In 1934, my Aunt Jane [Jacobs] spent part of her year in Higgins [in Yancey County] with her aunt, Martha Robison, founder of The Markle Robison Industrial School on the Cane River. It was here that she observed a community falling apart because of isolation, resulting in unemployment and violence.
Her observations and experiences influenced every sphere of her work for the rest of her life. “Bypassed Places,” a chapter in Cities and Wealth of Nations, described the Higgins community.
Mel Chin, the great artist, and his wife live and work [in Yancey County’s Egypt Township]. My cousins and I believe Martha and Jane were smiling when Mel received a MacArthur award.
— Annie Butzner Asheville
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