EDNA MAE METCALF PATTERSON

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
Series 19: Students

EDNA MAE METCALF PATTERSON, Student & Teacher 1930s – 1960s

Edna Patterson at loom. [VII_life_work_86_026.jpg]


TAGS: Edna Mae Metcalf; Edna Mae Patterson; Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson; Jess Patterson; Metcalf Family; Nolan Family; Patterson Family; Pine Mountain Settlement School; Katherine Pettit; Fireside Industries; Berea College; weaving; crafts; William and Dora Blevins Metcalf; Glyn Patterson; Emmit Patterson; Jess L. Patterson; nursing; students; Craig Evan Royce; Country Miles Are Longer Than City Miles


Edna Mae Metcalf was a student at Pine Mountain Settlement School from 1937 to 1938, and remained at the School as a vital part of the welcoming staff for over 25 years. Edna Mae’s roles at the School were varied but she was primarily known as the weaving teacher at the School. She also worked as a health aide in 1953, a kindergarten teacher in 1968 and assisted with kitchen work, housekeeping and in the Community School classrooms.

EDNA MAE METCALF PATTERSON: Weaving

Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson, c. 1976. Image courtesy of Craig Evan Royce. [pmss_patterson _edna_mae.png]

Craig Evan Royce, in his book, Country Miles Are Longer Than City Miles: 30th Anniversary Edition (AuthorHouse, 2007), pays tribute to Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson as “[o]ne who has been upon the mountains gathering the roots and barks, weeds and petals to create color as close to the natural as nature itself will allow… ”

According to Royce, her education in using “nature’s pure colors” to dye cloth began as early as six years of age, when she remembers

…traveling with her mother and grandmother upon the mountains and creek bottoms of the area around Little Laurel, just off Greasy Branch, in search of the materials necessary for dyeing the sweaters and socks and blankets and shirts of her family.

Edna Mae recalls “We didn’t have all these things we use as mordant now. Then we used vinegar and salt to set the dye. As I grew older and became connected with the Settlement School, they did vegetable dyeing.”

Her interest was further developed at the age of nine, when she stayed with Katherine Pettit, co-founder and co-director of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, and walked with her in search of plants. At age 12 in 1922, Edna Mae began learning the art of weaving from a weaver known for producing fine cloth.

At the time, Pettit was developing the craft of weaving and natural dyeing techniques at Pine Mountain School, wishing to preserve mountain handicraft as well as envisioning weaving as a viable livelihood for mountain homes. This led to a partnership with Fireside Industries, a craft sales strategy begun by Berea College that spread to many Appalachian settlement institutions.

In the 1930s, Edna Mae and the other girls at the school were required to do a certain amount of weaving as part of their work schedule. They then sold their products, such as blankets and coverlets, curtains and placemats, through the Fireside Industries. Royce writes:

Looking at the fine work produced at Berea College and the Settlement School in the late 1920s and early 1930s, one is overwhelmed by the delicacy and craftsmanship displayed. Perhaps nowhere else in the United States was finer weaving done for public consumption than in this environment during that era. Edna Patterson and her sisters from the valley of the Laurel and the Greasy learned from extraordinary master weavers.

As of 1976, the date that the first edition of Country Miles Are Longer Than City Miles was published, Royce writes that Edna Patterson was traveling with her husband “to the small summer festivals in surrounding counties to teach the children from the vales and glades of eastern Kentucky much of their heritage in action and word….”

EDNA MAE METCALF PATTERSON: Her Family

Upon graduation from PMSS, she married Jess L. Patterson (1909-1983), also a student at the School who later became a well-known dulcimer-maker. Edna Mae and Jess had two sons, Glynn (Glyn, Glenn?) E. Patterson (born c. 1931; married Kay of Titusville, Florida) and William Emmit (Emmit, Emmett, Emmitte?) Patterson. William (1930-1993) was a member of the 1949 PMSS graduating class. He married Christine Kinnaird, who was PMSS teacher from 1953 to 1956.

