Appalachian Spring Festival - The Plains

11.) Appalachian Spring Festival – The Plains – May 7, 2011

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: This festival has since moved to Nelsonville where it is, mostly likely, different.  If you have visited this festival recently, please feel free to describe your experience in the comments below.  Thanks!

Just north of Athens, the present-day The Plains (previously called Hocking and Dog Town) is where the Hocking Valley Coal Company built the Eclipse Company Town (over Eclipse Mine #4) in 1900.

Running from 1900 to the early 1930’s, and then again from 1940 to 1948, the town was made up of miners and their families who rented either company houses or rooms on the second floor of a building that served as both the paystation and the general store.

Here is that building today.

In 1997, a group of friends interested in historic preservation bought the building, along with other company properties over time, and restored it. Whereas the company houses are being used by some businesses, the company store and property are used for weddings, business meetings and private events…

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…which includes festivals.

Put on by the Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council, the Appalachian Spring Festival is used to act out the council’s purpose – to keep the region’s stories and traditions alive while bettering the future quality of life…

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…so it made sense to have it here…

…where the festival felt rather intimate.

Here, the outside section consisted of…

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…a section for vendors…

…and a stage used for music and auctions.

Inside the company store…

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…there was a historic exhibition…

…a bit of info about area women…

…and moderated conversations to take part in.

It was inside the Eclipse Company Store where most of the council’s purpose came to life through shared stories, history and artifacts.

But the outside also gave a look into that culture…

…whether through the types of items donated for the silent auction…

…the handmade items sold by local vendors…

…or even through the literary works of local authors R. Glenn Ray and Diane Mechem Kinser.

Before leaving the festival…

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…I stopped at the food booth for some local culture all my own…

…through a rather decadent piece of homemade blackberry pie.

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