Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 60

Helen Barranger

Helen Barranger

This monument was erected on Molly Tynes' Tazewell, Virginia, burial site years after her 1891 death by the United
Daughters of the Confederacy. She is also remembered in the area with re-enactments and horseback rides. As
many as 300 riders on horseback have participated.

(well, alleged) route to Wytheville.
When the Virginia historical highway marker atop Big Walker Mountain was replaced 10 years ago
with Tynes' name omitted, Kime
was irate, to say the least. The new
marker bearing "just the facts" was
developed after consultation with
historians, including Kegley.
Kime doesn't disagree with Kegley's findings, but says she's killed a
little of the area's charm.
"So what if it's not true? The only difference between Paul Revere and
Molly Tynes was a poet," Kimes
says, referring to Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow's "The Midnight Ride
of Paul Revere."
(Tynes' ride was actually the
subject of two poems as well as a
ballad, now in the collections of
Ferrum's Blue Ridge Institute.)
"We try to keep her alive up here
by telling her story," Kime says.
"We have a musician/songwriter
60 BlueRidgeCountry.com

up at the store some weekends who
sings about the tough road Molly
had up this mountain."
Kimes is not alone. Motorcyclists in Tazewell County have
commemorated July 18 with a
Molly Tynes poker run. Tazewell
horseback riders have re-enacted
Molly's long ride, starting in 1963
and most recently in 2014. In
1969, when 300 riders were expected, the route was shortened
considerably to reduce risk of injury on the highways.
"We still try to do the ride in
all kinds of weather-Molly would
have," says Kathy Peery, owner of
Fallen Rock Riding Academy in
Tazewell.
For those looking for Molly
Tynes artifacts, the pickings are
slim. At Tazewell's Jeffersonville
Cemetery, Molly's grave is marked
with an imposing obelisk placed
by the United Daughters of the
Confederacy. Tazewell's Crab Or-

chard Museum includes the Molly
Tynes story in its permanent Civil
War exhibit, where visitors can regard her solemn portrait and trace
her route on a map. A lady's side
saddle from the period gives some
idea of the comfort (or lack) of
Molly's ride. Early photos depict
the road Molly would have ridden on, and some photos show her
family and the Tazewell County
home, Rocky Dell, where she took
care of her ailing mother until her
marriage to a Confederate soldier
in December 1863.
When Molly Tynes arrived in
Wytheville, whether she traveled
alone, and if she actually made the
entire trip will probably always be
unknown. But this won't stop the
balladeers and storytellers in our
midst from making up their own
versions, more romantic, more heroic and floridly more colorful than
likely actual events. But that's the
nature of an Appalachian legend. 


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016

Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 8
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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