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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Viewing entries tagged "photos"


Additional Photographs Showcasing Edgecombe County’s Historic Architecture Online Now

A newly digitized batch of photographs of historic homes and structures in Edgecombe County has been added to our website, courtesy of our partner, the Edgecombe County Memorial Library. Follow this link see the previously published batch of photos and this link to see the blog post about the previous batch of photographs.

One of the houses exhibited in these photographs is the Hart House, built by William A. Hart, a well-known Edgecombe County businessman and farmer, in 1909. This home is a rare example of a columned house in the Neo-Classical style in Tarboro.

The M. A. Hart House, located at 1109 Main St. in Tarboro, N.C.

Another house that can be seen in the batch of photographs is the J. J. Green House. This two-story home with its blend of Queen Anne and Neo-Classical architectural themes was built around 1900 by Rocky Mount architect John C. Stout, the cashier of the Bank of Tarboro.

A photograph of the J. J. Green House, located at 800 Main St. in Tarboro, N.C.

For more about the Edgecombe County Memorial Library, visit their partner page or check out their website.


Images of Alamance County from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century are available now!

Main Street, Burlington, 1908

Main Street, Burlington, 1908

Over 100 new images of Alamance County are available on DigitalNC, thanks to our partners at Alamance County Public Libraries. The collection of photographs and postcards was compiled by Don Bolden, author of several books about Alamance County. They document various towns including Burlington, Alamance, Graham, Saxapahaw, Elon, Gibsonville, Mebane, and Whitsett.

The images range in date from around 1880 to 1936. Many focus on the communities’ rich industrial heritage, though other subjects shown include education, local businesses, and railroads, even a parade to celebrate the end of World War I. The town made a replica of L’Arc de Triomphe for the occasion, shown below.

The batch also includes images of several local mills, such as Elmira Cotton Mill, May Hosiery Mill, Aurora Cotton Mills, Whitehead Hosiery Mills, Daisy Hosiery Mill, and others.

Additionally, there are several photos of the Whitsett Institute, a co-ed school in Whitsett, North Carolina. Image subjects include students, teachers, the baseball team, the orchestra, and others.

To see all of the photos and postcards in this batch, click here. To learn more about the Alamance County Public Libraries, visit their partner page here, or their website here. To browse Don Bolden’s publications, click here.


How North Carolinians reacted to the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969

50 years ago on July 19, 1969 , the Apollo 11 entered lunar orbit and hours later on July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module the Eagle on the surface of the moon.  It was there Armstrong famously said “One small step for man, one giant step for mankind.” The moon landing was watched with bated breath by the entire nation, which had been engaged throughout the 1960s in an intense “space race” with the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.  The landing also fulfilled the promise President John F. Kennedy had made in a famous speech in 1962 that before the decade was out, America would go to the moon. 

Many resources on DigitalNC show how North Carolinians celebrated the moon landing and how they viewed it in relation to the space race.

black and white photograph of the moon above a poem

Poem written by the editor of the New Bern Mirror commemorating the moon landing

    

The front page of the New Bern Mirror published the Friday after the landing described how many of New Bern’s citizens were glued to their televisions to watch the grainy footage come back to Earth of Aldrin and Armstrong, starting off with “Like us, you’ll find it hard to believe, but there were New Bernians who didn’t have their television sets turned on Sunday afternoon and night.” and later referring to the event as the biggest thing since “Christ rose from the dead.”  The front page spread  also included a poem by the editor of the paper about the landing. 

cartoon of a man sitting at a desk and a short column about pride in the moon landing

Frank Count, a well known local columnist for the Franklin Times’ take on the moon landing.

The Franklin Times had a full page spread about the landing in their July 22, 1969 issue, pulling in not only national press materials but also including a short Frank Count column stating “Me and them…we’re mighty proud of the Ask-her-naughts and we’re mighty proud to be Americans.”  

Headline reading "Our Old Problems Remain Despite the Hope of Apollo"

Headline from the Carolina Times published after the moon landing.

