Documenting the American South

The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Oral History Interview with Robert Sparks, June 29, 1996

Transcript (12 p.) PDF
Complete Audio File (MP3 format / ca. 116 MB, 01:03:34) MP3
Abstract North Carolina native Robert Sparks, a carpenter by trade, first came to work on the Blue Ridge Parkway in a temporary position as maintenance supervisor. After a brief stint in the military, he landed a permanent role in the same position and worked with the Park Service for nearly 40 years. In this interview, Sparks talks about being the foreman of a crew of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers. He provides insight as to what life was like for those in the CCC and talks about how some of those workers learned trades and skills that led to new careers. He also details the managerial aspects of coordinating the six to 15 workers he supervised on his numerous crews and talks about some of their projects, including constructing buildings in the Bluff District and a reservoir near Asheville.
Date June 29, 1996
Interviewee Sparks, Robert
Interviewee occupation Maintenance supervisor
Interviewee DOB 1910
Interviewer Gallant, Alicia
Subject Civilian Conservation Corps
The Bluffs