Appalachia Thankful November

Thankful November 2018 – Dorie Woman of the Mountains

Thankful-November 2018

During the month of November I host a variety of giveaways as a way of saying THANK YOU to Blind Pig and The Acorn readers. If you didn’t know it, you’re the best blog readers in the whole wide world!

Today’s giveaway is a used copy of Florence Cope Bush’s  book “Dorie Woman of the Mountains.” To be entered simply leave a comment on this post. *Giveaway ends Friday November 16.

The winner of the Fred Chappell book is Don T who said: “Morning tipper. Just came in from my deer stand to warm up. 38 degrees and windy up here in the Shenandoah Valley this morning. I’ve never read any of Fred Chappell but intend to soon. Thanks not only for the offer but also for this and the several other good reads you’ve offered or mentioned in the past. I’ve never won any of your offerings but usually go right to Google and check them out and usually end up ordering one from somewhere. So thanks much for the references and also for all you do. Along with a couple devotions the email linking me to your daily post is something I look forward to each day .”

Don T please email me your mailing address at [email protected] and I’ll get the book to you!

Below is a post I wrote back in 2015 about “Dorie Woman of The Mountains.”

Dorie and daughter
Photo of Dorie and Wilma courtesy of Ed Ammons

“Dancing was looked upon as a device of the devil by most mountain folks, but not Ma. She loved to dance. She’d lift her long skirt above her ankles and dance a dazzling Carolina clog. Her feet moved so fast it was hard to see them. Grabbing Luther, Lola, or me, she’d dance around the room until we were out of breath. “Do-si-do and here we go,” she’d laugh as we whirled. All too soon, our fun was over and it was back to worktime for her. I never saw Ma sit still very long. Her energy kept her from relaxing in the rocking chair beside the fire. If she sat down at all, her hands were busy mending or crocheting.”

Dorie: Woman of the Mountain pg 62 (1907-1912)


“Fred’s family were frequent visitors, happy to have him near them again. I still didn’t feel comfortable around them. Maybe it was my own fault that we didn’t understand each other better. I was always quiet and reserved, in complete contrast to their boisterous, laughing manner. Mountain people didn’t say anything if they were not sure what to say. So, usually I said nothing. I always remembered a quote from Abraham Lincoln who said, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you’re a fool than to speak and prove you are.”

Dorie: Woman of the Mountain pg 148 (1917-1924)


“The Tremont Hotel was situated across the railroad, embedded into the side of the mountain. The front porch was placed so the visitors had the best possible view of the river and the mountains. The Tremont settlement, with its boxcar, portable housing, and work sheds was out of visual range of the hotel guests.

Settlement people knew the hotel was off limits to them. But that was all right. Mountaineers wouldn’t go anyplace they didn’t feel welcome. They understood that the rich were different. That was a part of life they couldn’t change. By now, most were aware of the differences between the two classes. Many of them had lived near the Wonderland Hotel in Elkmont where the same system worked. The Wonderland was a place to wonder about and view with some envy, as the ladies from Knoxville and other far away cities sat on the front porch in their finery and daintily fanned the gnats and flies away from their perfumed, painted faces.

The rumors and stories of what went on in the hotels kept the natives entertained. Some thought of them as the Sodom and Gomorrah of the mountains. A few local girls were employed as maids at both hotels. Pretty, young daughters were warned to stay away from the places.

Dorie: Woman of the Mountain pg 199 (1924-1937)


I hope you’ve enjoyed each of the excerpts I’ve shared from the book Dorie: Woman of the Mountains, as well as my thoughts surrounding those excerpts. It’s been almost two years since I read the book. From the first page I loved Dorie and was fascinated by the life she led. The stories from her life often wonder around in my head as I go about my way.

The book captures a true picture of the people from the Southern Highlands of Appalachia from that time period, and in certain aspects, from today as well.

Mountain people didn’t say anything if they were not sure what to say.” and “Mountaineers wouldn’t go anyplace they didn’t feel welcome.” Are attributes that are still common to Appalachians today.

I commonly see people show a stoicism about their lot in life just like Dorie noted in this line: “They understood that the rich were different. That was a part of life they couldn’t change.”

I feel a true kinship to Dorie. I wouldn’t compare myself nor my life to the hardships she endured, yet her thoughts about the world and her people feel right at home in my mind and in my heart where I look at the world in much the same manner as she did.

