(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 discovery. I recently acquired, in a family inheritance, a very remote piece of property,nestled in the hills of southern Ohio, 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.
With only a brief inspection of the property, I found, scattered in various locations about the property, pieces of shaped timber, worked stone and even handmade brick, that led me to believe that there might have been numerous structures or even a small village of some sort.
Near the center of the property are the remains of an old log cabin. This is where I discovered a collection of albums & diaries buried in a small stone casket under the spring house.
These diaries and images have stirred my childhood memories of old family whisperings (which is the way of the hill folk). They 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.
I will refrain, at this point, from giving the elaborate details of these characters, as you might find them a bit shocking and I am sure my ancestors would think that I am releasing the "skeletons from the closet", of which is simply not done.
"Easter Friends" - Oil on canvas - 6"x 8" -sold
#1 "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" - Oil on canvas - 6"x 8" - sold
#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" - Oil on canvas - 6"x 8" - available
#3 - Willard and 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 had 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."
"The Photographer" - Oil on canvas - 6"x 8" - sold
#4 - Herbert Adams
"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 by you today.
I am speaking about Herbert Adams, pictured here 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 melodramatic and vaudevillian types."
"The Tea Party"- 8x8 -available
This information from 1818
#5 - Abigale Patch and Flora Hamstark
Abigale Patch (on the right), one of Bertrums 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 an 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 his profession and later formed the secret group known as the “Whiskered Wizards”.