Accessibility Navigation:

Nettie House oral history interview

House, Nettie S., 1924-
Spencer, Kevin
Date of Interview: 
House, Nettie S., 1924-; Lance Inc.; Villa Heights Elementary School (Charlotte, N.C.); Charlotte Technical High School (Charlotte, N.C.); Textile workers; Depressions; World War (1939-1945); Race relations; School integration; North Carolina--Charlotte; North Carolina--Charlotte--Belmont; Florida--Jacksonville; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Charlotte native Nettie House describes her life growing up in Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood, her experiences during World War II, and her married life in Charlotte during the postwar period. Her father came to Charlotte from Union County to work in textile mills as a weaver, settling in Belmont in a four-room mill house that the family eventually purchased. Mrs. House discusses the immediate community around her home, locally known as “Mill Hill.” She describes the games she played with friends, her walk to the local schools of Villa Heights Elementary School and Charlotte Technical High School, and her trips to “uptown” Charlotte to see movies, to shop, and for work in Woolworth’s when she was a teenager. Despite the deprivations of the Depression, Mrs. House remembers her childhood as rich and recalls the relative freedom that children had during this era in comparison to later generations, as well as the spirit of sharing within the community. Mrs. House married during the war and traveled with her husband to Jacksonville, Florida, where he was stationed on a naval base, and where she found work overhauling airplane wing parts. Continuing her life history, Mrs. House recounts her husband’s ability in baseball that secured his job with Charlotte’s Lance Inc. so that he could play for the company team and her own work with Lance in their credit union. She also relates her personal experiences of integration and the diversifying population of her Merry Oaks neighborhood in Charlotte, stressing her Christian belief that people should live together harmoniously and the importance of building personal relationships across races.
David Goldfield student project on change in the Charlotte region
Interview Audio: