The Appalachians are a people, a culture and a chain of mountains stretching from Newfoundland to Alabama. The mountains took millions of years to form. "Appalachia" seems to take nearly as long.
Hillbilly: The True Story produced by the History Channel and narrated by Billy Ray Cyrus is one of my very favorite documentaries. When I first saw it in 2007 it was a revelation!
Map detail of Whitesville, WV
My biological father's ancestors were Appalachians. His family came from the Appalachian Foothills/Mountains of West Virginia. I only visited the area when I was 8 years old but the scenery is still quite vivid all these years later.
The most striking thing that I saw was a giant Christian cross high up on the side of a mountain outside of Whitesville. Whitesville was south of Charleston.
Today I found a 4 part documentary which delves into the detailed history of the Scotch-Irish immigrants who disliked the city life of New York and found their way south. The scorned "Hillbillies" were way more intelligent and resourceful than their stereotype of modern times.