Do, Die, or Get Along: A Tale of Two Appalachian Towns by Peter Crow

By Peter Crow

Do, Die, or Get alongside weaves jointly voices of twenty-six those who have intimate connections to 2 neighboring cities within the southwestern Virginia coal kingdom. full of proof of a brand new type of neighborhood outlook at the frequent problem of small group survival, the publication tells how a confrontational "do-or-die" prior has given method to a "get-along" current outfitted on coalition and protected desire. St. Paul and Dante are six miles aside; measured in alternative routes, the gap could be better. Dante, for many years a firm city managed in any respect degrees by way of the mine vendors, has just a contemporary background of civic initiative. In St. Paul, which arose at a railroad junction, public debate, entrepreneurship, and schooling came across a extra receptive home.The audio system are women and men, prosperous and bad, black and white, old-timers and rookies. Their issues and pursuits variety largely, together with the conflict over strip mining, efforts to regulate flooding, the 1989-90 Pittston strike, the nationally acclaimed Wetlands Estonoa venture, and the grassroots revitalization of either cities led through the St. Paul the next day to come and Dante Lives On organisations. Their speak of the earlier frequently invokes an ethos, rooted within the hand-to-mouth pioneer period, of non permanent achieve. simply as usually, even if, speak turns to newer instances, whilst neighborhood leaders, organizations, unions, the government, and environmental teams have all started to hunt accord in response to what is going to be most sensible, in the end, for the towns.The tale of Dante and St. Paul, Crow writes, "gives twenty-first-century intending to the belief of the nice fight." this can be an soaking up account of patience, resourcefulness, and eclectic redefinition of luck and neighborhood revival, with ramifications way past Appalachia.

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Extra info for Do, Die, or Get Along: A Tale of Two Appalachian Towns

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So the lands in the central Appalachians, in the coalfields, has been overfarmed on steep slopes, it’s been overlogged, and then strip-mined. So just about anything you could throw at the steep landscape has been done here. Kathy Shearer: Dante is actually located in the northwest corner of Russell County, almost in Dickenson County, in the coalfields. And originally when settlers came here from North Carolina, back in the early to middle 1800s, they named it Turkey Foot because Lick Creek branches into three distinct toes.

At that time, the Great Lakes must have been a major shipping destination. A lot of goods must have gone from the Great Lakes over to Europe, or other places in the United States. So he got a little short line installed down to St. Paul, which was just about seven miles long. It was just a little north of St. Paul. It’s called Boody today; it was called Fink then. And they got that little railroad built. They leased the train that ran on it. They were tying into the Norfolk and Western there. That was their southern terminus.

In 1769 the first settlement was just across the river in Castlewood, Virginia. That was the first settlement. So in 1769 they come to Castlewood to settle, when all the Indian wars were going on. 1 Frank Kilgore: A lot of people view the central Appalachians as 99 percent Caucasian and western European influence. And that’s true to a certain extent. But there’s a lot bigger story than that, especially when you count the Melungeon influence. Brent Kennedy over at the University of Virginia at Wise studied it, found out he is of Melungeon descent, and has written several books on them.

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