Saturday, August 22, 2009

THE APPALACHIAN POPULATIONS OF THE WASHINGTON CASCADES – PART IV -



Conclusion-

We hope that there will be additional opportunities to visit these Cascade families and learn more about their lives. As we have indicated, though, they may be a dying subculture, because the influx of new families from Appalachia has dried to a trickle and the timber industry is in the tenth year of a depression. The children of these families have also been much more willing to use education as a ticket to the world outside. It was a point of pride to our informants that their children had all completed high school. Many had gone to college. In the process they learned the skills that made them employable in the thriving communities along Puget Sound. The land as homeplace has not seemed to exert as strong a pull on these Western Appalachians -- perhaps because their ancestors had already broken roots in going to Washington in the first place, partly because the outdoors is in the heritage of everyone in the state and is not lost just because one moves to the city. At any rate, the towns we visited were no longer prosperous, if indeed they ever had been, and they could no longer keep their younger residents from looking longingly elsewhere. Fifty years after Clevinger's first studies, we could still find these Cascade Appalachians, but someone looking for them in another fifty years may very well find that they have disappeared into the general population. Before they do disappear, however, we think there is much more they may be able to tell us, not only about their present lives in Washington, but about the Appalachia they left behind.

3 comments:

KathyB. said...

Brad, you are a talented writer and I did not know these things about some of our local history. What sparked your interest in this enough to blog about it? Aunt Kathy

A. Joy said...

I like to try to remember this stuff because really , our history in this state doesn't go back too terribly far and it would be sad to see it forgotten. My kids love learning this stuff. Just got a cool DVD set on the Lewis and Clark trail and will watch it for the first day of our homeschool before Tom and Cole head out to Idaho where Lewis and Clark traveled. Good stuff!

audrey y said...

I love it!I love it! I love it! Although my first interest is more on the traditional pioneers. My great-grandparents were part of the great move from east to west in the late 1800's.

I was blessed to know them very well and even have some old pictures of them and their homestead...or what was left of it.

From what I know of the Appalachian settlements it was a sad story. I would like to know more about it and will watch your site.

Good blog! Brad

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The Homesteaders Daughter

Audrey