Westport, Essex County
Folklore Collector & Teacher
Edith E. Cutting – teacher, author and folklorist – was born in the Essex County town of Lewis, on a small family farm. She attended the New York State College for Teachers, where in 1936 she enrolled in an elective course in American Folklore, taught by Dr. Harold W. Thompson, a founder of the New York Folklore Society. Thompson encouraged his students to interview their friends and families and collect examples of their old customs, stories and sayings, to make them aware of their heritage and their communities. Research from this first class project was later published in 1944 by Cornell University Press asLore of an Adirondack County, the first such published collection of any North Country folklore materials. It contains fascinating tales, weather lore, games, ballads and songs shared by older men and women of the Champlain Valley whom she had known as a child.