Trail of the Lonesome Pine

Aug 7, 2013

A novel set in southwestern Virginia was enormously popular when it came out – in 1908.  “Trail of the Lonesome Pine” is the story of a young engineer who goes to that mountain region to develop its underground resources.  He finds himself in the middle of a blood feud between two powerful local clans ---and falls deeply in love with one of their daughters.  

The novel, based on true events, has been made into a move three times. The 1936 version starred Henry Fonda and Fred McMurray.  

But author John Fox Junior’s family was never happy with Hollywood’s take.  50 years ago, the family granted the rights for a stage play of the tale to be performed in Big Stone Gap, where Fox lived and wrote the book.  

Nearly everyone in town has had some role in the summer production.  

This year, many former players came back to the Gap for a 50th reunion of the play.

Special thanks to travel photographer Jason Barnette for sharing his photos of the play and the reunion.  You can see more of his work here.