In 1980, Clarice Weaver and other volunteers, working on behalf of the Ashe County Historical Society and Ashe Public Library, conducted dozens of interviews with residents of Ashe County who possessed unique cultural and historical knowledge. The original cassette recordings of these interviews sat in storage for decades. However, thanks to hours of work on the part of the Ashe County Historical Society, these tapes have now been digitized and made publicly available. Some of the highlights include

World War One veterans like Dent Pennington and Otis Osborne.

Dora Waddell, who as a young girl became acquainted with Will Banks as he waited for execution in the Jefferson Jail.

Local fiddler and fiddle maker Albert Hash

Gertrude Waddell, born in 1892, who had a deep knowledge of the people and history of the Bina community.

Johnnie Richardson, an invalid who spent over 60 years bedridden in a small isolated house on Cranberry Creek.

Most interviews include an index, allowing listeners to jump around and listen to those things that are of most interest to them. When available, photos and supplementary materials have also been provided. We hope you enjoy this resource. Continue to support the Historical Soceity’s efforts to preserve history by donating or becoming a member.

Clarice Weaver travelling to the home of Johnnie Richardson to conduct an interview in 1980.


  1. My mom Rosietta was born in Ashe Co. to Monte McNeil in 1918. He died in mining accident in W.Va. around 1921. He was from the line of the old Rev. Geo. McNeil, an early arrival from Scotland with two brothers. One went to central NC and had a very large no. of children. The other bro. may have been named John, and some thought he went to live in Tenn.There was a John McNeil in Geo. Washington’s army but that may have been one from Connecticut. Also read online that a John McNeil who was stationed at one of Washington’s frontier forts, died of a rattlesnake bite when trekking to civilization for supplies. In Geo. W’s letters published, in library collections, a John McNeil or McNeill often wrote usually asking for a pay raise. Washington had praise to offer but not money for a raise. No way to know who was our relation. Got impression he was from Rhode Island (But the Amer. Indians admired his kilt costume…)

  2. Mom, Clarice Weaver, would be so pleased. I went with her to a few of those interviews. They were so interesting and Mom loved talking to all of the participants. Thank you for sharing this photograph and memory.

    1. We’re very grateful to Clarice: she was a wonderful asset for the Historical Society and for Ashe County. We’re glad to be able to share her work with everyone, so that she can get the recognition she deserves for saving all of these interviews for posterity.

    2. Clarice recruited me as one of her volunteers. Heart-warming memories tromping around with her.

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