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


Pat Musick
Pat Musick
, Interim Director
Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center
(304) 333-3606
pmusick@fairmontstate.edu
 


 

FSUNow Stories

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Kestrel: A Journal of Literature and Art, the Fairmont State University Department of Language and Literature and the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host a two-day Celebration of Issue 35.

Ten Kestrel contributors will be on campus to participate in a panel discussion, as well as give readings from their own work.

On Friday, Sept. 23, from 1 to 1:50 p.m. in Jaynes Hall 304, Dr. Elizabeth Savage will moderate a panel discussion on the topic, “Accessibility,” featuring visiting writers. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University will officially open a new exhibition, “From Mountain Roots….” in its Ruth Ann Musick Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.

Admission to the opening reception and the exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be on view through mid-February 2017. For more information, call (304) 367-4403.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University will host “Film & Fiction Italian Family Style: An Afternoon of Italian Heritage” from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18.

Diana Pishner Walker will read from her children’s books, and her sister Anna Pishner Harsh offer a premier screening of “La Danza-Bridging Time Through Dance,” an Italian dance documentary. Walker and Harsh’s paternal grandparents were from Caulonia, Italy, (Reggio Calabria), and their maternal grandparents were from San Giovani in Fiore, Provence of Cosenza, Italy.

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