CONIFER – 1941

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 17: PMSS PUBLICATIONS (Published by the School)D
Conifer 1941

CONIFER – 1941




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The Creative Work of Students of
Pine Mountain Settlement School
Published as a Supplement
May, 1941

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Plow into events of the Nation
Inscribe upon pages of white
Name according to importance
Each article with its highlight.
Cater to the mind of the reader
Open the news to all
Narrate as well as feature —
Education must not pall.
— Emma Lou Mullins

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Two years ago Pine Mountain meant nothing more to me
Than a mountain full of trees and stone.
I had hardly heard the name,
But one year ago to my surprise
I was a student of Pine Mountain School.
And now to me the name Pine Mountain means much.
To me it means a door of opportunity,
A mountain full of wonderful surprises
And a beautiful home full of comfort and new friends.
— Sara Shepherd

In all the world I know not one
But you, my tree. I know no other
As pretty as thee
Nor another as great as thee,
And in my memory
You will always be,
The king of all, my tree.
Do not fear, my pretty tree,
You are bigger and stronger
Than all the trees.
Then you were known as a giant
Instead of a tree.
Remember you were once a tiny tree
Under them all,
But now you have grown bigger and taller,
And you are the king of them all, my tree.
— Lake Cress

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Linoleum cut by – Velma Peters

Hunting is the best of fun
Watching squirrels and rabbits run
Shooting, throwing, and climbing too
I love the forest, don’t you?
— Estil Cornett

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Directed by Jack Halcomb
Special sound effects by Jack Halcomb Inc.

A certain Philistine man
A guard

DELILAH — Samson, dear, please tell me where your great strength is.
SAMSON — (pausingly) Well, alright, if you tie me with seven green branches, then will I be as weak as any other man.
DELILAH — (going over to the window) Oh, Samson, come over here a moment, (pause) Bring me a bunch of green branches to tie Samson up with.
MAN —Alright, I’ll be right back.
SAMSON — Ho-hum, think I’ll take a nap. (pause)
DISTANT CALL — Oh, Delilah, here are the ropes you wanted.
DELILAH — OK, thanks. Tell the lords I’ll have Samson bound in a jiffy.(pause)
DELILAH — There you are, dearie, you are all tied up.(sound of foot-steps)
A LORD — Ah Samson, I’ll get a sweet reward for this.(sound of breaking twigs)
SAMSON — Ha, ha! So you thought it would hold me.
A FLEEING LORD — We’ll get you yet, Samson, (pause)
DELILAH — Samson, you have lied to me, now tell me where your strength is.
SAMSON— (drawlingly) Well, alright. If you braid the seven locks of my hair, then will I be as weak as any other man.(pause)
DELILAH — Good, he’s asleep! Now I’ll braid his hair, then we’ll see.
SAMSON — (yawning) Oh, hello dear, have I been asleep long?
DELILAH — Samson, the Philistines are upon you! Let’s see you get away from this beam I have tied you to. (foot-steps show approach of Philistines)
SAMSON — (cracking of wood) Ah-ha, if I can’t get untied I’ll just break the beam, ha-ha.
A LORD — Darn it, We’ll get you yet, you villain, you.
DELILAH— (weepingly) Samson, you don’t love me, do you? Why don’t you tell me where your strength really is? You have lied to me and

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SAMSON — If you put it that way, then I’ll tell you. Since I have been born my hair has never been cut. If it should be cut off, I would be as weak as a baby.
DELILAH — (slowly) Samson, are you telling the truth?
SAMSON — Yes, on my word of honor, it’s the truth.
DELILAH — (walking over to the window) Oh, John, come here a moment, (pause) Tell the lords to come at once. Samson has told the truth this time, (pause)
A LORD — Delilah, here is the money. You have earned it. Are you sure he is asleep.
DELILAH — Yes, I’m sure he’s asleep. Come let’s shave his head before he wakes. (pause)
A LORD — There, my dear Samson, your head is as bald as an onion. Ha-ha, you look funny.
SAMSON — Well, now that I am weak, what are you going to do about it?
A LORD — You’ll know soon enough.(pause)
A LORD — Look around, Samson, you won’t be seeing anything soon. We are going to put your eyes out.(a short pause)
SAMSON — (groans) O-o-o-o-h!
A LORD — There, you will never see again, my dear Samson. (pause) Guard, take him to the prison to grind the grain.
SAMSON — You will pay for this, you dirty swine.

ANNOUNCER — After Samson stayed in prison some time, his hair began to grow again. Our story opens in the prison.
SAMSON — Good, my hair is beginning to grow again. Soon I will be able to fight again, (pause)
A GUARD — Come with me, we are going to sacrifice you to our god, Dagon. (foot-steps show their walk to the temple)
SAMSON — Can’t you tie me to that pillar so I may rest? I can’t do any harm there.
A GUARD — Well, OK, I don’t guess you can do any harm at that. Come on.
ANNOUNCER — Samson lays his hands on the pillars and ____
SAMSON — O Lord, give me strength to do my last thing on this earth.
ANNOUNCER — And so Samson caused the building to fall by pulling the pillars down, killing more people than he had killed in all his life.

So ends the story of Samson

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The tang of the air, the frosty morning
Spring is here, the buds are swelling
It is just a magic show for those who know
Where to go to see nature’s wonders.
The feeling you have, life is so wonderful
God is good, the earth bountiful
The trees sprout their green leaves quickly
Last year’s leaves look so sickly on the ground.
The sun is bright, the birds are singing
Pleasant noises in my ear are ringing
The teacher’s voice, a pupil’s answer
A stern rebuke, another answer.
I am not a licensed dreamer
To stay all day in clouded splendor
Brought to earth by kind words quickly
Reminded of my assignment gently, to write a poem.
To work I go with high ambitions
Woe is me, another failure
Radiator singing, classmate laughing
Nature beckons and I answer with joy in my heart.
Above the trees and the hills I am soaring
My lofty stand in azure skies.
I look with wondering doubtful eyes
Down upon my foster home.
Recalled again, and not so gently
A classmate’s nudge.
Safe again
In class often my thoughts do wander
My favorite pastime is sound slumber
And do I snore?
— Jack Deaton

