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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Poor conditions of mill-owned worker houses

Zelma and Charles Murray talk about living in mill-owned housing without attached kitchens or running water.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Charlie, I've heard your mother say that when these houses were built they was just fields. There was no kitchen out here, and she said that the kitchen was built off.
CHARLES MURRAY:
It was just a four room house: two down and two up.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I've heard her tell about going down the steps and going out to the kitchen in the snow early one morning and all.
BRENT GLASS:
To get a fire started?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
When the children were little.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh, the kitchen was off about as far as to the end of the kitchen here to the kitchen where the door was.
BRENT GLASS:
And where was your bathroom?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, didn't have one.
BRENT GLASS:
Out of doors?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Ain't one in here now.
BRENT GLASS:
Still?
CHARLES MURRAY:
There's just one or two houses that've got it.
BRENT GLASS:
Indoor plumbing?
CHARLES MURRAY:
That's right. I don't see how they got by with it; look like the State Board of Health would have come in and made them do something about it.