In ‘The Legacy of Bear Mountain: Stories of Old Mountain Values That Enrich Our Lives Today,’ Janie Mae recalls mountain life with her grandparents during the time her mother and father were involved in the war efforts of World War II. During those formative years, she absorbed her grandparents’ old-fashioned values and lifestyle. Although their secluded 1895 farmhouse lacked modern conveniences until 1975, they enjoyed a rich life of hard work, honesty, humor, gratitude, and faith. With amazing detail, Janie Mae, whose ancestors came to Bear Mountain in the 1700s, vividly recalls both humorous and scary stories, along with grandfather’s hard work on the railroad and her grandmother’s devout faith in God.
In honor of the reader’s own memories, a page at the end of each chapter is designed for individuals, families, small groups, or church classes to record and share their own family’s legacy.
A first-generation college graduate, Janie Mae Jones McKinley holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, NC, and a M.A.Ed. in Community Agency Counseling from Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC. Having returned to her childhood roots, she lives on Bear Mountain with her husband, Larry. Because of having no heirs, she donated many of her grandparents’ antiques to the Mountain Heritage Center Museum on the Western Carolina University campus. These treasured artifacts will be used to teach future generations about mountain farm life before modern conveniences.
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REVIEWS of THE LEGACY OF BEAR MOUNTAIN:
McKinley does a wonderful job of drawing her reader in and immersing them in mountain life…An excellent book, and an absolute read for fans of creative non-fiction. McKinley should be very proud of her work and her heritage, I hope to see more work from her in the future.
– J. P. Dash
This is an incredibly detailed book; the author does an amazing job of showing us what her experiences on Bear Mountain were like…a very sentimental book, and the reader’s are allowed to go on that journey of remembering with the author. I believe that anyone who grew up in an area like that, or with family like that, would appreciate this book…I was touched by some of the stories in this book, and am glad to have had the chance to read it.
– Cianna Reider
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