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Appalachia Through My Eyes – Brasstown


Brasstown NC

Brasstown is all a buzz with the preparations for the biggest doings of the year: the John C. Campbell Folk School’s Annual Fall Festival. This will be the 43rd consecutive year of the festival and I believe it gets bigger every year.

Blind Pig reader, Rooney Floyd told me he attended the first festival and there wasn’t but about thirty people there. These days the two day festival draws well over 10,000 people.

I always heard the name Brasstown came from a corruption of an Indian word that meant fresh green place or something like that.

The community of Brasstown is unique in that it is split between two counties. My portion of Brasstown lies within the boundaries of Cherokee County while the area down around the post office lies within Clay County. This anomaly causes some interesting tax mix-ups. One time years ago Clay County put a warrant out for Paul’s drivers license because he didn’t pay his taxes…only he didn’t owe taxes to Clay County because he lived in Cherokee County.

Brasstown is unique in other ways as well.

It’s the home of the annual New Year’s Possum Drop, its one of the areas you can readily find fairy crosses, and hey it’s the home of the Blind Pig and The Acorn too.

If you make it out to the festival The Pressley Girls will be playing on Sunday October 8 at 2:00 p.m on the Festival Barn Stage. We’ll be hanging around the stage before and after so please come find us to say hello.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Hassan Sadiq Himex
    October 5, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    This sounds cool!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I looked at that banner for a long time – such a great design and creation, And then the first comment I see is the one identifying the maker of the banner! Well done, Marolyn Floyd!

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    October 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    My wife, Marolyn Floyd, made that 1989 Fall Festival banner you featured on the blog today–Thanks!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 4, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Humm, fresh green place! I know it’s green…but then it is Autumn colorful as well…Then there is the Spring white hues of Sarvis and Dogwood blossoms…sooo, I still ponder! Is there any colorful mound, odd shaped hill/ mountain, shiny rock or flowers that bloom a yellow brassy color that would contribute to the name. Only one I can think of is fields of Goldenrod….that stand brassy in the late summer sun!
    Wish we could be there…not sure about that…
    Thanks Tipper,
    Got my sweet South Carolina taters today…they even smell good….Also got some huge muscadines and Scuppernongs…

  • Reply
    October 4, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    We lived in Alexandria, Virginia in 1974. My husband worked 5.5 days a week at the “National Defense Center” under Rickover. I remember reading about the Folk Festival and wanting desperately to attend but we had a 2 year old and a 10 month old and since folk festivals are not my husband’s cup of tea, we went for a walk on The Trail instead. We headed back to Texas the following spring but I received the information about the school for a time and longed to participate. Almost 50 years later, taking a course or two at JCCFS is now on my bucket list.
    To all who can attend, have fun, and learn something new.

  • Reply
    October 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    This time of year, Brasstown has the biggest venue in Western North Carolina and The Folk School is responsible for that. With all the vendors (over 200) and cloggers and singers, you can’t beat the $5.00 entrance fee. I sure hope it don’t rain it out again this year. …Ken

  • Reply
    October 4, 2017 at 9:28 am

    The magazine I got from the school held my attention for days. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t live in the area, as I would be attending classes until I run out of money. The fall festival sounds like so much fun! Wish I could be there.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    October 4, 2017 at 9:06 am

    It sounds like a great festival and a great little town. The festival has really grown and I bet it will keep getting bigger and bigger every year.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 4, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I’ll be there, but then you know that, I’m always there…your my family. The festival is great, with lots of good music, food, and outstanding artistry including hand made knives, jewelry, paintings, and clay items!
    See you there!

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