Documenting the American South

The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Oral History Interview with Bill Carson, May 24, 2003

Transcript (11 p.) PDF
Complete Audio File (MP3 format / ca. 109 MB, 59:52) MP3
Abstract Ted Coyle interviews Bill Carson at his home at the Orchard at Altapass, located on the Blue Ridge. Carson discusses his employment as a software engineer for IBM building software used in various US space missions; and discusses details surrounding he and his wife's decision to retire to Little Switzerland, NC to buy an abandoned apple orchard. Carson describes the history of his orchard and his family's connection to North Carolina; and similarities between his land preservation efforts and the cultural mission of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Discussion also includes his work with Blue Ridge Parkway employee Laura Rotegard and his recommendations for this project; Olin Hefner; Carson's reflections on the sense of community in Little Switzerland; his family's heritage and the heritage of his orchard's land; difficulties the Blue Ridge Parkway may face in preserving the history and culture of Appalachia; and difficulties the Carsons face in preserving the history and culture of the Altapass area; and the importance of apples and brandy-making.
Date May 24, 2003
Interviewee Carson, Bill
Interviewee occupation Orchardist
Software engineer
Interviewee DOB December 5, 1938
Interviewer Coyle, Philip E.
Subject Laura Rotegard
Little Switzerland