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About this recording

Flossie Moore Durham interviewed by Mary Frederickson and Brent Glass, Bynum, North Carolina, September 2, 1976. Interview # H-66 in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Southern Oral History Program
Date created
This recording copyright ©2004. All Rights Reserved
Original audio housed by UNC Libraries / Documenting the American South

See this recording in context

  • North Carolina in the New South: Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the decades after the Civil War (1870–1900). Topics include changes in agriculture, the growth of cities and industry, the experiences of farmers and mill workers, education, cultural changes, politics and political activism, and the Wilmington Race Riot. (Page 3.5)
  • North Carolina History: A Sampler: A sample of the more than 800 pages of our digital textbook for North Carolina history, including background readings, various kinds of primary sources, and multimedia. Also includes an overview of the textbook and how to use it. (Page 5.2)

In the classroom

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Flossie Durham talks about her friends in the mill and the mill village as one big family.


Mary Frederickson
When you worked inside the mill, what was it like? Did you have a lot of friends who worked in the mill, too?
Flossie Moore Durham
Oh, yes, they was all… [UNCLEAR] one big family. A lot of people’d say, “Aw, it’s just about like one big family.” There weren’t so many houses over here then. No. This house was here, and them over there, of course, and the parsonage. But there’s a lot of these other houses was not here.
Mary Frederickson
Did you have time when you were working to talk to the people around you and sort of joke around?
Flossie Moore Durham
With most of them you could. Yes, they had pretty good overseers. No, they weren’t bad, no.
Mary Frederickson
If you got tired and wanted to sit down and rest or something, could you do that?
Flossie Moore Durham
Oh, yes, if you had your work up, you could sit down any time you wanted to. What water we had was drawed out of a well and brought in there in the bucket.
Mary Frederickson
So could you always stop and get a drink of water when you needed it?
Flossie Moore Durham
Whenever you wanted to. And there was always that bucket sitting up on the big post place, and a dipper in it. I can almost see anybody go there now, take that dipper and knock the lint back off of it, and get them a drink of water. And a lot of the time, when they’d first bring in the bucket of water, that’s when a lot of them would get their water.
Mary Frederickson
[Laughter] Before it got lint on it, huh?
Flossie Moore Durham
Before it got lint on it. [Laughter] In my imagination I can almost see anybody take the dipper and then kind of push that lint back and get them a drink of water. And we didn’t think nothing about it.
Mary Frederickson
Did the lint ever bother you? Did you ever have trouble?
Flossie Moore Durham
Oh, not enough to know any difference, no.
Mary Frederickson
You didn’t catch colds from it or have asthma or anything.
Flossie Moore Durham
[Laughter] Anyway I’ve lived through it till I’m ninety-three years old. [Laughter] And so I’m the oldest one here in Bynum.