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About a year ago I had my first opportunity to go to the place where my father was born. It was in a little village between two small towns in Virginia. The old weather-beaten house reminded me of Mr. Spelman’s painting, “The Tumbledown.” Around the garden was a rock wall which had been built by my great grandfather’s slaves before the Civil War. After many years of faithful service it, too, was beginning to lose its once almost perfect shape. Out past this wall I saw a small log cabin which was less tumbled down than the other house. I then recalled hearing my mother tell me that Grandpa, as she, too, called him, never lived in the same house with his slaves. Yes, I guessed it, sure enough this was the cabin where the slaves had stayed. As I looked over this old time worn place which has been deserted for about thirty years, I thought of the plantation songs, of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and of Uncle Remus. I used to enjoy above all things sitting around the fire and listening to my mother tell the tales which my great grandmother had told her about slavery in Virginia.
— Delia Taylor

MY EXPERIENCE AT HITCH-HIKING (with emphasis on the hiking)

For about a week one summer I had been planning a trip down through Corbin and London to visit some friends. In order to save two or three dollars, I decided to hitch-hike. For after all, as you know, hitch-hiking is about the cheapest method of transportation a fellow can find these days, provided he is lucky. My set date rolled around. I strolled off down to the highway about seven o’clock in the morning. Within five minutes after I arrived at the road I got my first ride. It was short, only about a mile. Still I was off to a good start. This gave me courage and a good spirit. I was sure that everything would turn out fine because hitch-hiking was so easy. But, by the time I had walked the next nine miles with my thumb stuck out and with cars whizzing on by, I had changed my mind entirely.

It was eleven o’clock. I had traveled ten miles and nine of them afoot. I was all in, exhausted and discouraged. I took the next bus back home.

I don’t know when I will go visit those friends, but I do know how. I’ll take a Greyhound.
— Calvin Jones

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Early one autumn morning Harrison and Will, my favorite uncles who made me stay home for a day if I mentioned the word “uncle”, announced that we were going fishing. Fishing or o’possum hunting, I always went with them even if my grandmother did occasionally threaten to put a stop to the unladylike “galavanting” in which her seven year old grandchild took special delight. Harrison, the only worker of the three, had put everything in the boat before breakfast. The thing that always caused a delay in getting started came up as usual. My hair must be done up in braids for the customary long snaky yellows rolls could not stand the roughing I had to take. To this day when anyone mentions blondes I remember those yellow rolls with horror. “I wouldn’t be surprised if those snakes as you call them turn up missing someday”, stated Will in a tone that made my heart leap at the thought of anything so impossible. Harrison, Will, and myself of course were the only three who liked each other enough to try to overlook the calamity of long yellow rolls. Drifting down the river in the boat seemed like using an eraser slowly, so as to wipe out anything you did not want to remember. The place best for setting the trout line soon was selected. I brought out the worms which I had helped dig from the old tobacco bed and started putting them on the hooks. I don’t squeal or jump from worms like most girls. That is just a way of announcing that you are a girl and everyone knows that. Catching Harrison eyeing me with a questioning look, I asked if he wanted me to eat some of the worms. “I don’t doubt you’d do it if you took a notion but anyone that can string worms the way you do and still be a girl don’t deserve to keep something she don’t like.” With this he turned into the willows which lined the bank like a hedge. Will had dinner ready — fried corn cakes, boiled coffee, pickles, and brown fish — a dinner fit for three hungry fishermen. Then Harrison got back. “Well old timer,” Harrison began, “this dinner will be a celebration of something nobody on this river would dare to do excepting us, of course.” Shocked is not the best adjective to use for my feeling at the moment. The world stood still but I soon recovered with a yell that would have made the best Swiss yodeller turn green. Seeing those two braids in Harrison’s hands instead of on my head gave me greater pleasure than going to the circus. I felt like a real person after my hair was clipped to a happy go lucky boyish bob. The rest of the day is a complete loss to me. I know I hugged everything in sight or came in contact with and kept myself continually in the way of fish line but nobody seemed to mind. Reaching home that afternoon we

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finally managed to brave the smokehouse door where grandmother was cutting soap. Will started to say something about my getting tangled up in fish line but the look on grandmother’s face stopped him. She just stood there between the apple-butter paddle and the soap knife for what seemed hours. Then, “If you three are going to the circus tonight, get in the house to your supper and clean up.”– Velma Peters

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I have never seen the ocean
with its rolling, tossing waves
No, not with my eyes
But oft when in dreams I’d wonder
My heart would see it.
I could hear its roaring gushes
As I danced upon the bank
No, not with my eyes
Yet oft when in dreams I’d wonder
My heart would feel it.
Nor have I seen the moon glittering
On its snowy foam
Not with my eyes
But oft when in dreams I’d wonder
My heart would feel it.
I never saw a ship sailing upon its bounding main
Still oft when in dreams I’d wonder
My heart would feel it.
How does my foolish heart know all this?
How can it see or hear
Ah, but it does know, for God has been kind
And made the heart to hear, to see, to feel, to hate, to love.
— Patsy Hall


During the days of her opening, Laurel House, very primly without seeming to do so, listened to many conversations. “I didn’t feel at home here until the Christmas festivities began.” “I think the garland hanging was the best ever even though they did have to use posts instead of the unfinished balcony to hang it on.” “It was hard to tell that the minuet dancers were students and not true English lords and ladies, especially with the Yule Log in the fireplace, the garlanded balcony, and Boys’ House English Christmas ballads.” “Why, living here is as natural as anything even though it does smell of plaster, paint, and new wood.” “The Thanksgiving Ball and the dinner seemed about twice as good just because we were in the Laurel House we have so long looked forward to.” “I know all the credit for such corking times can’t be given just to this one new building. But, I guess it seems to be.”

All the while Laurel House was nodding one of her six gables and vowing to live up to those traditions and expectations.

