Browsing Items (35 total)

Interview with Perry Hicks  [Feburary  9, 1976]

Perry Hicks talks about working in a cotton mill in western North Carolina in the early twentieth century. He was born in 1899 and began working at a young age because he dropped out of the six-month school he was attending. He explains the influence the unions had: "naturally, I have, all my life, been opposed to the unions." He says that the unions caused inflation, so the poor people didn't come out ahead anyway. He eventually left the cotton mill because he couldn't support his family.

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Interview with Albert Hash  [Feburary 5, 1976]

Albert Hash began making things out of wood at a young age. He had a dream as a child about making a fiddle, and did the best he could with the tools he had and a plank of wood. He continued to perfect his wood-working and carving skills and began to make more instruments. He also worked in clock making, farmed for a short time, and went to school for mechanical engineering.

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Interview with Mrs. & Mr. Allen Townsend   [September 25, 1975]

Mr. and Mrs. Townsend talk about the Depression and how it affected their families. He explains: "It was just everything, you know, seemed different and a shortage of everything." Farmers were the ones who fared the best, because they didn't have to buy in order to support themselves. His family worked on a farm during the Depression, but they didn't own the farm. Most people in Ashe County, because they "lived so far back from everybody else" didn't know much about the political situation, or why the Depression was happening. He remembers that when Roosevelt things changed, and schools started to be built in his area. His father was assigned to a work program and had to walk eight miles a day to get to work.

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Interview with Carter Rupard  [June 17, 1974]

Carter Rupard talks about growing up on a farm in Cove Creek with his many siblings. He says that they "lived better than we can now" and that "we hardly ever went to buy anything unless it would be a poke of flour ever once in awhile." His family was totally self-sufficient with their farm, and they had to work very hard every day of the week.

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Interview with Jenny Horton [June 17, 1984]

Jenny Horton, a black woman living in Boone, talks about working as a cook most of her life. She worked in a hospital for a few years, but had to stop after she developed arthritis. She talks about the rationing of sugar, flour, meat, coffee, and other foods during the Depression and the different views on medicine people used to have. People were much more likely to use home remedies than go to the doctor. She also explains there was "a lot of tension between whites and blacks."

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Ted Potter was born in Tamarack, NC in 1908 and throughout his life was a logger, mail carrier, and farmer.

Mr. Potter recalls childhood memories of Christmas, moonshining, and the Great Depression. He discusses the schoolhouse experience from his childhood as well as farming during the Great Depression.

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C.K. Norris was born in 1891 in Meat Camp, North Carolina where he grew up on a farm.

Mr. Norris talks mostly about growing up on the farm, such as raising crops and livestock. His family would haul their produce to Lenior, Hickory, and Morganton to be sold. Mr. Norris talks a lot about food throughout the interview including how to dry fruits and vegetables, make sauerkraut, use spices properly, grind coffee, salt meat, and make maple syrup. He also describes other aspects of his childhood including church, school, and the Great Depression. Mr. Norris also talks about WPA's affect in the Meat Camp area.

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L.E. Tuckwiller was born September 16, 1908 in West Virginia. He graduated from Berea College in 1934 and was the Watauga County extension agent for the past 30 years.

Mr. Tuckwiller talks mostly about his career as an extension agent throughout the interview. He explains his academic career and what lead him to the job. Mr. Tuckwiller was born and raised in West Virginia, so he describes the history of that area and compares the land to Boone. He also talks about his childhood on the farm and stories he heard of the Native Americans and the Civil War. For a large portion of the interview, Mr. Tuckwiller talks about farming in Boone and how he has worked with farmers. He also discusses the loss of farming land to development.

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Elizabeth Hartley was born in Arnold's Branch, North Carolina in 1900 and lived on a farm where her only job was to collect herbs and dig roots. William Hartley is the son of Elizabeth Hartley.

Mr. and Mrs. Hartley both talk about growing up and childhood activities such as picking herbs, but they both agreed their childhoods were mostly hard. Mr. Harley talks about playing instruments like the organ and his interest in music, while Mrs. Hartley discusses her hobby of quilting. They both reminisce about what it was like living through the Great Depression and such as using electricity for the first time in 1953 and seeing their first car in 1922.

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James Edwards was born in Bladwin, North Carolina in 1890 where he grew up on a farm. His occupations included painting and carpentry. Mr. Edwards built his own house in 1912 in West Jefferson.

Mr. Edwards spends a large portion of the interview talking about growing up on the farm. He also talks about cooking and producing food such as molasses and drying fruits. Mr. Edwards also talks briefly about his mother's cooking and recalls some memories from holidays as a child such as Easter and Christmas. He recollects childhood memories of courting, school, church, the Great Depression, and fun activities children did at his age. He also briefly mentions helping with work projects during the Great Depression.

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Sam Jones was born in Deep Gap, North Carolina around the early 1900s on a farm where he grew up. He worked at a sawmill.

