Press Release: Museum of Appalachia

Contact:  Christy H. Sweeney                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phone: 859.494.2540






LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY (APRIL 2010) â?? Preservation of Appalachian culture has always been a passion for Christy Howell Sweeney, Esq., founder of  In a pursuit to discover even more about her heritage, she recently ventured to the beautiful valley in Clinton, Tennessee which is home to the Museum of Appalachia.


Upon her arrival, Mrs. Sweeney was taken aback by the sheer size of the Museum.  â??Itâ??s not just a Museum, itâ??s much more than that.  It should be called the Village and Museum of Appalachia!â??  Mrs. Sweeney exclaimed.  â??Itâ??s a working Appalachian farm complete with animals, gardens cabins and artifacts, many of which I had never laid eyes on before.  It was a real treat to see and I loved it!â??


Sweeney and her husband Joe met with the founder of the Museum of Appalachia, John Rice Irwin, who is also an acclaimed author.  They were treated to lunch in the Museumâ??s restaurant where they enjoyed the wonderful food made in the kitchen, including the Museumâ??s famous cornbread.  They then began an exploration into the past by walking the grounds of the Museum.  â??The amount of artifacts in the museum is massive and the attention to detail is nothing but excellent.â?? Sweeney said.


â??Appalachia has a culture unlike anywhere else in the country â?? a culture that includes an unmatched oral tradition rich with folk lore, old wives tales, and parables,â?? Sweeney said.  â??John Rice Irwin has taken that tradition one step further and created something we can actually see and touch, an Appalachian time machine, if you will.â??


Perhaps the Museum of Appalachia is so great because of the heart behind it.  â??Mr. Rice is a really sweet, down to earth person, a kindred spirit who is sincere in his desire to preserve our heritage.â?? Sweeney said.  â??We met as strangers and we parted as friends.  I have great respect for him.â??  Sweeney encourages everyone to visit the Museum located at 2819 Andersonville Hwy, Clinton, TN, just 30 minutes outside of Knoxville.  â??To know who you are, I believe you must find out where you came fromâ?? is the project of Christy H. Sweeney, a daughter and granddaughter of coal miners who was raised in Fort Gay, West Virginia and Louisa, Kentucky. Now a practicing attorney in Lexington, Kentucky, Sweeney hopes that the Appalachian stories collected on the website will help others who share similar pasts learn and connect. She encourages everyone to take their tradition one step further and visit the Museum of Appalachia. 


 â??The Appalachian stories and memories people share on reveal both diversity and a wide array of common themes,â?? Sweeney said. â??Already, the collection reflects some of the universally important aspects of Appalachia life as I knew it growing up: a distinctive mix of family, tradition, food, music, tall tales, close knit towns, and mountain adventures. The Museum of Appalachia brought the oral traditions shared on to life.â?? is an archive of true stories, fiction, folktales, poetry, art, recipes, and pictures from those who have lived in Appalachia or who have Appalachian ancestry. To begin discovering Appalachia â?? or to share your own stories and experiences from the region­ â?? please visit

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