The Coalition conducted a health fair in Alanthus Hill during the summer of 1971. The town is located on the banks of the Powell River in Hancock County, just south of the Virginia border. Alanthus Hill is not far, as the crow flies, from St. Charles, Va., where the Coalition eventually landed a few years later. The county seat for Hancock County is Sneedville, where another health fair was also conducted in 1971.
The region is isolated geographically by mountainous terrain, although roads and bridges have lessened the isolation over time, and is historically populated by people who probably benefitted from the isolation. Known as Melungeon, they are a mixed race group of people specific to the Hancock County area. The legend we Coalitioners heard back in the day was that Melungeons had descended from a Lost Tribe of Israel. Subsequent studies of DNA show this population flowed from the mingling of African immigrants (largely freed slaves), Europeans, and Native Americans.
See the 1971 SHC Annual Report for more information.