Appalachia Pigeon Roost

February in Pigeon Roost 4

The 1974 Winter Edition of the Foxfire Magazine contains a compilation of newspaper articles written by Harvey Miller. At the time of the magazine’s publication Miller’s weekly column had been around for sixty years and was still being published in the Tri-County News located in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

Here are a few of the February excerpts from the magazine.


I don’t believe it would be saying too much to put it this way, “We are snowed under.” It’s been such hazardous driving conditions for the last few days as I write this, that it is apparent now that folks are not venturing to drive too far away.

As I write this, a pretty good sized snow has been continually on the ground now, which started Saturday, January 15 and going now into the third week. There has been no school anywhere in Mitchell County since January 14, because of the slick roads and there has not been any services in any of the churches in this lower part of Mitchell County.

Zeke Barnett reported there was an ice tag hanging on his house Thursday that was seven feet long and four inches thick. Carmon Miller and son, L.D., reported that they seen large bear tracks in the snow at the head of Bob Hollow on Big Ridge Mountain.



Joe Miller of Brummetts Creek section reported that during one of the nights last week when the snow was on the ground, something was aggravating his chickens and he went and found every chicken in the chicken house was on the outside wandering around in the snow and darkness. So he shined his flashlight and peeped into the chicken house where there he found a lone o’possum had took the chicken roost all for hisself.

Mrs. America Griffith of the Brummetts Creek Section passed on Feb. 7th at the age of 85.



Several people in this lower part of Mitchell County seen a Satellite Tuesday night, Feb. 4th about 3 minutes past 7 p.m.


I hope you enjoyed this peek into Pigeon Roost from days gone by. In the last week I’ve heard stories about folks in my area seeing strange things in the sky and I had some pretty impressive icicles hanging on the eave of the front porch last week, but no where near as large as Zeke Barnett’s. Our silly chickens have been all out of sorts from the cold and the snow. They’ve barely ventured outside the coop in a week, maybe I need a possum to run them out 🙂

Be sure to jump over to the Foxfire website and poke around. They are still publishing the magazine and those wonderful Foxfire Books too.

Last night’s video: Eating Cornmeal Mush in Appalachia – Fried & Creamy.


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  • Reply
    February 4, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    We had a big snowstorm in Richmond, Va. in 1966, and we were out of school about two weeks. We might have had back to back storms, I can’t remember. I was in the 6th grade.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    February 3, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    I really enjoyed reading the Fox Fire books and magazines. A few years ago, my wife and I visited the Fox Fire site. The grounds and log structures were amazing.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 3, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    It is 45 degrees and has been raining here all day long. The snow that was in my backyard waiting more has been washed completely away. That’s OK, I didn’t ask for it in the first place. It must have been dropped off at the wrong address.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    When I was a senior in high school in Raleigh, we had a big snow – a foot or more – on the first Wednesday in March. Of course school classes were cancelled. It stayed very cold; so the snow didn’t melt. It came another big snow the following Wednesday, extending the period of no school classes. It stayed very cold and none of the snow melted. It came another snow the third Wednesday in March keeping us out of school even longer.

    With all those days of missed classes, they extended the end of the school year; but they had already scheduled graduation the Sunday after school was supposed to end and didn’t change it. Many of us who walked across the stage and picked up our diplomas didn’t bother to go to the extended classes. Would you have?

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    February 3, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks Tipper, love to read old local newspaper articles.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2022 at 10:37 am

    Have just subscribed to FOXFIRE MAGAZINE, which is new to me. Thanks for this!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 3, 2022 at 10:28 am

    Wonder if that satellite Feb 4th in 1964 (58 years ago!) was Sputnik? I suspect it was and that was what caused JFK to say ‘a man on the moon by the end of the decade’, trying to beat Russia in the space race. Homer Hickam and friends up in West Virginia were on the lookout for Sputnik as well along about then.

    I recall a big snow in southern KY in the 1960’s but I don’t recall the year. It was probably about mid-calf deep to an adult and hung around a long time. Had a lot of bent over trees. We were out of school for somewhere around three weeks I think it was. Us two boys had to get out and ramble around in the woods to stave off cabin fever. We started worrying about getting out of school late and missing some of summer.

    On those cliffs of the Cumberland Plateau there would be lots of really big icicles, way to big really for that name to fit. When it warmed up they would melt against the rock and turn loose, falling with a terrible racket, bursting and sliding all over the slopes. Needed to be on the lookout prowling around underneath the cliffs. Hadn’t though about that in years.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2022 at 10:27 am

    Interesting to read. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2022 at 10:24 am

    Big Smiles to start my day. Thank you!
    What words do folks in your neck of the woods use when someone dies?
    My elders from NC and TN would say that someone ‘passed on’, as do I. In other areas, Ive heard folks say that someone:
    crossed over
    gave up the ghost
    … and more.
    Different traditions, different ways to express Respect.
    Somehow this interests me. Maybe you too. Thanks!

    • Reply
      February 3, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      One I used to hear was he or she lay a corpse. I haven’t heard that one for several years.

      • Reply
        February 3, 2022 at 4:41 pm

        OKIEJAMMER, that was in E.KY.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2022 at 9:44 am

    I always enjoy reading articles written by Harvey Miller. Got a big kick out of the roosting possum.
    BTW some of the older generation in my family called an article an r-tickle.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2022 at 7:58 am

    That was a major icicle!! Loved these stories and love the Foxfire books. As Donna Sue states we are at the mercy of weather; the weatherman may predict the weather but ultimately he/she nor we are in charge of the weather. Thanks for sharing these snow stories; if we can’t have snow we can at least read about it 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 3, 2022 at 6:48 am

    I remember a few of those big snows in Haywood County that Harvey Miller wrote about. There was one even bigger than the one he mentioned a few years earlier. They were quite dramatic, and school was out for several weeks.
    We just don’t have those big snows now, the weather has changed.

  • Reply
    donna sue
    February 3, 2022 at 6:34 am

    I enjoyed reading those 1960s articles! I like glimpsing into the life of by gone days. When you think about it, life doesn’t change too drastically over time, yet it does. Technology, innocence of thought, fashion, and a few other things have changed – but we still are at the mercy of weather, and animals don’t care that it’s 2022 not 1022, and weird things in the night sky still cause our hearts to beat faster. Thank you for sharing these articles!

    Donna. : )

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