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Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    This interview provides a fascinating look at life in a southern mill town in the first half of the twentieth century. Alice Evitt, born in 1898, discusses growing up and raising a family in rural North Carolina. She describes life in a mill town near Charlotte, including the atmosphere of the cotton mill where she worked, her daily routine, and recreational activities. She also briefly recalls her participation in an unsuccessful strike in the 1930s. While Evitt describes a difficult life, she does not seem to look back on her mill experiences with any regret or resentment. There is a great deal of anecdotal information about mill town life in this interview as well. Researchers interested in a more complete picture may wish to read the entire interview.
    Excerpts
  • Avoiding extortion at company store
  • Decline of community ethic in working communities
  • Community dances in Concord, North Carolina
  • Raucous prayer meetings in rural town
  • Difficult daily routine as woman in mill town
  • Owners compete for mill workers during labor shortage
  • Quitting when denied time off at mill
  • Verbal abuse for workers from mill bosses
  • Accidents at mill fail to motivate unionization
  • Deafening mill motivates escape to beautiful outside setting
  • Striking as recreation at cotton mill
  • Mill bosses try to speed up work
  • Tensions between mill workers and townspeople
  • Mill town recreation
  • Layout of mill villages has no real plan
  • Community interdependence helps weather Depression
  • Fear of harm by machinery at mill
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.