Guide to the Pine Mountain Settlement School Papers, 1980-2005, undated

Summary Information

Title: Pine Mountain Settlement School Papers, 1980-2005, undated
Collection: AC.476
Extent: 0.26 linear feet (1 half-sized box and 1 cold-storage folder of slides)

Pine Mountain Settlement School was founded in 1913 as a school for children in the commonwealth's remote southeastern mountains and a social center for surrounding communities. The Pine Mountain Settlement School Papers is a combined collection that includes a lesson plan of the school as well as the papers of Dr. Walter P. Oldendorf about the school and its programs, dated 1980-2005.

Creator: Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.).

Biographical/Historical Note

A National Historic Landmark, Pine Mountain Settlement School was founded in 1913 as a school for children in the commonwealth's remote southeastern mountains and a social center for surrounding communities. The school was the dream of a local man, William Creech Sr., who was troubled by the area's lack of educational opportunities, and the prevalence of social problems and rampant disease. He donated land for the school and recruited two women, Katherine Pettit of Lexington, Kentucky, and Ethel DeLong, New Jersey native, to establish and run the new institution. These two women enlisted the help of architect Mary Rockwell Hook of Kansas City to draw up plans for the campus and its buildings.

From 1913 to 1930, Pine Mountain served as a boarding school for elementary and middle school age children. By 1930, many communities had elementary schools, but most did not offer educational opportunities beyond eighth grade. Pine Mountain evolved into a boarding school for high school students. The School stressed academics, but also encouraged students to develop their interests and talents in vocational and artistic fields. In 1949, Pine Mountain began a joint educational venture with the county school system to operate a community elementary school. The community school operated until the early 1970s, when Pine Mountain began to focus its work on environmental education.

Dr. Walter P. Oldendorf (1937-2010) was the collector of most of this donation. Born in Evanston, Illinois on May 31, 1937, Oldendorf was the sone of Walter M. Oldendorf and Dorothy Powell Oldendorf O'Donnell. He taught at National College in Evanston, Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, and at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching in Cullowhee, North Carolina. At the time of his death, he was a professor and Director of the Fifth Dimension After School Program at Appalachian State University. He and his wife, Sandra, had four children: Ann, Walter, Andrea, and Andrew. Oldendorf died on February 22, 2010.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes 158 color and black and white slides which comprise a slide presentation of Walter Oldendorf in the 1980's, book, The Love They Gave: Early Days at Pine Mountain Settlement School by Carrie Day, a CD Data Disc-Berea College Sound archives: Pine Mtn Settlement School Exhibit, and a paper written by Oldendorf on the school as part of the Mellon Foundation Appalachian Study Project in September 1981. User and Archival copies of the cassettes have been produced and are filed with the originals.


The papers are filed chronologically. The color slides are numbered and filed as they were removed from the slide carousels.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

The Lesson Plan of Pine Mountain Settlement School Environmental Education Center was purchased from Appalachian Mountain Books in 2009. The remainder of papers and slides were donated by Dr.Sandra Oldendorf as her husband's collection, Dr. Walter P. Oldendorf, in 2013. Accession numbers AC.2009.011, AC.2013.051

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Elliott, July 2013. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.476: Pine Mountain Settlement School Papers, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Book, The Love They Gave, by Carrie Day, 1982 Box 1, Folder 1
CDs, Berea College-Pine Mountain Settlement School Exhibit-Historical Background, undated Box 1, Folder 2
Cassette, User and Archival CD copies, Learning through Living, Berea College, January 13, 1988 Box 1, Folder 3
Cassette, User CD and Archival CD, Pine Mountain Geology, by Mary Rogers, undated Box 1, Folder 4
Paper, Community Based Education at Pine Mountain School, by Walter P. Oldendorf, 1981 Box 1, Folder 5
Papers, Oldendorf's General, 2005, undated Box 1, Folder 6
Presentation Slide Show, Trays 1 and 2 (158 slides), undated Box 1, Folder 7
Sample Lesson Plan: Man and Resources-Surface Mining, undated Box 1, Folder 8
Slide Presentation, Learning Through Life: Pine Mountain Settlement School, script by Walter Oldendorf, undated Cold_Storage Box 2013
Transcripts (2), Pine Mountain Tape, featuring Mary Rogers, undated Box 1, Folder 9