Mary Hartsock and her older sister, Nancy, worked at the Bristol Weaving Mill, where they each met and later married members of the Carter family. Nancy married Joe Carter, son of A. P. and Sara Carter, in 1948. Mary married Paul Hartsock, nephew of Sara Carter, in 1952. But while her sister and her husband remained in Hiltons, Mary traveled the country with Paul, who was in the military. Eventually, the mountains called them home. When they returned to Hiltons in 1997, the Carter Family Fold was widely known as the place to celebrate the Carter Family, their music, and the traditional music of Appalachia. Mary joined her extended family in welcoming people to the home of the Carter Family, and she joined her sister in the kitchen. Mary and Nancy work together at the Fold every Saturday morning, cooking chili, making egg salad sandwiches, and picking barbecue. And sometimes, when the concession stand offers homemade soups on the menu, Mary will contribute one of her favorite recipes: taco soup.
Date of interview:
February 21, 2009