The story below is an excerpt from our January/February 2017 issue. For the rest of this story and more like it subscribe today, log in to read our digital edition or download our FREE iOS app. Thank you!
Elk Slated to Return to West Virginia
An agreement signed in September between the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources and the West Virginia DNR was to have enabled about 20 elk from Kentucky to be placed in West Virginia’s Tomblin Wildlife Management Area by mid-December 2016 (about the time this magazine went to press).
The animals, of both genders and varied ages would mark the first elk in the Mountain State since 1875, when the state’s last elk was killed, near the headwaters of the Elk River.
The restoration effort, called “one of the largest conservation efforts in my 30-years with this agency,” by Paul Johansen, wildlife chief for the WVDNR, projects that up to 150 elk will be released in West Virginia by 2019, with the hope that they thrive in the southwestern counties of Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming, as well as parts of Boone, Lincoln and Wayne—territory that is similar to the eastern Kentucky area from where the elk will be trapped and transported.
More info: wvdnr.gov/Publications/Draft_Elk_Plan.pdf —KR
25 Years Ago in Blue Ridge Country
“A plaque on the wall of Hugh Morton’s office reads: ‘Everything cometh to he who waiteth, so long as he who waiteth worketh like hell while he waiteth.’ The plaque needs straightening, but Morton has taken heed of the message. He’s working like hell to give his beloved mountain’s trees, and the lungs of your children and your children’s children, the breath of life.”
Elizabeth Hunter, writing in the Jan/Feb 1992 issue about the late Grandfather Mountain owner Hugh Morton’s championing of the Clean Air Act, in response to the stunningly rapid collapse of the spruce/fir forests on North Carolina’s Grandfather and other high peaks of the region.
Moon Pie Turns 100
Yes, Appalachian cuisine is hot. And yes, one little corner of that cuisine is the baked product out of Chattanooga, Tennessee that celebrates its 100th birthday in 2017—the marshmallow-cream-stuffed-between-two-cookies-dunked-in-chocolate Moon Pie.
Chattanooga Bakery company invented the product back in 1917 and has made every one since, although the product line has expanded to include double-deckers as well as minis, and other baked goods.
The long-time pairing with RC Cola (semi-immortalized in the 1950s’ Bill Lister song “Gimme an RC Cola and a Moon Pie”), began in the 1930s, when it sold for a nickel, and Royal Crown Cola, working to compete with the (six-ounce, 10-cent) Coca Cola of the day, priced its product at five cents as well. The Southern “working man’s lunch” was born.
The reach of Moon Pie has extended over the decades, to the point that it is now found in retail stores including Wal-Mart and Dollar General, as well as such regional classics as Piggly Wiggly which, incidentally, turned 100 in 2016.
A signature celebration is the annual RC-Moon Pie Festival, held June 17 in 2017, in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, south of Nashville and over in Central Time.
More Moon Pie info: moonpie.com