Photo, Print, Drawing John Bowman outside his garage-turned-store

About this Item

About this Item

John Bowman outside his garage-turned-store
Contributor Names
Bowman, John (Depicted)
Eiler, Lyntha Scott (Photographer)
Created / Published
September 28, 1995
Subject Headings
-  Fall
-  September
-  Year-round work
-  Economy
-  Self-employment
-  Photographs
-  Ethnography
-  West Virginia -- Raleigh County -- Arnett
-  West Virginia -- Raleigh County -- Piney View
-  When the Beckley Mines closed down in the 1980s, John Bowman entered the flea market business. Flea markets in the region span a gamut from large, more formal sites like the Beckley Flea Market (open on Wednesdays and Saturdays) to ephemeral roadside stands and yard sales that proliferate throughout the region. Like gardening and in former days, moonshining, small-scale trading in second hand goods has long formed a crucial piece in a rural patchwork economy that fills in the financial gaps endemic to boom-and-bust economies built around coal and timber. Bowman recalls that he was able to stay in high school despite his father's meager income as a coal miner, because of the income he earned making moonshine with an older brother who is now deceased. His customers included the high school principal, several teachers, and the bus driver. One of Bowman's current specialties is making hickory handles for tools.
-  Event: Visit to John Bowman's.
35 mm Color Slide
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1999/008: CRF-LE-C021-02
Source Collection
Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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Credit line

Coal River Folklife Project collection (AFC 1999/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

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Chicago citation style:

Bowman, John, and Lyntha Scott Eiler. John Bowman outside his garage-turned-store. Arnett Piney View Raleigh County West Virginia, 1995. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed May 22, 2017.)

APA citation style:

Bowman, J. & Eiler, L. S. (1995) John Bowman outside his garage-turned-store. Arnett Piney View Raleigh County West Virginia, 1995. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Bowman, John, and Lyntha Scott Eiler. John Bowman outside his garage-turned-store. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.