Oven Fork, Kentucky

J.D. Maggards Store in Oven Fork, KY

Eastern Kentucky is filled with quaint little communities with funny little names. One of my favorite places that we frequently drive through on our way to our church in Belcher, Kentucky is Oven Fork.

Talk about gorgeous mountainside country! Oven Fork is just outside of Harlan, County in Letcher County. The road through Oven Fork runs through the valley alongside the river. I wish I had taken some more photos of the area. Especially in the morning when the mountains are laced with fog.

Two of my favorite places in Oven Fork are J.D. Maggard’s Store (above) and The Oven Fork Merchantile – a sweet little antique store. In fact, The Oven Fork Merchantile is the only antique store that I know of in the area.

The Oven Fork Merchantile in Oven Fork, KY

Something else you may have never seen before outside of Eastern, KY and the Appalachian Mountains – footbridges. Perhaps they exist elsewhere, but I’ve never happened upon them.

I will share more photos of footbridges as time goes on. I find them sooo interesting! This particular footbridge is just down the road from the Merchantile and crosses the Cumberland River. By the way, these photos are current. I was having some fun with photo effects at http://pixlr.com/o-matic/

Footbridge in Oven Fork, KY

And just for fun, I came across the video on YouTube about “mountain talk.” I find it so fascinating. Since I was raised just south of Atlanta, I don’t have the “hillbilly” accent that folks from around here have. Here in Harlan County and I’m sure around Appalachia, there’s a distinct dialect. Some folks speak the dialect in such a strong accent that I still to this day, have a hard time understanding what they are saying. I have to listen real close. This video was filmed in North Carolina so I would imagine some of the dialect and language is different here, but at the same time it is very similar.

One of my good friends, Mr. Cooper, keeps my horses at no charge on his property and takes care of them for me to spare me the gasoline cost – ten dollars just to go ten miles over the mountain to see them. He’s a precious man! Folks call him the “Mountain Man.”  He talks in this high-pitched mountain talk you’ll see on this video. It’s endearing. You can just imagine his high cackle laugh. Love talking with him when we go over once a week to check on the horses and ride. And Mr. Cooper loves to chat.

You can turn off the Mountain Music over on the sidebar to your right or click on the video to go to the YouTube page.

About Melissa

Melissa Ringstaff is a pastor's wife, serving with her husband in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. She is a homeschooling mother of five plus four and Grandarlin' to 13 (so far) grandchildren. Melissa is the Founding Editor of A Virtuous Woman since 2001. She has written several titles including Spring Cleaning for the Heart and Home, The Homemaker's Journal: Keeping House, and Christian ADVENTures in Prophecy. You are invited to visit Melissa at A Virtuous Woman.
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