Heart of Appalachia
Appalachia () is a cultural region in the Eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York State to northern Alabama and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in Alabama, the cultural region of Appalachia typically refers only to the central and southern portions of the range, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia southwest to the Great Smoky Mountains. As of the 2010 United States Census, the region was home to approximately 25 million people.Since its recognition as a distinctive region in the late 19th century, Appalachia has been a source of enduring myths and distortions regarding the isolation, temperament, and behavior of its inhabitants. Early 20th century writers often engaged in yellow journalism focused on sensationalistic aspects of the region's culture, such as moonshining and clan feuding, and often portrayed the region's inhabitants as uneducated and prone to impulsive acts of violence. Sociological studies in the 1960s and 1970s helped to re-examine and dispel these stereotypes.While endowed with abundant natural resources, Appalachia has long struggled economically and been associated with poverty. In the early 20th century, large-scale logging and coal mining firms brought wage-paying jobs and modern amenities to Appalachia, but by the 1960s the region had failed to capitalize on any long-term benefits from these two industries. Beginning in the 1930s, the federal government sought to alleviate poverty in the Appalachian region with a series of New Deal initiatives, such as the construction of dams to provide cheap electricity and the implementation of better farming practices. On March 9, 1965, the Appalachian Regional Commission was created to further alleviate poverty in the region, mainly by diversifying the region's economy and helping to provide better health care and educational opportunities to the region's inhabitants. By 1990, Appalachia had largely joined the economic mainstream but still lagged behind the rest of the nation in most economic indicators.
Dickenson County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,903. Its county seat is Clintwood.
Abingdon is a town in Washington County, Virginia, United States, 133 miles (214 km) southwest of Roanoke. The population was 8,191 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Washington County. The town encompasses several historically significant sites and features a fine arts and crafts scene centered on the galleries and museums along Main Street. Abingdon is part of the Kingsport−Bristol (TN)−Bristol (VA) Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City−Kingsport−Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area − commonly known as the Tri-Cities region.
Bristol is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,835. It is the twin city of Bristol, Tennessee, just across the state line, which runs down the middle of its main street, State Street. It is surrounded on three sides by Washington County, Virginia, which is combined with the city for statistical purposes. Bristol is a principal city of the Kingsport–Bristol–Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.