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  • John Flynn


  • Flynn, John (Depicted)
  • Eiler, Lyntha Scott (Photographer)

Created / Published

  • October 26, 1995


  • -  Fall
  • -  October
  • -  Buffalo Fork (Clear Fork, W. Va.)
  • -  Photographs
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  West Virginia -- Raleigh County -- Clear Fork


  • Photographs
  • Ethnography


  • -  During black walnut season in 1995, we visited the home of Wesley Scarbrough's uncle, Herman Williams, Sr. on Buffalo Fork of Clear Fork. Wesley's cousin Herman, Jr. was there with his son, Nicholas, who cracked a few black walnuts using the permanent walnut cracking stone under the supervision of his grandfather. When black walnuts were in season we spied many coal buckets filled with the bright green fruit of the black walnut tree (Juglans nigra), and engaged in many conversations about how to process and serve black walnuts. John Flynn recalled that many children came to school with hands stained from the process of removing the green hulls. Jenny Bonds described a method of removing the hulls by first curing the nuts, driving over a sack full of them to loosen the hulls which can be then shaken out. Cracking the nuts requires a hammer and a concrete surface, reminiscent of the "nutting stones" found in local archeological sites. Mae Bongalis canned her walnuts, which Shorty, her son, cracked at his "walnut cracking station" in the basement. We sampled a number of delicious walnut confections, including Mae's black walnut pumpkin roll, Glenna Bailey's black walnut cake, and Shorty Bongalis's black walnut pie. Feeding squirrels as well as humans, nut trees in general are said to enjoy a special status on the forested tributaries of Coal River. "We were taught never to cut down a nut tree," as Virgil Jarrell, of Sylvester put it, "because they're good for the animals."
  • -  Event: Black walnut season.


  • 35 mm Color Slide

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1999/008: CRF-LE-C032-15

Source Collection

  • Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • image

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Copy photographs of numerous historical still photographs owned by Woody Boggs and Rick Bradford were made and are reproduced here with permission of the owners.

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Credit line

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:

Flynn, John, and Lyntha Scott Eiler. John Flynn. Clear Fork West Virginia Raleigh County, 1995. Photograph.

APA citation style:

Flynn, J. & Eiler, L. S. (1995) John Flynn. Clear Fork West Virginia Raleigh County, 1995. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Flynn, John, and Lyntha Scott Eiler. John Flynn. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.