The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

  • Memories of a vanishing era

    Left to right: Coy Oliver Yeatts, mountain philosopher and nature lover; Ella Hughes Boyd, midwife and grit best describe this wonderful lady; Adam Clement, beekeeper extraordinaire. They are just a few among hundreds who have shared their stories and memories in The Mountain Laurel. Their stories are a national treasure.

  • Picturesque Blue Ridge Backroads

    Discover the Real Blue Ridge

    Scenes like this are just around the next bend or over the next hill along the hundreds of miles of backroads you'll discover with our easy to follow self-guided Backroad Tours.

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  • The Stoneman Family

    A Heritage of Mountain Music

    It was more than a concert, it was a rare privilege to be attending the Stoneman Family Festival at Willis, Virginia in August. The reason it was more than a concert was that family members from Maryland and Tennessee traveled here for a reunion.

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  • Making Old Fashion Mountain Molasses

    B. L. (Bunny) and Tella Mae Cockram

    B.L. (Bunny) and Tella Mae Cockram are each 73 years old. They’ve been married for 50 years and since 1935, home for them has been their 60 acre farm in the Mountain View section of Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Tella Mae has a hundred laying hens and she sells eggs to a lot of the folks here-'bouts. In addition to the 100 laying hens, she and Bunny have 50 head of cattle and 25 head of sheep.

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  • Woodrow (Woody) Dalton on the old Appalachian Trail

    Arrowhead Marker built by John Barnard

    The original route of the Appalachian Trail crossed the Pinnacles of Dan, traversed the Dan River Gorge and climbed Indian Ladder to the plateau known locally as the Rich Bent. This path carried hikers through some of the most breathtakingly beautiful terrain the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. Earl Shaffer on his historic first ever through hike of the entire Appalachian Trail in one season, passed through this area and described it ...

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A Postcard from Mayberry - 1899

By Bob Heafner © 2015

Online: November, 2015

Postcard mailed at Mayberry, Virginia on September 11, 1899.Postcard mailed at Mayberry, Virginia on September 11, 1899.As you read this be sure to follow the links to better understand how a 116 year old postcard weaves its way through the fabric of a mountain community.

The date was September 11, 1899 and Mayberry, Virginia was a prosperous little mountain community moving toward a new century with hope and optimism. The local center of commerce was Samuel Cephas "Ceph" Scott's store. The store was built only seven years before, in 1892, to replace the old store. The store was also the Mayberry, Virginia Post Office.

Ceph's brother Simon operated a tannery and brick yard just up the road from the store. Heffinger's Mill was the community grist mill. If things weren't booming in Mayberry, they were certainly going well.

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When I Am Old

By C. David Hay © 2015

Online November, 2015

When I am old and weary
And my hair has gone to gray
I'll consider it a blessing
If God gifts another day.

I hope to use the given time
Before my life is through
To try and make amends
For some things I didn't do.

The letter never written,
The tears I cause to flow,
The debt that went unpaid
On the love I didn't show.

The road that went untraveled,
The friendship left to fade,
The deeds of goodness missed
From the effort never made.

When I am old - may I be consoled,
If peers reflect to say;
I left the world a better place
Because I passed this way.

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Apple Butter Time

By Patti Perry-Armes © 2015

Online: November, 2015

(Editor's Note: Patti Perry-Armes lives in the country, just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. She enjoys writing short stories, particularly about rural life and living in the Appalachian region. A number of her stories have been published in anthologies, and both print and internet magazines.)

There was crispness in the air and Mother Nature was dressed in her autumn finery. Once again it was time to make apple butter. Each year we meet at Grandma Perry's house in the country; mom, my younger sister, aunt, two cousins, and me for this female bonding ritual.

We were thankful that Grandma had finally given into doing this process indoors. She had always made her butter outside, in a big copper kettle over an open fire. "It's the way that it's supposed to be done," she had insisted. But we found it much warmer and more comfortable out of the smoke and chill of the frosty morning.

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Latest Additions

Latest Additions to The Mountain Laurel Archive:

The stories in The Mountain Laurel Archive are sorted from the earliest edition (1983) to the latest (2015). This is done so that articles continued from one month to the next will appear in order as they were originally printed. Unfortunately, this causes the newest articles to appear at the very end of the stories listed in each category. In order to highlight the latest stories added we have created this page.

A Postcard from Mayberry - 1899

When I Am Old

Apple Butter Time

Charlotte Dawn Heafner - A Legacy of Mountain Lore

This Cake is Musty

The Sisters

Matt Burnett's Mountain Memories (Update)

Yes, You Can Go Home Again!

Mountain Mama

A Tribute to My Mother - Lavada Mae Creed Golding

Springtime In The Mountains

Front Porch Memories

Yesterday's Mountain Woman: A Legend in Her Own Time

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