HAVING TAKEN TEN YEARS TO COMPLETE, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF APPALACHIA IS indebted to a host of individuals and organizations without whom the book would never have come to fruition. Some provided invaluable advice, encouragement, and copious amounts of time, wisdom, and insight, not to mention crucial funding, while others challenged, questioned, and debated. All were significant in making this a better piece of work.
John Stephenson, president of Berea College and one of the founders of the Appalachian studies movement, was an inspirational figure. As mentor and friend of the editors and one who was contemplating this work himself at the time of his death, John did much to shape thinking about the Encyclopedia and inspire resolve to get it done. Just two years before the project began, he gave a speech at Berea College titled “Appalachian Studies and the Third Millennium,” in which he expressed pleasure that information and research about the region were making their way into mainstream thinking. “Our stuff is seeping out from under the woodwork,” he said, “and beginning to make a noticeable mess on the floor.” This seepage became a torrent of information in the Encyclopedia.
The editors wish to thank all of the agencies, foundations, companies, and individuals who provided funding for this project. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in Washington, D.C., not only funded the project at its most critical moments but also helped sustain it through the personal interest of its staff and their leadership. We especially thank Federal Co-Chair Jesse White and his successor, Anne Pope, Executive Director Tom Hunter, and Chief Economist Greg Bishak, who provided frequent support and advice. Numerous other members of the ARC staff assisted with information, guidance, and enthusiastic concern, including Guy Land, John Cartwright, Edward Terry, Duane Debruyne, Henry King, Summer Rutherford, Molly Curtin DeMarcellus, Jeffrey Schwartz, Pam Lautman, and Dan Neff.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) also provided major funding and helpful guidance for the endeavor. The organization’s chairman, William Ferris, knew firsthand the challenges and pitfalls of producing a regional encyclopedia since he had been coeditor of the acclaimed Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. We are also grateful to NEH program officer Joseph Herring for his cheerful and unfailing assistance.
The project also received vital funding from the University of Tennessee Press, East Tennessee State University, Tennessee Valley Authority, Federal Express, Barnes and Noble, the State of Ohio, the State of Tennessee, K-VA-T Foods, the Mooneyhan Family Foundation, the Tennessee Humanities Council, and ARAMARK. Several individuals, including Lloyd Cotsen, Lee Smith, Jean Ritchie, Roy Nicks, Alice Manicur, Ben Sharfstein, and Jane Stephenson, made donations as well.
In the initial stages of the project, we brought together groups of interested persons in each Appalachian state to discuss what topics the Encyclopedia should contain. We are particularly grateful to the state coordinators—Fred Armstrong, Sandra Barney, Roger Dow, Ron Eller, Betty Fine, Bill Foster, John Inscoe, Gordon McKinney, Phillip Obermiller, and Kathleen Wilson—who organized these meetings and gathered hundreds of ideas that were later integrated into entry lists for the sections.
Our advisory and editorial boards, listed at the beginning of this volume, contributed both expertise and credibility. The advisory board, all either Appalachian by place of birth or residence, lent their good names to the reputation of the project and gave more tangible resources as well. Members of the editorial board provided advice on content, organization, and emphasis, and some also served as section editors and writers.
Of all the contributors to the project, the editors for the thirty sections accepted the heaviest responsibility. They helped conceptualize topics, selected writers, pushed and prodded to get work done, read manuscripts and proofs, and wrote overview essays, all while pursuing their full-time employment, most of them in academic institutions. Their work reflects commitment to the region that John Stephenson would have applauded.
East Tennessee State University (ETSU), taking its commitment to the Appalachian region as a special calling in teaching, research, and service, contributed to the project in innumerable ways. Supportive members of the faculty and staff are too numerous to mention, but special thanks must be extended to Paul Stanton, ETSU’s president; Bert Bach, vice-president for academic affairs and provost; Michael Woodruff, assistant provost (and his staff); ETSU’s offices of University Advancement and University Relations; the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences over the ten years (John Ostheimer, Don Johnson, Rebecca Pyles, and Gordon Anderson); and a host of faculty and staff colleagues.
From beginning to end, graduate and undergraduate student workers were involved in every phase of the work. Among those deserving special mention are Rebecca Adkins, Declan Fahy, Laura Tidwell, Colleen Carr, Curtis Light, Ryan Goodman, Abraham Spear, Jamee Roberts, Roy Andrade, Susan Mabe, Andre Pratt, Laura McNeese, John King, James Goodman, Ajay Kalra, Leslie Burrell, Benjamin Jenkinson, Daniel Boner, Brandon Lambert, Matthew Ball, Brittany Burke, Reese Stansberry, Sändra Henson, and Adam Sanders.
As publisher, the Encyclopedia is fortunate to have the University of Tennessee Press. Executive Director Jennifer Siler, Managing Editor Stan Ivester, designers Cheryl Carrington and Barbara Karwhite, and copyeditor Hugh Davis brought not only professional commitment and dedication but a wealth of patience and congeniality to the effort.
Other supporters ranged from political leaders such as U.S. Senators Robert C. Byrd and Lamar Alexander and Representative Bill Jenkins to community friends such as the First Tennessee Development District and the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance.
With technology rapidly changing as the book was written and edited, the editors were privileged to have daily assistance from East Tennessee State University’s Office of Information Technology and computer consultants, including David King, Robb Clevenger, and David Cortner.
In times of special editing need, Fred Alsop, Jack Higgs, Jack Hurst, John Renton, Robert S. Turner, and others provided assistance. We also wish to thank Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, Marie Jones, Kathy Campbell, Cliff Boyd, Kim O’Connor, Ed Speer, David Newhall, and others who accepted many writing assignments on short notice.
The Encyclopedia of Appalachia was undertaken as a project of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University, a Tennessee Center of Excellence. Many staff and faculty members at the center, which is composed of the Regional Resources Institute (with programs in Appalachian Studies; Appalachian, Scottish, and Irish Studies; and Bluegrass, Country, and Old Time Music), the B. Carroll Reece Museum, and the Archives of Appalachia, have contributed in ways large and small. For their many contributions, the editors especially thank Rebecca Grindstaff, Rachel Henry, Charles Moore, Jane Woodside, Nancy Fischman, Penelope Lane, Georgia Greer, Ned Irwin, Amy Barnum, Norma Myers, Blair White, Jack Tottle, Raymond McLain, Ted Olson, and Roberta Herrin.
Staff members of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia project, whose commitment, professionalism, and friendship held the project together, include associate editors Theresa Lloyd and Ted Olson; assistant editors Nancy Fischman, Ajay Kalra, Charles Moore, and Emily Satterwhite; photo editor Susan Grove-DeJarnett; fact-checkers Clara Hasbrouck, Phyllis Crain, and Ned Irwin; editorial assistants Lee Phillips, Roberta Hissey, and Adam Sanders; and indexer Alexa Selph.
The Encyclopedia’s deputy managing editor, Troy Gowen, came on board later in the project but contributed immeasurably to helping us achieve the final product. We thank him not only for his writing and editing but also for his wit, wisdom, and leadership.
Finally, this work, in this form, would not exist without the competence, dedication, incomparable patience and diplomacy of Managing Editor Jill Oxendine. Her work fits perfectly Appalachian writer-humorist Loyal Jones’s description of Appalachian scholars “chasing hats in high wind and getting them on the right heads.” Jill chased hats in light breezes and howling gusts and still managed to get them on straight. Those who will use the Encyclopedia of Appalachia years hence should know that it is in significant measure Jill Oxendine’s legacy to her native Appalachia.
Rudy Abramson and Jean Haskell,