The Frank and Jane Gabor
West Virginia Folklife Center
on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
Dr. Judy P. Byers, Director Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center,
Abelina Suarez Professor, Senior Level,
English & Folklore Studies Fairmont State University
Mr. Noel W. Tenney, Folk Cultural Specialist
Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center
and Museum Studies Program Coordinator
Pierpont Community & Technical College
Roads to Appalachia through Eastern Europe
Students Arnold Triplett and Jane Gilchrist have developed a website that was updated during the trip.
The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University is proud to make availabe this exciting excursion in which we will travel through Romania (including Transylvania), Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. Among the heavy wave of settlers into Central Appalachia during the early 20th Century's Industrial Revolution, many immigrants came from these Eastern European countries. Settling in coal camps and other industrial places, these Eastern Europeans brought with them varied traditions, customs, storytelling, and other folkloric elements that are still perpetuated in parts of Central Appalachia. Unfortunately, until 1989, Eastern Europe was a foreboding place, plagued with the remnants of war and communism. Now Eastern Europe is open and welcoming. The time is right, therefore, for this culturally diverse area to be studied and celebrated. Green Hills of Magic: West Virginia Folktales from Europe, collected by Dr. Ruth Ann Musick, is an important guide to various sites and content that will comprise this particular study abroad program. Our hosts for this special adventure will be Dr. Judy Prozzillo Byers, Director, and Noel W. Tenney, Cultural Specialist, both of the Folklife Center. They will travel with us and help us connect to the similarities between folklife in our Appalachia and the unique countries we will be visiting. The myths and legends will fascinate and entertain us along the way. We will visit castles, folklife museums, famous cities, historical villages, cathedrals, and ancient sites while learning about and researching this truly fascinating region of Europe.