Mr. Jones starts the interview talking about growing up on a farm. At this point his wife joins the interview, and they begin talking about berry-picking and produce. Mr. Jones also talks about working at the sawmill and the importance of the railroads in transportation. They both talk about their experiences with the Great Depression including topics of picking herbs, working, and church. Mr. and Mrs. Jones discuss the lack of doctors in the past and different home remedies they used. To end the conversation, the two recall the first time they saw a car and airplane.

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Lelia Watson was born in Taylorsville, North Carolina on February 10, 1883.

Ms. Watson talks about growing up on a farm. She also discusses the Great Depression and the lifestyle changes it brought. She then recollects memories from her childhood such as what is was like going to school and the new inventions from her youth like cars and airplanes. She also recalls her grandfather telling stories of the Civil War.

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Walter Culler was born in Boone, North Carolina in 1882 and grew up on a farm. He lived in Watauga County his entire life and made his living in carpentry.

Mr. Culler begins his interview discussing his childhood on the farm. Mr. Culler talks about transportation in the past like cars and the railroad. To end the interview, Mr. Culler recollects the stories he heard of Boone outlaws.

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Interview with Ruby Trivette, February 17, 1973

Ms. Trivette's interview consists of many memories from her childhood including growing up on a farm, what the town of Todd was like, and her experiences in the schoolhouse setting. She then goes further talking about her memories of her education leading up to her teaching career. Although she mentions little on World War II, she talks more in detail about the Great Depression and what its effects were like on the neighborhood. Ms. Trivette also recollects her personal experience with the flood of 1940. She explains what local church was like when she was younger compared to her current experiences with church. Ms. Trivette also speaks of the folktales her grandmother believed in. By the end of the interview, Ms.Trivette discusses politics from her childhood to the present including elections and presidents. While speaking of politics, she mentions past laws and offers her opinion on women's equality.

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These entries range from the dates of July 1, 1912 through January 31, 1913. In this diary, he included poetry, which is not featured in his other diaries. A.J. Greene recorded his daily activities, details about the weather, details about his work, politics of the time period, and many details about church and The Bible. He writes of several local places including Mabel, The Appalachian Training School, and Bushy Fork.

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Diary entries range from April 1, 1914 through June 30, 1914. These entries are quite often about the weather on that specific day, and the work that can be done. Greene also frequently writes about the church, the sermons, pastors, bible studies, attendance, and Sunday school. People and places mentioned in these entries include Joel Greene, J.R. Wilson, George Madran, Roan Creek Valley, Stone Mountain and Beaver Dam.

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These diary entries are from July 1, 1914 through September 30, 1914. The diary is based around the actions and thoughts of Andrew Jackson Greene. He wrote about work on the farm, Fourth of July festivities and the details of church life. He also included much opinion about religion, and people. Community members involved include James Horton, P.C. Younce, and J.R. Wilson, and many more.

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This diary includes entries from each day from May 13, 1916 through June 14, 1916, as well as 18 pages of school notes taken by Greene as he worked at Appalachian Training School. He wrote each day about the weather, the church, the friends that he visited, and the work around the farm that he had done.

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This diary includes entries from June 15, 1916 through October 12, 1916. Each day Greene wrote about his work on the farm, his friends, his family, the church, and community events. Important events and people include D.E. Benfield, Mabel Farmer’s Union Rally, J.H. Isaacs and many more.

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From July 10 through September 9, 1931, Andrew Jackson Greene recorded this diary about his daily life. He wrote about the weather, the church and the community. At this point, his children were leaving home and he was realizing that it would be a struggle to keep his farm going. He was busy between the farm, the schoolwork, and being a minister. He knew he was aging and found it hard to finish work many days. He also wrote about the college. They reached the 700 mark. He wrote these things in addition to the smallest details of his everyday life.

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This letter from Alice Kirby to Ada Kirby, her aunt, talks about the farm they live on in Kansas, and the process of plowing. Alice mentions that she is sad to hear that some of her aunt Fannie's children have died.

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This letter from Alice Kirby to her aunt, Ada Kirby, discusses the farming life that Alice leads in Kansas, where her father, Samuel Kirby, moved the family to. Alice says she is late in responding to the letter from her aunt because they had moved to a new farm where they are tending to 135 acres of corn. Alice says she wishes that their new house was closer to neighbors as they all feel lonely.

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This letter from Laura Kirby to her aunt Ada talks about Samuel J. Kirby's moving the family to a new farm. Laura says that she and her sister Alice have left school and discusses the winter weather.

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This letter from Alice Kirby to her aunt Ada Kirby talks about life on the Kansas farm where Alice and her family live. Alice talks about going to school, fairs, and other sources of entertainment, but her letter is focused on the price of various goods. She goes in detail about how much money was made from everything they raised on their farm, and what the going price is for various crops.

