Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Appalachian Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Lee Bidgood

Committee Members

Rebecca Adkins Fletcher, Ted Olson


Through the mid-twentieth century, a significant pattern of migration occurred between Appalachia and the Pacific Northwest, with Washington’s thriving timber industry offering compelling economic opportunities. Many workers and families from western North Carolina settled in the small mountain town of Darrington, Washington, frequently accompanied by their banjos and guitars. As a group of young bluegrass enthusiasts from Seattle established relationships with Darrington’s “Tar Heel” musicians, a collaborative music community formed, laying the foundation for the region’s contemporary bluegrass scene.

Drawn from a series of ethnographic interviews, this project illuminates the development of a bluegrass community in western Washington, while identifying several of its key contributors. The resultant narrative explores the musical legacy of Appalachian migration to the Pacific Northwest, culminating in its convergence with the urban folk music revival of the 1960s. This work contributes to a growing body of scholarship that challenges the traditional geo-cultural assumptions encompassing bluegrass music.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the author.