Some publications took a slightly different tone; while being inspired by the scientific feat of getting to the moon, the Carolina Times, the African-American paper in Durham, noted that while it was great the United States got to the moon, on Earth there were still wars being fought, people in extreme poverty, and many other unresolved problems.  The editor closed the editorial wishing for Americans to be inspired to think differently and broader now that they knew they could reach the moon. “The moon landing undoubtedly dramatized the rapidity of change in the world and may therefore encourage new approaches, new attitudes, and new policies toward contemporary problems. In a way, this great achievement focused the mind of the entire race on a single event and said to the world what Lincoln said to the American people in 1862. ‘As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must dis-enthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country.'”

Photograph of astronaut's footprint on the surface of the moon

Introduction of the 1970 Junius Rose High School yearbook.

Showing the landing still had an impact a year later, a 1970 yearbook from Junius Rose High School in Greenville, NC compared the graduates of Rose High School to the astronauts who landed on the moon and commented on their next move to make “a giant leap” into adulthood as they leave high school behind.

This is just a small sampling of the many reactions in the newspapers in communities across the state, as well as other materials on our site related to interest in the space race and Cold War, which you can look at here.  The overwhelming feeling from almost all of them is a strong pride in being American and thus a part of this great scientific achievement and a sense that now anything was possible for the country.  


Agricultural Photographs from the Historical Association of Catawba County

farming

Laborers threshing wheat on the Carpenter farm

Agriculture is the theme of our latest digitized collection. Our partner the Historical Association of Catawba County provided photographs from the 1920’s through the 1950’s that show farm workers, mills, and the cultivation of crops from that era. There are also pictures of farm equipment and farm animals such as horses, mules, and cows. And if you have ever wondered how farmers threshed wheat, there are a few photographs that will show you how its done. Other photographs include farmers proudly displaying their crops and farm animals. While the majority of photographs were taken in Catawba county, there are pictures from other counties throughout North Carolina. To see all of the photographs in this collection click here.

 

agriculture

A man, a police officer, and two large watermelons.


Newly Digitized Photos Reveal the Historic Architecture of Edgecombe County

Hundreds of photographs, documents, and other materials have been newly digitized at DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Edgecombe County Memorial Library. This batch covers over a hundred historic homes and buildings throughout Edgecombe County and Tarboro.

An undated photo of The Barracks, a historic 19th century home in Edgecombe County.

Encompassing over a hundred locations dating from the 18th to the 20th century, this batch highlights many of the historic homes, buildings, bridges, and more found throughout Edgecombe County. Every folder found within this batch contains something different about a different house, and includes a depth of knowledge about Edgecombe County history hardly found elsewhere. For example, one folder photographs of and information about the Whitney Bridgers House that highlights its architecture style from several angles and history.

An undated postcard photo of Bracebridge Hall, known for its “architectural excellence”

Many of the other folders contain other documentation and detail topics like the specific house’s ownership history. For example, the folder for the Bynum-Sugg House has material relating to its historic preservation and need for restoration in the late 20th century. The folder for the famous Bracebridge Hall highlights how it was the 19th century home for North Carolina Governor Elias Carr in Edgecombe County, including information about its construction, design, and the stories behind certain specific rooms. Many of the folders in this batch contain both black-and-white and color photographs of the houses, as well as interior and exterior shots.

A photo of the historic marker at Peacocks Bridge in Stantonsburg, N.C.

This batch also contains photos, materials and information about other important locations besides just homes, too. A few postcards are included, like a 1909 postcard of the Baptist Church in Wilson, North Carolina. Other assorted photos are included, such as a photo of the 8th grade class from Charles L. Coon High School in 1923. There is also a photo of the historic marker placed beside Peacocks Bridge in Stantonsburg, North Carolina, as well as a brief history of its importance.

This batch introduces a wealth of knowledge about historic homes and important places in Edgecombe County, and is invaluable to our collection. To see more from the Edgecombe County Memorial Library, visit their partner page or check out their website.


