News & Events
BUCK FAMILY DONATES SCRAPBOOK TO MARS HILL COLLEGE
When a family is active in regional education, politics and resource management, family photos, letters and momentos become important not just as a record of personal history, but as a record of regional history as well.
That’s why Mars Hill College has been pleased to accept for its archives the Buck Family Scrapbook, compiled by Pearl Ramsey Buck from 1908 until her death in 1980.
According to Richard Dillingham, history consultant for Mars Hill College, the scrapbook is an important addition to the Mars Hill College archives because the Buck family has many connections to the founding of the college, as well as the history of the region.
|Fred Buck signs the Donation Agreement, while Dr. Dan Lunsford looks through the Buck Family Scrapbook.|
Pearl Buck, who compiled the scrapbook, was a graduate of Mars Hill College in the late 1800’s, at a time when few women, especially women in western North Carolina, attended college. She was the granddaughter of Rev. William and Sarah Allen Keith, who helped found the college.
Fred Buck, grandson of Pearl Buck, donated the scrapbook earlier this month, with the consent of his sister Dorothy Buck Engel. “I wanted the scrapbook to be preserved, and I wanted people outside our family who might have an interest in the history of this area to have access to it,” he said.
Buck said that he and his sister felt Mars Hill College had both the ability to preserve the old and fragile pages, as well as an interest in the scrapbook’s archival value.
A history compiled by Fred Buck in the volume, “Madison County Heritage,” lists family connections which are of interest for their historical value.
|This photo of the State Park Commission is one of the photos available in the Buck Family scrapbook. David Buck is in the front row, far left, holding a hat.|
Pearl Buck’s husband, David M. Buck, was a member of the North Carolina State Legislature for periods of time in the 1910s and 1920s. He was also a member of the State Park Commission when it was created in 1925 and served with distinction for eight years.
As recorded in Madison County Heritage, “[David Buck] was a leader in the movement to have the Great Smoky Mountain National Park established in Western North Carolina and Tennesseee, and worked for many years to that end. In 1935, he was appointed executive officer of the Works Progress Administration in the Seventh district.”
As a young man, David Buck had come to western North Carolina to log timber. When the company he worked for went bankrupt, it settled his back wages by turning over huge tracts of land in Madison and Yancey counties. He built a logging business of his own as an adult, and used the Caney River Railroad through the mountains to transport logs to the Toe River.
The Buck properties were sold to Wolf Laurel Development Corporation in 1963. Included in the sale to Wolf Laurel was the beautiful home which David and Pearl built in the Bee Log community of Yancey County, which the family called “Dreamdale,” but which is referred to regionally as “The Buck House.”
The Bucks raised eight children, and sent them all to college. Five of the eight attended Mars Hill College. Their daughter Hope was a teacher at Bee Log School in Yancey County, and went on to regional fame for having become the first female Superintendent of Schools in Yancey County. In later years, at the conclusion of World War II, Hope worked with the American Red Cross in Europe for about six years before returning to the mountains.
According to Dillingham, the Buck family scrapbook will eventually be digitized, and all its pictures, letters and momentos will be available online for purposes of research or historical interest.