BOARD OF TRUSTEES – FIRST MEETING

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 05: Administration – Board of Trustees

BOARD OF TRUSTEES – FIRST MEETING
AT PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL
(FIFTH ANNUAL MEETING, OCTOBER 1919)

As Described by Darwin D. Martin and Others in Letters and Reports
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the First Board Meeting at Pine Mountain on November 5-6, 1999, James S. Greene III transcribed the following letters and reports by Darwin D. Martin and others. Dr. Greene is a member of the PMSS Board of Trustees and the Regional Heritage and Interpretation Committee.

THE FIRST MEETING OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AT PINE MOUNTAIN
October 1919

Eighty years ago this past month, the Board of Trustees of the Pine Mountain Settlement School met at the school for the first time. Previously the group had met in Lexington. Darwin D. Martin describes getting to the meeting: we join him in Cincinnati on Wednesday, October 8:

You depart on the Louisville and Nashville “Southland” at 8:30 A.M. and follow the very beautiful valley of the Licking until nearly noon, later crossing the Kentucky River from whence the train climbs through the foothills of the Appalachians…. At 2:30 you leave the Pullman at Corbin, an unattractive junction with large smoky train-yards full of loaded coal-cars from the mountain feeder-lines. At 4:15 P.M. you take the accommodation train on the Cumberland Valley Division to Pineville, thirty -one miles in one-and-a- half hours, upgrade. 

Be wise enough to write for reservations at Hotel Continental, Pineville; or if you neglect this as I did, seize a taxi or be diffident enough to be last as I was to wedge yourself in the crowded bus for the hotel (four short blocks beyond the adjacent bridge over the Cumberland River) and, whispering to the girls to expect no courtesies on alighting, be first at the desk.

I got the only remaining room with bath for the girls [his daughter and one of her friends] and a room for myself. Several men slept that night on the cot in the waiting room. You will be gratified to see this strictly modern hotel of tapestry brick, facing the court-house square of this up-to-date little city, headquarters of several coal-mining companies, good pavements and walks, nice residences and stores with each street ending in a mountain wall. Every locomotive whistle here is multiplied several times by its reverberations. [At Pineville. the Martin party met a fellow Board member, Elizabeth C. Hench, and a member of the Advisory Board, Daniel M. Lord, who traveled the rest of the way with them.] 

At 7:45 A.M. Thursday you take the extremely accommodating train which starts from Middlesboro, thirteen miles south an hour earlier, comes up to get you at Pineville, retraces two miles to Orby where it diverges from the line that runs south ….and continues up the valley of the Cumberland, soon coming to Ponza, another junction. The engineer hesitates, is lost, and goes up to six-mile branch to Colmar, finds railhead at a mine in the mountain and must needs back up to Ponza. Half an hour is gone and no progress but we are seeing the Appalachians, with occasional veins of coal bared by the excavations for the railroad.

Reaching Baxter the same temptation is set where two forks of the Cumberland meet. As between Poor Fork and the more euphonious Clover Fork, the crew after consultation, naturally chooses the latter. This proves only two miles long and once in the heart of Harlan against a mountain-side, but Harlan is the county seat and interesting. Much is done here. In what is hoped was one of the final feud days, twenty-four men were done to death here in one day. [The Editor has no idea where Mr. Martin got this figure! Not even in the labor troubles were that many people killed at one time.] During much exchange of express and parcel post matter, we have time to mingle with the inhabitants, count the Fords and automobiles (and wonder whether they came by foot or by rail) and to admire the “tie that blinds.” These were of white or light tinted sateen ablaze with an enormous brilliant rose, chrysanthemum, sunflower or purple iris…. 

From Baxter whither we soon returned from Harlan along the Poor Fork, there are no more side excursions and we were set off at Dillon on the bank of the Poor Fork, elevation twelve hundred and fifty feet, at II o’clock. Here is a store, perhaps twelve feet by sixteen feet of rough boards to which, nevertheless, a wayfreight stopped while we were there, transferring many cases of soft drinks and other goods, and there is one little tumbled down house which one reaches in climbing a low board fence (the gate is nailed up). Into this the ladies went to don divided skirts for the rest of the journey. … 

Chester Lewis from the School, a fine young man, formerly a pupil, but since he returned from enlisted service in the cavalry, a worker (team driver), awaited us with two strong mules saddled and bridled and decked with colored wool tassels, but said that Wilson Lewis (no kin) whom the school had engaged to supply the remaining necessary animals could not report with them until the mill ‘blew off’. The mill was a mile back on the railroad and the whistle would not blow until 12 o’clock. Wilson Lewis evidently wisely ate his dinner before he reported at one o’clock with four mules and two small boys when we started with the luggage stowed fearfully and wonderfully on the sixth animal, the men and boys walking.

