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Folklife Flashes
October 2015

Celebrate our state's folklife and traditions!


If you missed us in September, we were taking a Labor Day break . . . we weren't idle last month, though! Read more about our exciting new directions on our website. Fall is a time of transitions, and NC Folk is undergoing some exciting changes. Meanwhile, the change of seasons also puts us in mind of North Carolina traditions that carry the spirit of fall, Halloween, and the harvest. Read on for a taste of some of our state's seasonal treats. 
--Joy M. Salyers, Executive Director



Image courtesy of the Rideway Historical Society.

The small farming community of Ridgeway has for more than a century had a wide reputation for the excellence of one of its crops, the Ridgeway cantaloupe. In recent years, true Ridgeway cantaloupes have become increasingly rare. Of the farmers who have brought the crop into the twenty-first century, among the very last are Richard Holtzmann of Ridgeway and his son, Richard Holtzmann, Jr. 

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, German immigrants came to Warren County and settled in the Ridgeway-Drewry section. One of them was Diebold Holtzmann, ancestor of what would become the largest of Ridgeway’s German families. Historian Barbara Sinn Bumbalough writes that all 264 acres of Diebold Holtzmann’s land holdings are still owned by his descendants.  The Richard Holtzmann family traces its roots back to Diebold, and they still farm family land.

Read more about the Holtzmanns here, and check out the Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival.

You Might Want To Know About...

  • A list of suggestions for your small museum toolbox from folks who know best - small museum professionals! 
  • If you missed the 2015 North Carolina Folklore Society meeting in Cullowhee, follow them on Facebook to see the photos, videos, and updates attendees are sharing. It was a fantastic program!
  • The GrantStation Insider has webinars to help you hone your grant-writing chops, from the basics to specific audiences like foundations or the federal government. 
  • Filmmaker Mariah Dunn Kramer explores the lives of Montagnard American youth in Greensboro in her documentary film This Is My Home Now. Learn more here
  • While preparing for our recent community documentation training, we came across a few great links for photography, including composing a shot and eliminating camera shake.

Podcast: A Pottery "Throw"back!

From our archives, a podcast on pottery... a "throw"back of sorts (please the excuse the pun). Seagrove's decades of experience as a cultural destination can provide insight for other communities on the varying conditions that can impact heritage tourism efforts.
"Turning with the Times: Seagrove Potters Embrace Change"
Shifts in the economy are reshaping the way small cottage industry towns like Seagrove do business. Home to over 100 potteries, this rural piedmont area has become a tourist destination for local and international clientele. But with rising gas prices, the traffic flow has slowed. As a result, some potters and town officials are exploring new ways to ensure their collective survival. Independent radio producer Amy Nelson talks to two potters and the mayor of Seagrove to catch a glimpse of what’s changed and what’s to come. Listen here for the podcast.

Connect With Us


by Joy Salyers

Last week I was sitting at the high counter in my mother’s Hillsborough kitchen with her and her best friend of more than three decades, who was down for a visit. We had in front of us plates of pumpkin pie that my mother had made.I guess some folks just eat pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas (and of course some folks don’t eat it at all, but I must confess a strong personal preference for pumpkin over sweet potato pie – sorry!). But any time in fall or winter seems like a good pumpkin pie time to me.
 Continue Reading...

Joy Salyers NC Food post "How a Slice of Pie Became a History Lesson" from January 24, 2014. 


Chris Faircloth practices making pictures at the Coharie Tribal Garden in Clinton during the Community Documentation Training supported by NC Folk and the American Indian Center September 3, 2015.

Sticks and Stones: Three Centuries of North Carolina Gravemarkers

An old graveyard, writes Ruth Little, is a cultural encyclopedia–an invaluable source of insight and information about the families, traditions, and cultural connections that shape a community. With more than 230 illustrations, including 120 stunning photographs by Tim Buchman, Sticks and Stones offers an illuminating look at an important facet of North Carolina’s cultural heritage. Read More...

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