessed the strife of the Civil War, the rise of the coal-mining and logging industries, the coming of the railroad, and countless smaller upheavals. Drawn largely from the memories of long-time residents, this delightful book revisits two hundred years of history in the communities surrounding what was locally called Windrock Mountain.

The stories Augusta Bell recounts take us from Oliver Springs--which had its origins in the grist mill Moses Winters built in 1799 and which later became a "boom town" with a fashionable resort hotel--to places like New River Valley, Graves Gap, and Duncan Flats. She depicts the everyday lives of the mountain people as well as the extraordinary events that sometimes shattered those lives--such as the Coal Creek War of 1891-93, in which miners squared off against state militia, and the two mine explosions that came a few years later, sealing up 268 men deep inside the mountain. Bell also tells of happier times, as when the famous Windrock Mine opened above Oliver Springs in 1909.

Tapping a rich lode of folklore and oral tradition, along with other historical sources, Circling Windrock Mountain offers a view of Appalachian life that defies old stereotypes. Far from being static, the communities described here saw an amazing variety of changes to which they adapted with resilience and ingenuity.

The Author: Augusta Grove Bell, a writer who now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been a newspaper reporter and teacher. From 1958 to 1970, she lived in Anderson County, Tennessee, where she worked for the Oak Ridger and wrote feature stories that form much of the basis for this book.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Toastysmom - LibraryThing

History of such places as Oliver Springs, Frost Bottom, and Coal River, Tennessee. I bought it to research my own family's roots in the area around Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Many interesting narratives ... Read full review

CIRCLING WINDROCK MOUNTAIN

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Bell worked as a courthouse reporter at the Oak Ridger in mountainous Anderson County, TN, she collected the oral histories of people whose memories stretched ... Read full review

Contents

On the Edge of Two Hundred Years
3
Mr Frosts New Eden
16
The Duncans the Smiths and Old Lucifer
36
Two More Moses and a Wily Scot
59
Mineral Waters Plus Black Gold
78
Sienknechts and Doughboy Heroes
95
The Other Side of the Mountain
115
Like Mangy Dogs
132
The Coal Creek War
171
Explosions Deep in the Mountain
190
The LN and the Railroad War
215
On to Windrock Mine
234
Epilogue
259
Bibliographic Notes
271
Bibliography
293
Index
307

On Pilot Mountain with Byrd Duncan
149
The Return of Hiram Bradens Offspring
159

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About the author (1998)

The Author: Augusta Grove Bell, a writer who now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been a newspaper reporter and teacher. From 1958 to 1970, she lived in Anderson County, Tennessee, where she worked for the Oak Ridger and wrote feature stories that form much of the basis for this book.

Bibliographic information