Nearly 250 More Photos from Central Carolina Community College Now Online

Aerial view of the Hockaday Hall building, dated 2001.

A new batch of photos from Central Carolina Community College is now available on DigitalNC. This is our tenth batch of photos from CCCC, and it brings our exhibit A Pictorial History of Central Carolina Community College to over 3,600 photos.

This batch covers a wide variety of subjects. There are photos from the mid-1960s, when CCCC was first called Lee County Industrial Education Center, later to be renamed Central Carolina Technical Institute.  Many of these show the construction of the building. There are photos of the the Hockaday Hall building, housing the Student Center and Administrative offices on the Lee County campus of, at the time, CCTI.

An undated photo of an audience attending a student project fair in the CCCC library.

There are also photos of the CCTI Library on the Lee County campus, as well as photos of diligent students and library staffers. The amount of photos containing students from different fields studying in the library shows how important it is to CCCC students’ success. Some librarians and figureheads in the library are highlighted. Finally, there are also photos of construction of buildings on campus which would later become Wilkinson Hall. These photos date from 1960 to 2009.

To see more from Central Carolina Community College, please visit their partner page or check out their website. To see more photos like these from CCCC, check out the nearly 4,000 photos in the collection A Pictorial History of Central Carolina Community College.


Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project Materials Tell The Story of One Fayetteville Neighborhood

A partial map of the Mill Villages found in Massey Hill.

Over 120 new photos, news clippings, artifacts, and oral interviews have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of the Arts Council of Fayetteville, as part of the Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project. This project was designed to trace the history of the Massey Hill neighborhood in Fayetteville dating back into the 19th century. Located between Camden Road and Gillespie Street along Southern Avenue, Massey Hill is a neighborhood that grew up alongside the three local textile mills and inspired feelings of family and community among its long-time residents, many of whom lived their whole lives in Massey Hill.

Exterior photo of the Massey Hill Hardware Store

A photo of the Tolar-Hart Mill Water Tower in Fayetteville.

 

There is a ton of variety in this batch, giving us a vibrant image of what it was like to live and grow up in Massey Hill. Dozens of photos are included, with many highlighting life in the mills, events and celebrations that were held for holidays, and pictures of local schools and schoolchildren. A number of newspaper clippings are also found in this batch, detailing many different parts of life in Massey Hill, including interviews with local residents. One resident, Ida Belle Dallas Parker, also wrote several short stories reminiscing on her childhood and family history in Massey Hill. Finally, a number of oral histories from Massey Hill residents are included – they also discuss their personal histories growing up in Massey Hill, how they feel about the neighborhood, and what it meant to them.

Having these materials on DigitalNC is an important reminder of how we build communities in our lives and what they mean to the people who live there. To browse through other materials from the Arts Council of Fayetteville, check out their partner page or take a look at their website.


Hmong Keeb Kwm: Hmong Heritage Project Materials Now Online at DigitalNC

Ten individuals in uniform standing in a group facing forward

A photo of Hmong soldiers graduating from pilot training in November 1973

two individuals in military uniform looking at the camera

Nao Chao Lo and Nhia Thong Yang in their military uniforms, circa 2018

Over a hundred photographs, documents, artifacts, oral histories, and other materials from Hmong Keeb Kwm: The Hmong Heritage Project are now online, courtesy of the Catawba County Library. This new batch represents the first materials on DigitalNC to come from the Catawba County Library. This collection also has the honor of being the first to represent the Hmong people of North Carolina on our website.

There is a huge amount of variety in the materials in this batch. It contains dozens of photographs of physical objects to DigitalNC, including colorful embroidered material, Laotian and Thai currency, bracelets and jewelry, and more. Text materials, like personal records, newspaper clippings, and program certificates are also included. A number of photographs of Hmong individuals, their family members, and their personal lives are also found in this collection. Finally, several oral histories are also included in this collection, allowing people to tell about their experience of coming to the United States. These oral histories are both available as audio files and as written transcripts.

