Jane Hicks Gentry - Treasure in Hot Springs

In 1916 when Cecil Sharp traveled to Madison County to collect the old ballads, he visited the Laurel Country and Hot Springs. In Hot Springs he collected 70 songs from a single woman–Jane Hicks Gentry–the most he had collected from a single person.

 Balladry Marker HotSpringsThere he was met by Lucy Shafer, principal of the Dorland Institute, who had previously written to Sharp about a Mrs Gentry. A historical marker is placed in front of the Gentry house which is still standing. Although Hot Springs is only a few miles from the Laurel country, Jane Gentry’s songs and jane gentrystyle were unlike that of the other nearby singers that Sharp had been visiting.

Another Hicks family member, Frank Proffitt, is credited with saving and adding to the old mountain folk song that became the “Ballad of Tom Dooley.” This song was based on a real story about a man named Tom Dula. (The name Dula was pronounced Dooley in the mountains) Dula was hanged in Iredell County, North Carolina in the late 1800’s. Frank Proffitt heard the song sung by his father and grandmother. The Kingston Trio recorded the song in the 1960’s and it became world famous.

Featured Businesses in Madison County

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

1459 Caney Fork Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-3464

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

9800 Old US highway 25-70 Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(800) 570-7238

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

133 South Main Street Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-2489

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

The Berry Farm, LLC

2260 Revere Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 656-2056

The Berry Farm, LLC

Little Creek Cafe

11660 U.S. 23 Mars Hill, 28754
(828) 689-2307

Little Creek Cafe

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

578 Valley View Circle Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754
(828) 689-4119

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Mad Co. Brew House

45 North Main Street Marshall, North Carolina 28753
828-649-8600

Mad Co. Brew House

Walnut Creek Gallery

2970 Walnut Creek Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-0568

Walnut Creek Gallery

Mosaic Gourmet

159 Bridge Street Hot Springs, North Carolina 28743
828-622-9400

Mosaic Gourmet

Hot Springs Rafting Company

22 U.S. 25 Hot Springs, North Carolina 28743
877 530-7238

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Madison County Tourism Development Authority

56 South Main Street
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Click here for Driving Directions

Contact
 

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Local: (828) 680-9031

Toll Free: (877) 262-3476

Mailing Address: PO Box 1527
    Mars Hill, NC 28754