— Reported by Theda Howard for the January PINE CONE

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Mr. Kagawa — A great Christian
Mr. Taji — The mayor of Kobe
Yurka — A tramp
Kokichi — An old man who is the victim of trachoma
Sukee — Whose husband has lost his job and has sold everything in his house to get wine
Extras — To fill wine shop

Scene: A street in the Shingawa slums in Japan.
Time: One February afternoon about six o’clock. The street is strewn from one end to the other with cans, boxes, papers, etc. Kagawa and Taji are standing in front of a cheap wine shop which is filled with beggars, drunks, and tramps who are talking among themselves and drinking their wine while Taji and Kagawa are discussing the problem of trying to do something for the poor and unfortunate of the slums.

TAJI: (slightly frowning) Yes, you are right, Mr. Kagawa, but these people just don’t have the money to put into cooperative housing units and recreational centers, and all these things you want done.
KAGAWA: Well, the government will have to help by loaning money to consumer cooperatives in order to get started and–
TAJI: (interrupting) See, that’s just it. The government thinks that you are just interfering where you have no business, and so does the largest per cent of the population in these slums. That’s the very reason they have run you out so many times already.
KAGAWA: But you are the mayor of this city which puts you at the head of the city government, and what you say nearly always goes, so if you come on my ride of this affair we’ll be able to cope with our problems the way it is being done in America.
TAJI: I am beginning to see what you mean, now, Mr. Kagawa, and–
KAGAWA: (interrupting and pointing at Kokichi as he comes stumbling and feeling his way with a cane, dressed in filthy rags with a pair of shade glasses which hide his terrible eyes from the public) See, that’s one

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of the things which must be stamped out (With deep feeling of pity in his voice) We can’t let this terrible disease, trachoma, cause so much total blindness. We can get more information from America and start a cooperative medical association to give the poor the medical care which they are in need of so badly.
TAJI: You are right, Mr. Kagawa, you are right; and if these things can possibly be done, they will be if it is in my power to do so.
KAGAWA: (Laying his hand on the mayor’s shoulder and looking him straight in the eyes) You are really interested, Mr. Taji, I can see that very plainly and I can also see that you really intend to do something. (Sighing) Oh, if we could only stir up a little more interest in a few more people we could really get some where.
TAJI: But one thing I am not so very clear on is those social service colleges that I have heard you mention a time or two. (pause) I mean what is their purpose?
KAGAWA: Well, the reason we need those so badly is to prepare men and women to help our poor and unfortunates. For all the people are God’s children, who are the victims of circumstances created by the selfishness and the greed of the so-called upper classes. (Yurka comes out of the wine shop and leans against the wall with an ugly smile on his face as he listens to Kagawa and the mayor. Their faces are turned away from him.)
TAJI: (Looking surprised) But I thought you said we were all God’s children and that if we had some Christian leaders we would learn to love our enemies.
KAGAWA: That’s true. We are all God’s children an — (Yurka steps in between them and pushes them roughly apart, as he laughs a slow, coarse, drunkard’s laugh)
TAJI: (Clinching his fist and starting towards Yurka with a terrible snarl on his face) You low-down — (steps back and bites his lips as Kagawa motions for him to be quiet by shaking his head)
KAGAWA: (Turning to Yurka with a friendly smile) Anything we can do for you,Yurka?
YURKA: (Still smiling his ugly smile) Yeah, what’s that stuff you been telling the mayor about all of us bein’ God’s children and that we could love our enemies? (Turns around opening his mouth, bending over pretending to vomit) This whole mess of yours makes me sick.(Taji walks around shaking his head and puts his hands into his pockets and takes them out again)
KAGAWA (Still with the friendly smile on his face) But Yurka, don’t you think —

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YURKA: (raising his voice) I ain’t God’s child, I’m here to tell you that I ain’t going to be anybody else’s now that my old pa is dead and I ain’t a-lovin’ my enemies, and I ain’t a-believin’ one word of what you are saying nuther! (shaking his fist under Kagawa’s nose) But one thing I am going to give you and that’s a sock in the mug. (He lunges at Kagawa, striking at him with all his might, loses his balance and goes sprawling down among the trash in the street, as Kagawa steps quickly to one side. Two tramps come out of the wine shop and carry him away.)
YURKA: (struggling and swearing) I’ll get even with you yet, just wait and see.(The crowd in the wine shop has gathered around the windows and doors talking in low tones and winking at each other.)
MR. TAJI: (turning around and walking off) I’ll call the police and have that drunken sot put where he belongs.
KAGAWA: (Raising his hand) No, no, Mr. Taji. There is no need to call the police for that. I never do, because I want to win these people’s trust and I can never do it with the police at their heels. (They are interrupted by Sukee’s screams as she comes running down the street dressed in rags. A small baby is on her back wrapped in an old piece of comfort. She is pulling at a tattered quilt which has a ruffian onto the other end trying to take it away from her. They almost run into Kagawa and the mayor before the tramp sees them, and turns to flee while Sukee tells her troubles to Kagawa.)

SUKEE: (Trying to wrap herself in the quilt) Oh, Mr. Kagawa. Thank the Lord that you was here, fer if you hadn’t a-been here he would shore got my one and only comfort which is the only thing I have in the world to keep me warm. My poor husband can’t get a job nowheres and I do believe he’s losing his mind because he’s took everything we had to buy wine with.
KAGAWA: (laying his hand on the little baby gently) This little one is cold so you just go down by my hut and take the comfort which is laying beside my mat.
SUKEE: (Her face brightening up) Oh, Mr. Kagawa you are so good. How can I ever thank you?
KAGAWA: Don’t try to thank me Sukee, because I am very happy to do anything I can for you.
SUKEE: If they was only more mulberry leaves to feed the silk worms I wouldn’t have to beg but could buy me and the baby some rice and bread.
KAGAWA: (Speaking very kindly) Just keep your faith in God, Sukee, and you’ll find a way out of your troubles.

