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Stories-A History of Appalachia

A look at the history of the Appalachian region, one story at a time.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Encore: The Hermit

Early in the nineteenth century, a young man was jilted by the love of his life in Asheville, so he left the town to move to the top of a mountain on the Tennessee/North Carolina border, Big Bald Mountain, in order to live a solitary life. His eccentricities soon got him into trouble in both […]

8mins

31 Jan 2017

Rank #1

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The Norton Braves

This week, Steve and Rod tell you the story of one of Southwest Virginia’s minor league baseball teams, the Norton Braves. Thanks for listening! View image | gettyimages.com

10mins

31 Oct 2015

Rank #2

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Chief Benge’s Last Raid

This week on the podcast, Steve and Rod go back to the 1790’s to tell you the story of the last raid of the Cherokee warrior Bob Benge against the settlers of Scott, Lee and Wise Counties in Southwest Virginia. You can subscribe to the podcast on your iPhone or Android phone by clicking the […]

10mins

5 Nov 2015

Rank #3

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The Sodder Children

Early on Christmas Day, 1945, a fire broke out at the home of George and Jennie Sodder near Fayetteville, West Virginia, apparently taking the lives of their five younger children. I say apparently, because no remains were ever found. Not only that, the mysterious circumstances that led up to the fire, as well as a […]

14mins

19 Aug 2017

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Christmas Stories

It’s only three days til Christmas…or is it fifteen? This week, Steve lets you know which when he tells the story of Old Christmas in the mountains. Then Rod tells you about the Santa Train, which runs from Kentucky, through Virginia, and into Tennessee every year, passing out food, candy, toys and clothing to the […]

17mins

22 Dec 2015

Rank #5

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Governor William Goebel of Kentucky

The 1899 election for Kentucky governor was probably the most partisan election in Appalachian history, with vote-stealing and accusations of voter fraud. The General Assembly itself even divided, the Republicans meeting in one city and the Democrats in another. What set this election apart, though, was how the governor came to be sworn in and […]

10mins

12 Aug 2017

Rank #6

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Lynchings in Appalachia

On today’s episode, we look at a dark part of Appalachia’s history as we share three stories of racist mob violence and lynching in Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina that occurred early in the 20th century. You can subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play or on your favorite podcast app. We’re […]

17mins

9 Sep 2017

Rank #7

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The Baby Seller

This week, Steve and Rod tell the story of a Georgia doctor who decided that an acceptable alternative to the illegal abortions he was performing in the 1940’s and 50’s was the illegal sale of Appalachian babies.  Hundreds of these babies were sold to buyers from all over the country, with no records kept, and […]

9mins

25 Nov 2017

Rank #8

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The Big Bull Tunnel

A new podcast episode, and new podcast theme music! On the Norfolk and Southern railroad line between St. Paul and Coeburn, Virginia, are three railroad tunnels drilled into the mountains so that the coal companies could get that black gold out of Appalachia and on to market. From Coeburn to St. Paul those tunnels are, […]

11mins

28 Nov 2017

Rank #9

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The Feud, Part Five

The feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys comes to a head on New Years Day, 1888, with the bloody Hatfield attack on the McCoy farm. In this last chapter in our story of the feud, Rod and Steve tell that story, as well as the aftermath of the fighting, which included a U.S. Supreme […]

21mins

8 Apr 2017

Rank #10

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Daniel Boone, Part Three

Rod and Steve wraps up the story of Appalachian icon Daniel Boone with a look at his last days in Missouri.   You can subscribe to Stories at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Feedburner, or on the podcast app of your choice. We have more stories of the history of Appalachia on Facebook @storiesofappalachia and on Twitter @storyappalachia.  Come by and follow us. Thanks for listening and sharing us with your friends!

11mins

20 Jan 2018

Rank #11

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The Mummies of Philippi

Today we tell you a story about some homegrown Appalachian mummies from West Virginia. The Stories podcast is available on RadioPublic, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and on many other podcast apps. Thanks for listening and sharing our stories of Appalachian history with your friends!

7mins

23 Mar 2019

Rank #12

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The Ghost of the Tavern Tart

On this episode of Stories, Rod tells a ghost story, about a “haint” at the Tavern in Abingdon, Virginia, who just might pinch your behind! Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @storyappalachia. Thanks for listening…

8mins

19 Jan 2016

Rank #13

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Lord Dunmore's War, Part 2

Today, we finish telling the story of one of the first Indian wars in the west, Lord Dunmore's war. You can subscribe to Stories at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play or on your favorite podcast app. We're on Facebook @storiesofappalachia and on Twitter @storyappalachia. Thanks for listening, folks!

12mins

2 Jun 2018

Rank #14

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Appalachia's Most Wanted

Today we tell the story of one of the first criminals from Appalachia to make the FBI's Most Wanted List, Kenneth Ray Lawson, from Wise County, Virginia. You can subscribe to the podcast on RadioPublic, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or on your favorite podcast app. Follow us on Facebook @storiesofappalachia and on Twitter @storyappalachia for more stories about the history of this place we call home. Thanks for the use of your ears, y'all!

10mins

12 May 2018

Rank #15

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Buffalo Creek

The winter of 1971-72 saw large amounts of rainfall throughout the central Appalachians. By February, 1972, the ground was saturated, and the rivers were overflowing. And a gob dam located on Buffalo Creek in West Virginia which wasn’t designed to be a dam gave way in a rushing wall of water, muck and black death […]

12mins

22 Apr 2017

Rank #16

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The Devil Monkey

Every now and then we switch gears and tell about legends instead of straight up history. Today Rod and Steve have the story of a monster that’s been seen around these parts, as well as Louisiana and Chicago: the devil monkey. Enjoy. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Tunein or on your […]

8mins

25 Apr 2017

Rank #17

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It Fell Out Of The Sky!

In hundreds of thousands of years not one human being had ever been known to have been hit by a meteorite.  Then, in 1954, that lucky streak came to an end, in Sylacauga, Alabama.  Today we tell that story. You can subscribe to Stories at RadioPublic, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. We're on Facebook @storiesofappalachia and on Twitter @storyappalachia. Thanks for the use of your ears, y'all!

11mins

24 Nov 2018

Rank #18

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The Rye Cove Cyclone

In 1929 there was an outbreak of deadly tornadoes in the eastern U.S., including Appalachia. One of the worst hit places was in Rye Cove, Virginia, where the twister destroyed a school. On this episode, we tell the story of that tornado and its aftermath. You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or Stitcher […]

10mins

16 Jan 2016

Rank #19

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The Story of Brandy Jack

A few weeks ago, our own Rod Mullins made an appearance before the Wise County Historical Society in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, where he shared the story of his own ancestor, Brandy Jack Mullins. Mullins was a colorful character, involved in counterfeiting, moonshining and other activities, many of which Rod shared with his audience. Today […]

41mins

18 Apr 2017

Rank #20