Viewing entries posted in June 2015

More Scrapbooks Documenting the Finer Carolina Contest Online

Asheboro Finer Carolina Goals

Asheboro Finer Carolina Goals, 1954

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.

Old Buildings Torn Down, Asheboro, 1956

Old Buildings Torn Down, Asheboro, 1956

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.

Finer Carolina Workers, Asheboro, 1956

Finer Carolina Workers, Asheboro, 1956

More High School Yearbooks from Eastern North Carolina Just Added to DigitalNC

Mr. and Miss School Spirit, 1965, Junius H. Rose High School

Mr. and Miss School Spirit, 1965, Junius H. Rose High School

We just finished working with East Carolina University to digitize over 60 high school yearbooks from the eastern part of the state. While predominantly from Pitt County, there are also yearbooks from Beaufort, Craven, Edgecombe, Franklin, Lenoir, and Wilson Counties, as well as the first yearbooks we have on the site from Greene, Halifax, and Washington counties. Below is a list of the schools represented, and the years added.

These are the first high school yearbooks contributed from East Carolina University. You can view more yearbooks, by school, on our North Carolina Yearbooks page.

Granite Falls High School Yearbooks Now Online

From The Boulder, Granite Falls High School, 1977.

From The Boulder, Granite Falls High School, 1977.

We are pleased to announce a new partner, Granite Falls History and Transportation Museum. The museum is located in the second oldest home in Caldwell County, which dates from the 1790s. The town purchased and restored the home, which belonged to Andrew Baird, one of the founders of Granite Falls.

Thanks to our new partner, thirty yearbooks from Granite Falls High School are now available online, dating from 1947-1977.

For more information about Granite Falls History and Transportation Museum, visit their website.

View Anson County Property Maps and Anson Technical Institute Yearbook Online

Educational robot from Anson Technical College's 1984 yearbook.

Educational robot from Anson Technical College’s 1984 yearbook.

The Digital Heritage Center recently uploaded a sole (but wonderful) yearbook from Anson Technical College, now South Piedmont Community College. This 1984 volume contains informative photographs of the students and community, as well as description of the programs and specialties offered. It even includes a full-page photograph of the school’s HERO robot (which stands for Heathkit Educational RObot).

Additional maps or plats surveyed and drawn by Frank S. Clarke were also added, joining those already online. These recent additions depict properties in and around Lilesville, a town near Wadesboro in Anson County.

To view all items from South Piedmont Community College, click here.

New Photographs from the Benson Museum of Local History Now Available

A new batch of photographs from the Benson Museum of Local History has been added to DigitalNC. These photographs depict a wide variety of people and places, and range in time from the late 1800s, when the family from whom the town of Benson received its name was alive, up to the Bicentennial of the American Revolution.

Men outside of a store in Benson, N.C.

A group of men standing outside of a store in Benson, N.C.

Many of the individuals captured in these photographs appear in multiple images, and certain surnames, such as Barefoot, Parrish, and Godwin, make regular appearances.

The family from whom the town of Benson received its name

The family from whom the town of Benson received its name

These photographs taken as a whole provide a rich and interesting view into the town of Benson. Multiple street views of the town show the progression of building and development, and the photographs of regular people going about their business gives a sense of the culture and everyday lives of the town throughout its history.

World War II Veterans' Program

World War II Veterans’ Program

For more information about the town of Benson, N.C. and what the Benson Museum of Local History has to offer, visit their website. DigitalNC also has a number of other items from the museum, including yearbooks, scrapbooks, and a city directory.

Site Plans for the Bellamy Mansion Now Available Online

The Bellamy Mansion Museum has provided a number of site plans for their building to be digitized and added to DigitalNC. These plans show details of the building’s floor layout, utility centers, ventilation, heating, and cooling systems, lighting layouts, and mechanical details of the building. All of the plans were drawn up in part by Boney Architects, a family firm located in Wilmington. Consulting engineers were also involved in making the plans. Roughly half of the documents were done by David Sims & Associates, another Wilmington firm, and the others were done by Cheatham & Associates. All firms are still in business today.

Third Floor Mechanical Plan of Bellamy Mansion

Third Floor Mechanical Plan of Bellamy Mansion

The plans were all drawn up in 1992, after Preservation North Carolina had come into ownership of the building. They began an intensive restoration project  that sought to repair damage from a fire that had been set by arsonists twenty years earlier. The project was a success, and today the house is open to the public. For more information on the Bellamy Mansion Museum, visit their website.

New Material in the R.J. Reynolds and Katharine Smith Reynolds Correspondence Exhibit

New pieces of correspondence from Katharine Reynolds Smith and the Reynolds children have been digitized and uploaded to DigitalNC. This sizable batch of letters and postcards includes both personal correspondence and business transactions between the years of 1906 and 1938. These recent additions round out the earlier batch, with letters to addressees beginning with letters M-Z. In these letters Mrs. Reynolds discusses everything from politics to the planning and construction of the Reynolda House compound and school.


Part of a letter to Mrs. Reynolds discussing a political speaker

The children’s correspondence predominantly contains postcards from various family members and letters to their father while he was in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and a hospital in Philadelphia. Many of the postcards are from their mother while she was on her honeymoon throughout Europe with her second husband, Edward Johnston.

