Joines, Agnes. 2003. Interview by Philip E. Coyle. November 8. Sparta, North Carolina. Blue Ridge Parkway Archives, Asheville, NC.
The past week has been all about the Blue Ridge Parkway Archives. Tomorrow we will be heading back there after spending a couple of hours there on Tuesday and Thursday of last week. As we dig through sources there I have also been looking through some of the oral histories that Jackie Holt gave us a few weeks ago. The one I most recently read through was an interview conducted by Philip Coyle of Agnes Joines and her husband Earnest Joines. The couple has lived near the Parkway in Allegany County (the northernmost county with the Parkway in North Carolina), for most of their lives. Both of them give some great insight into life in Allegany in the early 1930s and 40s. When speaking about the Parkway Agnes gives this great quote that I loved. She says, “That’s what I think the Parkway really does for people that really want to relax and get away from everyday life… You know all this beautiful scenery you don’t get to see in other places.”1
In regards to the Parkway influence on the locals and local economies, she also supports the argument that it does have a big impact. She says, “It’s a big benefit to our town, too, because people that are traveling on the Parkway will come off and come to either to restaurants or come to lodging or they’re looking entertainment, and Sparta really has all of that…We have a lot of tourists that come off the Parkway.”2
Even though this is only one woman’s voice it’s nice to see some confirmation of what the Blue Ridge Parkway folks have been telling us, along with some of the secondary sources have been claiming. There are a bunch of oral histories to go through thanks to Jackie and I look forward to reading the transcripts for them.
Another interesting phenomena happening currently is that the things we’ve found in our research have begun to pop up in my other classes, and just in random places in my life. We were discussing the US Cabinet and Executive Agencies and how Congress can exert some control over them in class today, and it comes on the heels of reading folders of correspondence from the then Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway and various members of Congress and the Dept. of the Interior begging for legislative change and funding for Parkway land acquisition.
- Agnes Joines, pg. 17
- Agnes Joines, pg. 17