Photo, Print, Drawing Dennis Dickens and his wife, Ruby, sitting on the front porch of their home. Dennis Dickens made the porch swing of black cherry.
About this Item
- Dennis Dickens and his wife, Ruby, sitting on the front porch of their home. Dennis Dickens made the porch swing of black cherry.
- Dickens, Dennis (Depicted)
- Dickens, Ruby (Depicted)
- Eiler, Lyntha Scott (Photographer)
Created / Published
- September 30, 1995
- - Fall
- - September
- - Black cherry (Prunus serotina)
- - Forest products
- - Woodwork
- - Photographs
- - Ethnography
- - West Virginia -- Raleigh County -- Peachtree Creek
- - West Virginia -- Williams Branch
- - Dennis Dickens lives on Williams' Branch of Peachtree Creek. Williams' Branch is named for Dennis Dickens' grandfather. William was the son of John Dickens, who was the son of Thomas Dickens, who obtained a deed for the land from the Commonwealth of Virginia in the 1820s. On his mother's side, he is descended from Jacob and Celia Pettry, who settled at the mouth of Hazy Creek in the mid-19th century (Bone, 1994). Like many men in his generation, Dickens combined work in the mines with the system of forest farming (Otto, Smith, Salstrom) practiced throughout southern West Virginia. The outbuildings on his property tell some of the story of that system of corn-woodland-pastureland farming, which entailed releasing livestock (cattle and hogs) into a forest commons for pasture, clearing "newground" for cultivating corn and beans, forest-fallowing exhausted newgrounds, and relying on a diverse forest to satisfy a variety of needs. "At one time here," said Dennis, "We had two houses for hogs, three corn cribs to store the corn in, a brooder house where we raised the chickens that were hatched, and a chicken house to keep other chickens at, and two barns, and my dad had three or four calves that he wanted to separate so he built a little house for them. I couldn't tell you how many buildings I did tear down because I just couldn't keep a roof on them." On our tour of Dickens' home and farm, the buildings and furniture shown in Lyntha Eiler's photos became touchstones for Dennis Dickens' deep knowledge of the forest and of the local ways that for generations have made the forest productive.
- - Event: Tour of Dennis and Ruby Dickens' Farm.
- 35 mm Color Slide
Call Number/Physical Location
- AFC 1999/008: CRF-LE-C022-01
- Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)
- American Folklife Center
IIIF Presentation Manifest
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Coal River Folklife Project collection (AFC 1999/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Dickens, Dennis, Ruby Dickens, and Lyntha Scott Eiler. Dennis Dickens and his wife, Ruby, sitting on the front porch of their home. Dennis Dickens made the porch swing of black cherry. Peachtree Creek Williams Branch Raleigh County West Virginia, 1995. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/cmns000082/.
APA citation style:
Dickens, D., Dickens, R. & Eiler, L. S. (1995) Dennis Dickens and his wife, Ruby, sitting on the front porch of their home. Dennis Dickens made the porch swing of black cherry. Peachtree Creek Williams Branch Raleigh County West Virginia, 1995. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/cmns000082/.
MLA citation style:
Dickens, Dennis, Ruby Dickens, and Lyntha Scott Eiler. Dennis Dickens and his wife, Ruby, sitting on the front porch of their home. Dennis Dickens made the porch swing of black cherry. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/cmns000082/>.