Pine Mountain Settlement School is an over 100-year-old institution focused on environmental stewardship, cultural and heritage preservation, health education, and agricultural development in the central Appalachian region.
ABOUT THE COLLECTIONS
INDEX TO ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS
An in-depth digital look at the ARCHIVE at Pine Mountain Settlement School. The collections include photographs, documents, biographies, objects, video and other materials that describe the institution from its beginnings in 1913 to the present day. Many documents are available in FULL TEXT.
Work is on-going.
The programs at Pine Mountain Settlement School have evolved to meet the changing needs of the community and region. Today’s programs focus on environmental education and educational support for students in local schools.
The Pine Mountain Settlement School mission reflects a history of multiple enrichment programs for the local community and beyond. Once a boarding school with a progressive educational curriculum, recent programming has moved away from residential education to multi-faceted offerings of short-term environmental, cultural, medical, social and agricultural courses and workshops.
Though “hidden” and largely inaccessible for many years, the materials in the rich local archive are being organized, digitized and offered in a growing website that contains the School’s historical record. The School’s archive contains many historical treasures regarding life in the Southern Appalachians from 1913 until the present. This website attempts to bring some of these unique holdings to the attention of scholars, former students, former workers and the communities of interest both near and far.
SOME WHOPPING TALES
Telling stories in Appalachia comes with the territory — and what territory it is. Some samples from folks in the community of Pine Mountain and some samples of stories by workers at the Pine Mountain Settlement give an idea of the rich lore to be found in the School archive.
This one mystified me.
This one enchanted me.
“ABOUT SARAH BAILEY, 1940” by Alice Cobb
Evelyn Wells in her Record of Pine Mountain Settlement School 1913-1928 laments
Gatherings at Pine Mountain were more frequent in the early days than they are now when practically the only days we see our neighbors at the school are the Fourth of July and the Community Fair. People came for workings, box suppers, Christmas, Sunday preachings at the House in the Woods, parties on Fridays or Saturdays. such gatherings here have grown infrequent for a number of reasons: social life, if we may call the meagre and pitiful neighborhood intercourse by that name, has grown more interesting, with the growth of lumber camps and the improvement in the country schools and in living conditions; people go across the mountain more for their entertainment; our own extension centers provide something more easily attainable; and the life of Pine Mountain has grown so much that perhaps our neighbors do not feel so well acquainted. In the days when neighbors were building and working for us, it seemed more natural for them to come here. Knowing our neighbors through their visits at Pine Mountain was a part of the life of the early days that could still be lost, and we must regret that the growth of the school and the countryside have been away from each other.
This brief excerpt from Pine Mountain correspondence captures that which “could still be lost.” Today we might paraphrase, “we must regret that the growth of the city and countryside have been away from each other,” as we watch many place-based celebrations fall away and see them replaced by electronic images on our phones, our TV, or our computer. We might all pause and take a few moments to recall how we came to celebrate the Fourth of July and how that day, a melting cone of ice-cream on a hot July day with family, with friends — with community, is a precious gift.
Just published! LADEN TRAIL (“THE ROAD”) CORRESPONDENCE, covering the building of the road to the top of the north side of Pine Mountain from the railroad at Dillon, Kentucky. A graded road to replace the existing trail was essential to getting supplies to the fledgling School and opening up the isolated area to the rest of the world.
The pages consist of listings of the letters, their dates, authors, recipients, and contents. The letters, largely written by the women who conceived of the road, fought for it and raised the funds to build it, are from the earliest years of the Pine Mountain Settlement School: Part I (1916-1919) and Part II (1920-1921).
The correspondence to and from Katherine Pettit, one of the School’s founders, and the road-building officials tells the intriguing story of the twists and turns, both figuratively and literally, they encountered while undertaking one of the most difficult engineering and political road projects in Eastern Kentucky.
Read how Ethel de Long Zande, PMSS co-founder and co-director, learned “on the job” the essential elements of road-building, dealt with road-building officials, kept a close watch on charges for services, prodded supervisors to cooperate more efficiently, kept tabs on fundraising and pledge payments, participated in hiring and firing decisions and encouraged commissions to make decisions in favor of the Road. The participation of convict laborers in the project will interest historians seeking to understand the push and pull of labor relations, ethics, race relations and the role of African Americans in early infrastructure projects in the Appalachian South.
While building a settlement school in a remote wilderness and caring for her newborn child, Ethel de Long carried the logistical side of the construction project, Celia Cathcart, Evelyn Wells and other women shared in fund-raising, while Katherine Pettit executed the heavy lifting on the political side. What is remarkable in the correspondence is the attention to professionalism, tact, and graciousness by the women in the ever-present rough and tumble of the male-dominated construction world.
The INDEX TO ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS has a new look and is under construction. Some large sections have been moved and others consolidated. Please bear with us as we try to improve the search process for the growing web site.
