HOLIDAY Greetings from PMSS Archive 2019

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 00: ARCHIVE
Holiday Greetings

HOLIDAY Greetings from PMSS Archive 2019

Trail from the Infirmary (Hill House) at Pine Mountain Settlement. 2014, Fall. (Photo: H.Wykle)

As we pause at the end of the decade, we remember and thank everyone who came before us at Pine Mountain Settlement School and in the many decades of our over 100-year history. The librarians, staff, administrators, Board of Trustee members, visitors and students who thoughtfully retained and protected the rich history of the institution. We give our deep appreciation to all who have contributed to time, goodwill and love for this place so deep in the Appalachian mountains and who have helped to maintain our rich repository of memories.

Ann Angel Eberhardt and Helen Hayes Wykle, the current keepers of the Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections wish at this time to share a small piece of the archive with you. It is a short piece filled with hope as the country entered WWII. But, it is a thoughtful piece that resonates with our concerns for our own unsettled times of deep division, of profound personal introspection, reassessment of our values and of our alliances, and not just a little anxiety about the decade to come.

As we have worked on the archival collections at the School Ann and I have both been struck by the deep roots of this institution and its remarkable ability to find its way through good times and times not so good. As an institution Pine Mountain Settlement has persisted for over a century through eras of deep division and strife, Yet, it has always been informed and guided by the thoughtful and often joyful archival road map the founders left behind.

During this Holiday season, we hope you will take some time to explore some of the roads and trails and the profound wisdom of the founders and the many others who were so fortunate to find their way into this deep valley of inspiration. It is these wise teachers, directors, Board of Trustees, students, and visitors whose voices, like the founders of our country, can lift the spirit and nourish the soul in hard times.

Archives can be wells of revitalization. They hold the voices of the many who inspired and continue to inspire vision. In these many voices from the past there will be a voice that will resonate with yours. In the voices of those who cared so deeply, who challenged the world around them, who shared so selflessly their personal triumphs and doubts, the story- teller who made us laugh, and who made us cry — in these many lives not only does the past live on, but the future can be found. We look forward to continuing to share with you.

Written just as the United States entered WWII, the following excerpt from the October 1940 PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL NOTES serves as a reminder of the beauty and hope that surrounds us all and like a beacon calls us to our better selves and to those better places we can all remember if we dig deep and take the trails less traveled.

Aunt Sal's Cabin with Chapel beyond
Aunt Sal’s Cabin in early Spring, distant view. [DSCN0954.jpg] Photo: H. Wykle

There is the wealth of everything here — the close touch of mountains, the sky, sun, rain, and clouds, the trees, flowers, birds and small animals, the seasons’s gradual turn, food, warmth, and above all, YOUTH. But sometimes it takes the far off look, the distant thought or memory of having lived here in these hills to bring to the surface one’s most poignant love of this isolated but abundant life.

Pine Mountain Settlement School Notes, October 1940
View of Chapel at PMSS. Late Fall. (Photo: H. Wykle)


I’ll go back soon to hills I’ve known
Where skyline is not straight, but grown
In rugged ruffed rising peakes
Of stone and trees and earth. Where shrieks
The winter’s wind, and cloud-tufts cling
To freeze in webs of ice till Spring.

I’ll go back soon to hills that bleed
When cloud-bursts lash the first grown weed
With stinging knives of silver’d rain,
And waters wash and whirl earth’s stain
Down creek bed’s crooked winding way—
Sever’d and lost from its hillside clay.

I’ll go back soon to hills I’ve known
To find again the greens now grown
Upon each ridge in emerald hues;
Where great clouds float against the blues
Of sky and fling their shadows flat
Against the hillsides’ leafy mat.

I’ll go back soon to hills that burn
With autumn’s haze; when seasons turn
To pay last tribute to the bud
Of spring and summer’s verdant flood …
With ev’ning’s distant cowbell’s toll
Tomorrow’s winter descends the knoll.

John A. Spellman III, 1940
Laurel House and the Chapel
Laurel House (lft) and Chapel (rt). Early winter. Photo: H. Wykle
NOTES – 1940 October, page 4. [PMSS_notes_1940_oct_004.jpg]

Pine Mountain continues to have needs — maybe not for typewriters! But the other needs and more still hold true. If you wish to donate to the school please see our main web site:

                     KATHERINE PETTIT
                     ETHEL DE LONG ZANDE
                     MARY ROCKWELL HOOK
                     ANGELA MELVILLE
                     ALICE COBB
                     EVELYN K. WELLS
                     GLYN MORRIS
                     BURTON ROGERS
                     MARY ROGERS
                     BEN BEGLEY
                         AND SO VERY MANY MORE …..