Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Over 350 New Photos From The Forest History Society Now Online at DigitalNC

A 1928 plot of land carved out to be “light burned” annually

Over 350 new photos have been digitized and uploaded to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Forest History Society. Located in Durham, North Carolina, their organization is dedicated to the preservation of materials about forest history and conservation. While their mission is to promote and collect materials about forest and environmental preservation around the world, these photos are specifically about North Carolina’s history of forest and wildlife conservation.

The back of a firefighting truck

A photo of firefighters creating a firebreak, a strip of open space that slows or stops the spread of a fire

These newly digitized photographs were taken from the late 1920s to early 1940s, by various photographers for the NC Department of Conservation and Development. They include images of fire control conferences and forester’s meetings, fire lines and fire line equipment, and much more. Many of the later photographs include construction of lookout towers across the state and angles from the top of those towers. Taken in dozens of counties across the state, these photographs give us views of the state and views of firefighting that we don’t often get to see, and show us how dangerous firefighting was at that time. For example, in the photo on the right, the men creating a firebreak were dressed in suits and ties instead of fire-protective gear.

A 1940 photo of CCC Camp P-73 from the Riegel Tower in Brunswick County

To browse through these materials, visit the Forest History Society’s partner page, or check out their website.


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