After a mile along the river and railroad, passing the good camp for the convicts employed on the new road [Laden Trail], we began the mountain climb. We soon could see, at a little distance, the mile of newly graded road and the steam shovel at work and hear the crashing of the rocks and debris dropped down the mountainside from the shovel. It is hoped, we learned later, that the road will be completed in 1920, but at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars instead of fifty-thousand dollars, originally estimated, if the supply of Kentucky convicts holds out. Along with everything else, there is a ‘shortage’ of convicts, white and colored, a first fruit of prohibition…. 

In an hour we had ascended to the summit, twenty-six hundred and five feet at Shell Gap…and by 2:30 we heard Mrs. Zande‘s eerie call of the School. We soon found her with Miss Butler at the spring not far below the Gap, with a fire, hot coffee and bacon…. The uncounted sandwiches of rolls, hot bacon and fried eggs with hot coffee, cream and sugar, besides cookies, disappeared rapidly. Part of the trail down the north side of the mountain is too steep to ride… So we walked the next half mile. 

Soon after we had mounted and while yet over a mile and a half from the School and a half mile up the mountain, came again the call of the School, this time from a large group of the children in charge of Miss Brewster, one of the teachers. No words of mine can picture the elfin beauty of this scene. Groups of beaming round-faced barefoot boys and girls, some in bloomers, some in skirts, hair trimmed Buster Brown-wise, ranged upon mossy hummocks beside the trail with brilliant sunlight filtering thru the foliage, playing around their heads. Can you see it? In their eagerness they had come two miles over a road and trail rougher than you can imagine and now they trooped back again, ahead, behind and on both sides of the riders…. At Laurel House we dismounted and received the cordial greeting of Miss Pettit and were made to feel thoroughly at home.

Arabella de Long, Mrs. Zande’s mother, was spending the fall the school. In letters to her daughter Helen, she describes the activities of the “Boarders” as the children called them.

I told you that the workers were to hold a reception to-night [October 9] on the Laurel House porch—Ethel, baby and I went down to supper. I held baby during the supper hour and while the school, led by Ethel, sang four ballads and the round “Ding, Dong, Ding, Dong” and after that the reception—just a gathering of the workers and the guests. it was a lovely night. The moon came up over the mountain, while we were on the porch. Oh, but it is good to see and hear Mr. Martin and Father Lord—they surely are delightful gentlemen…. The two gentlemen are at the Pole House, Miss Hench is in Evelyn’s room, Mr. Wilson, who comes to-morrow, will be at Big Log (he is a minister, I think from Cleveland.),,.. How I wish you could see Mr. Martin—Evelyn has fallen in love with him and so would you.

The next day, Friday, October 10, the Trustees went on a tour of the campus. At Far House, they got to see samples of homespun wool dyed with traditional vegetable dyes. They visited the school coal mine escorted by Luigi Zande and “the single miner on duty, who,” wrote Martin, “with his miner’s cap and lamp off his head looks exactly like King George V.” The agricultural work of the school impressed them as did the condition of the dairy barns and poultry yards. The second Mary Sinclair Burkham School was still under construction, and classes were being held in the House in the Woods (an open pavilion) and in the not quite finished Office. They visited Big Log, the planing mill and carpentry shop, and concluded with lunch at Laurel House.

That afternoon at 2:00 P.M., the new school house was dedicated in a ceremony in the reception hall “transformed …into an orderly auditorium with plank seats and a platform decorated with flags and foliage with a great bank of rhododendrons thru the open windows beyond.” The ceremony consisted of scripture reading and prayer by the Reverend A.L. Wilson and inspirational talks by Elizabeth Hench and Darwin D. Martin. This was followed by a “Pageant of Pine Mountain [History]” presented at the foot of Pole House Hill. It included the Native Americans who first lived in the valley, the Metcalfs who built the house that became Old Log, Uncle William and Aunt Sal, and ended with characters representing Work and Play, the Boy Scouts, and Good Citizenship.

That evening, the Trustees had a picnic at the Perfect Acre, a forestry demonstration site developed by Leon Deschamps. Arabella de Long describes the outing:

It was a most excellent supper and I am sure everyone enjoyed it and the good talk afterward. There were three fires—Luigi cooked the chicken, Evelyn [Wells] and Miss Martin the sweet potatoes, Ethel the pancakes and Leon the coffee…. Things were a bit smokey at times (I mean tastey) and the sweet potatoes were pretty brown… The two men and Evelyn helped to serve: we all ate bountifully. The cooks, save Dorothy, had their supper after the others, and when they had finished Luigi and Leon made a big fire and we waited until we could see the moon ‘over the top.’

