With meticulous layout and hundreds of photographs, the Asheboro community documented its Finer Carolina efforts in four oversized scrapbooks. We’ve just partnered with the Randolph County Public Library, which houses these incredible books, to present them on DigitalNC.
We’ve talked about the Finer Carolina contest in a previous post. Asheboro won the prize 4 times, and these scrapbooks include 3 of those 4 years. Projects are explained in short snippets, and accompanied by before-and-after pictures of schools, cemeteries, and parks “beautified” by community groups. There are many photos of new or improved residences, businesses, and schools. While the Finer Carolina contest brought new industry to towns around the state and often encouraged community pride, the beautification efforts led to the destruction of many older buildings that were deemed to be eyesores. The 1954 scrapbook shows photos of the old Central Hotel and its subsequent removal for a parking lot. The photos below, from the 1956 scrapbook, show the removal of an old residence.
While many residents are pictured, there are few names; the emphasis was on documenting the process. The scrapbooks are both an invaluable record of the areas of town dramatically changed by the Finer Carolina efforts, as well as an interesting view into the ideas of modernization encouraged by the contest.
You can view all of the Finer Carolina scrapbooks on DigitalNC.