D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Laura Gasperson Peek Collection
P2016.05

Summary Information

Repository
UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Title
Laura Gasperson Peek Collection
ID
P2016.05
Date [inclusive]
1999-2000
Extent
2.0 Linear feet
Physical Description
Contains photographic prints and text
Language
English

Preferred Citation

Laura Gasperson Peek Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville

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Historical Note

Laura Gasperson Peek graduated from UNC Asheville in 2000 with a focus in photography. The photographs in this collection and the accompanying photographer's notes and acknowledgment were originally shown is the Blowers Gallery, in Ramsey Library in May 2000. The images were taken with Zeiss Ikon and Leica M-3 cameras, and were developed, mounted and framed by the photographer

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Biographical Note

Duckett family members, and their neighbors

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Scope and Contents

Monochrome prints showing farming in Big Sandy, just west of Asheville, NC, in 1999/2000. The images center on the Duckett family and their neighbors as they farm tobacco and raise cattle, agricultural practices that have since largely disappeared from the area.

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Arrangement Note

Print numbers and titles are from the 2000 exhibit. Additional metadata provided by Laura Gasperson Peek and Kevin Duckett, summer 2017

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library, CPO # 1500
One University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, 28804-8504
828.251.6645
speccoll@unca.edu

Rights

Copyright retained by the donor who must approve any reproduction for publication. Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Acquisition Note

Twenty six photographs were donated by Laura Gasperson Peek, December 2016. Two images were purchased by D. H. Ramsey library after the 2000 exhibit.

Processing Information

Processed by Colin Reeve, March 2018

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Related Materials

Related Collections

The Sandy Mush Chronicles, oral history collection

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Photographer's Statement

It's a little hard for me to believe it's been almost 18 years since I took these pictures in Sandy Mush. The Duckett family was incredibly generous by letting me follow them around with my camera. They let me into their lives for over a year, and for that I'll be forever grateful.

When I started this project, my goal was to capture a quickly disappearing way of life, and the natural beauty that surrounded the Duckett family on their farm in Sandy Mush. As Buncombe County has seen a huge jump in population over the last 15 years, open land is becoming scarce. Farming families are being pushed out, as developer's gobble up as much property as they can get their hands on. Before Bill and his sister, Myrtle, passed away in 2014, the family placed the property in a conservation easement. At least this beautiful place will be preserved for future generations. The last time I was with the Duckett family, we were gathered to remember Rick Berger, who passed in 2003. It's been a long time. I think it's time to go back.

Laura Gasperson Peek, August 2017

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Collection Inventory

Images in the Collection 

Print#1, "Robinson Cove"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Road sign 

Print #2, "Myrtle"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Myrtle Duckett standing in front of the home of Bill and Mabel Duckett 

Print #3, "Kevin and Myrtle"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Kevin and Myrtle Duckett cutting tobacco 

Print #4, "Cutting Tobacco"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Kevin Duckett and Rick Berger, 'Six Stalks on a Stick', the beginning of the drying process 

Print #5, "Mondale Ferraro"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5" Rick Berger's truck, with Frances Berger's house in background. [Frances was Rick's mother] 

Print #6, "In the Field"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Vance Garrett hauling tobacco in the Duckett's field 

Print #7, "Loading"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Left to right, Kevin Duckett, Vance Garrett and Rick Berger taking tobacco out of the fields to hang 

Print #8, "Hanging Tobacco"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Vance Garrett hanging tobacco 

Print #10, "Handing Off"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Vance Garrett and Kevin Duckett hanging tobacco at Thad Boyd's house which was converted into a barn, and located at Garrett Cove 

Print #11, "Tier Climbing"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Vance Garrett's boot as he hangs tobacco, with Rock Berger in background 

Print #12, "Silage"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Kevin Duckett, with Bill Duckett, shoveling silage for cattle 

Print #12, "Burley Curing"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5" Two barns belonging to Mark Lane, on Worley Cove Lane 

Print #13, "Grading"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Bill and Myrtle Duckett grading tobacco 

Print #14, "After the Curing"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Myrtle Duckett taking tobacco down from rafters. The tobacco is ready to be graded 

Print #15, "Stripping Tobacco"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Myrtle grading tobacco 

Print #16, "Bailing"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Bill Duckett bailing tobacco 

Print #17, "Auction Day" ; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

At Dixie-Burley tobacco warehouse by the French Broad River, Bill Duckett with a USDA grader, grading by stock position and quality. Tobacco was graded by color and texture, with "red: tips with bright lugs having a different grader 

Print #19, "Banding"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Banding a calf 

Print #20, "Winter Pasture"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Robinson Cove. The upper level of the left barn was used for grading tobacco, and the lower level worked the cows. The middle and right barns were used to hang tobacco 

Print #22, "Myrtle's Crossing"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Myrtle Duckett, with tobacco & cattle barn to the left and the roof of Myrtle's house visible in upper center 

Print #23, "Kevin's Place"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Kevin Duckett's house, looking up through Robinson Cove 

Print #24, "Preparing to Tag the Calves"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Bill Duckett tattooing and castrating the bulls 

Print #25, "Feeding the Bees"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Jim Hannah with his bee yard.

Print #26, "Young Steer"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Jim Hannah castrating a young steer 

Print #27, "Entering the Barn"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Jim Hannah rolling silage into feedway for cattle 

Print #28, "Winter's Solstice"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Myrtle Duckett in Jim Hannah's pasture 

Print #29, "Farming Big Sandy"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Left to right, Kevin, Bill and Myrtle Duckett, with the tobacco and cattle barn behind them 

Print #30, "Bill's Gloves"; monochrome print, approx. 13.5 "x 9.5"

Bill Duckett's gloves 

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Additional Materials 

"Farming Big Sandy" - Photographer's notes and acknowledgments from original (2000) exhibit 

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