A Frontier Nurse and Her Horse In the Mountains of Kentucky

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From www.rubylane.com/shop/nursingpins

Mary Breckinridge rode through the mountains in the summer of 1928, visiting lonely cabins and riding up steep mountain canyons. She gave nursing care to men, women, and especially children. Word spread that she was a nurse and mothers flocked to her with their sick babies.

For the next 40 years, Mary Breckinridge served the Kentucky mountain people as a nurse, midwife and friend. She had seen and fallen in love with a stretch of land facing the great North Mountain, on the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River a few miles from Hyden. She bought the land and had a log cabin built there which she named Wendover. For many years, Wendover had two of the only five bathtubs in the county. She recruited nurse-midwives from England to come over and work with her.

Frontier Nursing Service today www.frontiernursing.org/

South from Hell-fer-Sartin: Kentucky Mountain Folk Tales

South from Hell-fer-Sartin: Kentucky Mountain Folk Tales

South from Hell-fer-Sartin, a short creek flowing into the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River, lies one of the of the most isolated regions in Kentucky. There, on the north slope of the Pine Mountain range in Leslie and Perry counties — probably the last stronghold of white, English-language folk tales in North America — Leonard W. Roberts recorded this rich collection more than three decades ago. To a people who at that time watched dancing hearth fires more often than television, the adventures of Jack in the land of witches and giants, monsters and beautiful princesses, provided first-class entertainment. Here are such old favorites as “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Golden Arm,” retold in the idiom of the Kentucky mountains. Here are hauntingly beautiful cantes fables and earthy Irishman jokes. Here are encounters with Indians and marvelous hunting escapades. Roberts introduces his collection, first published in 1955, with a sympathetic description of the mountain way of life. He notes especially the bewildering and rapid changes that came to the Pine Mountain watershed in that decade as the highways and electric lines at last brought in a sophistication that preferred the soap opera to the folk tale. Although the stories Roberts recorded were still a firm part of folk tradition at the time, he believed that within a decade or two they would be forgotten — a prediction, sadly, by now no doubt fulfilled. Any lover of the vanishing art of tale telling will relish this rich treasury of folklore and humor. Full notes on sources, types, motifs, parallels, and possible origins of the tales make this collection valuable also for folklorists.

Mountain woman by her home up Stinking Creek, Pine Mountain, Kentucky