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SUKEE: (Turning to leave) I will, Mr. Kagawa, goodby.
MR. TAJI: (Looking at Kagawa with a thoughtful expression on his face.) You know Mr. Kagawa, if I had the good kind heart, the patience, and the faith which you have in God I would be the happiest man in all Japan.
KAGAWA: (With a solemn face) That poor woman and so many just like her are suffering this very hour from the cold and the lack of proper nourishment. (Throws his hand out in a helpless gesture) Oh, something has got to be done Mr. Taji, to give these poor people employment.
MR. TAJI: Because you have lived here in these terrible slums so long and because I feel that you know the conditions so well I am offering you a large salary and a decent home out side the slums to organize social work, for I know with you behind it, it can be done.
KAGAWA: (Smiling and looking the mayor straight in the eyes) Thank you, Mr.Taji, thank you, but I won’t take the salary or the home but I’ll do the work. For only by living with these people and as one of them can I ever learn what they need and want most. These terrible houses which breed disease and crime shall be torn down, burned, and rebuilt. Christian leaders will be employed.
MR. TAJI: (Looking very happy and reaching out his hand to Kagawa who takes it as they shake firmly) It is a compact!
KAGAWA: It is!
*This scene, written by Hattie Sturgill, appeared in the Co-op play, Cooperation Around the World.

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I glimpse new beauty every day,
Amidst this woodland splendor;
I feel a surge within my soul,
I dream in silent wonder.
In awe, I gaze on towering trees,
So ageless, proud and true,
Whose peaks with grandeur seem to meet,
And blend with starry blue.
I feel a kinship with the trees,
Which deck the rugged slopes
Like sentries standing there to guard,
And guide my cherished hopes.
No scene in nature can surpass,
Nor greater beauty own,
Than you, the guardian of my life,
My treasured mountain home.
— Doris Rogers


Linoleum cut by Donald Miller

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We have freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom to worship any way we please. With freedom of speech we can hear both sides of a question, its assets and its liabilities. We could not do that in certain countries today. With freedom of the press we can see news that has not been changed to suit one certain person at the head of our government as is done in some parts of the world. In some countries the people can go to only one church where they can have only one religion. Uncle Sam gives us the right to worship any way, anywhere, and at any time. That is what Uncle Sam means to me.

He also means peace, protection, democracy, and education. We do not dread the bombers of other countries coming to bomb us. We are not afraid that our rights are not being defended in our government. We do not go around with gnawing hunger pains inside our stomachs. We are well clothed, well sheltered from the wind, rain, and cold. Ours is a land of opportunity. We have more of a chance to do something for ourselves than people do in most countries of this day and age. New frontiers are opening themselves to us every day, showing the vast wealth and resources that lie within our borders. We have fine works of art and literature to draw from as well. Truly speaking we have almost anything that human beings should wish for.

I walk the streets with no fear of shrapnel. I carry no gas mask under my arm. Birds sing. They are not hushed by the distant rumble of cannon. At night I sleep soundly, not with the fear of being awakened by the piercing cry of a siren, warning me that death from the sky is near at hand. The buds are bursting forth on the limbs of the trees. The grass is beautifully green. There are no bomb craters in the turf which is bringing forth new life. There is peace and prosperity everywhere. We have something to live for which cannot easily be put into words. And that is what Uncle Sam means to me.
— (Written for an essay contest by Jim Bishop.)

When the owl begins to hoot and the whip-poor-will calls,
Heaven seems to open and night begins to fall.
You look up and see a star here and there,
When you look again they’re everywhere.
The moon comes up and casts a shadow o’er trees and bush,
There’s a slight wind blowing them back and forth.
When you and I feel gay and light,
It’s all caused by the mysterious night.
— La Velle Robinson

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[flowers] PETUNIA (opposite page) a linoleum cut by OPAL HALL which won third place in the black and white division of the 4th annual eastern Kentucky art exhibit, Ashland, Kentucky. April 28, 1941

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I never in my life thought I loved the mountains so much until I went away for almost a year to stay with my sister where there were no mountains to climb, only houses, factories with clouds of smoke, paved streets, and sidewalks. There were no stones to bump my bare toes against; but if there were stones I did not want to go without shoes like I did in the mountains because they all wore shoes even down to little children. I thought it strange for the little children to be wearing shoes because I was always used to going barefooted when summer came. There was one thing that bothered me most. There were no small creeks or branches in which I could wade and even fish for minnows as I did back home.

I started to school and I was never so lonesome in my life. The school was so large and had so many students and they all talked very different from me. They would all gather around and try to get me to talk. When I talked they laughed and I got very angry but that only made them laugh more.

I will never forget the day my sister told me we were going back home. It was then that I was so happy the tears ran down my cheeks in spite of my trying to keep them back. That night was a restless night for me. I could not sleep for thinking that soon I would be back among the hills and hear all the the whip-poor-wills calling from some place in the mountain. I could hear all the little insects at night and see the flash of a small firefly which I always called a lightening bug.
— Opal Hall

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As merely by-standers the youth of America have recently watched and listened to the outcome of one of the greatest presidential elections in the country’s history. Not any of them were sure in any way what they were fighting for when they undertook to support any of the candidates, Democrat or Republican, Communist or Socialist. But regardless of the outcome of that great election, the youth of this country will have to accept for the next one to six years, until they come of age, the principles of parties that use questionable methods to gain power over the government of the United States. Those principles may seem right or they may seem wrong to the individual youth and and yet he is willing to support the party which stands for those principles. Does he support that party because his father supported before him? If so, he is terribly ignorant of the fact that he lives in a country with some one hundred and thirty odd millions of other people. If every voter of this country were thinking of all those other people when he went to the polls, we would certainly have some very different election days. Sometimes we may wonder whether our country is really democratic. To be democratic the individual citizens must be democratic.

This article does not accuse any party in any election of giving the people principles which are wrong. And yet, we have so many different parties in this country, each one ready to tell one hundred and thirty millions of people that its principles are right. The youth are very ignorant of politics and do not rightly know what to expect as right.

The youth must abolish ‘dirty’ politics and in their years of suffrage must vote for the good and betterment of all people not for a political party or for the big capitalists of this country. A steady flow of youth is the backbone of our nation and they must not absorb the ideas of a political party but must absorb the American idea of living and democracy. Political parties in some areas even stoop to buy a man’s vote, a crime which should not be permitted in a democracy.

