A Story About Stories
Roy Weaver has been collecting local stories since he was young
enough to listen, but it wasn't until he retired that he had time to write them down.
Weaver grew up in the Aho community near Blowing Rock and heard many family stories over the years, from what was once a rural farming area.
He started writing them down a few years ago, including his most recent title, "War on the Mountaintop."
"I have done two others about 'The Tales of Old Aho,' a collection of stories about the people I heard when I was young," Weaver said. "Other people told me to write about families, so I wrote 'People and Legends of Aho and Sampson.'"
In putting the books together and browsing genealogy records, Weaver found a lot of information on the Storie family, which became divided during the Civil War.
"You had two families that were double first cousins and they would end up fighting on both sides of the war," Weaver said. "Twelve men went away to fight and eight died during the Civil War."
The rift lingered even after the war, with some branches of the family so angry that they changed the spelling of their last names. That includes the names "Storey" and "Story," and it's not uncommon to see all three spellings on the tombstones in the same local graveyards.
"The Storie family came to the area around 1820," Weaver said. "Most people who are native to Aho can trace it back to some of the Storie families. In some cases, there were disagreements about one family or another and they wouldn't keep the same name."
That family struggle was mirrored all across the mountains because of divided loyalties. "There were a lot of conflicts between neighbors," Weaver said. "If a family is traditionally Republican today, they were probably pro-Union during the Civil War. If they are Democratic, they were probably pro-Confederate."
The mountains had other turmoil during the war, as well. "The edges of these mountain passes were where a lot of deserters came through," Weaver said. "They'd come up the Yadkin River and hide out in the mountains."
In collecting tidbits about war life in the mountains for "War on the Mountaintop," he called Aho the Blue Ridge community, its traditional name. "It wasn't turned into Aho until they built the post office in the 1880s," he said.
"I always thought I'd like to do something like this, but I didn't have time until I retired," he said. "I wish I had written down all the stories, especially from when I was younger."
The books are available locally in The Blowing Rocket office in Blowing Rock and at the Watauga County Library.
Copies are also available by e-mailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) or calling the author at (828) 264-4254.