Interview with Edward Blackburn, March 2, 1973

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“Interview with Edward Blackburn, March 2, 1973,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed January 20, 2022,

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Interview with Edward Blackburn, March 2, 1973


Edward Eugene Blackburn was born on August 29, 1893 to Alex (b. 1852 – d. June 1, 1926) and Rhoda Howell Blackburn (b. February 12, 1856 – d. December 6, 1934). He was married to Ollie Clawson Blackburn (b. July 29, 1893 – d. June 1985). He grew up in the Todd community of Ashe County and served in the U.S. Army during the First World War with the 318th Field Hospital of the 80th Division. He experienced combat in France, which is briefly mentioned in the interview.

Many affectionately knew him as “Brother Ed” or “Uncle .” The Reverend Ed Blackburn and his wife took over the leadership of The Tabernacle, a non-­‐denominational Holiness church across the hill from his childhood home. This church later became the Blackburn Community Church, was originally started by his father around 1910. His uncle was U.S. Congressman Edmond Spencer Blackburn (b. September 22, 1868 – d. July 21, 1912) who served in 1901-03 and 1905-­07.

During the interview Ed Blackburn talks about growing up in rural Ashe County. Topics include explaining the rules to a game called “dare base,” and his experience working at a grist meal and laying railroad track as a young man. He also discusses the railroad in Todd, timber stripping, religion, and family.


Blackburn, Edward (1893-)--Interviews
Todd (N.C.)--History--20th century
Todd (N.C.)--Social life and customs--20th century
Clergy--North Carolina--Todd--Biography
Railroads--North Carolina--Todd--History--20th century
Lumber trade--North Carolina--Todd--History--20th century




Copyright for the interviews on the Appalachian State University Oral History Collection site is held by Appalachian State University. The interviews are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. Appalachian State Collection 111. Appalachian Oral History Project Records, 1965-1989, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Special Collections, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials, without the written permission of the Appalachian State University, is strictly prohibited.




20 pages




Sound Document


Todd (N.C.)


01:04, Reflects on Todd and Ashe County, 00:32, World War One