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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 annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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Julie McClellan

Growing up on Silver Hill plantation in McClellanville, South Carolina, Julie McClellan spent her days out on a small wooden batteau accompanying her stepfather, Ellis Dawsey, as he scratched clams on his leases at White Banks and Oyster House and sold the catch to Carolina Seafood.

After high school she married and went straight to work in restaurants, building houses, and later operated a deer processing plant with her husband before they divorced. For the past twenty-five years, Julie’s made her full-time living off the water.

Since 2007 she and her business partner, Ervin Ashley, own and operate Lowcountry Seafood. The pair hits the rivers and bays of the Lowcountry to pick oysters and scratch clams they raise behind Mill Island and a lease off of Buck Hall. They sell the catch of their long, hard days to Carolina Seafood and Clammer Dave.

Date of interview:

Sara Wood

Sara Wood

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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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