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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Springtime In The Mountains

springtime barbaraBarbara Taylor WoodallBy Barbara Taylor Woodall © 2015

Online: April, 2015

(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 www.itsnotmymountainanymore.com.)

Since the beginning of time spring has renewed hope in new life. Gently the earth is touched by warm sunbeams to awaken the forests. I imagine it yawned and stretched like Homer the cat coming out of his warm bed near the stove. Millions of tender green shoots wiggle and push through rich soil breaking winter's clasp. All nature opens her bright eyes and every creature seems to rejoice and reach for the sky. Hints of minty green leaves peek through weathered tree limbs and around old locust fence posts covered with layers of gray aging moss.

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Front Porch Memories

By Patti Perry-Armes © 2015

Online: April, 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.)

The front porch was such a part of my social and cultural upbringing. I know that was the case in many homes, particularly in the South. Some of my fondest memories took place on that porch. There wasn't anything particularly special about it. Wooden flooring painted glossy gray, it ran across the length of the house, with steps at both ends. But it was our world, and the world visited us there. It came in the form of relatives, neighbors, friends, church members, the milkman, the Watkins salesman, and various others with items to sell.

I remember the days when the road we lived on was covered only in gravel. The gritty white dust would settle on everything each time a car would pass and kick it up. It was a time when there were no house numbers, just rural routes, and everyone knew everyone.

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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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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.

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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