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Life In the Carolina's Podcast

Jun 16, 2020

On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl sits down with painter and retired art educator Margaret Ferguson Carter-Martine. She is the Director of Whippoorwill Academy and Village, which she inherited from her mother, Edith Carter.

Margaret considers her art to be a diary of her life. “My art takes many different directions,” she says. Some of her works are political, while others are “things of beauty that bring me joy”. She believes that it is an artist’s job to use the emotionality of the medium to express, often in a big way, what the artist believes is worth expressing—and to be prepared to defend the content of their work as a lawyer defends their client.

Before retiring as a teacher, Margaret had always believed that her future role at Whippoorwill Academy would be to assist her mother in running the village. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, Edith would learn that she had cancer and pass away a mere month following the diagnosis.

Whippoorwill’s purpose is to celebrate local and regional history, art, and period culture. To this end, the village conducts tours for out-of-towners and schoolchildren alike. Whippoorwill’s team includes specialists such as an Appalachian toy expert, a blacksmith, hearth cookers, spinners, weavers, and more. As a treat to the students, Margaret painted, on one hundred rocks, animals that Daniel Boone would have hunted. She created a scavenger hunt for the kids by hiding the rocks all around the village.

The life of Daniel Boone is celebrated at the historic Daniel Boone Hunting Lodge where the man himself slept during one of his many hunts.

Other attractions include the Tom Dooley Museum, in which visitors can watch a video that Edith created about the life of Dooley. There is also the Whippoorwill School House, where many great contributors to American society received their education.

Margaret has an especially soft spot for the students who visit Whippoorwill on field trips. She makes it a point to totally immerse the kids into each of the village’s museums in order to build in them an appreciation of another time period on a tactile level. “Nothing else can take the place of hands-on learning,” says Margaret.

To those who consider the study of history as useless and irrelevant, Margaret has this to say: “If we look at this pandemic that we are having right now—and I read a huge book on the pandemic of 1918—we would learn so much looking back through history as to how it was handled, and how we can handle this now. There is an importance to history. We can learn from long ago on what to do now.”


Whippoorwill Academy -

Life in the Carolinas Tom Dooley Segment with author Charlotte Barnes filmed at Whippoorwill Academy   -