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Old 06-15-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Appalachian New York, Formerly Louisiana
4,100 posts, read 4,729,281 times
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It's something that struck me. When people say Appalachia they are often referring to the southern leg of the mountains, West Virginia down. On rarer occasions the term includes only the southernmost portion of the northern mountains.

On top of that it's pretty surprising how many people actually do not know that these mountains go all the way through the Northeast and just into the Midwest. Pennsylvania is typically the only one acknowledged.

To me, as some of you may already know, the name Appalachia is applicable to the entire American stretch on the mountains. I divide it into three regions.

Southern Appalachia, the most popularized region by far, I'd say mid West Virginia and down.

Central Appalachia, an area where there are cultural similarities to both the southern and northern regions, but due to it's unique position it has it's own identity(ies) as well. Definitely shares a strong industrial history. I say this is eastern Ohio, northern WV, Pennsylvania and the Alleghenies-Catskills of upstate NY (and technically northwestern New Jersey).

Northern Appalachia, an area definitely more affluent than the other two, but still mostly rural and beautiful. This is the Hudson valley and eastern terminus of upstate NY and the mountains of New England (I include the Adirondacks even though I know they are not geologically Appalachian).

Tldr shortcut: I'll get to my actual question. Why aren't the northern/central Appalachians and their history, cultures, beauty and presence not nearly as well known or talked about as the mountains to the south?
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:36 PM
 
Location: IN
20,846 posts, read 35,927,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieSkoon View Post
It's something that struck me. When people say Appalachia they are often referring to the southern leg of the mountains, West Virginia down. On rarer occasions the term includes only the southernmost portion of the northern mountains.

On top of that it's pretty surprising how many people actually do not know that these mountains go all the way through the Northeast and just into the Midwest. Pennsylvania is typically the only one acknowledged.

To me, as some of you may already know, the name Appalachia is applicable to the entire American stretch on the mountains. I divide it into three regions.

Southern Appalachia, the most popularized region by far, I'd say mid West Virginia and down.

Central Appalachia, an area where there are cultural similarities to both the southern and northern regions, but due to it's unique position it has it's own identity(ies) as well. Definitely shares a strong industrial history. I say this is eastern Ohio, northern WV, Pennsylvania and the Alleghenies-Catskills of upstate NY (and technically northwestern New Jersey).

Northern Appalachia, an area definitely more affluent than the other two, but still mostly rural and beautiful. This is the Hudson valley and eastern terminus of upstate NY and the mountains of New England (I include the Adirondacks even though I know they are not geologically Appalachian).

Tldr shortcut: I'll get to my actual question. Why aren't the northern/central Appalachians and their history, cultures, beauty and presence not nearly as well known or talked about as the mountains to the south?
They aren't as well known or talked about because these are very insular places with few people moving into them outside of a few select areas. That isn't a bad thing, but the media coverage is much greater or southern Appalachia due to all of the persistent high levels of poverty in some of the rural areas there.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:38 PM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,451 posts, read 14,299,056 times
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My guess is because when people hear "Appalachian" their first thoughts are "hillbilly, redneck, poverty", things more commonly associated in peoples minds with the south than with the north. Think Deliverance and the McCoy Hatfield feud. Stereotyping at it's worst. I can't really think of any similar stereotyping of the northern Appalachians.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:01 PM
 
7,592 posts, read 9,442,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieSkoon View Post
It's something that struck me. When people say Appalachia they are often referring to the southern leg of the mountains, West Virginia down. On rarer occasions the term includes only the southernmost portion of the northern mountains.

On top of that it's pretty surprising how many people actually do not know that these mountains go all the way through the Northeast and just into the Midwest. Pennsylvania is typically the only one acknowledged.

To me, as some of you may already know, the name Appalachia is applicable to the entire American stretch on the mountains. I divide it into three regions.

Southern Appalachia, the most popularized region by far, I'd say mid West Virginia and down.

Central Appalachia, an area where there are cultural similarities to both the southern and northern regions, but due to it's unique position it has it's own identity(ies) as well. Definitely shares a strong industrial history. I say this is eastern Ohio, northern WV, Pennsylvania and the Alleghenies-Catskills of upstate NY (and technically northwestern New Jersey).

