Frank Nevius followed his older brother to Glenville to work on the construction of Thorpe Dam. As a contracted worker for Morrison-Knudson construction company, Frank left Arkansas to come to the mountains of North Carolina. Frank boarded with a family in the community, who provided him with meals and a room. While he was in Glenville, Frank met Melba Robinson, who later became his wife. He boarded with the family until he and his wife were married.

The work on the dam was divided into three shifts. He remembers the construction team working around the clock, requiring lights. In one of his jobs, Frank and others strung up lights all over the construction site. At night, he would repair and service the equipment for the operators. Frank would then begin "hauling dirt" with the machinery himself. It was on Thorpe dam that he learned 'by trial and error' how to operate heavy machinery. "I learned to operate on that piece of equipment, then I could go anywhere I wanted to, and get a job." After Thorpe Dam was completed, Frank worked at Nantahala Dam, Fontana Dam, and other dams operating bulldozers.

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