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

Little Creek Cafe

Little Creek Cafe

Mars Hill
(828) 689-2307

Little Creek Cafe

Toops Photojournalist Services

Toops Photojournalist Services

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-3276

Toops Photojournalist Services

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Hot Springs, North Carolina
877 530-7238

Hot Springs Rafting Company

The Berry Farm, LLC

The Berry Farm, LLC

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 656-2056

The Berry Farm, LLC

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-3464

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Mosaic Gourmet

Mosaic Gourmet

Hot Springs, North Carolina
828-622-9400

Mosaic Gourmet

Walnut Creek Gallery

Walnut Creek Gallery

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-0568

Walnut Creek Gallery

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Mars Hill, North Carolina
(828) 689-4119

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Marshall, North Carolina
(800) 570-7238

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-2489

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

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