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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Life in Gastonia's mill villages

Cobb describes Gastonia's mill villages, including how she worked to fix up her various homes and the sorts of recreation available to the employees. Later in the interview, she expands on the tricks she learned to improve mill houses and make them look nicer.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACQUELYN HALL:
When did you first move to Gastonia, when you and those other two girls went?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
In 1924 I went. Then I got married in '25.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Which plant were you working in there?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
At Modeener Mill.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did they have a mill village?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was that like?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
The first house we ever lived in was a mill house there.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You had never lived in a mill village.
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
No, not till I moved there, because we owned our home. But later, after we sold ours, my mother lived on the mill village.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you like living in the mill village?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Oh, yes, it was all right in them days and times.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What was your house like?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
You had to pretty well keep it up yourself. They'd give you stuff to fix it, but I was always fixing mine, painting it. They didn't have any paint during the Depression times, but you know what I done? I went to the branch and got this clay mud and put Putman's dye in it and painted my house. And then the dirt daubers nellied us up. [Laughter] I done that at Rex Number 1, in the thirties.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Was there any company-sponsored recreation or any social welfare work?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
No, there wasn't no such thing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
In any of the places that you lived in Gastonia?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
In later years, after Roosevelt got in, there was, but there wasn't before. No, there wasn't no such thing before Roosevelt. You resisted yourself, or you didn't. That's the way it went.