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Estes, Charles H.




1 audio file (running time: 1:10:53)

Interview Number


Date of Interview



Records the reminiscences of Charles Estes, who owned a sawmill and several other businesses near Piney River, in Rappahannock County, Virgina, in the 1920s and 30s. Describes the everyday lives of the mountain people who lived around Piney River, popular community gatherings such as hog and beef butchering and apple butter boiling parties, as well as courting, wedding and funeral rituals. Includes references to the gardens and livestock raised by the mountain people, their methods of food preservation and popular holiday traditions. Discusses the various means available for earning money, such as bark peeling, barrel stave making, apple picking and moonshining. Includes anecdotes regarding Virginia governor Harry Byrd and local entrepreneur George Pollock, owner of Skyland resort. A woman identified only as Mrs. Estes provides an extensive description of many common herbal remedies employed by the mountain people, as well as additional commentary throughout.


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Personal Names

Estes, Charles H.; Byrd, Harry Flood, 1887-1966 -- Anecdotes; Pollock, George Freeman, 1869-1949 -- Anecdotes.

Family Names

Estes family


Mountain people -- Blue Ridge Mountains -- Social life and customs; Mountain life -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History; Mountain people -- Virginia -- Shenandoah National Park -- Social life and customs; Rural poor -- Virginia; Country life -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Agriculture -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Food habits -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Canning and preserving -- History; Cookery -- Virginia; Distilling, Illicit -- Virginia; Bark peeling -- Virginia -- Rappahannock County -- History; Forest products industry -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History; Holidays -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History; Traditional medicine -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.); Funeral rites and ceremonies -- Appalachian Region, Southern; Livestock; Courtship; Land use -- Government policy -- United States.

Place Names

Rappahannock County (Va.) -- History; Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Manners and customs; Shenandoah National Park (Va.) -- History, Local.


Smith, Dorothy Noble, 1915-1999


Edwards, Victoria M.

Collection Title

Shenandoah National Park oral history collection

Collection Number

SdArch SNP

Streaming Media

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(SNP046) Charles H. Estes interviewed by Dorothy Noble Smith, transcribed by Victoria M. Edwards



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