Edna Mae was born on August 19, 1910, in Harlan, Kentucky, to William “Willie” Metcalf (1885-1977) and Dora (Blevins) Metcalf (1891-1969). She was the oldest of 10 sisters and brothers (plus a half-sibling, Jeff Scearce Metcalf from William’s first marriage to Lizzie Nolan Metcalf).

Edna Mae (Metcalf) Patterson (1910 – 2001)
George W. Metcalf (1912 – 1974)
Martha Metcalf (1914 – 1916)
Oceana (Metcalf) Mead (1916 – 1980)
Lincoln Metcalf (1918 – 1972)
Ruth Ellen (Metcalf) Kreiling (1920 – 2002)
Pearl Ambrose Metcalf (1923 – 1949)
Brutus Metcalf (1924 – ____)
Mary Winifred (Metcalf) Turner (1927 – 2009)
Swanee (Suanee) Sue (Metcalf) Hacker (1929 – 2002)
Herbert Hoover Metcalf (1931 – 1982)

Besides Edna Mae, two other sisters attended Pine Mountain Settlement School: Ruth Ellen in 1935-1936 and Mary Winifred in 1941.

She died on September 2, 2001, in Titusville, Florida, at the age of 91, and was buried in Resthaven Cemetery, Keith, Kentucky. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband; a son, William E. Patterson; five of her brothers: Dillard, George, Lincoln, Ambrose and Herbert; and two sisters, Martha and Oceanna.


See Also:

GUIDE TO WEAVING at Pine Mountain Settlement School

METCALF FAMILY
ANN METCALF Biography
WILLIAM METCALF Biography

NOLAN FAMILY
CALVIN NOLAN Biography
ELHANNON MURPHY NOLAN Biography
LIZZIE (NOLAN) METCALF SCEARCE Biography
NOLAN FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE

SCEARSE (SCEARCE) FAMILY

JESS PATTERSON Biography

Return To: GUIDE TO FAMILIES IN THE PINE MOUNTAIN VALLEY COMMUNITY


EDNA MAE METCALF PATTERSON: Gallery


Title

Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson

Alt. Title

Edna May Metcalf Patterson ; Edna Mae Metcalf ; Edna Mae Patterson ;

Identifier

EDNA MAE METCALF PATTERSON

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Edna Mae Metcalf ; Edna Mae Patterson ; Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson ; Jess Patterson ; Metcalf Family ; Nolan Family ; Patterson Family ; Katherine Pettit ; Fireside Industries ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Berea College ; weaving ; crafts ; William and Dora Blevins Metcalf ; Glyn Patterson ; Emmit Patterson ; Jess L. Patterson ; nursing; students ; Craig Evan Royce ; Country Miles Are Longer Than City Miles ;

Subject LCSH

Patterson, Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson, — 1910 – 2001.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Artisans — Kentucky — Biography.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Weaving — Appalachian Mountains.

Date

2017-09-26

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

Cora Richardson

Type

Collections ; text ; image ;

Format

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

Source

Series 09: Biography – Students, Workers

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Students, Workers.

Coverage Temporal

1885 – 2001

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Berea, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Titusville, FL ;

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 Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson ;

Acquisition

n/d

Citation

“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2018-07-15 aae ; 9218-08-24 aae ;

Bibliography

Sources 

“Edna Mae (Metcalf) Patterson.” BOARDING SCHOOL STUDENTS 1929-1949 ; GUIDE TO PMSS WORKERS 1913- 2000s. Series 09: Biography – Students, Workers. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch   (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q29T-B441 : accessed 24 August 2018), Edna Mae Metcalf Patterson, 2001; Burial, Keith, Harlan, Kentucky, United States of America, Resthaven Cemetery; citing record ID 153797740, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com. Internet resource.

Royce, Craig E. Country Miles Are Longer Than City Miles: 30th Anniversary Edition. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007. Print. PENDING PERMISSION.

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