Col. Bill Newsom’s Aged Kentucky Country Ham – Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

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ORAL HISTORY

Nancy Newsom Mahaffy


Nancy Newsom Mahaffey, known far and wide as The Ham Lady, is one of the few women who dry-cures pork. Her family has been curing ham in the town of Princeton, Kentucky, for generations. H.C. Newsom, Nancy’s grandfather, worked from a cure, handed down in an eighteenth century family will. Before long, he was selling hams and bacon in the family-owned general store. Eventually, his son, Colonel Bill Newsom, started working on his own and developed a traditional sugar cure, which caught the attention of famous eaters like James Beard. Nancy grew up learning the value of tradition and the secret to her father’s success. Today, she carries on her father’s legacy in the same store, curing the same way, in the same ham house, catering to some of the same customers who have frequented Newsom’s Old Mill Store for decades.

Date of interview:
2005-08-24 00:00

Interviewer:
Amy Evans

Photographer:

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