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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Orlin P. Shuping, June 15, 1975. Interview H-0290. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Remembering a very small town

Shuping offers some insight into his rural community by describing a town with only three telephones. "Everything went by mail or telegram back then," he recalls.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Orlin P. Shuping, June 15, 1975. Interview H-0290. 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

BRENT GLASS:
What about polling? Where did they go to vote?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They went to the next crossroads up here. We had a post office until the rural routes came but I don't remember. That was a little too far back for me. It must have been 1903 or '04 when I was a baby, when the rural routes came. We've been on two rural routes ever since then. They just happened to cross here. All these years.
BRENT GLASS:
What about this telephone booth?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I would say we put that in in 1908 or 1909. We had three telephones on the line--one at our home, that's where we was down where the high is, and one to the man that worked with us and one here at the mill.
BRENT GLASS:
That was the only three in the whole area?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The only three. Nobody else had any; not very few in the cities. Maybe a city the size about Salisbury would have fifty phones maybe, something like that. Not many. Very rich people had nobody to call except themselves. Everything went by telegram or by letter then. I don't think that the mail was delivered here but two or three days a week. I think it was three days a week, by horseback. Later on they put in buggies. They had special buggies built for mail carriers. Then they came by motorcycle. Then by T-models and other things up to the present time.