ETHEL McCULLOUGH

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Staff/Personnel
Summer Worker, 1919

Ethel McCullough was a summer worker who came to Pine Mountain in 1914, the second year of existence of the School. She was a close friend of Marguerite Butler, a worker at Pine Mountain who accompanied Katherine Pettit to Pine Mountain when she was negotiating the creation of the settlement. In a letter to Mary Rogers, written at the end of her life, Marguerite described Ethel as one of the McCullough’s of Cincinnati and a friend of the family.  Marguerite’s family was also in Cincinnati. and she reminisces, “I guess you know the Ethel to whom I refer was a McCullough from Cincinnati. Thru her I went to Vassar.” Just how this Vassar connection came about is not fully known but the two had obviously been family friends for some years and Ethel McCullough’s experiences at Vassar were obviously an influence on Marguerite.

In an oral history taken from Marguerite Butler, she describes the trail of friendships that brought her to Pine Mountain:

But then the summer of my junior year, a very, very close friend went to Kansas City to visit another classmate, Emily Hook. And there she met her sister Mary Rockwell, who had graduated from Wellesley and was an architect, and Mary told of a school that was soon to be started in Harlan County at the headwaters of Greasy Creek where Isaacs Run and Solomon Branch come together. Mary was to be the architect for all the buildings at this new school. And she and Miss Pettit and Ethel de Long and Miss Davis, the nurse, walked the fifty miles from Hindman to Pine Mountain.

Mary [Rockwell Hook] was full of the beauty of the country and the prospect of developing this new school. And when my friend, Ethel McCullough, came back and told me, she said “We knew this would just be the place that you would want to go.” So I immediately wrote Miss Pettit, Miss Katherine Pettit, whose home was in Lexington, Kentucky, and told her I had one more year at Vassar and then I would be interested to come down to this new school if they could use me. And I immediately had a reply. They would gladly welcome me. So I think I was one of the few who my senior year knew what I was going to do the following year.

Ethel McCullough graduated in 1909 from Vassar and Marguerite Butler graduated in 1913. She wrote in her Vassar yearbook, “Sentimentally I am disposed to harmony, but organically I am incapable of a tune.”

While Ethel McCullough did not stay long at Pine Mountain, her short summer left a lasting mark on those who knew her. She figures prominently in the letters and memoirs of the staff who worked with her during her short time at the School.

Ethel’s remarkable foresight may be seen in a brief 1912 article she wrote for her college newspaper, the Vassar Miscellany“Combining Theory and Practice”. It is based on her observations of a program started by President Dabney at the University of Cincinnati and is a remarkable testament to the educational goals established at Pine Mountain. Dabney later became a major influence on education in the United States but appears to have had his advocates in the Kentucky mountains early in the century.

While many workers at the School took away life-long lessons, many left their lessons with the School. Ethel seems to be one of those remarkable workers whose short tenure at the School left many contributions.

Her photograph album, gathered from photographs taken during Pine Mountain’s formative years, is one of the best preserved and annotated albums in the photographic material of the School.  Just how much she contributed to taking of the images is not known, but she obviously had an excellent eye for photographic detail and gathered some of Pine Mountains most compelling and iconic images in her carefully preserved album.

ETHEL McCULLOUGH PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM

McCULLOUGH ALBUM – PART I
McCULLOUGH ALBUM – PART II
McCULLOUGH ALBUM – PART III

[IN PROCESS]


Title

Ethel McCullough

Identifier

Permalink: https://pinemountainsettlement.net/?page_id=17282

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Ethel McCullough; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; summer workers ; Marguerite Butler ; Katherine Pettit ; Mary Rogers ; Vassar College ; oral histories ; Emily Hook ; Mary Rockwell Hook ; Wellesley College ; architects ; Harlan County ; Greasy Creek ; Isaacs Run ; Solomon Branch ; Ethel de Long ; Miss Davis ; Vassar Miscellany ; President Dabney ; University of Cincinnati ;

Subject LCSH

McCullough, Ethel.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.

Date

2014-11-22

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

n/a

Type

Collections ; text ; image ;

Format

Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet

Source

Series 09: Staff/Personnel

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Staff/Personnel

Coverage Temporal

Summer 1919 ;

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Hindman, KY ; Lexington, KY ; Kansas City, MO ; Cincinnati, OH ;

Rights

Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Donor

n/a

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Ethel McCullough ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Ethel McCullough ;

Acquisition

n/d

Citation

“Ethel McCullough”, Series 09: Staff/Personnel. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2014-11-22 hhw ; 2014-11-25 aae ;

Bibliography

McCullough, Ethel. “Combining Theory and Practice”. Vassar Miscellany. XLI.5 (1 March 1912): 374-377. http://newspaperarchives.vassar.edu/cgi-bin/vassar?a=d&d=literary19120301-01.2.8# (Accessed 2014-11-22) Internet resource.

Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.