The entire time I was reading the book I kept thinking “Now these people are like my people. They’re the same as us.” As the pages drew thinner and I neared the back of the book, I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to keep reading about Dorie, I wanted to see where life took her and her people. Little did I know there was a surprise waiting for me at the end.

Wilsons worked in lumber company


Appendix 1

The following names were listed in the time books belonging to Robert Vance Woodruff. They worked with the Little River Lumber Company beginning in the spring of 1923 and ending in the fall of 1934.

When I reached the appendix page at the end of the book and began reading the names of the various employees who worked for the Little River Company during that time period, I thought “Hey wouldn’t it be cool if I actually recognized someone’s name?”

On the second column of the first page there was Ben Wilson. “Hmph.” I thought. “Maybe that was Pap’s Grandpa. (Pap’s grandfather was named Benjamin Wilson)

I flipped the page and continued to read the names. Second page third column-there was Wade Wilson. I thought “What!!!??? Could it really be Papaw Wade?”

I couldn’t wait to ask Pap if he thought the Ben Wilson and Wade Wilson listed in the book could belong to us. Pap said “Well I’m not for sure, but I know they both did lots of logging between here and Madison County so its certainly possible that it was them especially since both their names were listed.”

Was it really my Papaw and my Great Grandfather in the list of names? Is that why I felt such a kinship to Dorie and her people? As Pap said “I don’t know for sure.” And really, I don’t need to know for sure. I already know Dorie and her family were my people-we share a common landscape, a common dialect, a common way of looking at and living in this world.


Be on the lookout for more Thankful November giveaways.


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  • Reply
    Barbara Gamble Trent
    November 17, 2018 at 1:43 am

    Dorie’s daughter, Wilma, married my mother’s brother… E. Tommy Williamson… listed at the end of the book. He made a preacher and we cousins loved them both. After retirement from the pulpit, he and Aunt Wilma handmade quilts. I miss them both.

    • Reply
      November 17, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Barbara-thank you for the comment and sharing your connection to Dorie-how cool is that 🙂

  • Reply
    Tony Maynard
    November 14, 2018 at 11:05 am

    She looks like an interesting gal for sure.

  • Reply
    Terry L Stites
    November 14, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Altho I’m not of your mountains, I am a daughter of the Oklahoma hills, born and raised. Dorie reminds me so much of people I grew up knowing and hearing about.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I would love to read about Dorie. My kin are from the Swannanoa/Black Mountain area, but your blog rings true.

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    November 14, 2018 at 8:35 am

    This sounds like a wonderful book to read. Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving. It is almost here.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Oh, I would so love to get better acquainted with Dorie. How exciting to find your kinfolks’ names on the list. Books and lists like these are priceless.

  • Reply
    Donna Wofford
    November 13, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    I just love your site and I would love to have the book.I was looking at your page the other day and you had what my daddy called sweet bread I thought it was just something my daddy made.He has been gone many years and I still make it.Thank you so much for sharing your stories and recipes.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    I have been wanting to read Dorie since you first mentioned her. Instead, I ordered it for my sister as a gift and keep forgetting to borrow it!
    There is also a Blalock mentioned on the above list- my maiden name. Our Blalocks operated sawmills in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma before, during, and after Dorie’s narrative.They migrated to that area from Rabun County, Georgia. I truly look forward to reading ‘Dorie, Woman of the Montains”, further connecting the thread.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    I would love to read about Dorrie, as I enjoy reading about life years ago, and especially a true story. Your blog is down home and I feel like I’m talking with neighbors when I read it.

    • Reply
      Jacqueline Coleman
      November 13, 2018 at 6:34 pm

      I would LOVE to read more about Dorrie. My family is from the Appalachia area.

  • Reply
    Annette Casada Hensley
    November 13, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Dorie sounds totally intriguing. You and your blog are definitely on my list of items for which to give thanks this Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    The stories about “real” people (some would say “common” people) have always attracted me most. Lives of the “rich, famous, and influential” are interesting and their impact on history is undeniable; but, I prefer reading and hearing about how “plain folk” coped with and were affected by, and sometimes even influenced history and sometimes their influence isn’t known until a few generations later. I can’t help but wonder if Dorie’s exuberance and love of life might have had some special influence on her descendants. I’d love to (and plan to) read this book one way or the other.BTW: do you have a list of all the books you’ve mentioned in your blog. It would be a good list to refer to!