What a future for the youth of America if they will all fight for a better America wherein we will have a government of all the people, by all the people, and for all the people!
— An editorial written by Robert Blanton for the December PINE CONE

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Pine Mountain’s old English Christmas celebration to be held during the week of December 15 will be a pre-dedication for new Laurel House. The festivities will begin Sunday with open house everywhere on the campus and will end with carol singing late Thursday evening.

All Christmas decorations are to be completed by open house day. Laurel, hemlock, mistletoe, sycamore balls, and pine cones will be used in abundance for decorative purposes, but holly will be used sparingly in an attempt to conserve this native tree. Open hearth fires and Christmas refreshments will be added to the enjoyment of open house afternoon.

The chapel, always impressive, will be filled with hemlocks from the forest, candles burning brightly, and the carols of young voices participating in the Nativity play. As a part of this program everyone approaches the altar with a small offering.

The activities for the next four evenings will be centered in the dining hall with students in their house groups performing. Each evening’s program, a part of the evening meal, will add something to the Christmas decoration of the dining room. Monday evening’s program will be the candle lighting by the Big Log girls who will sing Silent Night as they carry their tapers. The ivy garland will be hung on the balcony on Tuesday evening by a group of girls singing The Holly and the Ivy. On Wednesday boys will bear evergreens to the dining hall, place them and decorate them to the strains of From For Away We Come to Thee. The Far House Mummers will entertain with St. George and the Dragon and other well known mummer characters, ending their dramatizations with If You Can’t Give Us Silver Then Give Us Gold. The pennies which will be thrown will be given to some benevolent fund.

On Thursday evening the wassailers from Boy’s House will bear the Yule log to the open hearth in the living room. The stately minuet will be danced by the lords and ladies after their dinner.

Other Christmas activities will come as a surprise to new students. Many of the students and staff will be going home for Christmas on December 20. Those who remain on campus will have their own Christmas celebration which must be a secret until Christmas week.
— Reported by Jewell Weaver for the December PINE CONE.

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May, the most mysterious month of spring!
Spring, the most wonderful quarter of the year!
Birds begin to call their mates
And send their throaty challenge to the world.
Wake up and live!
Flowers of vivid red, blue, yellow, and white
Begin to open and scent the air with their light fragrance.
The green mountains make a background for the dogwood and redbud.
Violets and dandelions peep from between blades of grass
That have made a velvet cover for the earth.

God on his throne must have looked down upon the world
Hibernating during the long dreary winter
And planned for a joyous awakening.
The month of May was sent to bring the earth to life.
A hint of fresh soil may be scented
As the farmer cultivates his land.
Streams seem to flow more freely,
Fish play more gleefully.
Everything everywhere seems to call
“Spring is here.”
But, lo, the sound of bullets echoes
Through the lands across the Atlantic
The misty air is not scented with flowers
The people fail to heed God’s invitation.
They engage in destroying nature.
May the land of America be spared
And its people never cease to appreciate God
And the nature he has provided
For their health and happiness.
— Juanita Robinson

Page 25

“Well, ain’t he a purty hoss. Now I remember when Doc Newman rode him and he ain’t hardly changed a lick exceptin’ a few gray hairs and a little extry fat.” Such was the comment of a reader as she received her copies of Life and Readers Digest from the pack horse librarian. “Maybe you’d like to be on Sunny Jim when something scares him, but not me,” said the rider. “I don’t usually stay on him long when something does scare him.” No one could play the Lone Ranger on Sunny Jim. Not that horse. When he hears the report of a twenty-two he acts like a wild bronco. And that is not all. He trembles like an aspen leaf for at least five minutes afterward. But Sunny Jim is not to blame. Think of the years he has spent walking up and down the creeks with a different rider every other time. Just as soon as he gets accustomed to one person the next generation comes along and jerks him the opposite way. Now, the poor beast does well if he plunges straight ahead. But just watch him go from Boys’ House to the barn. War Admiral? Man-o-War? No, just Sunny Jim going home after a trying day in the community, with a bouncing greenhorn on his back.
Written by Bonnie Ayers for the April issue of the PINE CONE


The tinkling of bells and the waving of kerchiefs produced by a group Morris dancers early in the morning will open the May Day festivities on Saturday, May 3. All day the campus will be dotted with visitors who will gather from surrounding communities for the celebration. The seniors will be in charge of the refreshments which will be sold.

If the weather permits the guests will enjoy exhibition dances by the students on the Far House dancing green during the afternoon. A great variety of dances will be done this year, but the American dances such as “Lady Walpole’s Reel” and “Portland Fancy” and Danish dances such as “Danish Contra Dance” seem to be student favorites. There will be no class dances but general dances with a few special sets.

Miss Winnie Christensen, who has been in charge of May Day for some time, has brought with her this year many new dances which have won the hearty approval of the students. The dancers consider themselves fortunate to have an authority such as Miss Christensen with them each spring to teach better appreciation of the fine art of folk dancing.

Pine Mountain is known for its folk dancing, and visitors who come to observe this tradition find it true to the old English custom. The tunes are lively and the dancers are flushed and happy as they dance the rhythmic figures, girls dressed in light spring prints and the boys in white.
—-Written by Eleanor Ayers for the May issue of the PINE CONE

Page 26

Here I sit
wasting time;
I would give a dime
to know the time
class changes.
What have I gained?
only a thought
I have fought
At the most distressing moments
Give me a flower;
What has the power
To restore joy
But a little flower?
— Ruth Ann Cornett
Linoleum cut by Cora Lee Nolan

Page 27

For a picture of English society with its struggles between goodness and vice, its show, its sentiment, and its hypocrisy during the Victorian period, consult Mr. William Makepeace Thackeray. He will give you that unsentimental book of no special humanitarian purpose, Vanity Fair. In the book itself we are told how the author who had just finished school met Becky, Jos, Amelia, and Dobbin who were all grown up and already out in the world at Pumpernickle.

