Sunday, July 25, 2010

Prince of Dark Corners coming to Rickman's Store on July 31st.


About Steve Brady:

A native of Western North Carolina, Steve Brady is a writer and lifelong actor who grew up in Macon County, NC. Though an English major at Western Carolina University, he performed in numerous productions and was coached by famed playwright and Hollywood screenwriter Josefina Niggli. One of the core members of Gary Carden’s Mountain Voices writer’s group, Steve is proud of his Appalachian roots and traces his ancestors in Western North Carolina to the late 1700’s when they migrated through Kentucky into Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina. In the spring of 2009 he received the Milestone Fiction Award for his depiction of an Appalachian family coping with a parent stricken by Alzheimer’s Disease.

The T.M. Rickman General Store
Located in the heart of Cowee-West’s Mill National Historic District, T.M. Rickman General Store was a mainstay in the Cowee Community for many years. Constructed in 1895 by John Hall, Thomas Rickman purchased the store in 1925 an operated it until his death in 1994. Many of the original fixtures are still in place, including wormy chestnut paneling upstairs. The store was acquired by The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee in August of 2007. Since then the Friends of the Rickman Store have been active with the organization of cultural activities, fundraising, and the maintenance of the building. Join their efforts; there are many ways how you can support the Store and Cowee Community.
Call (828) 369 5595 or visit

The Prince Of Dark Corners about the life and times of the Carolina outlaw, Major Lewis Redmond is one of many popular plays by famed Appalachian playwright Gary Carden and has been performed widely in North Carolina and South Carolina over the past several years. As the author Gary Carden says it, “It’s part history, part legend, and a bit of outright dramatic invention!” In other words, the stuff that makes great entertainment. Ultimately, it is a story filled with wit, humor, and pathos that pays homage to the eternal image of the true American folk hero.  
Major Lewis Redmond’s chapter in Appalachian history is significant. Born in 1864 in a section of Swain County, NC that was then part of Macon County, Redmond rose from obscure moonshiner to folk hero. From 1870 until his capture in 1884 Redmond and his men evaded capture time and again while running a bootleg operation that covered three states from their hideout in Dark Corners, a no mans land where the borders of Western North Carolina, upper South Carolina, and Northern Georgia met. From there Redmond and his men operated a network of drivers, wagons, and stills that ran between those three states. His exploits were symbolic of the resentment and defiance toward reconstruction policy that characterized mountain culture in the post Civil War period.

During the Civil War the U.S. began to levy taxes on alcohol and set up the Bureau of Internal Revenue to collect them. Following the Civil War when southern highlanders resumed distilling their crops into alcohol they deeply resented the intrusion of the federal government into what was for them a time honored practice. Their resentment ran even deeper when many began to lose their land due to the heavy taxes levied by the government during reconstruction, part of a policy of retribution toward the southern states. Unable to feed their children and avoid losing their farms many turned to bootlegging as a final means of survival.