Many people think of their animal friends as though they are human ~That's what started this series of paintings. I began with a time period and a village where they lived. The residents history is based on historical people (but creatively altered!) My goal is to create a book that would look like an old journal, filled with the residents and their stories. 
Some of these images below were commissioned by pet owners who wanted their pet to be an Appletree resident. 
If you would like to commission YOUR pet portrait to be an Appletree Hollow resident, just inquire! Who would your pet be if they were human?
Funny, serious,playful, intellectual, creative,lazy, lover or maybe an artist?

All images and text are Copyright© 2010 by Linda Apple
Here are a few examples and a part of the story (if you want to read)
Secret Journals of Appletree Hollow 
I will attempt to give you a very brief summary of my remarkable discovery. I recently acquired, in a family inheritance, a very remote piece of property,nestled in the hills of southern Ohio, now known as Appletree Hollow. The 180 acres(approx.) is covered in thick woods that hold deep ravines, several creeks and numerous glacial rock formations. I have been unable to find any recorded data on this property; it is as though it has never existed, and yet here it is.
During my first brief inspection of the property,scattered in various locations, I found pieces of shaped timber, worked stone and even handmade brick, which led me to believe that there might have been numerous structures or even a small village of some sort. This idea proved to be more evident when I discovered over an acre of cleared land, near the center, that held the remains of what appeared to be foundations of small structures and walkways. Further away I found a substantially solid log cabin with a spring house built over a nearby stream. Under this spring house, buried in a small stone casket, is where I discovered the collection of journals.
I am sure that these diaries and images are the last remaining evidence of my family history and proof of the existence of Appletree Hollow and its amazing inhabitants.
This has stirred my childhood memories of old family whisperings and stories (which is the way of the hill folk) that didn't make much sense at the time, so I never gave them much thought until now. I have been hesitant to reveal this information, as it is so unbelievable, but I finally decided that it is time to expose the true nature of Appletree Hollow.
My family tree is not all sweet and roses, so I will refrain from giving their elaborate personal details at this time,as you might find them a bit shocking. Besides, I am sure my ancestors would think that I am releasing the "skeletons from the closet", of which is simply not done in Appalachia.

Below you will find some of the residents of Appletree Hollow.

Mr. Thomas "Tonka" Tudor – 1855 – 1925
Born in England 1855, he immigrated with his parents from England in 1865. His father was a German trader but it was his Irish mother that stirred his first interest in billiards with her connection to a wealthy English family. Thomas’s first job was a janitor in a small establishment that catered to drink and billiards. He was known to be very intelligent but also extremely clumsy and awkward. So, it came as quite a surprise that he developed such outstanding skills in billiards. Although he was only a janitor, he was quick to make friends that listened to his innovative ideas. At some point, for unknown reasons, during the years of developing his playing skills, he gained the nickname of “Tonka”. Eventually, he assisted in developing new table and cushion designs, wrote endless articles and later a book that was influential in setting standards and rules for the game. This is an image of him after winning $15,000 in a match in Detroit in 1876. Since the early 1800’s, Billiards was said to be played by royalty and other nobles and therefore dubbed -The “Noble Game of Billiards” but the information in this account is evidence that people from all walks of life also played the game. This was a commissioned piece by one of my clever subscribers who loves the Appletree Hollow people and wanted her sister's dog to be a village resident. All I knew about him was that he is awkward,clumsy,very intelligent and WELL LOVED!!