The little comfortable grand ducal town of Pumpernickle whither Jos and his party and Major Dobbin on his return from India had come traveling together is familiar to all readers of Vanity Fair; and so are the carriage, and the courier on the box, and the Erb Prince Hotel where the whole party dined table d’hote. War was upon England as Thackeray wrote this book and he said to his people, “You will never have to run from the streets again because of air raids.” But unfortunately his words were not prophetic.

Another book depicting the prosperous England of the upper middle class is Henry Esmond. Charles Dickens, a contemporary of Thackeray, does not interpret the upper class but pictured the conditions of the English lower class. In accord with the general movement toward social reform which characterized the first half of the nineteenth century Dickens used the novel as a social force directed against unjust and cruel laws, the school system, or some other institution that needed reforming.

In David Copperfield he touches the life of the lower class and the sorrows of childhood amid the poverty and misery of London slums. His portrayal of human life and character is realistic and especially so in his two best known works which are David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers. The latter is a loosely connected series of sketches of the two classes. For an understanding of the dreadful social conditions that resulted from the Industrial Revolution you should read Oliver Twist. You will enjoy, too, The Life of Our Lord, written for his children.
—– Written by Emma Lou Mullins for the April issue of the PINE CONE


Page 28

He walked along the dusty road
His hay fork in his hand,
“‘Tis such a long way to the field
But the work I must do won’t stand.”
A few more steps he trudged along
His mind he changed a bit,
So sat he down in the shade of a tree
“Tomorrow I shall not sit.”
Take warning all who sing this song
Don’t think as this man thought,
Or else the world will not progress
By talent it has sought.
When things you know should be done today
Be sure to do them then,
Before you have the time to think
Of good things you’ll begin.
The little things you leave undone
To do you know not how,
You’ll have to do in time to come
So why not do them now?
—- Gwendolyn Hendren

As war continues the nerves of the English become steadier. There is noise always ringing in their ears. This comes from the drone of airplanes, the bursting of bombs, the rat-tat-tat of machine gun fire. With all of this going on we wonder how the people can stand it. It explains that the people are willing to undertake any heavy problem so that their nation may live. I think the war has gone too far now to break down the morale of the English people. I believe that if the citizens of Berlin had had their nerves terrorized by the bursting of bombs and machine gunning as the citizens of London had, the German people would be begging for peace. The Nazi government would have to consider this or face a revolution among the people.

When an air raid alarm sounds the people all look toward the sky, and when the bombs start following, they run to bomb shelters to stay all day and sometimes all night. If Germany wins the war I do not believe they can keep control over the people, and certainly not all of them will do what the Nazi government wants them to do. As the war continues and Britain meets heavier losses, she calls on the United States for help. So we may be in battle against the best army in the world, the German army. With this I do not agree. If Germany wins this war, she will not try to invade our country for a while. So we all listen to what is going on. Why not put in a prayer asking for this war to turn its course and go in the other direction?
—–Oral Howard

Page 29

From the busy smoke filled coal camps
Along Black Mountain and Pine Mountain
From the small towns along the Cumberland and the Poor Fork,
From the rural districts of Harlan, Bell, and Letcher
We came to Pine Mountain.
From Benham and Bledsoe,
Louellen and Corbin,
From Hotspot and Coldiron,
Hazard and Hyden,
From Partridge and Twila,
Chevrolet and Divide,
We came to Pine Mountain —
To discover a larger world
Peopled with friendly students and teachers eager to guide us.

To this larger world at first so bewildering
We finally adjusted ourselves.
We could not understand a system without grades –
A system where manners, graciousness, and self-control
Seemed far more important than the making of A’s.

We could not understand that planting potatoes,
Milking cows, baking bread, and cleaning houses
Were all part of an education.
Some of us were not happy
But we made ourselves content.
Others were happy.
We eighth graders worked, played, and wondered about it all.

One day in the fall of 1936
The chapel bell called us to pay tribute
To the memory of Miss Katherine Pettit,
The founder of our school.
She pioneered and blazed the trail
For the education of mountain youth here and elsewhere.
As we learned of her courageous work
In making real the vision of Uncle William Creech
We began to appreciate the heritage into which we had come.

Page 30

Then a forest fire threatened a part of this school
Now growing dear to us.
All boys rushed to fight the leaping flames!
Nearer and nearer crept the fire
Lapping the grasses in its path
Showering Practice Cottage with sparks.
Girls fired furnaces
Boys raked fire lines.
Girls milked cows
Boys mowed down the underbrush.
Girls carried food
Boys completed the fire line!
Fighting fire with fire!
Our buildings were saved!

Back to the schoolhouse, to clay modeling, to Elizabethan plays,
To old folk tales, and to poetry – our great joy.
An old English Christmas – our first one.
Living again in the times of Dickens, Irving, and Bracebridge Hall.
The good cheer of Open House
Gifts and adoration at the Nativity Play
The hushed expectancy of the candle lighting
The ivy garland and The Holly and the Ivy
From Far Away We Come to You bearing the tree
Coins for the Mummers
A little lad astride the Yule Log
The joyful wassailers, the stately minuet
Noel, Noel, reechoed through the valley in the frosty morning.
Home for a Christmas we had already observed.

Meanwhile there were changes in government.
While we reached for the funny papers
Older students scanned the headlines
Telling of the first January inauguration of a President of the United States.
The passing of the lame duck session meant less to us than the loss of the old Industrial Building.
May Day dances on the green.
Sellenger’s Round about the May Pole
Set to the right, set to the left, 1-2-3-4
Traces of gracefulness appearing at last.

Page 31

How eagerly we went home for our summer vacations
And how eagerly we returned in the fall of 1937.
High school at last! A milestone in our lives!
Deep in the pages of the Pine Mountain Civics text
Learning the art of living together.
Burdened with making the choice of a vocation
What would our decisions be?
Aviator? air hostess? doctor? nurse?
Electrician? hairdresser? carpenter? journalist?
The choice was made, the book was written –
And we felt that we were launched.

