Episodes

July 4, 2022

66: Fort Negley

In December 1864, Confederate troops were moving toward Nashville with a plan. Union troops had occupied this southern city for t…

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June 27, 2022

65: Talking in Memphis with Historian Wayne Dowdy

Those are a few lines from a song called “Beale Street Blues.” The most famous performance of that song came from Louis Armstrong…

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June 20, 2022

64: French Family Murders, Part 4: The Hanging

It was raining on the day of the execution. As Fletcher described it, The rain during the forenoon had the effect of making the s…

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June 13, 2022

63: French Family Murders, Part 3: The Trial

Before it was called Richvalley, the community the French family was living in was known as Keller Station. Isaac Keller and his …

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June 6, 2022

62: French Family Murders, Part 2: The Hubbards

Aaron French moved in from Cincinnati. He had only been here approximately 6 Months. So he himself was a transient character, he …

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May 30, 2022

61: French Family Murders, Part 1: The Frenches

I remember the first time I tried to visit the French family grave, just outside of Wabash, Indiana. It was a Sunday, in the midd…

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May 23, 2022

60: The Peshtigo Fire

The sky to the west of the small town of Peshtigo (PESH-ti-go [not pesh-TEE-go]), Wisconsin glowed red before the sunrise, on the…

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May 16, 2022

59: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Part 8

The day after leaving Copper County, I took the obligatory cruise of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It might be the one t…

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May 9, 2022

58: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Part 7

That sound you hear in the background is the hoist control of the Quincy Mine just outside Hancock, Michigan, where we’re heading…

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May 2, 2022

57: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Part 6

So, the motel that I stayed at in Eagle Harbor, Fletchy's Otter Belly Lodge, formerly the Shoreline Motel, was apparently the loc…

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April 25, 2022

56: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Part 5

One of the things I’d heard about my next stop, Phoenix, Michigan, was that it was home to a well-known bridge troll – but instea…

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April 18, 2022

55: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Part 4

The following morning, my first real stop across the canal, apart from gawking at random pieces of rotting machinery, was the gho…

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April 11, 2022

54: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Part 3

The first mining boom in American history was not the California Gold Rush, the Klondike Gold Rush, or any other gold rush. The f…

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April 4, 2022

53: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Part 2

The distinctive sound of the Mackinaw Bridge is due to the grating in the two center lanes, one going each way. This grating allo…

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March 28, 2022

52: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Part 1

No, there’s nothing wrong with your audio. That sound is the gateway to the best place to live in the year 2100, at least in Nort…

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March 14, 2022

51: Alcatraz East, The Smokey Mountain Museum of Crime

This episode is focused less on the history of a hometown, than a hometown that specializes in history. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee i…

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Feb. 28, 2022

50: Biltmore Mansion: The Greatest Home in America

I don’t know a better way to introduce this episode than by just saying the Biltmore estate is one of my favorite places in the w…

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Feb. 14, 2022

49: The Museum of the Cherokee Indian (Part 2)

The Cherokee don’t believe in signatures. Who can blame them? In 1763, the British signed a proclamation preventing white coloniz…

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Jan. 30, 2022

48: The Museum of the Cherokee Indian (Part 1)

The Cherokee don’t believe in signatures. Who can blame them? In 1763, the British signed a proclamation preventing white coloniz…

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Jan. 18, 2022

47: Oak Ridge: The Forgotten City of the Nuclear Age (Part 2)

On a warm summer day in 1900, the village idiot of Oak Ridge, Tennessee laid on his back in the middle of the woods and heard the…

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Jan. 3, 2022

46: Oak Ridge: The Forgotten City of the Nuclear Age (Part 1)

On a warm summer day in 1900, the village idiot of Oak Ridge, Tennessee laid on his back in the middle of the woods and heard the…

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Dec. 13, 2021

45: Lepa Radic

17-year-old Lepa Radić was a Yugoslavian partisan, having joined the communist party at age 15. Two years later, while tending to…

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Dec. 6, 2021

44: Indiana Bell Building

In 1930, a local architect moved a 11,000 tons building in downtown Indianapolis, using hand-powered jacks and an ingenious engin…

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Nov. 29, 2021

43: Belle Boyd: Siren of the Shenandoah

She was known by many names - the Siren of the Shenandoah, the Rebel Joan of Arc, the Cleopatra of Secession – but when the first…

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