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Oral History Interview with Richard Lee Hoffman, November 8, 2000. Interview K-0505. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    In this interview, Richard Lee Hoffman Jr., a real estate broker in Mars Hill, North Carolina, describes his response to the area's growth, ushered in by the construction of the I-26 corridor. Hoffman is ambivalent about change—he longs for the undeveloped land he explored as a child, but is willing to sacrifice it in exchange for the economic development that he will likely benefit from and contribute to as a real estate broker. However, economic growth seems uncertain, as housing values are rising but few people seem willing to buy. In Hoffman's account, Madison County seems trapped between the past and the future. Longtime residents mingle awkwardly with newcomers, pockets of undeveloped land hide between housing developments, and an expanding population challenges community bonds.
    Excerpts
  • The real estate market is not booming as expected
  • The spread of planned housing developments
  • Prediction that road-building will bring change to Madison County, possibly the erosion of community cohesion
  • Changes come to Madison County, including an influx of new, more vocal, residents
  • A sense of place in Madison County
  • New roads let residents leave the area, but hamper travel within it
  • A fading sense of community in Madison County
  • Hopes and concerns about Madison County's growth
  • The necessity of sacrificing the natural world for wealth
  • Belief in the power of church-led grassroots movements
  • Family efforts to help those in need following Hurricane Floyd
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Resources for Educators
  • Change in the Mountains
  • Subjects
  • Farm life--North Carolina
  • Madison County (N.C.)
  • Express highways--North Carolina
  • Hoffman, Richard Lee
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.