Publications

All books in the Legacy of Rural Living collection by Donald W. Payne are filled with informative, yet entertaining stories on what life was like when families raised their own food, used draft animals to till the soil and harvest crops, relied on wild game as a source of food, bought fresh ground grain from local grist mills, lived without electricity or indoor plumbing, and gathered at night to tell exciting, often scary, stories under the glow of kerosene lamps.

Times were simpler and often difficult during the past two centuries, but there were also many happy times. Everyone had modest expectations and it took fewer material possessions to bring happiness. The toil was hard during the week, but relief was found through Saturday night square dances or Sunday church meetings.

The stories in these books are greatly enhanced by dozens of old photographs that tell stories of their own. Many of the pictures are gathered from family albums dating back to the late 1800s.The detailed narrative in each book easily connects and endears even those readers who never experienced a primitive country lifestyle. Anyone from anywhere will enjoy these unique journeys into a fabulous bygone era!

Books by donald w. payne


A Legacy of Rural Virginia - Book I

Entertaining, fact-based stories on the daily lives of rural people in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

       Chapter 1 – Country Living
       Chapter 2 – Farming the Land
       Chapter 3 – Dog, Hunting, and Fishing Stories
       Chapter 4 – Ghosts, Murders, and Other Tragedies
       Chapter 5 – Old Mills
       Chapter 6 – The Music in Our Lives

A Legacy of Rural Virginia - Book II

This continuation of Book I covers aspects of the simpler times of rural life, sometimes marked with hardship, but often also with happiness.

       Chapter 1 – Saw Milling and Railroad Tie Cutting
       Chapter 2 – Unique People
       Chapter 3 – River and Creek Stories
       Chapter 4 – Wine and Whiskey Making
       Chapter 5 – Humorous Stories
       Chapter 6 – War Heroes

The Storytellers

Exciting fictional stories of rural traditions, ill-fated love, unique gifts, fantasy, intrigue and murder.
       Chapter 1 – The Drovers
       Chapter 2 – Murder On The River
       Chapter 3 – Whiskey Dream
       Chapter 4 – The Eviction Notice
       Chapter 5 – A Break In Tradition
       Chapter 6 – Night Hunter
       Chapter 7 – Her Last Gift
       Chapter 8 – A Christmas Angel

Hard Times - Good Times

In the tradition of Books I and II, this book provides more stories on rural living. Even with destitution, depression and catastrophic events, there were always simple pleasures in life.
       Chapter 1 – Hard Times
       Chapter 2 – Catastrophic Events
       Chapter 3 – Evicted From Paradise
       Chapter 4 – Mysterious Goings On and Strange Happenings
       Chapter 5 – Personal Memories (Stories) From The Past
       Chapter 6 – Death and Funerals
       Chapter 7 – Tramps
       Chapter 8 – Old Time Baseball
       Chapter 9 – Country Stores and Eatin’ Places


A Journey into the Past

Another book with great stories about rural living. Travel back to years long since faded away!
       Chapter 1 – Plantations and Classic Estates
       Chapter 2 – Intrigue of the Past
       Chapter 3 – Murder and Strange Happenings
       Chapter 4 – Grist Mills
       Chapter 5 – Old Taverns
       Chapter 6 – Classic Churches
       Chapter 7 – Hobos–Riding the Rails