Having these materials on DigitalNC represents an important addition to our understanding of Catawba County, and allows us to continue in our mission to digitize materials from all communities throughout the state. To see other materials from the Catawba County Library, visit their partner page or check out their website.


WWII-era Newsletters and Railroad Photo Albums from Braswell Memorial Library Online

New materials from Braswell Memorial Library are now live on DigitalNC. Included in this batch are photo albums of trains and railroads across the United States and a newsletter produced by staff members at Sidney Blumenthal and Company’s textile mill in Rocky Mount.

A drawing of a man in a military uniform and a woman.

The May 1944 Cover of the Caromount News

When workers Blumenthal’s Caromount Mills deployed for World War II, remaining staff members created the Caromount News for Service Men and Women, a newsletter “published solely for the benefit of all former Blumenthal employees now in the service of our country.” These editions include updates for and about employees who were deployed, jokes, musings, local updates, and even a little workplace gossip. This newsletter continued to be published even after the cessation of the war; we have digitized editions through 1955. The Caromount News grew to be a community newspaper in the post-war years, capturing weddings, graduations, home purchases, town events and more in addition to workplace accomplishments and announcements.

 

Included within the bound editions of the Caromount news was a telegram from a Navy Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and accounts to the men and women of Sidney Blumenthal and Company Incorporated. In this telegram, Rear Admiral W. B. Young credits cloth made by the textile mill with saving the lives of crew members following a ship wreck on the Newfoundland coast during a blizzard. “Those who were best able to take care of themselves after 30 grueling hours in sub-zero temperature were wearing jungle cloth special winter clothing outfits. Those men possibly owe their lives to that equipment” reads the telegram.

Railfans rejoice! The other materials in this batch are all centered around railroads — functional and defunct — up and down the East Coast and even as far as Mexico and California. Documented within the albums are the first trips of several NC routes, including the Piedmont and Carolinian trains. The photos included in these eight albums span the years between 1945 and 2006.

To learn more about Braswell Memorial Library, check out their partner page or website.

 

 

 


Newly Digitized Materials from Winston Salem’s African-American Community Now Online

 

Vacation Bible School Group Photo

A group photograph taken at Shiloh Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School. June 1958.

We have added materials that capture some of Winston Salem’s rich African-American history from 1930 to 1990, courtesy of the Winston Salem African American Archive.

Included in this batch are several editions of The Columbian, the student newspaper for Columbian Heights High School, and articles from other local papers highlighting notable community members and events.

One such community member, Joseph Bradshaw was a veteran, social worker, educator and local historian, committed to preserving Black history in the city and beyond. Other articles detail firsts in Winston Salem’s African-American community: William Samel Scales opened the first black-owned bonding agency and later served as the president of Forsyth Savings and Trust. Naomi McLean opened the first black business and stenographer school in Winston Salem. Carl Matthews began the Winston-Salem sit-in on February 8, 1960. Other articles detail the 1947 Local 22 Tobacco Workers strike at the R.J. Reynolds Factory.

Color portraits of Mary Hairston and Dr. Rufus Hairston

Color portraits of Mrs. Mary Hairston and Dr. Rufus S. Hairston. Dr. Hairston was Winston Salem’s first African-American pharmacist.

Also included in these materials are color portraits of Dr. and Mrs. Rufus S. Hairston and a scrapbook of materials collected by Mrs. Hairston. The Hairstons were both alumni of Slater Industrial Academy, now known as Winston Salem State University, and active members of their community. Dr. Hairston was Winston Salem’s first African-American pharmacist, an alumnus of Shaw University, president of the National Pharmaceutical Association, and was appointed WSSU’s first alumni board of trustee member. Mrs. Hairston served as one of the first presidents of the Winston Salem Chapter of Moles, a national professional organization of women of color, and was a founding member of the Winston Salem Chapter of The Links, Inc. She was also involved in the development of Winston Salem’s first library for African-Americans and later worked in the WSSU library.

To learn more about the Winston Salem African American Archive, visit their website or partner page.