Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Everyday life’ Category

In the early days, everything at The Ramble Rack was do-it-yourself, even the ads.

In the early days, everything at The Ramble Rack was do-it-yourself, even the ads.

Nowadays, outlet stores and discount centers are common features of any town’s retail landscape. But in the 1960s, the concept was still a novel one, especially in a small town like Marion.

In 1963, after years of dreams, delays, and being required to jump through hoops to get a bank loan, Ellen Brown and her sister-in-law opened The Ramble Rack. Soon, just about every mother within a 50-mile radius (and beyond) made the pilgrimage to Marion to shop for back-to-school outfits, Easter dresses, play clothes and grown-up clothes.  Mrs Brown recalls her husband reminding her at one point, “You never know until you try.”   She did try and was successful for 25 years.

Listen to the story here:

Read Full Post »

RobertHawkinsMailman

Robert Hawkins has deep family roots in McDowell County and was a mailman from 1954 to 1990. He sat down in his rocker by the fireplace in his Marion home to tell us about  his father’s eyewitness account of the 1894 fire that destroyed nearly all of downtown, his grandmother’s story of Union raiders passing through her family’s farm during the Civil War and his own remembrances of delivering the mail (and other things) for 36 years.


Listen to the interview here:

Read Full Post »

N Rhinehardt 2

 

Mrs. Nona Justice Rhinehardt of Marion graciously shared her impeccable archive of family photos, stories and geneology with the Oral History Project.

Here, she reads an excerpt from C.J. Justice’s book,  The Story of My Life and Family Tree describing life for her family in the western North Carolina mountains during the Depression.

 

 

 

 

Listen to Nona here:

Read Full Post »

The Wesleyan Church as it looked in 1970, around the time that it received a most distinguished visitor

The Wesleyan Church as it looked in 1970 close to the time it received a most distinguished visitor.

It seems you never know who you’re going to find standing out in the snow in front of the gas station at the I-40 interchange in Old Fort!

From 1966 to 1972, Reverend Richard Stanley Jr. was the pastor at the Wesleyan Church just up the street from the station. Here, he shares the story of  unexpectedly welcoming the most famous evangelist in the world to his church. Click on media player below:

Read Full Post »

Donald Anderson's grandfather takes the family for a wagon ride in 1915. The farm was on land inundated by the construction of Lake James a few years later.

Donald Anderson's grandfather takes the family for a wagon ride in 1915. The farm was flooded by the construction of Lake James a few years later.

Donald Anderson recalls that “Most of my time as a youngster was spent hoeing corn”, and he comes from a long line of farmers.  His grandfather farmed land in the community that is now covered by Lake James and his father was a tenant farmer just north of Marion until, as the recipient of the first FHA loan in the county, he moved the family to the Glenwood community. 

Donald Anderson's grandfather and father (right) mind the cane mill.

Donald tells us about the life of a McDowell County farmer in the early 20th century, about electricity coming to Glenwood, and about his years teaching Vocational Agriculture in McDowell County.

 

 

Listen to Donald Anderson here:

Read Full Post »

This audio montage is a small sampling of the great stories and remembrances we are currently collecting from residents all over McDowell County. We’ve heard stories of the Cherokee, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the building of the railroad, the Great Depression and other historical events. But mostly, we’ve heard stories of how real people lived their daily lives in the times before every convenience was available at the flick of a switch or at the push of a button.  Remembrances of a time when folks relied on the land around them for their food, helped their neighbors and knew how to make just about everything they needed. It is the story of self-reliance and a strong community. It’s a spirit that lives on in the residents of McDowell County to this day. 

Interviewer Kim Clark and sound man John Orr talk with Mr. and Mrs. Harold McCurry following their video session at Spring House Farm (the old Albertus Ledbetter home) in the Montford Cove Community.

Interviewer Kim Clark and sound man John Orr talk with Mr. and Mrs. Harold McCurry following their video session at Spring House Farm (the old Albertus Ledbetter home) in the Montford Cove Community.

Listen to this montage of McDowell County voices here:

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts