A World Made By God and By Hand



A World Made By God and By Hand

A Review of “Ogg Land: The Rediscovered Photographs of C.I. Ogg” by Kathryn Freeman
Review written by Eli Smith.  This article will appear in print form in the forthcoming issue of “The Quiet American.”

To view selected Ogg photos in high resolution CLICK HERE, and visit The Photography of Coley Ogg facebook page.  To purchase “Ogg Land” CLICK HERE.

C.I. “Pa” Ogg (1855-1950) was the main photographer in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but he is only today starting to receive his due.  “Ogg Land: The Rediscovered Photographs of C.I. Ogg,” lovingly compiled by his great granddaughter Kathryn Freeman, offers an amazing look into the old ways of the mountain frontier.

In her introduction, Kathryn Freeman writes, “In the summer of 1992 I made a promise to my mother that I would try to create a book of my great grandfather’s old photos, I set out to learn all that I could about the man that was our beloved “Pa Ogg.”  After two decades of searching, my knowledge and archive have grown considerably… Pa Ogg’s work tells the story of Appalachia’s dramatic transformation from a farming economy to an industrial one.  His photographs were widely published, from the late 19th century, right up to the present, but nearly always unattributed.  He was an early photographer lost to history, a documentarian who made ‘art.’  The work is old, but it depicts a way of living that is far older than the photos themselves.”

As the fertile lands of Virginia and other states to the East became settled and accounted for, poor homesteaders, in search of their own stake, were forced to make the dangerous passage through the Cumberland Gap and other mountain passes to claim rugged land deep in the Appalachian interior.  Many were soldiers in the revolutionary war that received homestead land grants in return for their service in Washington’s army.  This book of photographs records the original mountaineer way of life in its final era.

This first volume of Pa Ogg’s work focuses on his beautiful documentation of the natural world and truly rural way of life in E. Kentucky from when he started making photographs around 1880 through the early 20th century.  Ogg’s photographic record preserves the reality of subsistence farming and hunting that had existed for 100 or even 200 years in the mountains, but was soon to be obliterated as people were convinced or coerced into a turn towards a coal mining economy, which now forms the basis of the region’s identity.

C.I. Ogg was unable to read or write, and was known to be modest man who did not like to “sign” his

4th Annual Washington Square Park Folk Festival

Hello everybody – come on out to the Washington Square Park Folk Festival that I’ve been putting together the last few years, if ya can!  – Eli

Schedule:

1pm – The Down Hill Strugglers
1:45pm – Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton
2:30pm – Lightning in the East
3:15pm – Radio Jarocho
4pm – Square Dance!  with David Harvey of NYC Barn Dance

Organizers are happy to announce the upcoming 4th Annual Washington Square Park Folk Festival.  This festival is free and open to the public and is set for Sunday Sept. 14th, from 1-5pm.  The festival stage is located by the Garibaldi statue on the East side of Washington Square Park, seating will be provided.

This year the festival will feature blues music from Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton, two old time string bands; the Down Hill Strugglers, recently featured on the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and Lightning in the East, featuring banjoist Steve Arkin, and Radio Jarocho playing Son Jarocho style music from the Veracruz region of Mexico.  The festival will close with a community square dance!  The dance is always great fun, and will be called by David Harvey of NYC Barn Dance.

The festival celebrates and continues the long tradition of folk music performance in Washington Square Park. This tradition goes all the way back to the 1940’s and the birth of Folk music in New York City, with the likes of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger coming together on Sunday afternoons to play music and socialize in the park.  This tradition continued up through the 1960’s where the park welcomed a young Bob Dylan to the folk music scene in the city, and it continues up until today.  The Washington Square Park Folk Festival is the first formal festival presentation of Folk music in Washington Square Park’s history and we are proud to see the festival enter its 4th successful year.

From the Archives…

Hello everybody,

Well, I’ve been swamped by some other projects – working as ever on the Brooklyn Folk Festival and Washington Square Park Folk Festival, editing a book with the working title, “An Oral History of Folk Music in New York: 1940’s – 60’s,” producing a box set for Dust to Digital Records (more info on that later…), working with Jalopy Records and playing and recording a whole lot with my old time string band the Down Hill Strugglers, as well as teaching, on and on.  Between all that stuff Down Home Radio is on a bit of a hiatus, but look for it to come back strong this Fall!  Meanwhile, I thought I would post up links to some episodes from the archives.  This show has been going on for 8 years, so there’s a lot of great stuff back there!

Here are a bunch of past episode you might like:

Interview with David “Honeyboy” Edwards

Roots of Woody Guthrie

Interview with Robert Crumb

Interview with Clifton Hicks

Interview with George Gibson

A Walk Around Clifftop

Interview with Mike Seeger

The New Lost City Ramblers: 50 Years – Interview with John Cohen & Tom Paley