Letter from Mary Katharine Reynolds to her father

Letter from Mary Katharine Reynolds to her father

Postcard from Mrs. Reynolds to Mary Reynolds, 1921

Postcard from Mrs. Reynolds to Mary Reynolds, 1921

Buckingham Palace

Postcard from Mrs. Reynolds and Mr. Johnston to Mary and Nancy Reynolds, 1921








All of the material from the R.J. Reynolds and Katharine Smith Reynolds Correspondence Exhibit is provided by the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. For more information on the Reynolds family, visit their website, or DigitalNC’s exhibit page for this collection.

Historic Women’s College Yearbooks and More from Charlotte Mecklenburg Now Online

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library sent us quite a few yearbooks from the early 20th century. The majority come from Presbyterian College for Women (later Queens College and Queens University), Elizabeth College, and Mecklenburg Female College. These yearbooks highlight the friendships built among the young women, as well as their concerns and interests.

Git-More Chafing Dish Club, Presbyterian College for Women, 1905.

Git-More Chafing Dish Club, Presbyterian College for Women, 1905.

These 21 yearbooks, dating from 1904-1934, come to us from Queens University of Charlotte and its several precursor schools. According to NCpedia, the women’s school in Charlotte was founded in 1857 and known in sequence as: Charlotte Female Institute, Seminary for Girls, Presbyterian College for Women, and Queens College. It merged with the South Carolina school Chicora College in 1930 and was known as Queens-Chicora College for almost a decade. The school began accepting both genders in 1946, and in 2002 became Queens University of Charlotte.

The yearbooks are full of personality, with delightful drawings and quirky clubs. Some favorites: Git-More Chafing Dish Club, Gitchimanito Club (i.e. “get ye a man or two”), The Suffragettes, Old Maids’ Club, Babes in the Wood, Tom Thumb Crowd (for students who measured five feet or less), the Red-Headed Stepchildren, and Witches’ Club. Many volumes also include delightful drawings.

Witches Club, Presbyterian College for Women, 1910.

Witches Club, Presbyterian College for Women, 1910.

Jockey Club, Presbyterian College for Women, 1908.

Jockey Club, Presbyterian College for Women, 1908.

Mustard Pickles, The Elizabethan, Elizabeth College, 1914.

Mustard Pickles, The Elizabethan, Elizabeth College, 1914.

Elizabeth College, founded in 1897, was another early women’s college in the Queen City. The school merged with Roanoke College for Women in 1915 and moved to Salem, Virginia until 1921, when it burned and was never re-established. The Elizabeth College buildings in Charlotte endured, housing Presbyterian Hospital and the School of Nursing until it was torn down in 1980. Two yearbooks, 1914 and 1915, add to the existing eight yearbooks on DigitalNC dating from 1901. These two most recent The Elizabethan yearbooks are as charming as they are informative. Like The Edelweiss volumes from Presbyterian College for Women/Queen’s College, the club descriptions and photographs show the women both playfully and earnestly asserting their personalities, friendships, and interests. Some favorite clubs are Anti-Fat Club, Do As You Please, and Mustard Pickles. There’s also some analysis of how the women of the class of 1914 conformed (or not) to Victorian standards.

  • Mecklenburg Female College

This 1868 volume is part yearbook, part literary magazine, as is characteristic of many early campus publications. This 1868 volume is both the first and penultimate volume; the school for women was only in existence for two years. The buildings were rented from the North Carolina Military Institute (later the Carolina Military Institute, also called the Charlotte Military Institute). For more information on the former Mecklenburg Female College, a broadside distributed by the college and digitized by DocSouth is particularly useful.

Several other items were also digitized from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, including yearbook volumes 1961 and 1963 from King’s College, a small school in Charlotte founded in 1901.

Adding to our high school yearbook collection, East Mecklenburg High School years 1953 and 1954 are now available on DigitalNC. Long Creek High School, 1947 is also available.

The final item from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is a program from the 16th Women’s History Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony by the Charlotte Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Incorporated. The four inductees were Carolyn A. Flowers, Shirley L. Fulton, Vi A. Lyles, and Joyce D. Waddell. The program also includes a list of all members of the the Women’s History Hall of Fame.

You can view all of the items digitized for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library on DigitalNC here.

Local Histories from Rockingham County Now Online

American Tobacco Company plant in Reidsville NC

Postcard showing The American Tobacco Company cigarette plant in Reidsville, North Carolina.

We’ve recently finished digitizing and publishing online more local history materials from Rockingham County Public Library. This is another batch coordinated as part of a 2014-2015 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) EZ Digitzation Grant, and we’re excited to share these with you.

Periodicals added with this batch include Insights to Jerusalem, a newsletter published by the Jerusalem United Holy Church of America in Reidsville, NC. These volumes, from 1990-1994, include church news, recipes, short essays, and more.  Old Rockingham County Magazine, also published during the 1990s, is a variety magazine with stories, historical anecdotes, household hints, ads, and local lore.

There are also a number of additional volumes of research on a variety of Rockingham County residents and topics by local historian John T. Dallas.

The remaining items include materials about the American Tobacco Company (The Story of Lucky Strike, and a postcard of the plant in Reidsville), two reports on civil rights in Reidsville, and a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings and ephemera documenting Washington Mills.

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