Roads to Appalachia Through Scotland and Ireland
July 5 - July 21, 2005

 

The excitement of fifteen days of learning about the "Roads to Appalachia" by traveling those roads themselves was without equal in a true understanding of the historical context of the Appalachian culture base. The experience began in Scotland and explored historical, folkloric, and societal elements of both Lowland and Highland Scottish culture. Travels to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Loch Ness, and the Isle of Skye explored these issues through visits to castles and museums, such as the Angus Folk Museum, the Highland Folk Museum, Culloden Visitor Center, and the Museum of the Isles/Clan Donald Center (the largest of centers for studying Scottish family history). Included in these days was also traditional celebrations of Scottish life and foods with a Scottish Evening including the "Ceremony of the Haggis," and the historic "get together" of the "caelie." The route of the Scotch-Irish (Lowland Scots) as they move across to Northern Ireland was studied.

The move to Ireland began in Northern Ireland and Belfast/Omagh where a visit to the Ulster American Folk Park fully explored the role of the Scotch-Irish in both British Isle and early American and Appalachian history. Of course, famous geological and historical sites were included. The move to the Republic of Ireland was our only encounter with the newly instituted monetary notion of the Euro. Most importantly the group had the opportunity to explore the area, historics, and tragedies that were created with the potato famine of the mid 1840's. A visit to County Roscommon and the Strokestown House/1840's Famine Museum not only reviewed that dark time in Irish history but established the base of understanding for the large immigration from that area to the United States and especially to central West Virginia state that the individuals were born in County Roscommon, Cork, Galway, or even Strokestown itself. What a wonderful way of understanding the arrival of the Irish Catholics in our area. Many other stops in Ireland and ending in Dublin illustrated the Appalachian background whether it be song, dance, legend, folklore, or geology.

Contact Info

The Frank and Jane Gabor
West Virginia Folklife Center

on the campus of Fairmont State University
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403
wvfolklife@fairmontstate.edu


Dr. Judy P. Byers
Dr. Judy P. Byers
, Director Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center,
  Abelina Suarez Professor, Senior Level,
  English & Folklore Studies
Fairmont State University
(304) 367-4286
jbyers@fairmontstate.edu
 


 

FSUNow Stories

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University will host “A Salute to Old-Time Music: Presenting Two Legendary Fiddlers in Concert” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 8.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

The West Virginia Storytelling Guild will present a free concert, “Stories A-Bloom!,” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 24, at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University.

Six storytellers from the West Virginia Storytelling Guild will entertain with a variety of stories from their repertoires. There also will be books and CDs from various tellers available for purchase.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

A special presentation at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on Sunday, March 22, will provide information on protecting and preserving our material culture. The event also will celebrate the closing of the exhibit, “Hanging by a Beautiful Thread: Celebrating the Fiber Arts,” which highlights the beauty in traditional fiber arts created in the home.

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