Appalachian-made Washboards And Talking 'Porch Beers' With Elliott Stewart, Inside Appalachia


This week on Inside Appalachia, we venture to southern Ohio to visit the last remaining washboard maker in the United States. Its washboard’s aren’t just for laundry — but for music. And people come there to jam.

We also speak with Elliott Stewart, who makes the zine “Porch Beers.” The zine tracks his life and travels, like his move from West Virginia and back again.

And we revisit our 20th anniversary celebration with Giles Snyder and Beth Vorhees, the founders and original hosts of Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

Washboards Keep On Into The 21st Century

The Columbus Washboard Company in Logan, Ohio was founded in 1895. Back then, washboards were a necessary tool for doing the laundry each week. Today, of course, most people have a washer and dryer, or access to a laundromat. But the Columbus Washboard Company has found a way to stay open. Folkways Reporter Capri Cafaro visited the factory.  

That story is part of our Folkways Reporting Project, which covers arts and culture in the region.

A Talk With Elliott Stewart Over “Porch Beers”

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Elliott Stewart has been making zines since he was 13. His current ongoing zine, “Porch Beers,” is an incisive look at Appalachian culture, through the eyes of a queer trans man. “Porch Beers” dives into pop culture fandom, West Virginia food and his complicated relationship with his hometown of Huntington, West Virginia.

Mason Adams recently spoke with Stewart about the newest issues of his zine. And about what a “porch beer” is anyway.

Celebrating 20 Years Of Inside Appalachia With Giles Snyder And Beth Vorhees

It’s hard to believe, but Inside Appalachia has been on the air for 20 years. A lot has changed in that time. The internet was there when it was first founded — but social media didn’t exist. We didn’t even have MySpace yet.

Podcasts hadn’t taken off yet, either.

But radio was still around. In the summer of 2002, West Virginia Public Broadcasting launched a new public affairs show called Inside Appalachia with Giles Snyder and Beth Vorhees as hosts. And here we are today. Inside Appalachia’s 20th anniversary arrived in August.

Mason Adams reached out to Giles and Beth to hear about what things were like when they first started the show.

WVPB Launches Lore

A lot of people use downtime in the last week of December to plan out the next year. They make resolutions — to quit smoking, read more books, or plan a garden.

Producer Bill Lynch has designed a lot of well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions and plans. A few of them he’s made professionally. Like, for his weekly “One Month at a Time” column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail, which ran from 2016 to 2022.

For 2023, he’s taking on something new that picks up one of his familiar themes — Bill doesn’t know something, but he thinks he should. He’s calling it “Lore,” and you can follow along as he embraces a different take on an Appalachian education. You can follow along in upcoming episodes an on our website,


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Aaron Copeland, Johnny Staats, Delmore Brothers, and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.