Doran's Cove: Cultural Memory in the Landscape
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SubjectAnthropology; Memory; Vernacular Architecture; Southern Culture; Log Cabin; Scholarship Sewanee 2010
AbstractThis paper explores the vernacular architecture, genealogical landscapes, and community memories of Doran's Cove, a small rural settlement of southern Appalachia riding the state line between Alabama and Tennessee. Residents have maintained "the antiquity of the cove" despite changes in nearby communities. They have a rich oral tradition, lengthy family ties to the land, and the small collection of folk architecture in the area provides one of the best surviving records of regional building styles from the time of European-American settlement. This paper derives from a project to create a catalogue of local vernacular buildings constructed from the second decade of the 1800s to the early 20th century. Considering building style, techniques and materials, the project identified how the settlement and material cultural legacy of Doran's Cove fits with regional patterns. Oral histories of community members were collected, transcribed and compiled into a cross-generational account of the area to relate key events and figures in the folk history of the area. In the tradition of Barbara Allen's The Genealogical Landscape and the Southern Sense of Place (1990), interviews for the collection of place lore and toponymy, and cognitive mapping exercises, helped create a picture of the Cove's "genealogical landscape."
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