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This is a letter from Laura Kirby to her uncle Millard Fillmore Kirby, and his wife. Laura talks about the farm they live on, and how her brother and father are making hay in the fields. Laura mentions that she was very saddened by the news that her aunt Ada Kirby had died.

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These letters from Laura Kirby and Alice Kirby to their Aunt Ada Kirby discuss life on the farm in Kansas that their father, Samuel J. Kirby rents. Laura talks about going to school, while Alice discusses various domestic events and the price of crops.

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This is a letter from John Pennington to his cousin Luke Eller. John asks Luke for some of his seed and tells him that he has finished cutting his wheat crop. The letter ends with a complaint about the issue of trade in John’s area. John says that prices are too low to make a good profit.

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This letter from D. L. Pickett to two of his friends, William (Wm.) Daniels and Luke Eller, discusses Pickett’s recent move across the American Midwest. He mentions the natural geography of the country he tours, discusses people he sees, and includes the prices of various goods that he notes in the stores.

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Early E. Earp was born on July 31, 1881 in the Vilas community and Bairds Creek community of Watauga County to Lewis Calloway Earp (b. June 5, 1844 – d. November 11, 1919) and Rebecca Williams Earp (b. May 16, 1861 – d. March 27, 1937). They were farmers and raised a family of 14 children. Many of siblings lived long lives. He parents were originally from Wilkes County and his maternal grandfather was killed in the Civil War. He passed away on December 25, 1988 at the age of 97.

During the interview he talked about early wages, farm work, how crops were planted and how the quantity was determined. He discusses growing sugarcane for molasses, selling wheat for flour, canning vegetables, drying pumpkins, and planting by the signs.

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James Oliver Shell was born on January 26, 1891 in Shell Creek, Tennessee where his grandfather owned a farm and worked as a carpenter. His father died when he was two months old, so his mother reared the children living with her father. Mr. Shell had one sister, a half-­‐sister, and four half-­‐brothers. As a young man James O. Shell moved to the Heaton community of Avery County North Carolina and was a farmer and served as the postmaster in Heaton from 1914 to about 1953. He died on July 4, 1980 at the age of 88.

During the interview James O. Shell reflects on working his farm, local politics, and playing baseball as a youth. He discusses log rollings, corn shuckings, and the how neighbors helped each out. Some other topics he discusses are Tweetsie Railroad, homemade coffins, local cemeteries and playing baseball.

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“Charles” Wesley Bolick was born on August 15, 1897 in the Mulberry Valley community of Caldwell County about ten miles from Blowing Rock, North Carolina. His parents were Emanuel (b. October 24, 1852 - d. August
16, 1926) and Mary Vienna Sherrill Bolick (b. April 1860 – d. August 27, 1934). He had four siblings and was married to Elizabeth “Libby” Gomer Bolick (b. October 7, 1881 – d. January 16, 1983). Charles Bolick died on April 29, 1996 at the age of 98.

During the interview he talks about his parents and siblings, selling whiskey, making apple brandy, living off the land and making everything the family needed. He reflects on the Depression, and attending school. He also discusses making molasses, sleeping on a rope bed, courting, digging for ginseng, and the floods of 1916 and 1940.

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Bill Carroll Brinkley was born on July 27, 1917 in Elk Park in Avery County to David Brinkley (b. July 24, 1879 – January 1971) who was from Grassy Creek near Spruce Pine, North Carolina and Carroll Ivey Brinkley who was from Chester, South Carolina, and he had five siblings including a twin brother. He graduated from Cranberry High School in 1934 then started working in the family hardware store and served briefly in the U.S. Army enlisting in February 1945. He died on March 20, 2001 at the age of 83.

During the interview he reflects on a happy childhood during the Depression partly because everyone was self­‐sufficient and raised their own food. He provides several anecdotal stories about his education, the family owned Brinkley Hardware Store in Elk Park, religion and local churches, the origin Elk Park, the railroad, the Cranberry mine, and tourism in Avery County. He also discusses collecting herbs and rationing during the Depression and relates stories about panthers and the Brown Mountain Lights.

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Josie Mae McGuire Critcher was born on May 10, 1876 to Paul McGuire and Laura Martinee Lewis from Ashe County. She married Gaither Critcher on April 27, 1898 and they had seven children that included Thelma, Lena, Willie, Jessie, Paul, Robert, and Hubert.

Gaither was a farmer and carpenter, and also pruned trees and shrubbery. The entire family helped on the farm and mother Josie did the cooking, canned food for the winter, spun cloth to make clothes, made quilts, embroidered pillow cases, made scarves, and crocheted lace and fringe. She also taught weaving at Watauga Handicrafts in Boone. During the interview she talked about her parents, siblings, making soap, quilting, education, using lamps before electricity, and raising children.

She died in June 17, 1977 at the age of 101.

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