North Carolina

The Legacy of the Scots-Irish: Historical Migration to Cultural Inspiration

Learn how the Scots-Irish helped shape our nation as you explore their contributions to Appalachian culture, Civil War history and the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20141RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

From the 18th Century to the present, the saga of Scots-Irish history and culture is one of our nation’s most fascinating stories. Trace the path of the Scots-Irish and discover why many settled in the Southern Appalachian region, where they adapted to conquer adversities, tame the wilderness and became great inventors and explorers. Discover cultural traditions from the old country that found fertile ground in Appalachia, and see how music, story and dance flourished and took on new life in the isolation of mountain life.
Activity Level
Easy Going
All facilities are in one building, with approximately 300 yards walking required; a few stairs. Outside areas are mountainous, with inclines and uneven terrain.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Get a new perspective on the music, crafts and history of Southern Appalachia during a field trip to the Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center.
  • Delve into the life of Zeb Vance — a Civil War officer, governor of North Carolina and U.S. senator — during an excursion to the Vance Birthplace.
  • Learn about the Scots who were instrumental in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and about the 21 men of Gallic descent who signed it.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Opportunities are available for traveling companions to attend a different program at Montreat during the same week.
Featured Expert
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Anne Lough
Anne Lough is an internationally known traditional musician who performs and teaches at schools, workshops and festivals throughout the country, in the British Isles, Ireland and Belgium. She holds a bachelor’s in music education from Murray State University in Kentucky and a master’s from Western Carolina University. Anne is particularly respected for her artistic, sensitive style of playing and skill as an instructor and arranger. She has produced many books of dulcimer arrangements and her music can be heard on several recordings.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Anne Lough
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Tracy Bailey
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Righton McCallum
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Suggested Reading List
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