Viewing entries posted in September 2014

Yearbooks from the Museum of the Albemarle now Online

Weeksville High School Yearbook 1958

From the 1958 Bow Wow, Weeksville High School

Twelve yearbooks for Pasquotank, Camden, Gates, and Perquimans Counties, and a class reunion book are now online, contributed by the Museum of the Albemarle.

With this addition, DigitalNC holds quite a long run for Elizabeth City High School: 1921-1958, with just 6 years missing (1932-1933, 1939-1942).

You can also view all items from the Museum of the Albemarle.

More History of Robeson Community College Just Added to DigitalNC

Robeson Community College Scrapbook ExcerptWe’ve recently helped Robeson Community College add a number of additional items documenting the school’s history to DigitalNC. Among those are:

Coverage of events, profiles of staff, changes in curriculum, and advice to students are common in the newsletters, which were published by the school under a variety of names.

The scrapbooks include a number of newspaper clippings documenting the College’s beginnings as an extension of Fayetteville Technical Institute (FTI). Some of the first classes offered were in the evening, and were weighted toward agricultural interests like Ornamental Horticulture, Farm Business Management, Tractor Electrical Systems, and Fertilizers and Lime. New courses were gradually added, including those in trades, allied health care, and business, as the College grew quickly and became independent from FTI.

All of these items, as well as RCC yearbooks, can be seen on DigitalNC.



Wilkes Community College Items Now Online–Plus a History of MerleFest

In addition to the excellent music reviews and the hottest fashion tips of 1999, the recently uploaded student newspapers from Wilkes Community College offer an insider’s history of the annual music festival MerleFest. MerleFest began in 1988 and honors the memory of Eddy Merle Watson, son of music legend Doc Watson. What started out as a one-time event to fund a garden for people who are blind (Merle Watson Garden of the Senses) is now a huge source of income for the county and region. It is estimated that the “traditional plus” festival brings over $10 million to the region (source: Wilkes Journal-Patriot). Watch the festival grow through the years in these photographs and articles from the newly-digitized Cougar Cry student newspaper.

To view all items from Wilkes Community College, including yearbooks from 1968-1995, click here.

Scrapbooks from the Raleigh Fine Arts Society now Online

Raleigh Fine Arts Society Scrapbook, 1982Scrapbooks from the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, dating from 1965-1992, are now available on DigitalNC.

The Society, which began in 1964, is a volunteer organization supporting North Carolina arts and artists. Members serve as docents at area institutions, coordinate fundraising for various causes, and hold annual events like the NC Artists’ Exhibition and a High School Literary Contest. The group also holds a number of social events and art exhibits.

These scrapbooks document the Society’s history from its early art exhibitions at the former downtown Olivia Raney Library* to its role in local events like Artsplosure. The earlier scrapbooks include newspaper clippings related to women’s changing role in society. Trips that the members have taken together over the years, to places in North Carolina as well as South Carolina and Washington, D.C., are documented through photographs and memorabilia.

Told throughout the 1970s and 1980s is the story of the Society’s multi-year effort to restore the historical carousel at Pullen Park in Raleigh, an effort that ended successfully in 1982.

You can view all of the scrapbooks, which were contributed by the Olivia Raney Local History Library, on DigitalNC.Raleigh Fine Arts Society Scrapbook, 1979


* Thanks to a reader for correcting us on the location of these exhibitions.

Early issues of The Wake Forest Student now on DigitalNC

Wake Forest Student title page 1882Beginning in 1882, the Euzelian Society at Wake Forest University published a literary magazine, The Wake Forest Student, addressing timely topics on campus and beyond. We’ve just added issues dating from 1882-1891 to DigitalNC.

The stated purpose of the Student was “to advance the educational interests of the State, to encourage and develop the taste for literary effort in the students and alumni of the College, and to be a means of instruction and pleasure to all who may read it.” (1882, p. 32)  Issues begin with several essays by local authors. Following those are reprints of well-known stories and poems. The “Editorial” section contains traditional editorials along with news items from the College and North Carolina. Alumni were asked to write in, giving a brief account of their activities to be included in each installment.

