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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

< Back to Oral History project: Carter Family Fold


Mary Hartsock, Family Member

Carter Family Fold

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:
2009-02-21 00:00

Amy Evans

Amy Evans

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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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