Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Joy From Elsie West

My life in appalachia - Elsie West

I was lucky enough to inherit The Deer Hunter’s Great Grandmother’s photo and postcard collection (Dollie). She kept all her Christmas cards too!

I can recognize a few of the people in the old photos and the names on the cards. Miss Cindy can help me out on others that she remembers, but there are more than a few that even Miss Cindy doesn’t know.

Over the years I’ve used photocopies of the collection for crafting and many of the old photos I use here on the Blind Pig came from there too.

The postcard above is one of my favorites from the collection. It was sent to Dollie in December of 1911. The address is simply her name and the community Cruso, NC. Elsie West sent the card to Dollie. She wrote a Christmas greeting, but she wrote it in pencil and over the years its faded away till I can barely read it.

I doubt Elsie ever thought the card would still be bringing joy a 100 years after she sent it, but it is.


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


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  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    December 18, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    That is so pretty. You are lucky to have them.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks Tipper, that is a lovely Christmas card, I think I have some of those somewhere that were my grandmothers!!!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    The old postcard is wonderful; these are my favorites, rather than those with pictures of hotels and other vacation spots. I have one my mother sent to her niece when she was a teenager. Priceless!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Wow, what treasures you have in Dollie’s collection! It amazes me how something 100 years old is still physically here and giving pleasure.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    December 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    My Mom & Aunt Blanche framed some of my Grandmaw’s cards from about the same era. I was lucky enough to inherit my aunt’s & I am so proud of them!-Leave the music the way it is. This space is about mountain people & mountain ways. The music is a big part of what makes it so special. It’s easily turned off on days I don’t choose to listen to it.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    What a beautiful old postcard! And to think it’s a hundred years old. Please keep your music just the way it is; listening to that awesome music is part of the experience of your blog. Music does a heart good!

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    December 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    My wife was a telephone operator when we married. One of the small towns near here had had an operator with the switchboard in her home. She knew where to find almost everyone if they weren’t at home. Love the music!! Can always turn it off.

  • Reply
    Madge @ The View From Right Here
    December 17, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I love those old Victorian cards… this one is even more special because of its family connection to you!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Tipper it is late for a reply again today but PLEASE do not remove your music–one can always turn it off on there own if they’d rather read with out it—I think it is just part of you and your blog—and how lucky you were to be the recipent of those memoires of so long ago- Many Blessings

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    December 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    To Jen Y – all you have to do is click off the player when you get to the blog – a quick and easy fix.
    Postcards – I love old post cards and collect them myself so I enjoyed seeing one of yours. How lucky that they are from your husband’s family. I always wonder about the people and places on those I have collected.

  • Reply
    Pam Moore
    December 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I am glad to see that you love and treasure these photos and postcards.
    We have many estate sales in this area (Florida) and most of the deceased were far away from their families after they moved here. It is so sad to see family photos being sold and no one caring about them.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I love the card. I think the girl looks a lot like you and your daughters. My mother saved all the cards and letters that she
    received from my dad when he was overseas in World War II. They are so beautiful and I love looking at them. You inherited a treasure for sure. I love the music on your site!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Love your music and the postcards. When I was a child, even into Jr. High I got mail with just my name and city. Too bad we got so big.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I love the music you have on your player. I bring some of my work home and do it on my own computer. I always go to your blog and listen to Pap and Paul and the gang while I work. I hope you don’t change a thing.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    That’s a beautiful card! Its nice
    to see the words “Merry Christmas”
    on it. Back then America still
    believed in something. I always
    mute my TV so I can listen to that
    soft Christmas Music of Paul and
    Pap while catching up on the Blind
    Pig. Thank you…Ken

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    You know I love postcards also….
    They are such a treasure…and as the old sayin’ goes..till you see where you been, you don’t know where yore goin’….Those days sure looked pleasent enough to me..
    I absolutely love the graphics on old Christmas cards and post cards…The fonts are beautiful also…I have a lot of Mothers and families…although holidays are always my favorites, Christmas, Thanksgiving,(does anyone send a Thanksgiving card anymore?), Valentines Day, Easter (just love old Easter postcards) New Years Day…hard to get and also July 4th old ones are scarce…St. Patricks Day is always a favorite of mine, but kinda scarce to….I have some old cards of Madison County, Asheville and the Smokies…my have things changed…I love the linen type cards…
    Thanks for the memories…
    PS…I need to borrow Deer hunters gun, an old coyote got my Shih-tzu this morning..Roy’s on his way to the vet…he had two punchure holes in his neck..not deep but he is very sore..I think he got lucky…Watch your dogs always at daybreak even when standing on the porch waiting for them to do their business…

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    December 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    It’s funny you noted she received the card with just her name and the Post Office name. In the days before RFD each community had a Post Office, my Grandmother and Mother were the Post Mistresses of Needmore, NC P.O. until RFD closed it) and the workers in the Post Offices knew about everyone they served. My Grandfather once received a letter from a cousin in Hood River,Oregon with just his name and NC for the address. I wonder how many Post Offices this letter went through before showing up at Needmore, NC. Today we have technology that is supposed to speed delivery but we have lost the personal touch and the pride these early employees took in doing their jobs. Many times the similarity of Post Office names led to changes in community names such as Charleston, NC which became Bryson City, NC because so much mail intended for Charleston, SC or Charleston, NC showed up in the wrong Post Office.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Jen-so glad you inherited postcards too! They are such a treasure to have-and it is a peek into history to read what those folks had to say : )
    I know the music bothers some people-but music is such a huge part of my life-and the Blind Pig that I want the player to continue to come on automatically. I will keep the player right near the top in the same location so folks don’t have to hunt for it-if they do want to turn it off everytime they visit my site. It makes my day to know you like the Blind Pig enough to keep coming back : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    December 17, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Tipper: I printed the beautiful card and WITH YOUR PERMISSION would like to reproduce it into a regular card! My smart friends can do wonders on their computers!!
    That little community of Cruso over in the mountains of NC is a very nice place. Jim and I passed through Cruso – just for a night at a wonderful B&B – and I did NOT do any background search on the history of the place! Now I will!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 11:14 am

    it is amazing. i like the simplicity of the cards back then. our address in KY was our name and Sloans Valley, Ky and we got all the mail

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 17, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Tipper, you have no idea how heart warming is has been to see all my grandmothers treasure come to life under your tender loving care.
    Thank You!
    She was a thrifty woman and saved everything. When she died we found at least a hundred little balls of string. They were the strings from sacks of flour. The sacks were used to make aprons, bonnets and sometimes dresses.

  • Reply
    Jen Y
    December 17, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I’ve inherited a lot of postcards from my grandmother, mom & brother over the years. They are so fun to go back & read. Many of them were written by people I know.
    A random question – have you considered turning your music player off & giving your readers the option to turn it on? I listen to while I read online & it can be shocking for yours to blare out when I’m not expecting it. I’ve stopped following most blogs that automatically play their music but I really like yours & will keep reading anyway. I’m hoping you just may have not thought about it before so I’m suggesting it. I hope you aren’t offended – it is your blog & your choice.

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