Appletree Story

Appletree Hollow Story

Discovery of Appletree Hollow

(a fictional story created for a series of paintings)
ALL IMAGES and TEXT are Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple

"Secret Diaries of AppleTree Hollow"
I will attempt to give you a very brief summary of my remarkable discovery. I recently acquired, in a family inheritance, a very remote piece of property,nestled in the hills of southern Ohio, now known as Appletree Hollow. The 180 acres(approx.) is covered in thick woods that hold deep ravines, several creeks and numerous glacial rock formations. I have been unable to find any recorded data on this property; it is as though it has never existed, and yet here it is.
During my first brief inspection of the property,scattered in various locations, I found pieces of shaped timber, worked stone and even handmade brick, which led me to believe that there might have been numerous structures or even a small village of some sort. This idea proved to be more evident when I discovered over an acre of cleared land, near the center, that held the remains of what appeared to be foundations of small structures and walkways. Further away I found a substantially solid log cabin with a spring house built over a nearby stream. Under this spring house, buried in a small stone casket, is where I discovered the collection of albums & diaries.
I am sure that these diaries and images are the last remaining evidence of my family history and proof of the existence of Appletree Hollow and its amazing inhabitants.
This has stirred my childhood memories of old family whisperings and stories (which is the way of the hill folk) that didn't make much sense at the time, so I never gave them much thought until now.
I have been hesitant to reveal this information, as it is so
unbelievable, but I finally decided that it is time to expose the
true nature of Appletree Hollow.
My family tree is not all sweet and roses, so I will refrain from giving
their elaborate personal details at this time,as you might find them a bit shocking. Besides, I am sure my ancestors would think that I am releasing the "skeletons from the closet", of which is simply not done in Appalachia.
Below you will find some of the residents of Appletree Hollow.

"Easter Friends"

To begin: the discovery was just before Easter this year. On the left is the first image I posted from the album & diary, which is dated: Oct.22, 1816.
Bertrum Patch (left) & Maggie Peck(right). Here they are shown as childhood friends.
There was not a lot of information about them as children but in later life they married and became the first interracial couple of Apple Tree Hollow.

"Easter Memories"

Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple
"Easter Memories" oil on canvas - 6"x 8"
Appletree Hollow Series

#2 -Gertrude Ginney, Bertha Snell & Penelope Peck(from left to right)
There are quite a few references to these three later in the diary but I will say now that Gertrude, being very creative, managed to run a small millinery shop, where she eventually produced a line of hats for the soldiers in 1834.
Bertha, who was known for her snooty attitude, ended up running a brothel and spent 6 years in a coop. And Penelope, was one of the sisters of Maggie Peck. Other than a note about her being very shy, she had 10 children.

"The Hunters"

Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple
"The Hunters" oil on canvas- 6"x 8"
Appletree Hollow series

#3 Willard & Bert (from left to right) Willard was known to be very bashful and so loved nature that he never managed to shoot any other living creature. It was also stated that he desperately tried to start one of the first vegetarian movements but with very little success. Bert on the other hand was a very forceful young man who, by the age of 41, became a high ranking soldier in the 8th Brown Bear regiment of 1834.
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"The Photographer"

Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple
"The Photographer" oil on canvas - 6"x 8"
Appletree Hollow Series
#4 of Appletree Hollow
"After reading for hours, in the first diary of Appletree Hollow, this past weekend, I decided that before I continue on about its residents, I should reveal one who, without his dedication, the images of Appletree Hollow could not be seen today.
I am speaking about Herbert Adams, pictured above in the early winter of 1816.
Herbert immigrated from England in 1815 and became renowned for documenting Appletree Hollow for many years. He was a traveling photographer who worked on his floating studio located on the "Water Nymph" showboat that cruised the Ohio River. He photographed thousands of residents of Southern Ohio and West Virginia, documenting living conditions and family life in Appalachia. From what information I have gathered so far, is that he appeared to be a very talented but sad sort of fellow, which I must say I do find to be a bit odd, since it also said he met and photographed many melodrama and vaudeville types."

The Tea Party

Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple
"The Tea Party" oil on canvas - 8"x 8"
Appletree Hollow Series

The Mother's Day weekend gave me a little bit of extra time to research more of the Appletree Secret Albums and present this information from 1818.
Abigale Patch (on the right), one of Bertrum’s many sisters, is shown here with her childhood friend Flora Hamstark. This image comes as no surprise to me after finding out that Abigale became quite reknown, after she was awarded a beautiful tea set for winning the very first baby contest ever recorded. There is much more written about Abigale, that I will reveal later on, as she was involved in the underground movement in 1834.
Her friend Flora, ran off with a band of gypsies that came up the Ohio River around 1830, after falling in love with their fortune teller. She was fascinated with the profession and later formed the secret group known as the “Whiskered Wizards”."

The Famous Tweedle Brothers

Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple
"Tweedle Twins"
oil on canvas - 6"x 8"
Appletree Hollow Series

Written under this image in the Appletree Hollow album, was the date of 1827 with the title: Dee & Dum - the Tweedle Twins. They were identical twins who, as far as I can tell, never contradicted each other. Rather, they complimented each other in every way so completely that they became very famous, eventually owning a chain of clothing stores – “The Tweedle Brothers” finest in tailored wool clothing for big men.

Civil War Soldier

Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple
"Reginald Biggs"
oil on canvas - 6"x 8"
Appletree Hollow Series

Reginald Biggs: Infantry soldier in the Civil War
Was born in Germany in 1843 and arrived at Appletree in 1845 where he learned the cooper’s trade (making large wooden casks) from his father. However, it proved so injurious to his health that he was compelled to seek other means of livelihood.
He became a very proud and determined young man, and on August 14, 1862, at only 19 yrs. of age, he enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Sixth regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, which I assume is when this photo was taken. He served two years, taking part in several prominent engagements, and was captured and held prisoner for a short time. After his return, he became a brakeman on the old Marietta & Cincinnati railroad. In Sept, 1872, while engaged in the always hazardous work of "braking," he met with an accident, which put an end to his career as a railroader. He rallied, however, and sent himself to learn telegraphy. After mastering this useful accomplishment he worked as an operator for a year, and then abandoned the "ticker" to become interested in the development of coal and clay lands in Jackson and Vinton counties. This finally led him to return to Appletree and build a coal furnace.

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Pink Roses

Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple
"Pink Roses" -available
oil on canvas - 9"x 12"
Collectible Appletree Hollow Series

This is Flora Millicent Shepard, born and raised in Appletree Hollow.
From the time she was very young she loved flowers and seemed to possess the ultimate "green thumb". She would sneak into Albert Findhome's garden and prune his shrubbery into animal shapes.
It wasn't until she received first prize at the yearly village festival with an extraordinarily large stemmed pink rose, that she was given the title of : "ROSEY FLORA" and became the local floral expert. At the young age of 21 she established the first scientific lab in floral gene splicing that created some of the most amazing species of roses that we have today.

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Mopsy Twins

Copyright © 2008 Linda Apple
"Mopsy Twins"
original painting is sold
Appletree Hollow Series

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Millie & Billie Roundbottom: The adopted twins of Fred & Anna Roundbottom. Millie & Billie's parents had already passed away in a farming accident when this photo was taken in 1893. Fred & Anna, prominent residents in the community, were without children so they were happy to accept the little ones. They were very good parents who promoted the Santa tradition in their home.
This photo was titled " Millie & Billie waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve".

My question is this: If they are waiting for Santa, why didn't Fred & Anna
tell them that he wouldn't be coming down a chimney with a blazing fire?