As a side note, the first issues were edited in part by Thomas Dixon, “who later gained infamy for his novel that decried Reconstruction and equality for African-Americans and formed the basis for the film “The Birth of a Nation.” ( The very first issue includes an essay on slavery in America.

You can also view yearbooks, catalogs, and commencement programs from Wake Forest University on DigitalNC. For now, we’ll leave you with this early sentiment of school pride – and lament – from one of the editors.

Wake Forest Student excerpt, October 1887 p. 39

Images, a Rare Newspaper, and More now Online from the Round House Museum in Wilson, NC

Statue of a Seated Man, Oliver Nestus Freeman

Statue of a Seated Man, Oliver Nestus Freeman

We’ve recently partnered with the Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum to add items from their collection to DigitalNC. We visited the Museum back in June, and learned about Mr. Freeman and the impact he had on Wilson, NC. Freeman, a local builder and stonemason, incorporated found materials into many of the objects and structures he created. A number of these still exist around town. Among them is the Round House, which is now a museum dedicated to local African American history and culture.

A photographer in Wilson Library’s Digital Production Center shot a number of tools and objects from the Museum. We also scanned photographs of Freeman, his family (including one of Freeman’s bears, Topsy), and his creations.

Another interesting item included in this batch was an 1907 recommendation for Freeman based on his work as a stonemason at The Presidio in San Francisco. In it, Freeman is described as “Reliable and a strictly temperate man who [the recommender, J. K. Dalmas] would employ in Preference to nine tenths of the Mechanics who have worked here.”

The Museum holds a photocopy of a rare issue of an African American newspaper from 1897 – The Wilson Blade. Our friends in Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection helped us try to find out more details about this paper. We believe it was only published for a few years (perhaps 1897-1900), by S. A. Smith. We also believe this was the same S. A. Smith who was elected principal of the Wilson Colored Graded School in 1896 (The Daily Times, Wilson, NC, 1896-05-29). The issue contains items typical of papers from this time period: state, local, and personal news; advertisements; a train schedule. There’s also an article on a meeting of the Freedman’s Aid Society and Southern Education Society.

Special thanks goes to Wilson County Public Library, whose staff helped facilitate getting these items online. You can view all of the items digitized for the Museum on DigitalNC.

Additional Cary High School Yearbooks Added to DigitalNC

Photo from the 1917 ChsiteA new partner, the Page-Walker Arts & History Center of Cary, has just contributed 6 additional yearbooks for Cary High School, including the earliest volume on our site to date (1915).

Cary High School was originally located in downtown Cary, in the building that now houses the Cary Community Arts Center. The photo above, from the 1917 Chsite, shows quite a different view of Cary than what we think of today.

You can now view 22 yearbooks for Cary High dating from 1915 to 1962 on DigitalNC in our High School Yearbooks collection.


United Confederate Veterans Ledger now Online

Confederate Veterans Ledger Page

Page 32 lists the results of an election of officers.

Our longtime partner, Wilson County Public Library, recently dropped off a very interesting ledger for digitization. Now on DigitalNC, the ledger for the Jesse S. Barnes Camp of the United Confederate Veterans dates from 1906-1923 and contains minutes, rosters, and other information .

Camp members faithfully recorded their activities, changes in membership, as well as the passing of many of their Camp members. There are also several documents related to the national United Confederate Veterans organization. Especially of interest to genealogists are 11 sheets containing the “Record of Lineal Descendants of Confederate Soldiers,” collected in 1918 by a Wilson chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

You can view all items from Wilson County Public Library here.

Scrapbooks, Yearbooks, and a Grand Achievement for Wayne County Public Library

From Carver High School in Mount Olive, N.C., 1961.

From Carver High School in Mount Olive, N.C., 1961.

The Digital Heritage Center staff just uploaded several items that brought our partner Wayne County Public Library past a milestone: over 1000 items on DigitalNC! This summer we’ve been busy digitizing a range of Wayne County materials, including school yearbooks and all types of scrapbooks. The scrapbooks range from 4-H club records (pigs galore!) to several on the Major-League Baseball player and pickle salesman Ray Scarborough.

