I can not tell you how much I enjoyed spending the afternoon with Tracey, Drew, and Leona. Leona was a gem of a little girl, happy to explore and so fun to photograph, just look at that smile! Soon this sweet family will make a big move north to the midwest. And Tracey wanted a family photo session so Leona would be able to look back and remember the North Carolina Mountains. We had a grand time trapesing around the John C Campbell Folk School. Starting in a wooded area tossing leaves in the air to commemorate fall. And then working our way through the garden and then the wide-open field of the folk schools gorgeous grounds.
John C Campbell was born in Indiana in 1867. He married Olive Dame and the two undertook a fact-finding survey of social conditions in the mountains from Georgia to West Virginia. John talked to the farmers about their agricultural practices. And Olive accumulated ancient Appalachian ballads and studied the handicrafts of the mountain folks. Both were hopeful that the quality of life could be enhanced by education. They wanted to protect and share with the rest of the world the wonderful creations, techniques, and tools that mountain people used in everyday life.
Olive and John wanted to build a school in the rural southern United States. It would function as an alternative to the higher-education facilities that took young people away from the family farm. John died in 1919. Olive and her friend Marguerite Butler traveled to Europe. They studied folk schools in Denmark, Sweden, and other countries. The two returned to the U.S. full of purposeful energy and a determination to start such a school in Appalachia. T
In 1925, the Folk School began its trade. Education at the Folk School has always been noncompetitive; there are no credits and no grades. Today, the Folk School offers a unique mixture of rich history, beautiful mountain surroundings, and an environment of living and learning together.
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