Echoes From Catawba Volume 1

Growing Up In Catawba Valley, Appalachia

Non-Fiction - Cultural
179 Pages
Reviewed on 01/10/2019
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Author Biography

I’m from Catawba, Virginia and graduated and retired from Virginia Tech. I currently reside in Greensboro, North Carolina with my wife Tina and our pup Chloe where I pastor a small Church. I am an author and have written the first book ever published about the people and places of Catawba Valley, Virginia.

This book puts an end to the erosion of knowledge of the people, their times and places that they left for us. There has existed a potential loss of great magnitude of our heritage in this postmodern world we live in now, especially to the younger generations. Echoes from Catawba Volume One puts an end to the lament of folks saying, “we need to be documenting the life and times of our parents and grandparents before it is all forgotten.” The coming together of Catawba people has created a groundswell of interest, effort, and support to document and preserve our great heritage.

Hardcover, collector's edition of "Echoes From Catawba Volume 1" is available at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Echoes From Catawba, Volume 1: Growing Up In Catawba Valley, Appalachia is a nonfiction cultural/memoir written by Ted Carroll. Carroll’s grandparents had 17 children; his mother was the baby of a family who made such a tremendous impact on the small community of Catawba, Virginia. His dad was hospitalized for tuberculosis when Carroll was only four years old. As he grew up, Carroll assumed his role as the man of the family, earning what he could with odd jobs and later on working on the farms of neighbors in the community. Through the inspiration of a concerned adult, Carroll was given the opportunity to go to college, and he studied at Virginia Tech, where he also taught until he retired. Long in love with the people, traditions and the natural beauty of Catawba, he decided he would take up the challenge of recording the stories of those who built Catawba and made it the enduring place that it is today.

Ted Carroll’s Echoes From Catawba, Volume 1 had me raptly turning pages, reading accounts and studying photographs from the past from the moment I first opened this stunningly rich and professionally written book. Many Americans have preconceived notions of Appalachia; I’ll confess that I did. Reading Echoes From Catawba changed all that and dramatically. I learned about community and family and the power of hard work. I marveled at photographs of Carroll’s family and friends and watched as they grew up from young children, matured and then raised their own families. I could sense what it was like to spend time relaxing after a hard day of work by the wood-burning stove at Keffer’s Store, and especially loved Carroll’s very personal recollections of the Morgan Farm. I’m looking forward to the next volume in Ted Carroll’s work. Echoes From Catawba, Volume 1 is most highly recommended.

Anthony Elmore

Echoes From Catawba Volume 1: Growing Up In Catawba Valley, Appalachia is a historical memoir written by Ted Carroll. William and Luemma Garman married in 1870, and were the author Ted’s grandparents who formed the largest family in Catawba’s recorded history. Since Luemma birthed seventeen children, this was the beginning of an era that made a huge impact on a small town named after a Native American tribe. The facts of Catawba history, which include the Garman family history, the local families, their roots, and the businesses that they owned and ran, are given in great detail. With all of this amazing history and the lessons to be learned, I wondered will readers be able to comprehend the hard work and the time that the author put into this book.

I think the author did an outstanding job putting this detailed piece of history together. Even though this book was filled to the brim with informative facts, the author kept the story’s pace fast enough to keep the reader's interest, while not diminishing the important details. I really enjoyed this really fantastic story and, while reading this book, I learned that I might be related to some of the settlers that originally lived in that particular region. This book was very informative, and had very little to no cussing, and there was no sexual content. For fans of history, especially American history, and memoirs, this a very well written book through and through. After reading it, and thoroughly enjoying it, I am pleased to give it five stars.

Gisela Dixon

Echoes From Catawba Volume 1: Growing Up In Catawba Valley, Appalachia by Ted Carroll is a non-fiction memoir that tells the story of rural life at the turn of the last century and focuses specifically on his own family who had been long-time settlers in the area. In this book, Ted Carroll, or Teddy as he was known, talks about his grandparents who were one of the prominent settlers in what is known as Catawba Valley in rural Virginia. They had 17 children, of which Ted’s mother was the youngest. Ted dives into detailed family and genealogical history in this book as he traces his ancestors and their origins, along with some of the other families they knew, and paints a picture of life as it was then in the days of no electricity, no running water, living off the land, raising large families, the importance of faith and community in their lives partly due to circumstances, and just reminiscences of school, childhood, marriages, and village life.

Echoes From Catawba is the first part of this series and mostly focuses on the previous few generations starting from his own grandparents and their lives and some of their children’s lives. It is refreshing to read a tale of simplicity and honesty which was how people lived under those circumstances with pure air, no artificial restraints, and a life built around the basic elements of life that include birth, marriage, and children. That is not to say that things like abuse or neglect did not happen in those days, but it definitely seems to have stayed away from this family for the most part. As Ted rightly says, their own family could constitute a small village in themselves and it is enjoyable to read about his anecdotes accompanied by lots of pictures which I appreciated. Ted writes in an easy, relatable style and I am looking forward to reading the next instalment in the series.