Documenting the American South

The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Oral History Interview with William Hooper, October 25, 1996

Transcript (16 p.) PDF
Complete Audio File (MP3 format / ca. 27 MB, 01:09:28) MP3
Abstract William "Bill" Hooper, a Mebane native, spent two years with the Civilian Conservation Corps and 10 years with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture before coming to work on the Blue Ridge Parkway from 1945 until his retirement in 1975. He starts off by talking about one of the major tasks he was given when he was named agronomist: the slope stabilization of the Parkway Motor Road. Hooper goes on to talk about the problems with the rights-of-way easements along the parkway. He describes the "peculiar" way that the state of North Carolina acquired the parkway right-of-way, which involved settlements with landowners without the use of deeds. Hooper goes on to tell numerous detailed stories about interactions he had with people concerning the state's acquisition of their land, including a story about a man who brandished a shotgun at engineers on his property.
Date October 25, 1996
Interviewee Hooper, William "Bill"
Interviewee occupation Parkway agronomist, Land Management Specialist, Realty Specialist
Interviewee DOB March 3, 1911
Interviewer Mullis, Julie
Subject Land acquisition
Landscape development