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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Expert Advice

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1983-2012

Issue: April, 1983

For the benefit of our readers who are gearing up for trout fishing season, we interviewed a very successful local fisherman with many years of experience for information on outsmarting trout. I think his tips will provide you with helpful insights, especially for beginners.

His advice is as follows:

When preparing to go fishing for trout, get live bait. The trout like worms, the bigger the better. Use small hooks, about size six, because the worms hide the hook and the trout can’t see it. The type of rod you use doesn’t make any difference. The best time to fish is early in the morning about daylight or late afternoon about 4:00. Hunt for a place in the stream where the water is deep and dark or where the water is rippling. These are the best places to cast. Let your line lay in one spot and give it an occasional jerk to move the bait. This seems to be more successful than casting a lot. Trout nibble at the bait so be patient and don’t try to pull them in until you’re sure they have bitten good. They seem to bite better on misty days also.

If you follow this advice, we can’t assure you of success but it sure works for him. Our expert is 13 year old Ricky Conner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hansel Conner of Meadows of Dan, Va. He has been fishing as long as he can remember and practically always catches the limit.