Documenting the American South

The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Oral History Interview with Mike Hensley, October 16, 2003

Transcript (17 p.) PDF
Complete Audio File (MP3 format / ca. 115 MB, 01:02:55) MP3
Abstract Mitchell County native Mike Hensley works on the Blue Ridge Parkway as a blacksmith at the business founded by his father, Bea Hensley and Mike Hensley Blacksmith shop. Hensley talks about the history of his family, particularly about how his father learned the trade of blacksmithing from a descendant of Daniel Boone, and how his family acquired the piece of land where the shop is located. Hensley goes on to provide some history of Mitchell County, specifically how it is a rich source of minerals. He touches on the quality of emeralds found in the mines and talks about work Marie Curie did in the area. Hensley then goes into great detail about blacksmithing. He talks at length about the history of the profession before discussing the methods and style that he and his father are known for.
Date October 16, 2003
Interviewee Hensley, Mike
Interviewee occupation Blacksmith
Interviewee DOB April 10, 1947
Interviewer Coyle, Philip E.
Subject Blacksmith
Museum of North Carolina Minerals