DigitalNC is excited to announce that our new partner the Perquimans County Restoration Association has contributed a collection of materials on historic homes located in their communities. The collection of newspaper clippings, correspondence from the PCRA, and brochures that include tour maps cover various years between 1990 and 2010. Featured in documents throughout the collection are pictures and descriptions of the historic homes that communicate the extraordinary stories behind these living spaces.
Historic Homes Brochure, 2006.
Histories of homes built in the 18th and 19th-century.
This collection is perfect for people interested in architecture dating back to the 18th century and the histories associated with these beautiful North Carolina homes. One may be tempted to take a trip to Perquimans County to explore the area firsthand after viewing this collection. But before you make travel plans, start your journey to the historical homes of Perquimans here. And to learn more about the Perquimans County Restoration Association visit their contributor page.
Program from the High School Football State Finals, Appalachian vs. Smithfield, December 1959
The Smithfield High School Alumni Association, a new partner, recently brought over a large collection of photographs, newspaper clippings, and school ephemera for digitization here at the Digital Heritage Center. Sports as well as musical and theatrical performances feature prominently in this batch. There are formal portraits alongside candid snapshots taken of students over the years. Much of the content dates from the 1940s – 1960s before the high schools in Johnston County were consolidated and integrated.
One of the many pages of snapshots of Smithfield High School students.
A history of Smithfield published in 1977 by the Smithfield Herald for the town’s bicentennial was also scanned as part of this batch. It provides a detailed history of the town, as well as great historic photographs of the town.
You can view all of the materials we’ve digitized for the Smithfield High School Alumni Association on their contributor page. If you’re an SHS fan or alum, you may also be interested in the SHS yearbooks that the Johnston County Heritage Center has shared through our site.
Currituck County Public Library has partnered with us to provide documents related to the Currituck Shooting Club. This robust collection of letters, telegraphs, and notes cover decades of communication between members and business associates of the Currituck Shooting Club. The collection includes a booklet (shown below) on the club written by one of its most prominent members, Samuel Russell who was President of the club from 1901 to 1926. The booklet tells of the clubs origins, being organized in June of 1857 and incorporated in February of 1877. It also includes a list of the clubs Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers, Officers, and members beginning at the clubs founding and ending in 1940. The Club stood until 2003, when it burned down.
Currituck Shooting Club booklet
List of Presidents
Correspondence to Samuel Russell makes up the bulk of the collection and primarily covers the shooting clubs early 20th century business dealings. If you are interested in what communication and establishing and maintaining the business of a shooting club looked like at the turn of the century or just the leisure habits of the upper class on the east coast, this collection would be useful for that research.
Correspondence to Samuel Russell
Click here to learn more about the Currituck Shooting Club and to learn more about our new partner, Currituck County Public Library, visit their website here.
New materials from the Rockingham County Public Library are now available on DigitalNC. This batch includes photographs, remembrance books, neighborhood histories, newspaper clippings, and a football schedule poster.
Photographs include the one above of Lowes Methodist Church, now Lowes United Methodist, in Reidsville, and one of Charlie Jackson Bennett laying in state in 1953. There are remembrance books for the same Bennett, as well as Carrie Lee H. Bennett and Sylvia Bennett Brown. The funeral home where Sylvia Bennett Brown was laid to rest also created a remembrance plaque, included in this batch of items.
Other items include a variety of materials documenting the history of Mayodan and Stoneville, North Carolina, mostly from the twentieth century. The Carolina Heights neighborhood in Eden, North Carolina, is also represented here by a leaflet sharing its history. Carolina Heights was formerly in Spray, which was consolidated into Eden in 1967. To see all materials on DigitalNC from Spray, click here.
DigitalNC is thankful to our partner, Rockingham County Public Library, for enabling access to these materials online. To learn more about the Rockingham County Public Library, visit their partner page here or their website here. To see all items in this batch, click here, and to see everything contributed by the library, click here.
Thanks to our partners at the Chatham County Historical Association, DigitalNC now hosts nearly 100 new photos of Chatham County, as well as a profile of the Cape Fear and Deep River Slack Water Navigation from 1851 and the story of the Cape Fear and Deep River Navigation Company.
The Cape Fear and Deep River profile and its story are DigitalNC’s first additions to provide insight into North Carolina’s inland navigation system, though this information is complemented by several photos of the Cape Fear river on our site. The Deep River, along with the Haw River, is a tributary of the Cape Fear River. The two rivers meet just south of Jordan Lake in Chatham County, near Moncure and Haywood, North Carolina. The Cape Fear and Deep River Navigation Company was organized in 1849 in Pittsboro, NC, to enable steamboats to traverse the rivers. The company ensured navigation of the rivers by building dams and locks as a slack water system of navigation. To learn more about the company, visit Wade Hadley, Jr.’s history of the organization from 1980.
