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Oral History Interview with Taylor Barnhill, November 29, 2000. Interview K-0245. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    In this rich interview, Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition member (his precise role is unclear) Taylor Barnhill describes his rural childhood and its impact on his adult life. He is an environmental activist who decries the deleterious effects of development on rural North Carolina communities and wilderness. Barnhill aims his frustrations at road building and roadpaving—in particular those projects related to the I-26 corridor in Madison County, North Carolina—which he thinks open rural communities to a soulless world of consumption and interfere with natural evolution. He hopes to inspire communities to rally around conservation issues, not only for the sake of the state's air and water, but also to give community members a renewed sense of place.
  • Enduring love for a changing rural world
  • A rural upbringing instills social values
  • Early contact with rural poverty yields a desire for economic justice
  • The long decline of farming in America
  • Early effort to heal declining communities
  • Barnhill's "holism"
  • Paved roads change the Madison County lifestyle
  • Rural communities welcome paved roads, but paved roads hurt rural communities
  • Development in rural communities erodes "connectedness"
  • Struggling to find a way to preserve the rural lifestyle
  • The need for prevention in community activism
  • A spiritual desire for environmental preservation
  • Consumerism damages souls, but conservation can save them
  • 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.)
  • Barnhill, Taylor
  • Express highways--North Carolina
  • 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.