We turned our attention to the international situation.
King Alfonso had fled his throne.
Franco was marching upon the capital.
Bombs falling on Madrid!
Experts saying successful aerial war was impossible!
The League of Nations growing weaker.
Japanese war lords over running China.
Hitler marching into Austria,
Storm troopers thundering through Vienna.
But we did not see these events as the shadow
Of things to come.

The conflict was far away
In and out, in and out, went the shuttles in the looms in room 5
Back and forth, back and forth, moved the hoes along the garden rows.
Spring had come to our valley.
Tiny leaves of birches danced in the pool
The crocuses promised daffodils and lilacs.
Red bud and dogwood intertwined on the chapel lawn.
Happy girls played leapfrog on the Big Log green.
Onions, peas, and spinach pushed through the ground
While baby robins did rufty-tufty near by.
The whip-poor-will sat on the chapel cross
Serenading the valley.
Cows grazed on the pasture high above the school house.
Balladeers keeping alive the traditions centuries old,
Sang Lord Randall, Barbara Ellen, Ground Hog,
I Wonder as I Wander — tales of the imagination
From our Anglo-Saxon ancestors.

Page 32

Diving and splashing at the beginning of the day —
Eight hours of work in the kitchen with the dough board,
On the farm with Bob and Bess, on buildings with the paintbrush —
Splashing and diving at the end of the day.
Some of us had remained to work our way through school.
Others returned in September and together
We organized the Consumers’ Cooperative Store for 1938-39.
Selling shares – 109 members, a new high.
Washing windows, arranging displays,
Studying grades of tomato juice, keeping books,
Writing a Co-op history to meet many requests,
Busy days.

We would be none of the 100,000,000 guinea pigs.
We learned to eat, drink, and be wary.
No more longing for masks, beauty creams, and facials
Skin Deep had made us wise consumers.
Shopping for our Co-op store was the big privilege of the year
First to the bank with the cash receipts for the week
Then to the grocery stores
Ever watchful for best quality, full weight, and government stamp
Then some new fruit, vegetable, or staple to bring back to the class.
On to the wholesales for candies, baked products, and school supplies.
Next to the fruit market for grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and apples.
The weary shopper, the tired but jovial truck driver,
The store supplies and the school supplies
Jolting back to school.
Recounting the day’s experiences with the manager
Checking goods, every penny accounted for, stock on the shelves.
Tired but pleased with our accomplishment
We were the center of a questioning group,
Thus we became intelligent consumers.

Radio echoes of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Pine Mountain
Held in Town Hall in New York
Endless stories from the dancers back from the big city.
Our shares in the Co-op store had earned us rebate.
Those welcome envelopes we carried home
For last minute Christmas shopping.

Page 33

Boys came back from vacation
To plunge into busy preparation for the annual Tom Foolery,
Three lucky girls chosen for
A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody.
Much laughter, much applause,
“The best show ever given at Pine Mountain”.

But war clouds were gathering.
Chamberlain and Hitler held famous conversations.
There were hurried flights from London to Munich.
Appeasement! Broken promises!
Armies marching into Czecho-Slovakia
Prague occupied by Nazi storm troopers.
The threat of war.
Again we wondered.

Tales of concentration camps, of mistreated Jews, of exiles fleeing Nazism
We were reading “Escape”.
When would Hitler stop?
In observance of Memorial Day
Tribute to the founders of our school
To Uncle William Creech for his gift
One hundred and thirty six acres of his mountain land
And for his vision —
“A school to make a bright and intelligent people”.
To Aunt Sal, his wife, who befriended all
Students, teachers, and neighbors, alike
To Ethel De Long Zande, who with Katherine Pettit,
Pioneered and blazed the trail.

Before our return in September 1939
Hitler had marched northeast into Poland.
Totalitarianism in the free city of Danzig.
England had declared war on Germany.
The second world war had officially begun.

But we returned to travel mountain paths.
Messengers between the school and the community
Carrying ideas and ways of doing things.
The Community Group out in the field two days a week
Visiting down Greasy Creek, up Big Laurel, on Little Laurel.
Bandaging cuts, exchanging new recipes.

Page 34

Home visitors eager for the field day.
Chicken dinners were waiting up the hollows.
“Howdy”, “Come in and set a spell”.
The cheerful fire and the welcome cup of scalding coffee on a cold snowy day.
Talking and laughing, swapping scary tales of snakes and ghosts,
Sitting by the fire stitching on new curtains for the cabin
Extending invitations to school programs,
While rolling out biscuits,
Baking pies, figuring recipes.
Using old issues of Life, Saturday Evening Post, and Woman’s Day
To paper cabin walls against the cold winds
Rushing down the mountainside.

Recreation leaders at the one room schools
Big and Little Laurel, Divide, Incline, and Creech
Teaching singing games and ballads.
Telling endless stories,
Woodworking and sewing.
The doctor and his clinic assistants off to Line Fork,
Turkey Fork, and nearer centers
Carrying forceps, serums, and pills.
Sunny Jim trotting up hollows and mountain sides
With books, magazines, and newspapers for isolated cabins.

Back on the campus, checking in the tools,
Writing field reports, discussing procedures in General Conference.
Days spent in teaching and learning,
Working in the homes and in the schools.
Visiting clinics, day and night duty in the hospital,
Rich experiences in mutual helpfulness.
The coldest day of a cold Kentucky winter
Eight inches of snow — skating on the pool
The promise of a free day.

The eight o’clock bell – another bell
Then the wild ringing of the chapel bell.
Darkness everywhere.
Boys shouting, girls crying
Laurel House in flames
Brave boys, — brave girls —
A gaunt chimney, — a few wisps of smoke,
Ashes and twisted pipes—nothing more.

Page 35

Another cold day.
Work as usual, determination to adjust
The true spirit of Pine Mountain.
Spring came late after that cold winter.

A new Laurel House to come.
New hopes, new aims.
New committees,
Much mulling over the standards of citizenship
Much discussion, many meetings
New responsibilities and new privileges.

But in the outer world fear and terror were growing.
Might was triumphing over right.
Japan was establishing a New Order in Asia.
Germany was moving northward and westward.
Norway and Denmark yielded to Nazi invasion.
Parachute troops were fluttering over the low countries.
Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity were chiseled from French buildings.
The British fled the continent by way of Dunkirk.
America was aroused by the blitzkrieg,
Her sympathy with the fallen nations.

