Volume 1, Number 1 Fall1961
The people of the upper White River Valley are rich in their historical heritage, but little has been done to preserve it and to perpetuate the true past to the present and future generations. The "True Spirit of the Hills," once known by our pioneer forefathers, is sometimes misunderstood and little appreciated by later generations.
The wilderness of upper White River Valley was not tamed by the shiftless, the lazy, nor by notorious outlaws. It took stalwart men and women, with brave hearts, strong bodies and noble purposes to bring civilization to this region. They sought opportunity more than security. They were born of hardships and lived to endure hardships. They had faith in themselves; their principal tools were the Kentucky rifle, the woodman's axe and the Holy Bible. It was they who blazed the trails, cleared the fields, built for us the schools and churches from which we of later generations have so richly benefitted. Their sacrifices were many, but they left to us a rich heritage and a more decent place to live.
In order to help preserve and communicate that heritage of the past to the present, and to the future, the White River Valley Historical Society was founded.
We realize the hour is late, for many of our historical landmarks ore gone and many facets of mountain philosophy have been stilled by the hand of death. Many of our historical resources have eroded away. But let us not be discouraged, for there remains much to be done. There are historical markers to be erected, historical publications to be written and published, museums and archives to be established, anniversaries to be commemorated, historical pageants to be written and enacted, cemetery directories to be compiled, research materials to be analyzed, and local historical organizations to be formed.
It is the purpose of the White River Valley Historical Society to aid and support county or local historical organizations, for many things can be done better at the local level than at the regional level.
The accomplishments of our historical society will depend to a large extent upon the support we can muster in spirit, finance, and manpower. We cannot accomplish much within this first year, but within the decade of the 1960's, we might well achieve a well-rounded measure of success.
Many people have, over the years, made a contribution in one way or another in preserving certain valuables of the past. To them we owe an humble debt of gratitude, and from those still living we can expect loyal support.
It is hoped that the White River Valley Historical Society can serve as an organization through which Chambers of Commerce, civic clubs, local historical societies, and individuals can work to help preserve the heritage of the past and develop our historical resources for the cultural, social and economic benefit of the present and future generations.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly