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Stories of Mountain Folk Podcast

Stories of Mountain Folk explore the nature and significance of oral history and storytelling to advance the understanding of the cultures of Western North Carolina. Featuring interviews, memories, discussions and stories from Caucasian, African-American, and Cherokee people living in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Interviewers actually go into the homes of the people to assure them a “safe” place to tell their stories. With a goal to save the heritage of the area and preserve its “sense of place,” Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, a nonprofit organization, is now in its eighth year of producing the contents of this podcast.  Awarded the Mountain Heritage Award (2013) through Western Carolina University, the program has now produced the largest oral history collection in Western North Carolina.

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Stories of Mountain Folk Introduction                

Often the old mountain stories are overlooked. As Amy mentions in this introductory piece…stories entertain, teach, record history, and give us a sense of place.

Cannie from Wolf Mountain

From out of the Blue Ridge Mountains comes the story of Cannie from Wolf  Mountain. A true slice of life from the backwoods of the early 1940s. Listen as Amy Ammons Garza, mountain storyteller, takes you back in time to a love story.

Stories of Mountain Folk is now available on iTunes

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 Decoration Day in the Mountains

Decoration Day is a widespread folk tradition extending from the east of the Appalachians to west and southwest of the Ozarks.  

Livingston Kelley

Owner of Livingston’s Photo (Main Street, Sylva, NC), Livingston Kelly shares his 45 years of history in the historic mountain Town of Sylva.

Cakewalks in the Mountains

Cakewalks in the mountains are a traditional way. Included are interviews with Joe Deitz, Jim Ed Powell, Mary Moody and Zara Ashe.

Planting By the Signs

What a bumper crop of mountain information about preparing the ground, when to plant, old beliefs, going by the signs listed on calendars and the almanac.

Barbara Sears McRae, A True Historian

Barbara Sears McRae is currently an Alderman at the Town of Franklin, NC. Here Amy interviews her on her extensive history in Macon County. Although not a native of Franklin, she has devoted many years of her life documenting some of its history.

Pelham Thomas, Alabama Storyteller

93-year old Pelham Thomas, an Alabama native, is currently a blueberry farmer in Cullowhee, North Carolina. His stories are so interesting, plentiful, and full of adventure!  We wanted to share some of them with you in this podcast…here’s Pelham Thomas, Alabama storyteller, transplanted to the mountains of North Carolina.

Dogwood Crafters

The gem of Dillsboro, NC, Dogwood Crafters Cooperative, is celebrating 40 years of creating space for local crafters to complete their dream of working with their hands.

The History of Jackson County Arts Council

This podcast is dedicated to the wonderful people who have given their time to the Jackson County Arts Council, people who have produced a great service to our community for the past 40 years. Within the podcast you will hear the story of the history of this fine organization, as told by a few of the past arts council presidents and a chairman of the board.

Visit our YouTube Channel to watch and subscribe to our videos

by Amy Ammons Garza, Appalachian Storyteller

Stories based on a Mountain Childhood

I still can see the red tar paper that wrapped around the sinister-looking house in which we lived—no electricity, no plumbing, no running water…but here is where my siblings and me, ages 7, 9 and 10, were to make memories lasting a lifetime.

 The book “Matchbox Mountain” is available on CSABooks.com

Stories From Within the Mountain Mist

by Amy Ammons Garza, Appalachian Storyteller

African American Storyteller, Victoria A. Casey McDonald

In the deep resonance of storyteller Victoria A. Casey McDonald’s voice, you will hear her tell stories about growing up in Western North Carolina, and the kind of Christmas she had as a child. The late Victoria was our friend, a CSA board member, author, and “Stories of Mountain Folk” interviewer.

Quick Link Index


Cannie from Wolf Mountain

Decoration Day

Livingston Kelley


Planting By the Signs

Barbara McRae

Pelham Thomas

Dogwood Crafters

Jackson County Arts Council

Matchbox Mountain

Within The Mountain Mist

Victory Casey McDonald

Legend of Kaniti & Selu

Story of Tobacco

The Rickman General Store

Stories about my childhood fills me with visions of yesteryear, keeping alive within me the treasures of growing up in the mountains.  Today I’m sharing with you a few of my memories, with a little philosophy thrown in… just to stir up your memories.

Matchbox Mountain

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Stories of Mountain is currently archived by Western Carolina University - Click Here to view those Archives

Grandpa Told Us Stories

Joy Philips Hoyle

Matthew Baker

David Waldrop

Stedman Mitchell

Jim Childress

Bessie Crawford

Curtis Blanton

Jim Sellers

Glenda Miller

David Ammons

Roy Owenby

Annie Lee Bryson

Nita Welsh Owneby

Aletha Watson Barker

Cowee Quilters

Howard Allman

Irene Bishop Hooper

Stories of the Cherokee

Kathryn Littlejohn

A Shoe Box Christmas

Jane Chastine

Kim Ross and the

J-Creek Cloggers

Betty Collins Brown

Leroy Carpenter

The Ammons Sisters

Susan Hirsch

Mary Jo Cobb

Martin Cook

The Inspirations

Jack Wiggins Brown

Linda’s Last Christmas   in the Mountains

Irene Bishop Hooper

R. O. Wilson