Most of our relatives settled in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Over the years, especially during the 50s and 60s, many of
our family members moved away from the hills of Appalacia, to settle in various parts of the country, most settling in Illinois.
The lack of employment opportunites available in the small mining town contributed to the migration.
The town of Big Stone Gap is a small hamlet located in Southwestern Virginia, not far from where Tennessee, Kentucky
and Virginia meet. It is located in the Powell Valley, and was a source of mining and agriculture in the area. The section
of Big Stone Gap where our family is from is called "Cadet". From my experience, this seems to be the part of town hardest
hit by economic troubles. When you first enter the neighborhood, after crossing a small bridge over a creek, a Primitive Baptist
church greets the visitor. My father's home was just to the left of the church. It is situated on the side of a large mountain,
which is green with tree cover.
The town has roughly 5000 inhabitants, with almost 25% of the population at or below the poverty line. The football players
Tom and Julius Jones were born in Big Stone Gap, as was Adriana Trigiani, award winning author and television writer.
Through our Fain(William) Woodward, we have a connection that goes back generations to Capt. Henry Woodward. Though he
receieved large land grants in Cumberland and Aquia Virginia, Henry's and Sarah's sons settled in Lee County, Virginia. Lee,
and the surrounding areas, are where most of our relatives orginate (Big Stone Gap).