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 Tribute to My Mother - Lavada Mae Creed Golding

Lavada Mae Creed Golding - April 23, 1920 - December 15, 2002

By Eula Golding Walters © 2015

Online: May, 2015

"In the Pines, In the Pines,
Where the Sun Never Shines,
and I Shiver When the Cold Winds Blow."

Eula Golding Walters beside an interpretive display at Rocky Knob Visitor Information Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 169; her mother, Lavada Mae Creed Golding, is shown on top of the haystack and her father, Woodrow Golding is passing the hay up to his wife. The photograph was taken in 1953.Eula Golding Walters beside an interpretive display at Rocky Knob Visitor Information Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 169; her mother, Lavada Mae Creed Golding, is shown on top of the haystack and her father, Woodrow Golding is passing the hay up to his wife. The photograph was taken in 1953.Each time I hear that old Bluegrass refrain, I think of my Mother. It was a line that she never grew tired of singing, and I never grew tired of hearing her sing it, although I never failed to shiver as I felt that cold wind blowing thru the pines as she sang those words. I'd much rather listen to her singing, "You Are my Sunshine." Even though it too was a sad song, just hearing her sing the words made me happy. I so wish I could hear her sing either or both of them once more.

I have learned that It doesn't matter what sort of relationship you've had with your mother, how well you did or didn't get along with her, or how long you had her, you don't completely comprehend just what she meant to you, how much you love her, or that you will miss her more than anything, until she is gone. Not until you no longer have the opportunity to give her a call just to chat, to go visit her for no particular reason, or to buy a special gift for her that you know she's been wanting, but won't buy for her-self, not until then do you realize that you've missed many opportunities that you will never get back.

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Yes, You Can Go Home Again!

By Wayne Easter © 2015

Online: May 2015Wayne Easter, mountain writer and artist.Wayne Easter, mountain writer and artist.

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

Do you have fond memories of your old home place? Is it still there? Ever think about going back? If so, and it's not too far away, maybe you should before it's too late, and while you're at it, take along a camera, set a spell, do some daydreaming, and you'll be glad you did. As old timers, we tend to dwell on the good old days, when the world was brand new, and we could hardly wait to get out there and find out what it was all about. My family and I lived close to the earth, as generations of our forebears had done before us, but when I grew up, I moved away; knowing the old folks and the old place would always be there when I went back.

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Mountain Mama

By Barbara Taylor Woodall © 2015

Online: May, 2015

Cleo McConnell Taylor 1918-2003Cleo McConnell Taylor
(Editor's Note: Barbara Taylor Woodall was born and reared in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. She is a veteran of the phenomenal Foxfire Books.

She is the author of "It's Not My Mountain Anymore" that was featured on worldwide television offering first-hand accounts of profound experiences and mountain living. The book is balanced and satisfying, merging moving stories that will moisten eyes and bring laughter.

For information about ordering this wonderful book visit

Mama was born October 23, 1918 in the Skeenah community of Macon County, North Carolina. "Skeenah" is a Cherokee Indian word. According to several sources, it means "ghost" or "the abode of Satan." I doubt Mama knew the meaning but often said, "The farther you went up Skeenah th' meaner they got. We lived at th' end of the road."

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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.

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

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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