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    November 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    It’s hard to believe its been three years since you wrote about Dorie, it was very enlightening and enjoyable. You provide a window into life that I would not otherwise have. Thank You!

  • Reply
    Patricia Small
    November 13, 2018 at 11:44 am

    I always enjoy reading your blog and I am impressed that you love your home so much! I’m not sure my comments are showing up but I hope so!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 11:03 am

    My grandfather and great grandfather were loggers. Little communities would build up, and after a time would just die out. I can attest loggers were a very special kind of people, and they showed much evidence of a life of very hard work. In my family there were not very many quiet people, and was actually talkaholics. I was fortunate to have witnessed the changes in a little logging community called Pinnacle Creek. We have old pictures from its heyday showing large groups of men who worked the timbers. Another picture show them getting together in the 1930’s for corn shuckings. The pictures of men all dressed up to shuck corn is very suspect, and actually made a local paper.
    I once hid Easter eggs at a company store there before they stopped the timbering. They had their own one room school, and a few rows of houses along with scattered farms. As the timbering came to an end my grandfather decided to stay there where they had rich bottom land in a valley along the creek. The old houses were torn down and used for his various barns and outhouses. Certain areas of the creek were still used for baptizing and swimming.

    Time marches on, and the old folks have died off but not the memories. Our beautiful Pinnacle Creek became part of the ATV trails of the Hatfield and McCoy trails. We know the old landmarks, and each year a group makes the trek up the holler to see the old home place. Sadly, all that remains of the booming little community is a small neglected cemetery on a hillside. Each grave represents somebody who died during the short time when the area was populated by timber workers. Each little grave is marked by a simple field stone with no name. There is nobody left who knows the names of those who rest there. It is just one of many cemeteries where folks are buried near where a little logging or mining community once thrived.

  • Reply
    Rosamary Christiansen
    November 13, 2018 at 10:53 am

    I would dearly love to enjoy the book Dorie Woman of the Mountains. Thank you for a chance to win this prize. I enjoy The Blind Pig and the Acorn every morning ith my first cup of coffee. It’s like a letter from home.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Well, I have read “Its Not My Mountain Anymore,” by Barbara Taylor Woodall, and her book “A Time for Every Purpose.” You had mentioned them before and I put them on my Christmas Wish List one year and my dear husband gifted me with them. I enjoyed reading them very much.

    The excerpts on this book sounds a lot like my grandparents and great-grandparents so there is no doubt I would enjoy reading “Dorie, Woman of the Mountain.” I noticed quite a bit of familiar traits – my one grandmother did not believe in dancing yet her husband in his growing up days was quite the dancer. I must say I think I inherited that love of dance too. My grandmothers, and my mother and father were always busy. When I was a teenager I remember thinking did my grandmothers read that verse in the Bible about idle hands being the workshop of the devil because they were always busy making something, putting up something, improving something or taking something to someone or helping someone. And I must be part Mountaineer even though I never lived in the mountains, because I was one that would sit and listen and never comment. I liked Abraham Lincoln’s quote “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you’re a fool than to speak and prove you are.” I’m not so sure I thought that deeply, I was shy and not confident enough to speak out. Plus, my Mother always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I must say for me age seems to be helping with confidence, as now that I am in my 70’s, I seem to be much more confident and ready to speak out on anything I don’t agree with. Maybe I should think on Abraham Lincoln’s quote a little more. Thanks Tipper, for naming this book on your blog. I’m putting it on my Christmas Wish List.

  • Reply
    Maxine Appleby
    November 13, 2018 at 10:37 am

    As you kniw, I teach about Appalachia and its wonderful people- like you and your family. I continue to be pleased and excited by your blog, the music videos and your gift of the words and phrases used in Appalachia. All that you do helps preserve and make known to countless people the traditions, language and skills of our Appalachian homeland. Thank you, so very much for all your gifts.
    If I were to win the book, I promise you I will read it to my “Appalachian Women “ class at Wofford next spring!!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    November 13, 2018 at 10:13 am

    The reference to the loggers rings a bell with me as my Paternal Grandfather and his brother were cutting Chestnut trees when one kicked off the stump and killed my Grandfather, this happened in 1928 when my Father, his oldest child was five years old. He and my Grandmother had three sons one of which had died in 1925 of what today would be classified as SIDS and my Grandmother gave birth to their forth child six months after my Grandfather was killed. The American Chestnut was the life blood of many communities and when the Blight killed them many small communities slowly began to die as the residents moved to find work. My Grandmother raised her three surviving sons through the depression on their farm at Needmore on what they grew and a small salary she received as Postmistress of the Needmore Post Office. My Dad and his brother both served in the military during WWII. Dorie reminds me of my Grandmother as they worked hard and made do with what they had. My Grandmother died in 2006 four months short of her 103rd birthday, she was of a hardy stock.

