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Oral History Interview with Raymond Rapp, November 17, 2000. Interview K-0253. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    In this interview, Mars Hill mayor Raymond Rapp outlines his vision for planned development in Mars Hill and Madison County. He is seeking balance—between the desire for a small-town feel and a big-town economy; between the need for routes in and out of the area and the need to preserve the environment; and between the insularity of a small community and the need to bring in new residents. Rapp is an optimistic and active manager who started small—with the construction of a gazebo—but aims to make Mars Hill the gateway to a thriving, but still naturally beautiful, area. The interview provides a valuable look at the way a community faces the prospect of growth as well as at efforts toward responsible expansion. By making Mars Hill attractive, Rapp hopes to lure new businesses and residents as well as to maintain an atmosphere that will encourage community solidarity and a small-town feel. The interview emphasizes how important extensive planning is in preserving towns against aggressive, wasteful, and ugly development.
    Excerpts
  • Celebrating Mars Hill's community ethos
  • Using a past development failure as a learning experience
  • Planning to minimize the negative effects of the I-26 corridor
  • Maintaining a small-town feel in Mars Hill
  • Maintaining a small-town feel in Mars Hill
  • Effort to lure small, productive businesses to Mars Hill
  • Desire for growth clashes with desire to maintain a small-town feel
  • Rules and regulations to preserve Mars Hill's ethos
  • Praise for Mars Hill's leadership for buffering their town against the negastive effects of development
  • Hoping to maintain community cohesion in a changing cultural environment
  • Trying to maintain a farm image, without so much stinky farming
  • Leaving a town like Mars Hill reveals its richness
  • Further hopes for developing Mars Hill
  • Prediction for Mars Hill's westward spread
  • Finding a balance between preservation and growth
  • Finding a balance between preservation and growth
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Resources for Educators
  • Change in the Mountains
  • Subjects
  • Mars Hill (N.C.)--Politics and government
  • Rapp, Ray
  • 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.