Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

History of a Martin County Hog Killing

Please note: This is a historical account detailing growing up in Martin County and participating in old fashioned hog killings to feed the families involved. It is for educational and historical purposes only…

This picture narrative describes a part of the history of farming in Martin County. As the name implies, one of God’s creatures loses it’s life that another might live. While this story begins with death, it is none the less a celebration of life. A life lived close to the land and the animals that sustain us.

A word of warning: if you are a very sensitive, tender-hearted person or a child, you may not wish to continue. I have pulled no punches here. There is at least one photograph (or perhaps all of them) that may be upsetting to you. I have tried to describe the process as thoroughly as memory will allow and at the same time to give you some sense of what it meant to be a part of this particular history.

by J. B. Coltrain
Retired County Extension Director