Saturday morning, October 11, the Trustees had breakfast at Big Log. Writes Arabella,

The breakfast hour was set for 7.30. I think it was about 8 when we sat down. The table was laid on the edge of the lawn by Isaac’s Run. Besides the Board members the invited guests were Leon, Henry Creech, Miss Larsen and one other, I can’t remember who. We had shredded wheat and strawberries and cream, ham and eggs, coffee, biscuit, gritted corn pones and sorghum…. Miss Pettit was wise to invite Henry and she got him to tell us stories. After breakfast the meeting was called, but before that Ethel and Berto had come… and Ethel had nursed him and laid him on the high poster in the guest room.

In addition to the Executive Committee (Miss Pettit and Mrs. Zande), four other members of the Board and the Advisory Board were in attendance: Mr. Martin who was from Buffalo, New York, and an executive of the Larkin Company, a major mail order house, and a friend of Frank Lloyd Wright; Elizabeth Hench, from Indianapolis, a colleague of Mrs. Zande’s from her teaching days at Manual Training High School; A.L. Wilson, a minister from Cleveland, and Daniel Minor Lord, head of the advertising agency, Lord & Thomas (a pioneer in the field), and, at seventy-five, the oldest visitor. Trustees Mary Morton, a prominent civic leader from Lexington, and a lifelong friend of Miss Pettit; Charles N. Manning, a Lexington banker; and Viola Sullivan Stiles of Massachusetts were unable to attend as were several Advisory Board members.

Mr. [Darwin D.] Martin left this account of the meeting:

The fifth annual meeting of the Trustees and General Advisory Board of the Pine Mountain Settlement School had convened in the living room of the Big Log House at nine o’clock. In advance of the meeting Mrs. Zande announced that Mrs. Morton was resigning as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and they intended to have me elected Mrs. Morton’s successor. And if any of you think you can alter Mrs. Zande’s will, just try it. In due course I was elected a trustee and chairman. The business meeting lasted until dinner and resumed for a time thereafter.

In addition to Martin, Mary Morton was elected vice-president; Elizabeth Hench, re-elected secretary; and C.N. Manning, of Lexington, re-elected treasurer. Calvin Kendall, New Jersey Commissioner of Education; Mary Rockwell, architect; Lorraine Wyman, singer and ballad collector; Celia Cathcart Holton, who had been chief fundraiser for the road; Margaret McCutcheon, a friend of Mrs. Zande’s, and D.M. Lord were re-elected to the General Advisory Board for another year. One Trustee and one Advisory Board member [Samuel M. Wilson and H.H. Barrows] who had not been active were not re-elected. The distinction between Trustees and Advisory Board members was clarified. 

The treasurer’s report showed a total of 1,342 annual subscriptions to the school which had brought in $12,896.50 during the past year. The auditor’s report showed the school’s net worth to be $ 85,380.02. Some members found the cost of operating the school “tremendous.” “This of course is true,” state the Minutes, “but we consider that every worker is a teacher and every department a branch of the school life of a child.” The Board grappled with how best to present and justify the cost to the giving public and set the value of a scholarship at $150 per year (this figure being used in fund-raising).

Several members of the staff gave reports including Marguerite Butler who described the extension work she was doing as rural school supervisor, cooperating with the county school district in working to improve outlying one room schools. As they heard these reports and as they observed the school at work, Board members could find much to celebrate. The Medical Settlement at Big Laurel, staffed by Dr. Grace Huse and Nurse Harriet Butler, had recently opened. Two buildings, the school house and the office, were nearing completion, and J.S. Duncan, inventor of the Addressograph, had recently contributed funds for a boys’ house (known to us as the Library). The school had also started a fund for a girls’ house. The first dental clinic ever held in the valley had taken place in August at which time 135 people were examined. The road over the mountain was off to a good start, and they hoped it would be completed during 1920 (unfortunately they would run out of money before that happened).

Saturday evening, the Good Citizens Club, made up of the older students, held a meeting on the Laurel House porch with other members of the school community present as guests. Mr. Lord and Mr. Wilson spoke, and Mr. Lord awarded prizes to those members of the Boy Scouts, who had reached the highest rank. This was followed by a set running which intrigued Mr. Martin:

A dozen couples quickly took the floor and for half an hour with no music whatever, these big boys and their partners of fourteen to sixteen, some barefoot, with hair streaming down their backs were lost in the mazes of the constantly changing figures of the rhythmic running set…. I believe there are forty figures in this running set and half an hour sufficed for a dozen of them. Something like three hours is required for the full set. Mrs. Zande assured us that she had danced the full three hours and that nothing after a very hard day’s work or hike was so relaxing and restful.