A summer of building
A new Laurel House rising near the old.
Boys’ House remodeled. Rooms instead of sleeping porches.
A work camp bringing to our campus
New friends and new appreciations.
We are seniors.
No longer hesitating, eager to get to work
Ready to learn and to enter the open doors
The open doors of school activity —
Reporting for THE PINE CONE

Surveying English writers from the venerable Bede to John Masefield
Touring Latin America, studying social problems of Harlan County
Balancing chemical equations, binding books
Cooking in Laurel House, serving dinners
Cabinet making, cultivating the farm
Speaking in chapel, acting in plays.
Enjoying Capehart Concerts, meeting at Zande House
Singing in the choir, hiking through the mountains

Page 36

Eating by the pool, browsing in the library;
Participating in vespers —
A full schedule and many activities claimed our attention.
Conferences with the student counselor about our futures
Letters of inquiry and application
Increased responsibilities and new duties.

Now WE are reaching for the headlines.
Selective draft, third term.
Lend-Lease Bill, Labor Strikes,
Progress of the Axis Powers, China, Japan — all are our concern.
Will democracy survive?
Refugees in Europe cold and hungry
Students at Pine Mountain well fed
Enjoying a new dining room and
Eating a cornbread and milk dinner to aid the unfortunate
A new Laurel House and a new bell to call us to our activities.
“This noyse lyghtens full welle myne hart.”

On Easter Day the dedication and the laying of the cornerstone.
On Pole House hill West Wind rising
A new home for the girls. And so progress and change come to us.
Progress for the whole valley.
R E A coming to the campus
Coming to the cabins, to the schoolhouses, and to the churches in the hollows.
New equipment and new ways of doing things.
But for us this chapel is the symbol of those things
That do not change — that are eternal,
Often we shall return to it in spirit
Remembering friendships, wise counsel, gentle correction
And five happy years spent in Pine Mountain
1936-37; 1937-38; 1938-39; 1939-40; 1940-41.
We leave you with open doors such as we entered.
We leave this gift as a token of our appreciation.

(Presentation of large Van Gogh print by Class president.) (Giving of Certificates and Diplomas.)

Mr. Morris, Friends! We take with us these diplomas, but we will take far more — Respect for the dignity of work, for the rights of others, For the worship of God —The Spirit of Pine Mountain.

Page 37

Our Father, as we leave this school
Which has guided us in our growth
From childhood into young womanhood and manhood
We thank Thee for the open doors, treasured friendships,
Wise counsel, and gentle correction that have come to us.
We thank Thee for a better understanding
Of Thy love and of those about us.
Guide us in thought and in action, O God,
As we face new responsibilities and difficult decisions.
Help those of us who go out from this school
And those of us who remain
To be guided by the spirit of Jesus, Amen

Page 38 [Blank page for autographs] Autographs

Back cover [No image]


Title Conifer – 1941
Alt. Title Pine Mountain Settlement School – Conifer 1941
Creator Pine Mountain Settlement School
Identifier Permalink:
Subject Keyword Conifer ; publications ; creative writing ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; schools ; education ; Settlement Schools ; Pine Cone ; Pine Cone Supplement ; student creative work ; Emma Lou Mullins ; Sara Shepherd ; Lake Cress ; Samson & Delilah ; Jack Halcomb ; Jack Deaton ; John Spelman III ; slaves ; log cabin ; hitch-hiking ; Calvin Jones ; fishing ; Velma Peters ; Patsy Hall ; minuet dancers ; Laurel House ; Theda Howard ; Kagawa ; trachoma ; Japan ; Hattie Sturgill ; Co-op play ; Doris Rogers ; linoleum cuts ; Donald Miller ; Uncle Sam ; World War II ; Jim Bishop ; La Velle Robinson ; Opal Hall ; eastern KY art exhibit ; presidential elections ; democracy ; political parties ; Robert Blanton ; old English Christmas ; Christmas decorations ; Nativity play ; Far House Mummers ; wassailers ; Yule log ; Jewell Weaver ; Juanita Robinson ; Sunny Jim ; horses ; Doc Newman ; pack horse librarians ; Bonnie Ayers ; Morris dancers ; May Day ; exhibition dances ; folk dancing ; Eleanor Ayers ; poetry ; Ruth Ann Cornett ; Cora Lee Nolan ; England ; William Makepeace Thackeray ; Vanity Fair ; Henry Esmond ; Charles Dickens ; social reform ; David Copperfield ; The Pickwick Papers ; Oliver Twist ; The Life of Our Lord ; Emma Lou Mullins ; Berlin ; German people ; Nazi government ; Oral Howard ; Katherine Pettit ; Uncle William Creech ; forest fire ; inaugurations ; international news ; Consumers’ Cooperative Store ; school activities ; grocery stores ; Tom Foolery ; Memorial Day ; Ethel de Long Zande ; Community Group ; one room schools ; doctors ; medical centers ; fire ; work camps ; Capehart Concerts ; Zande House ; choir ; vespers ; student counselors ; Selective draft ; West Wind ; REA ; graduations ; senior prayers ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;
Subject LCSH Conifer – 1941.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Publisher Pine Mountain Settlement School Press
Contributor Various
Date Original 1941
Type Text ; photograph ;
Format Small multi-page booklet in a variety of sizes.
Source Pine Mountain Settlement School archive ; Series 17: PMSS Publications (Published by the School) ;
Language English
Relation Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Series 17: PMSS Publications (Published by the School) ;
Coverage Temporal 1941
Coverage Spatial Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;
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 Various
Acquisition  Archival
Citation Pine Mountain Settlement School – Conifer. Pine Mountain Settlement School Archive, Pine Mountain, KY.
Processed by Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;
Last updated 2012-06-25hhw ; 2014-05-03hhw ; 2014-06-15aae ; 2017-06-09aae ;


Pine Mountain Settlement School – Conifer. Series 17: PMSS Publications. Pine Mountain Settlement School Archive, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.