March 27, 2012
Stephenson Center presents Appalachian Heritage Week celebrating mountain heritage April 9-13

In the Mountains, of the Mountains and for the Mountains-these words have long defined Lees-McRae College. This spring the second annual Appalachian Heritage Week will once again highlight Lees-McRae's commitment to Appalachia. From April 9th through the 13th, each day the college will celebrate a particular aspect of mountain heritage and invites everyone to participate in activities sponsored by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia.

Hemlock Trail

Monday, April 9th, will be natural history and outdoor activities day. In the afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. tours will leave from the dam of the millpond to travel Hemlock Trail. Along the path LMC students will present different features of outdoor Appalachia. Highlighting the natural denizens of the area will be students from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Program with some of the birds and beasts that are wildlife ambassadors. Also students from the LMC Backpacking Club will display both a contemporary campsite and one typical of a century ago. The Rock Climbing Club will demonstrate belaying, rappelling, and climbing, while the LMC Search and Rescue Team will man a first-aid station.

That evening beginning at 5:00 the cafeteria will serve traditional Appalachian fare while the group Us Fellers plays old time music. While the music will be free, the cost of the meal for those without meal tickets will be $9.95.

On Tuesday, the campus will celebrate Appalachian Women's Day beginning with a Bake Sale of traditional Appalachian foods in Swank Park from 11:00 until 1:00 in the afternoon. If you eat too much of the tasty fare, Karen Sabo, director of the New Opportunity School for Women, will help you burn off those calories by holding clogging lessons beginning at noon. Later, Lees-McRae's First Lady Debbie Buxton will emphasize another aspect of traditional Appalachian culture by holding a Domestic Skills Workshop in historic Hemlock Hall from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

From 3:00-5:30 the New Opportunity School for Women will hold an Open House at the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, and beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Evans Auditorium, acclaimed mountain storyteller and musician Betty Smith will present a program of traditional tales and music.

Potter Rob Withrow

Wednesday will feature Appalachian Arts and Crafts. Beginning at noon potter Rob Withrow from Brasstown, North Carolina, will demonstrate his pot-throwing technique in Swank Park behind Chafee Administration building. Also Lee Rankin will bring alpacas from her Apple Hill Farm to illustrate the growing craft of agri-tourism. She will have available socks, scarves and other products created from the fine alpaca fiber.

Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Stafford Room of Carson Library Dr. Michael Joslin, Director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia and author of Highland Handcrafters, will present a slide/lecture on the mountain craft tradition.

Dr. John Inscoe

Thursday morning LMC students, faculty and staff will participate in the annual Mountain Service Day and invite any community members to join them at 9:00 a.m. in Evans Auditorium to sign up for various service projects on campus. Thursday night renowned scholar and author Dr. John Inscoe from the University of Georgia will present the keynote lecture of the week, "Appalachia in Black and White: The Myths and Realities of Race in the Southern Highlands." His program will be presented in the Stafford Room of Carson Library beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Horse and wagon

Concluding the festivities Friday will be Old-Time Horse and Wagon Day. Beginning at noon, Greg (BumbleBee) Miller will drive his team of Percherons with a carriage around campus, providing rides for anyone willing to climb aboard. Also the LMC Equestrian Club will have horses on Tate Lawn demonstrating English and Western riding techniques, as well as explaining how to tack up a horse.

Except for the dinner on Monday night, all events are free and open to the public. The dinner with music in MacDonald Dining Hall of the college will be served from 5:00-7:00 and costs $9.95 per person.

Throughout the week Carson Library will feature a display developed from the college archives by research librarian Donese Preswood.

"We invite everyone to join us in our celebration of our Appalachian Heritage. Whether you can contribute to our understanding of the past, or hope to learn more about mountain culture, please join us for one or all of our activities," says Dr. Michael Joslin. "We look forward to a rewarding week."

For further information contact Meghan Wright at 898-8729 or e-mail Michael Joslin at

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