Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Zander Aloi, Clara Haizlett, Liz Pahl, Curtis Tate Published

Chair Caning And A Housing Fight, Inside Appalachia

An elderly woman is leaned down close to the seat of a chair. She is weaving a new seat onto an old hand caned chair.
Jeannine Schmitt weaves a new seat onto an old hand caned chair.
Clara Haizlett/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week, we visit the Seeing Hand Association. They bring together people who are visually impaired to learn the craft of chair caning.  

Corporate greed has been gobbling up newspapers for years. Now, some of those same companies are taking a bite out of mobile home parks. They’re raising rents and letting repairs slide.

And, as the Mountain Valley Pipeline nears completion, people who live near it say government officials are ignoring their concerns about pollution.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

Seeing Hand Fixes More Than Chairs

An older man leans over a chair. He is working on restoring caned chairs. Around him are other tables with chairs on them. One person can be seen near him working on their own chair.
Employees restore caned chairs at the Seeing Hand workshop in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Photo Credit: Clara Haizlett/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A lot of folks in Appalachia grew up with caned chairs in the house. Maybe your parents or grandparents had a set in the kitchen, but you don’t see the old caned chairs as much as you used to. Cane breaks down and needs to be replaced. Few people know where to go to fix their chairs. So, a lot of them are discarded or thrown away. But they don’t have to be.  

At a workshop in Wheeling, WV, a community of skilled workers repair old chairs and show that not everything that looks broken has to be thrown out. Folkways reporter Clara Haizlett brought us the story. 

Quilting In The New, Traditional Way

An adult man is shown smiling for the camera and holding up a quilt. The quilt shows all sorts of colors - red, blue, yellow, pink, purple, among others.
Shane Foster pictured with a quilt made by his great-grandmother.

Photo Credit: Liz Pahl/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Passing on traditional knowledge happens in different ways. Shane Foster is an optometrist in Ohio and an avid quilter. Quilting had been in his family for generations, but to learn this traditional craft, Foster chose a way that’s a little less traditional.

From 2022, Folkways Reporter Liz Pahl has this story. 

David Vs. Goliath At A Mobile Home Park

After a new owner took control of a mobile home park in Mercer County, West Virginia, the rents went up, and it seemed like less was done to take care of problems. One resident started looking into exactly who this new owner was.

Mason Adams brought us the story.

West Virginia Flood Concerns

Truck stuck in mud hold from flooding
The floods of 2016 devastated several counties and it has taken seven years for them to be mostly returned to normal.

Photo Credit: Kara Lofton/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Flooding has always been a threat in Appalachia, but over the past few decades, severe floods have become more frequent.

Curtis Tate spoke with Nicolas Zegre, an associate professor of forest hydrology at West Virginia University, about why West Virginia is so prone to flooding.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by John Blissard, John Inghram, Tim Bing, Gerry Milnes, Mary Hott, and Tyler Childers.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Zander Aloi is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.