Most recently uploaded are the Wayne County War Memorial scrapbooks from 1923-1925. The two scrapbooks cover the Wayne County 1924-1925 Scrapbook pagehistory of the building from inception to completion, and are an excellent record of post-war sentiment in Wayne County. The building, which opened in 1925, was a monument to the Wayne County soldiers who fought in the first world war. For almost 80 years, it functioned as a community center, administrative office building, and recreational facility (an indoor swimming pool was added in 1935). It also served as a monument not only to World War I soldiers but to honor those who served in subsequent wars as well. Sadly, the building burned down in 2004; in its place the Wayne County Veterans Memorial was constructed. For more information on the memorials, visit the Wayne County Veterans Memorial website.

Also digitized are several yearbooks from two Wayne County high schools. The African-American Carver High School in Mount Olive, NC now has six volumes from 1959-1964 available, and Pikeville High School in Pikeville, NC has six new volumes from 1958-1961.

For all items from Wayne County Public Library, click here.

Drink Bevo and Be Healthy: Near-beer During Prohibition

Monday Matchup

Here on our blog, we occasionally feature “matchups” that showcase relationships between different items in our collection. Today’s matchup? A photograph contributed by Rockingham Community College and several advertisements from the Roanoke News and The Alamance Gleaner newspapers.

“Probably no natural demand of the human system is satisfied with keener or more genuine relish than that of quenching the thirst on a warm summer’s day with some cool tasteful beverage. Such a satisfying drink is Bevo, the new non-intoxicating beverage just placed on the market by the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association of St. Louis.” American Brewers’ Review, 1916

One of our most popular blog posts to date is about prohibition, focusing on the iconic images of the era showing alcohol seizures and bootlegging stills. Today’s post instead looks at marketing of the near-beer alternative, Bevo. We learned about Bevo after noticing the cargo stowed in the truck shown below:

Image of Truck Hauling Bevo

Postcard with image of truck loaded with Bevo, Courtesy Rockingham Community College

In the 1910s and 1920s, brewing companies under the press of prohibition sought non-intoxicating alternatives to beer. Bevo was a cereal-based beer produced by Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, beginning in 1916 through 1929. We located several interesting advertisements for Bevo in some of the local newspapers. (Don’t drink the germ water!)

Bevo Advertisement, Roanoke News 1920-01-29

Bevo Advertisement, Roanoke News 1920-01-29


Bevo Advertisement, Roanoke News 1919-09-04

Bevo Advertisement, Roanoke News 1919-09-04


Bevo Advertisement, Alamance Gleaner 19190227

We’re not sure, but this may refer to Anheuser-Busch turning over his plant for meat packing during World War I (The National Provisioner, Volume 60, page 16). Bevo Advertisement, Alamance Gleaner 1919-02-27

Bevo was touted for its refreshment and purity as well as its wholesomeness and nutrition. Advertisements took advantage of the healthful connotation that cereals had gained around this time, in part due to the efforts of J. H. Kellogg. It was also–of course–marketed for its similarity to beer: “Bevo has been served in beer bottles to beer drinkers for two hours continuously without their discovering that it was not the usual beer” (American Brewers’ Review, 1916). Whether or not those beer drinkers were sober when duped isn’t mentioned…

Bevo did include a small amount of malt liquor, a fact that some prohibitionists felt disqualified it for sale under federal law. We located an argument in the Biennial Report of the Illinois Attorney General (p. 340-341, 1916) which presents some of the objections to Bevo as well as Anheuser-Busch’s counterargument that the lack of fermentation made it saleable. Most localities must have felt Bevo was an acceptable alternative, because it was at least initially wildly popular until its formula changed due in part to the Volstead Act (Bootleggers and Beer Barons of the Prohibition Era, p. 29).

While you unfortunately can’t try Bevo today, you can visit it. In St. Louis, near the area where the beverage was produced, stands Anheuser-Busch’s iconic “Bevo Mill” windmill. The entire surrounding area is known as Bevo Mill, a testament to a German-American’s attempts at keeping his beer company afloat and popular during prohibition and World War I.

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

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