"The Scandalous Lady Lenore" 
From the Appletree diary records, this is Lady Lenore Velazquez - 1856.
I decided to post this entry, although it is a bit scandalous.It was noted that Lady Lenore was from noble birth. Her father was a big plantation owner and government official in Mexico. How she came to live at Appletree Hollow is somewhat of a mystery but was hinted that she was sent there after her father was accused of being a spy. For some years, she was      considered a fine young lady, giving fancy dinner parties and attending social events but as time went on her life became immersed in suspicion and inquiry. Some said that one of the first things that brought notice was, although she was pursued by some attentive bachelors, she never responded to their requests and gave them little notice. More questions arose when she would not receive guests or not be seen for long periods of time and in those days, not to marry was enough to generate a buzz, until suddenly on the morning of 1862, the village was notified that she would not be returning and her house was for sale. At this point my interest was peaked and I had to go to the last entry I could find about Lady Lenore and this is what I found: Evidently, she was working as a double agent for the army. This was uncovered afterher death, when she was found on the battlefield at Shiloh. She had secretly fought at Manassas/BullRun, Ball’s Bluff, and Shiloh in the disguise of Lieutenant Harry L. Bennington.

Reginald Biggs -Infantry soldier in the Civil War. 
He was born in Germany in 1843 and arrived at Appletree Hollow in 1845, where he learned the cooper’s trade (making large wooden casks) from his father. However, it proved so injurious to his health that he was compelled to seek other means of livelihood. He became a very proud and determined young man, and on August 14, 1862, at only 19 yrs. of age, he enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Sixth regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, which I assume is when this photo was taken. He served two years, taking part in several prominent engagements, and was captured and held prisoner for a short time. After his return, he became a brakeman on the old Marietta & Cincinnati railroad. In Sept, 1872, while engaged in the always hazardous work of "braking," he met with an accident, which put an end to his career as a railroader. He rallied, however, and sent himself to learn telegraphy. After mastering this useful accomplishment he worked as an operator for a year, and then abandoned the "ticker" to become interested in the development of coal and clay lands in Jackson and Vinton counties.This finally led him to return to Appletree and build a coal furnace.  

"Theda Waterspoon" 1852- 1917 
She was born Theodosia Waterspoon in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 27th, 1852. Her mother,a Swiss wigmaker and her father an Irish tailor, gave her a comfortable upbringing in a loving home situated in a small neighborhood inhabited mostly by immigrant merchants. She was a non-athletic, old fashioned, stay-at-home kind of gal, who loved her family, good food, writing and books. It was said that throughout her life, she was not truly happy without writing or having her nose buried in a book. Although she had a shy, retiring nature she longed to be an actress from early childhood. When it came time to go to college, she ran away to pursue her dreams. She fabricated an exotic background of having an Egyptian royal heritage and being named, Theodosia, after a young woman who was lost at sea, sparked wild tales of abduction and pirates which got her noticed by the theater world. Her wavy waist-length hair, intense, penetrating eyes, curvy, buxom figure, and scandalous, skin-revealing gowns, brought a new kind of femme-fatale to the stage. Even with the extravagant stories that were created, her career was short lived with only a few bit parts. This could have been a disaster but she squandered away her money and left the theater a rich woman. She met the elderly photographer, Herbert Adams of Appletree Hollow who convinced her to travel with him to the village and after her first visit, she decided to stay. A few years later, she returned to writing and became a success, under the name of “Theda Hara”. 

"Sweet Pete" Through the years of Appletree Hollow history, few residents became as well liked as Peter M.Cakenhafer. Like many others in the village his parents were immigrants from Germany & England. He was born in New York, trapped in an immigration camp until his parents passed away. He was rescued by a lovely young woman who moved to Ohio hills where
he eventually found Appletree Hollow and became a permanent resident. Perhaps he was inspired by his love of good food or his need to help others that he found success in 1908 by creating hard cake treats to sustain sailors on long journeys. This idea eventually developed into a specialty biscuit, shaped like a bone. He loved holidays and would often dress up for Halloween, handing out his biscuit treats to everyone, which earned him the nickname of "Sweet Pete". Because of his just and fair treatment to others, in his later years, he became a negotiator,settling any disputes that arose in the village.This was a commissioned piece by one of my clever subscribers who loves the Appletree Hollow people and saw her loving 4-legged friend as an old
gentleman, with a monocle. One of his quirks is that every night, at exactly 10:oo p.m. no matter what, he awakes for his milk-bone treat.