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Oral History Interview with Nancy Holt, October 27, 1985. Interview K-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Nancy Holt grew up in North Carolina's Cane Creek community, where the land played a large role in her upbringing. Despite the physical distances between them, neighbors often cooperated with each other, especially when they felt their community's existence to be in jeopardy. School and church were also important anchors for the community, she says, adding that her family's self-sufficiency informed her own sense of familial responsibility. Holt discusses the differences between Chapel Hill and Cane Creek, noting the relative isolation of the latter, where traditional values and folk wisdom were preserved over generations. Holt describes Cane Creek as largely insular, but she explains that newcomers were welcome. Both groups found common cause when the University of North Carolina and Orange County Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) attempted to build a reservoir in Cane Creek. Holt grew frustrated by the lack of political clout local residents had in the face of more politically powerful UNC and OWASA officials. She also discusses the fear tactics OWASA employed to scare residents into selling their land. Holt consequently joined the Cane Creek Conservation Authority as a lobbyist and fundraiser. She used her position with the organization to highlight the damaging effects of a reservoir in the Cane Creek community—economically, socially, and environmentally.
  • Socialization and communal nature of rural residents
  • Learning self-sufficiency through childhood on the farm
  • Church provides an acceptable arena for socializing
  • Chapel Hill's values differed from Cane Creek's
  • Threat of OWASA's water development united Cane Creek residents
  • Residents' behavior, not their wealth, determined their social ranking
  • Positive, community-building attributes of Cane Creek's public school
  • Loose lines of demarcation of the town's borders
  • Holt's activism to preserve Cane Creek.
  • View of OWASA as apathetic to local residents' concerns
  • UNC and OWASA maintained a powerful hold over public utility matters
  • OWASA employed chicanery to achieve its goals with the Cane Creek Reservoir
  • Benefits and huge disadvantages of the Cane Creek Reservoir
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Cane Creek (N.C.)
  • Dairy farming--North Carolina
  • Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA)
  • 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.