  • Reply
    Carolyn & David Anderson
    November 13, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Tipper, Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to do this blog. I love reading it and I know it takes precious time out of your busy schedule.

  • Reply
    Jeanette Queen
    November 13, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Dorie sounds just like my Grandma, Aunt Bertie and my Mama……I haven’t read the book, but feel like I know
    her a little from your descriptions & excerpts. All our mountain people are the same in that way, quiet & reserved, but
    can be quite the talkers when they get to know you. That’s just great that Wade and Ben are in the list of names, I love that. Have a wonderful day, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    November 13, 2018 at 9:31 am

    I agree with Miss Cindy. I do believe that everyone that reads your blog is kin of the heart.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 13, 2018 at 9:29 am

    I get an email from you almost every day but just delete it. Why? Because I open and read your blog before I read my email. I really can’t understand why others don’t do the same.
    Don’t include me in the drawing. I already have the book.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Good morning Tipper. Wow! What you shared today was so interesting. I got so into it, its almost like your there. Thats when you know its good. We that have lived in the mountains know what its all about. Its still in me. I would take the mountains any time than living in the city. The crisp air ,the morning dew
    The trees. The wild life. There is nothing better than what Our God has created. I would love to read this book and let it take me back to my childhood. Thanks Tipper. Always love reading your post. God Bless!

  • Reply
    Jeanie Ahrens
    November 13, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Every time you include excerpts from this book, I want to read it and enjoy getting to know Dorie. I would love to have a copy of her story. Thanks for sharing your life, family and memories in your column.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Both my grandfathers worked as loggers for awhile and my dad also before WW11. I’ve heard many stories of that time.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 13, 2018 at 8:40 am

    You discovered in “Dorie” what I also discovered doing genealogy; namely that our family stories are American history. Only the ‘bright lights’ get noticed usually in the books but they don’t create history. They only represent a larger movement of significant proportions of the citizenry. Just as your family were part and parcel of the turn-of-the-century logging in the Southern Appalachians (which was itself a part of the industrialization of America and its emergence as a world power), you are a representative of the current social change of social media and the blogging that is part of it. In its entirety, that change is enormous and its results are yet to be determined.

    I know what you mean about feeling like Dorie was ‘one of your people’. It is a conviction that you can relate to them and them to you, not necessarily perfectly but at least well. I feel the same. Like Dorie, I am an edge of the crowd person. To the outgoing folks I am dull and forgetable. But I have learned, finally, that we are each different in some measure and not to use myself as any standard of what is right or good. I just hope other folks will show me the same courtesy. But if they don’t I can cope with that to.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    November 13, 2018 at 8:19 am

    This sounds like such a wonderful book! Thank you for all of the stories, music, recipes and Appalachian information delivered to my e-mail every day!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 7:53 am

    My mother’s folks came out of West Virginia and Miss Dorie, as you write about her, seems familiar to me. My mother was much the same, reserved and quiet, if she didn’t know what to say. Tho I never lived there, your part of the country calls me to travel the back roads and remember the old ways. Thank you, Tipper, for your commitment.

  • Reply
    Joy elliott
    November 13, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Oh I would love to read this book
    Have a Blessed day
    Joy elliott

  • Reply
    Amanda Burts
    November 13, 2018 at 7:12 am

    I want to meet Dorie!

  • Reply
    milner smith
    November 13, 2018 at 7:08 am

    my wife would love dorie. i follow your referrances and links until sometimes i get lost. it’s great.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    November 13, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Tremont and Elkmont are two of my favorie spots from childhood

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 5:56 am

    Well, Tipper, this book has been on my wishlist since the first time you wrote about it…goodness, doesn’t time fly! So please put my name in the hat for your giveaway, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed 🙂
    I’ve been meaning to do a giveaway in early November, and here it is halfway through already. More of that flying time! I’d better get cracking. Pouring rain again today, so a good day to do some blogging anyway.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 13, 2018 at 5:26 am

    Congratulations to Don T! Tip it is so cool that you found Wade and Ben in the list of names. It makes you kin of the blood as well as kin of the heart!

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