May is one of the most beautiful months at Pine Mountain Settlement School and recent photographs and quotes capture its beauty as it cloaks itself in joyful green and its colorful accents. For photographs, go to 2017 MAY AT PMSS.
“I don’t look after wealth for them, just the prosperity of our nation …” said UNCLE WILLIAM CREECH as he drew up his 1913 agreement with Katherine Pettit and Ethel de Long to give land to found a school in the deep heart of Appalachia. His wisdom was a driving force behind the creation of Pine Mountain Settlement School. Read Ethel de Long’s timely article for New Outlook vol. 115, 21 February 1917, that describes “The Pine Mountain School: A Sketch from the Kentucky Mountains,” that describes Uncle William’s reasons for approaching the two women founders. His reasons still resonate with those looking for sound wisdom in a time of turmoil, graft, and change. Then, follow the path of this early pioneer as he describes life in the remote mountains of Eastern Kentucky. The revealing autobiography, A Short Sketch of My Life, dips into the well of his Uncle William’s wisdom.
Follow William Creech’s autobiography with the tribute to his wife, AUNT SALLY DIXON CREECH, as she is quoted and admired by her family and her new friends, the so-called “Quare Women” of Pine Mountain. Her motherly wisdom and her shrewd understanding of human nature shine in these two important autobiographical writings by the founding members of the Creech family.
GUIDE TO WELLS’ RECORD OF PMSS 1913-1928 by Evelyn K. Wells
Work continues on the extensive Evelyn K. Wells material found in the PMSS collections. Her careful gathering of material titled GUIDE TO WELLS’ RECORD OF PMSS 1913-1928, is a rich synopsis of the history of the school from its beginning years until 1928, as well as anecdotal stories of her colleagues and her neighbors in the surrounding community.
The March WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH biographies were just short of the 30 women we aimed for. But, we believe women should be recognized all year long and we especially want to round out WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH with the last few women’s histories. SEE:
OMA CREECH (FISKE)
MAY BELLE RITCHIE (DESCHAMPS)
BECKY MAY HUFF
We also want to feature, in depth, the work of two of the notable women we presented in March. As we surveyed in our collections, Evelyn K. Wells, Teacher, Secretary and Board of Trustee member and Alice Cobb, Teacher, Fundraiser and Trustee, stand out as particularly important to an understanding of the early years of Pine Mountain Settlement School. So …in addition to the biographies on our women’s list, Evelyn and Alice will receive special attention during the month of April. Follow our expansions of the biographies of Evelyn K. Wells and Alice Cobb during the month of April and prepare to be entertained and inspired.
SEE WHAT’S NEW! ARCHIVE for older featured collections
Also visit our partnering institution H-Net Commons and H-Kentucky.
The partnership was launched June 1, 2016 with the assistance of Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth, Assistant Provost, University of Kentucky; President, H-Net:Humanities & Social Sciences On-Line,H-Kentucky and currently editor of H-Kentucky. On a visit to PMSS Dr. Hollingsworth described the goal of the H-Net network: [It] “…seeks to create an online collaborative environment to facilitate communication and the exchange or scholarly and pedagogical ideas among teachers, researchers, scholars, advanced students, and related professionals (e.g. local historians, librarians, archivists, genealogists), all in an open, democratic, respectful and non-partisan manner. H-Kentucky especially welcomes those who are interested in Kentucky, as well as those in any history/humanities field who live and/or work in Kentucky.”
For instructions on subscribing to H-Kentucky go to:
COMMENTS & CONTACT
Comments and feedback regarding the material on this website or on the institutional history are welcomed.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 558-3571 with your inquiries and comments. We welcome your identification of people and activities on our site and, particularly, corrections to the record.
Comments directly on the website are not enabled.
ABOUT OCR TEXT
Many of the texts included in this site have been automatically generated using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. In some cases, these texts have not been manually reviewed or corrected.
OCR enables searching of large quantities of full-text data, but it is not 100% accurate. The level of accuracy depends on the print quality of the original publication and its condition at the time of microfilming. Publications with poor quality paper, small print, mixed fonts, multiple column layouts or damaged pages may have poor OCR accuracy.
CITATION OF MATERIALS
Any PUBLIC use of material must properly cite Pine Mountain Settlement School in the following manner:
“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. [date], Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. [date accessed]
STATEMENT REGARDING PRIVACY
The manuscript collections and archival records in the Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections may contain sensitive and/or confidential information that may be protected under federal and state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers who wish to publish and users who may share material from the Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections are advised by this notice that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in some collections within the Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. may be a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person.) for which Pine Mountain Settlement School assumes no responsibility.
If you believe that your privacy rights have been invaded please notify the following.
See INDEX TO COLLECTIONS for an overview of collections and series.