This batch of materials also includes nearly 100 new photographs of twentieth century Chatham County. Several showcase local high schools, activities at the Gilmore Hunting Lodge, dam construction, the Carolina Power and Light Company, churches in Mount Vernon, and other subjects.
To learn more about the Chatham County Historical Association, visit their contributor page here or their website here.
DigitalNC partner Cleveland County Memorial Library provided us with a rich collection of documents, photographs, and yearbooks related to the history of Black citizens in the area. Much of the collection focuses on Black schools that were established during the era of Jim Crow and segregation. These schools were created out of necessity but did not survive integration, leaving their history vulnerable. Fortunately people like Ezra A. Bridges, a longtime educator and community activist, made it a priority to preserve items related to the Black experience in Cleveland County.
Biographical Information on Ezra A. Bridges.
Ezra A. Bridges at groundbreaking.
A few highlights from the collection are the yearbooks, various histories of schools in the area, and photographs of students and educators. There is a lot more in this important collection of materials that stress and celebrate Black citizens of Cleveland County and their relentless pursuit of education and proper representation. To see more from Cleveland County Memorial Library visit their contributor page.
Educator and her students.
Thanks to our partner, the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, we have now uploaded several books of church minutes from the First Baptist Church of New Bern, as well as a book from 1984 on the history of the congregation.
Cover for “‘In The Beginning—Baptists’!: History of the First Baptist Church, New Bern, North Carolina 1809-1984” by Edna Avery Cook.
The First Baptist Church of New Bern was founded on May 11, 1809 after numerous unsuccessful attempts to form a Baptist church on the site since before the American Revolutionary War. On July 2, 1848 the sanctuary–a gothic revival structure that still stands today–was dedicated. The structure was left mostly unharmed during the Civil War, except for an indent from a cannonball from the Battle of New Bern that was visible until renovations were completed in 1975.
Cover of the book of minutes for the First Baptist Church of New Bern from December 3, 1870-January 1, 1883.
For more about the New-Bern Craven County Public Library, visit their website.
In a new batch of items from partner Union County Public Library, which they digitized themselves, there are materials that date all the way back to 1876. A catalog for Monroe High School from 1876 details all the classes one could take at the school, which was a white, private, co-educational school that advertised not only to those who lived in Monroe, but in the surrounding area, including South Carolina. In the first section of the book it lists the enrollment at the school and hometowns of each student. The cost for 20 weeks at the school was $10-$16 tuition plus $50 for room and board.
Other materials from this batch include several Chamber of Commerce publications promoting Monroe, NC, a feature on the new library in Monroe, and the minutes of the Union County Medical Association from 1902 to 1922. The Medical Association minutes are particularly interesting in mentioning about a black doctor, Dr. J.S. Massey, being a member in 1903 in what was otherwise an all white organization. This would have been during a time of increasing segregation and aggression by whites against black in North Carolina following the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision and the 1898 race riots in Wilmington and the shift in the government in 1900 to a white supremacist Democratic leadership.
There is also a yearbook from 1954 from Union High School that was located in Lanes Creek Township.
To view more materials from Union County Public Library, visit their partner page.
Today we are highlighting new partner, Andrews Public Library, who has partnered with the NCDHC to digitize notes and documents related to board meetings and annual reports. The library is a Carnegie Library and much of the materials relate to the library being built and it’s earliest days serving the community. Among the collection is a Minutes of the Board of Trustees, notebook that covers 1916- 1924. Inside the notebook is a newspaper clipping related to the significance of what a Carnegie Library is in regards to origin and design.
Minutes of the Board of Trustees 1916-1924
Newspaper clipping on Andrews’ Carnegie Library
There is also another notebook that covers more than thirty years of Board of Trustees meetings.
Board of Trustees Meeting Notes, 1953-1984
To learn more about Andrews Public Library, visit their partner page here or their website here.
Andrews Carnegie Library Annual Report, 1922
Bennett College has shared with us a collection that covers more than 100 years of their school activities, with a particular focus on the Home Economics program at the school and the yearly institute hosted by the school on varying topics related to Home Economics. Among the collection are institutional records, numerous booklets related to home economics research, event programs, obituaries, flyers, newsletters, and photos of faculty, students, and community members. There are also newspaper clippings and magazines that relate to happenings at Bennett related to educational enrichment and fashion.
Bennett College Home Economics Students, circa 1900.
A highlight of the collection are photographs from a political rally in support of Shirley Chisholm.
Students at rally for Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Chisholm, 1972
The African American all women college of Bennett is located in Greensboro, N.C. Bennett is filled with a rich tradition and historic legacy that will never be surpassed, we are proud to partner with them and to help preserve their heritage. To learn more about the Bennett College collections click here.
Gittens / Ward Home Economics Club Newsletter, September 17, 1988