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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Joe Sullivan

As a child, Joe Sullivan ate at House Park Bar-B-Que and thought to himself that someday he wanted to own this restaurant or one just like it.  In 1981, he fulfilled his childhood ambition by purchasing House Park, which sits near the Austin neighborhood of Clarksville where he was born and much of his family still lives.   Sullivan cooks all of the restaurant’s meat himself, on the brick pit, which has been in place since 1943.  Most of the restaurant’s patrons are regulars, and those wishing to try their first taste of House Park barbecue need to keep in mind that the doors are open only between 11am and 2:30pm Monday through Friday.

Date of interview:
2007-06-15 00:00

Lisa Powell

Andrew Busch

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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