And so, in the best Pine Mountain tradition, the great weekend finished with a party. The next day most of the guests headed home—Mr. Wilson going first to Big Laurel to preach and Mr. Lord lingering a little longer with the Zande household. It was, the editor of the [March 1920] Pine Mountain Notes reports, “a great pleasure to us who live at Pine Mountain to view the school through the eyes of our visitors, and to hear their suggestive comments,” but despite her comment that “it is the present policy of the Board of Trustees to make the Board a more closely organized group than it has been in the past,” it would be two years before they would meet again.

Title

Board of Trustees – First Meeting

Alt. Title

BOARD OF TRUSTEES – FIRST MEETING

AT PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL
(FIFTH ANNUAL MEETING, OCTOBER 1919)

Identifier

BOARD OF TRUSTEES – FIRST MEETING

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Board of Trustees ; Darwin D. Martin ; First Board Meeting ; James S. Greene III ; Regional Heritage and Interpretation Committee ; L&N Railroad ; “Southland” ; Licking ; Kentucky River ; Appalachians ; Pullmans ; train-yards ; coal-cars ; feeder-lines ; Cumberland Valley Division ; Hotel Continental ; Cumberland River ; locomotives ; Elizabeth C. Hench ; General Advisory Board ; Poor Fork ; Clover Fork ; feuds ; wayfreights ; Chester Lewis ; students ; workers ; mules ; Wilson Lewis ; mills ; convict labor ; Laden Trail ; steam shovels ; meals ; Miss Brewster ; teachers ; Laurel House I ; Miss Katherine Pettit ; Arabella de Long ; Mrs. Ethel de Long Zande ; Helen Zande ; Berto Zande ; Pole House ; Far House I ; homespun wool ; vegetable dyes ; coal mines ; Luigi Zande ; agriculture ; dairy barns ; poultry yards ; Mary Sinclair Burkham School II ; House in the Woods ; Office ; planing mills ; carpentry shops ; dedication ceremonies ; Reverend A.L. Wilson ; pageants ; Pole House Hill ; Native Americans ; Metcalfs ; Old Log ; Uncle William ; Aunt Sal ; Boy Scouts ; picnics ; Perfect Acre ; forestry demonstration sites ; Leon Deschamps ; Evelyn Wells ; Miss Martin ; cooks ; breakfasts ; Isaac’s Run ; Henry Creech ; Miss Larsen ; Executive Committee ; Larkin Company ; Frank Lloyd Wright ; ministers ; Daniel Minor Lord ; Lord & Thomas ; Mary Morton ; Charles N. Manning ; Viola Sullivan Stiles ; board elections ; Calvin Kendall ; New Jersey Commissioner of Education ; Mary Rockwell ; Lorraine Wyman ; Celia Cathcart Holton ; Margaret McCutcheon ; Samuel M. Wilson ; H.H. Barrows ; subscriptions ; auditor reports ; scholarships ; fundraising ; Marguerite Butler ; extension work ; one-room schools ; Medical Settlement at Big Laurel ; Dr. Grace Huse ; Harriet Butler ; J.S. Duncan ; Addressograph ; boys’ house ; Library ; girls’ house ; dental clinics ; Good Citizens Club ; running sets ; PMSS Notes ; Lexington, KY ; Cincinnati, OH ; Corbin, KY ; Pineville, KY ; Middlesboro, KY ; Orby, KY ; Ponza, KY ; Colmar, KY ; Baxter. KY ; Harlan, KY ; Dillon, KY ;

Subject LCSH

Pine Mountain Settlement School Board of Trustees.
Pine Mountain Settlement School General Advisory Board.
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

2014-04-07

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

Dr. James Greene III

Type

Collections ; text ; image ;

Format

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

Source

Series 5: Administration — Board

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 5: Administration — Board

Coverage Temporal

October 1919

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Lexington, KY ; Cincinnati, OH ; Corbin, KY ; Pineville, KY ; Middlesboro, KY ; Orby, KY ; Ponza, KY ; Colmar, KY ; Baxter. KY ; Harlan, KY ; Dillon, 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

n/a

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of PMSS Board of Trustees ; clippings, photographs, books by or about PMSS Board of Trustees ;

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

2014-04-07 hhw ; 2014-04-13 aae ; 2014-05-07 hhw

Bibliography

Sources

Transcriptions of documents by Dr. James Greene III, a current (1990s – 2000s) member of the PMSS Board of Trustees and the Regional Heritage and Interpretation Committee. Internet resource.

PMSS Board of Trustees. Series 05 Administration – Board of Trustees. [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Archived collections.