About 10-12 years ago in a used book I came across a $5.00 copy of “Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands.” Opening the book brought back memories of taking a day off in mid-July, leaving the heat and humidity of Charlotte and heading up to Asheville, North Carolina for the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands. That first trip was followed by many more.
“Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands” by Allen H. Eaton was published by the Russell Sage Foundation in 1937. Photographs are by Doris Ulmann, best known for her photographs of the people of Appalachia. The Southern Highlands cover West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The craft traditions include, but are not limited to, weaving, woodwork and pottery. A large section is devoted to making furniture, baskets, whittling, carving, and musical instruments. There are plenty of photos and quotes from the craftspeople themselves.
The book is available on HathiTrust and you can find it here.
The link goes to a copy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as it is the only copy that shows the (some what trimmed) endpapers. Here is a better look at the endpapers with a craft map of the Southern Highlands:
So, jump into this book and meet William Creech of Pine Mountain, Kentucky, find the good board maker, the enormous hand-cranked lathe and this handsome rooster: