Local History


This guide includes both primary and secondary source resources relating to local history in Watauga County and surrounding counties (Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, and Wilkes). Manuscripts must be used in the Dougherty Reading Room. To schedule an appointment or for more information, email spcoll@appstate.edu.

Manuscript Collections

Annabel Harrill Papers consist of papers, photographs collected during study on Ashe County, North Carolina mills. Many mills were located in the South Fork of the New River area. Also included are newspaper clippings and a ballad about Laura Foster, a Wilkes County, North Carolina native who was murdered in the 1860s.

2.26 linear feet (1 box, one folder in cold storage, 1 oversize folder)

Appalachia Photographs contain print photographs and negatives of the Appalachian region, mostly Northwestern North Carolina, but also some parts of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It contains photographs, slides, and negatives. Images include Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, and Watauga Counties, Appalachian State Teachers College in Boone, and unidentified images of towns, people, and museum exhibits.

1.5 linear feet (3 boxes, 1 folder in cold storage)

Materials in the Appalachian Cultural Museum Records cover the history of the museum from 1989 until its close in 2006. The collection contains materials concerned with the museum administration, correspondence, exhibits, events, and publicity.

88.2 linear feet (76 boxes, 4 half-sized manuscript boxes, 2 audiocassette boxes, 4 small boxes, 3 flat boxes, 3 CD boxes, 1 square box, 10 shoeboxes, 10 oversize boxes, 1 rolled map, 9 oversize drawers)

This collection includes records for the Appalachian Oral History Project, a combined effort of Appalachian State University, Alice Lloyd College, Emory and Henry College, and Lees Junior College to document oral histories of the history and folklore of the central Appalachian region. Materials in this collection consist of interviews and records generated by Appalachian State University interviewers between 1973 and 1975. Records include audio interviews, administrative files, photographs, and video.

28.5 linear feet (59 boxes)

B. Hartzog and Sons Ledgers consist of two unidentified and undated general store ledgers. Inserted documents, such as a Bank of Jefferson, North Carolina receipt, includes dates.  B. Hartzog and Sons Ledgers illustrate the purchasing trends of B. Hartzog and Sons' customers. It is presumably located in Ashe County, North Carolina.

3 linear feet (1 box)

Barbara McDermitt Papers is a collection of 34 original audiocassettes of Watauga County, North Carolina residents. Informants, who are primarily storytellers and folk singers, include Ray Hicks, Stanley Hicks, Hattie Presnell, Frank Proffitt, Jr., and Leonard Roberts. This collection contains oral histories from nationally reknowned storyteller Ray Hicks as well as many of his Beech Creek neighbors and kin.

0.5 linear feet (2 boxes)

The collection consists of correspondence between members of the Berry family of Smyth County, Virginia detailing the movements of various family members and their daily activities in southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia. The bulk of the correspondence is from the collection of Ollie Berry Gilliam and includes letters between her sister, Lena, her mother, Susie, and her husband, Edward Gilliam. The material dates from 1911 to 1955.  

0.5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)