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

By Wayne Easter © 2015

Online: March, 2015

Wayne EasterWayne Easter, mountain writer(Editor's Note: Wayne Easter lives in Mt Airy, North Carolina with his wife of 57 years, Helen. He has written three books about his early years growing up, "way out in the weeds at the foot of the Blue Ridge." His talent for taking one along on memory trips to his early days on Stewart Creek's, makes reading his stories a genuine pleasure. He has written three books, "Stewart's Creek: (The End of an Era) ," "In the Foothills of Home: Memories of growing up in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains," and, "Roads Once Traveled: In the Foothills of the Blue Ridge." All are available on

If you traveled the back roads of the Blue Ridge in the early years, you may have met a lady, whom for want of a better name, we'll call Rhudella Singletree. She was a hard-working soul who lived in a log cabin, and cooked meals on a wood stove, three times a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year.

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Lo How a Rose

By Jeanne Shannon © 2015

Online: March, 2015

Memories of a Christmas season in Dickenson County, Virginia.

First day of December. Anemic sunlight on the barren fields. Cold breezes rustle the fodder shocks. Early, early, the stars appear, and the moon; Dickenson County, Virginia, early in the 1940s.

Not long after breakfast one day in the first week of December I go with Daddy to find a Christmas tree. He hitches Molly to the corn sled. She stamps and snorts; her breath is steam. I carry Nancy, my favorite doll, and climb into the sled. Daddy rides Molly as she pulls the sled down the path by the lower barn, into the woods, and through the creek at its shallowest spot. White Oak Creek is its proper name, but we always called it "the creek." Holly bushes along the creek are glistening with red berries. We go on into the deeper woods below the graveyard, where Granny's parents and some of her brothers are buried. Their tombstones glint in the frosty sunlight.

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Growing Up On Tuggles Creek - Lightning Strikes Twice

By YKW © 1985

Issue: June, 1985

(Editor's Note: Tuggles Creek is located in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the tiny mountain community of Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Meadows of Dan is a crossroads community where US Highway 58 Business and the Blue Ridge Parkway cross. Mabry Mill is north about 1.6 miles and Mayberry Trading Post is about 2.8 miles south on the Blue Ridge Parkway.)

On the hot muggy morning of June 22, 1910, my father rose early and prepared to make his rounds of delivering the mail on what was then Route 2 in Floyd County. There was something ominous and foreboding in the atmosphere even as early as six o'clock, but the mail had to be delivered.

As the morning wore on, dark thunderclouds began to bulge up in almost every direction. Higher and higher they grew and darker and more threatening.

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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.

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

Lo How a Rose

Puddles and Pain

I Had a Dream Last Night

Orchards and The Hollow – Backroads Tour

Pet Heaven

Coal Mine Orphans

Tribute to a Mountain Church

The Storied Queen Anne of Sidna and Bette Allen

TV Repair, Once Upon a Time

Teen-Age Queen - a Beauty Contest

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