On Thursday, Aug. 15, the Orchard of Altapass reprises “A Tale of Two Charlies,” written by Jo Carson, Tennessee playwright and, under the direction of Kiesa Kay, features storytellers Sherry Lovett and Larry Pearlman. Music by Sam McKinney begins at 6 p.m., with the play following at 6:30 p.m.
Most folks around the region know the story of Frankie Silver, hanged by the state of North Carolina for killing her husband, Charlie. Almost two centuries later, circumstances surrounding the murder still spark conversations. But in 1833, women had little rights, and Frankie was not permitted to tell her side of the story. The two-day trial ended in a guilty verdict and brought about the first (and supposedly only) hanging of a woman in Burke County.
Twenty miles away on what is now Yellow Mountain Trail on Orchard property, Charlie McKinney lived and by mountain standards, was a wealthy landowner. He was married reportedly four times and fathered 48 children. He built each ex-spouse her own house on the property, and each could decide whether or not or when to “spend time” with him. When Charlie died, he left his 1,500 acres to the wives — unheard of during the mid 19th century — yet not illegal.
See it for the first time or for a repeat performance. Tickets are $15 at the door. The General Store will be open with refreshments available.
The Orchard at Altapass, a not-for-profit working orchard, entertainment and educational venue, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday until October. For more information, visit www.altapassorchard.org or Facebook.