Northern Appalachia, an area definitely more affluent than the other two, but still mostly rural and beautiful. This is the Hudson valley and eastern terminus of upstate NY and the mountains of New England (I include the Adirondacks even though I know they are not geologically Appalachian).

Tldr shortcut: I'll get to my actual question. Why aren't the northern/central Appalachians and their history, cultures, beauty and presence not nearly as well known or talked about as the mountains to the south?
The Green Mts in VT, the White Mts in NH and the Longfellow in Maine aren't part of Appalachia, though..
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:24 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
The Green Mts in VT, the White Mts in NH and the Longfellow in Maine aren't part of Appalachia, though..
They're part of the Appalachian Mountain Range.

The areas the OP labelled "northern Applachians" aren't forgetted; they're just called New England and eastern upstate NY.

In rural central parts of Pennsylvania, there's some accent similarity with "Applachia". In New England / Eastern NY there is none. A friend from Pennsylvania was visiting Northern New England and commented "it's rural but the people don't sound rural".
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:35 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
In rural central parts of Pennsylvania, there's some accent similarity with "Applachia". In New England / Eastern NY there is none. A friend from Pennsylvania was visiting Northern New England and commented "it's rural but the people don't sound rural".
Hmm... interesting comment. I suppose I can see where they're coming from if they associate "rural" with "Appalachian accent" (i.e. southern Appalachia), but in New England there also exist dialect differences between urban and rural areas. These folks, for example, sound pretty "rural" to me:


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Old 06-15-2012, 03:59 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,217 posts, read 17,945,732 times
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People pay no attention to northern Appalachia because they mistakenly assume that Appalachia is culturally homogenous, and that there's no need to differentiate. I've been stressing that northern Appalachia, from Maryland and northern West Virginia north, is very different from stereotypical "Appalachia," which is more an exaggeration of central and southern Appalachia.

I also think that the presence of coal seems to have hyperlocal influences on the culture as well, which can explain why some people believe there's a difference between rural Pennsylvania and rural New York/New England. For the most part, rural Pennsylvania is just like rural New York and rural New England, but there are five "coal patch" counties -- Greene, Fayette, Somerset, Cambria and Schuylkill -- that seem to be more like West Virginia and Kentucky, except without the accent. Those five counties have some of the worst quality of life in Pennsylvania, and they're outliers within rural Pennsylvania.

It is not accurate to assume that those five counties are an accurate representation of rural Pennsylvania as a whole. There's a difference between those counties, and counties like Elk, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Tioga and Columbia, which are more typical of rural Pennsylvania, and don't have nearly the degree of poverty or other social problems that the coal patch counties do.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:10 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
Hmm... interesting comment. I suppose I can see where they're coming from if they associate "rural" with "Appalachian accent" (i.e. southern Appalachia), but in New England there also exist dialect differences between urban and rural areas. These folks, for example, sound pretty "rural" to me:
Interesting accent there. Can hear some hints of r dropping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
I also think that the presence of coal seems to have hyperlocal influences on the culture as well, which can explain why some people believe there's a difference between rural Pennsylvania and rural New York/New England. For the most part, rural Pennsylvania is just like rural New York and rural New England, but there are five "coal patch" counties -- Greene, Fayette, Somerset, Cambria and Schuylkill -- that seem to be more like West Virginia and Kentucky, except without the accent. T
Political voting patterns might not reveal much about culture, but it probably says something. Rural Pennsylvania votes far more Republican than rural New England (rural New England is mostly Democrat, parts very strongly). Rural New York is somewhat in between the two.

Last edited by nei; 06-15-2012 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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I think it's because that region, while part of the Northeast, is largely overshadowed by the coastal giants.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Appalachian New York, Formerly Louisiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
I think it's because that region, while part of the Northeast, is largely overshadowed by the coastal giants.
You might be on to something there. I think most people have trouble thinking beyond the coastal northeast and Pittsburgh/Buffalo when they consider the region.
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