Viewing entries posted in June 2023

More Perquimans Papers Publicize Hometown Charm

The mast head of The Perquimans Weekly
A cartoon of a woman in a sun hat, sunglasses, and bathing suit holding beach supplies. She is standing on a beach under the sun. The caption at the top reads, "Summer's arrived!"
From the June 24, 1999 issue of The Perquimans Weekly.

This year, the arrival of summer has brought another batch of The Perquimans Weekly newspaper from Hertford, N.C. These papers are available thanks to our partner, the Perquimans County Library, and thanks to our staff at our Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) location, who digitized them. This batch expands the digital availability of The Perquimans Weekly into the 21st century with issues from 1994-2003.

One of the enduring qualities of this paper is the way it focuses on “Perquimans County and its people,” as the masthead claims. In this span of years, the paper’s sections include “Community,” “Perspectives,” “Religion,” and “Schools,” almost all of which are comprised of hyper-local stories, including “Fifth graders study ways to prevent pollution” and “Cable service poor, residents say.” There’s even a prominent business feature on three young entrepreneurs selling lemonade in front of the courthouse. As mentioned in a previous blog post, there is also frequent coverage of baseball star Jim “Catfish” Hunter, a pitcher for Kansas City and then the New York Yankees from 1965-1979.

A color photo of two children sitting at a lemonade stand and a third child holding a cardboard sign that reads, "Lemonade, 50 cents."
“Young entrepreneurs” from July 15, 1999. The three salesmen are Aaron Lane, Justin Maarschalkerweerd, and Zack Harrell.

You can see all available issues of The Perquimans Weekly here, and you can browse all of our digital newspapers by location, type, and date in our North Carolina Newspapers collection. To see more materials from the Perquimans County Library, you can visit their partner page and their website.

Best Yearbook Names from Forsyth County Ranked

A huge batch of 65 yearbooks is now on our site thanks to our partner, the Forsyth County Public Library. These yearbooks span 60 years, from 1913 to 1973, and include some of the high schools of Winston-Salem that are now closed. This batch also has one edition of The Yellow Jacket (1955) from Carver High School and The Maroon and Gold Yearbook (1953) from Atkins High School, two of the few historically Black high schools in the state that remained open through school integration.

Since there are so many yearbooks in this batch, there is a wide assortment of creative yearbook titles—some of which are stronger than others. As an alumna of R.J. Reynolds High School, I’ll admit that I have some bias toward the Black and Gold, but even I have to acknowledge that it’s a pretty generic name (in this batch alone, we’ve also got The Maroon and Gold from Atkins, the Blue and White from Old Town High School, and the Blue and Gold from Griffith High School).

Rather than opt for the usual school colors-based title, here are the top five yearbooks that aimed for something a little different.

A black cover of a yearbook with faint gold writing that says "The Keyhole" and "1949."
The Keyhole, 1949

#5: The Keyhole (Rural Hall High School)

I like that this team of young yearbook editors took a philosophical approach to their title. Like looking through a keyhole, a yearbook can only give a limited picture of what the culture and experience of Rural Hall High School was like. They continue this slice-of-life theme on the inside of the yearbook as well with this comical drawing featuring some of their classmates.

A black yearbook cover with a silver diamond. The text on the front reads, "The Iliad 1961."
The Iliad, 1961

#4: The Iliad (Southwest High School)

There’s something so quintessentially high school about being assigned The Iliad, possibly reading it, and then using it as a metaphor for the obstacles you face (a move perhaps only topped by a comparison of your personal journey to The Odyssey). This literary homage is made even better by the fact that the mascot for Southwest was the Trojan, meaning that this yearbook likely describes the siege and fall of the school by means of wooden horse.

A beige yearbook cover with the golden seal of Salem Academy in the top left. In green cursive letters, it says, "Quill Pen, 1960."
Quill Pen, 1960

#3: Quill Pen (Salem Academy)

Third place on this not-at-all subjective list was initially selected because of its overlap with the editorial column of James Mackintosh Qwilleran, a fictional detective and journalist who writes “The Qwill Pen” in the mystery series The Cat Who… by Lilian Jackson Braun. However, based on the uniforms required for yearbook photos, it does also seem possible that the students of Salem Academy really were writing with quills.

A brown, leathery yearbook cover with a brass coat of arms in the middle. Also on a brass plate are the words, "Dress Parade 1929."
Dress Parade, 1929

#2: Dress Parade (Oak Ridge Military School)

As someone with no military experience, when I initially picked this title, I had a different mental image of what the “dress parade” might include. However, given the fact that students at Oak Ridge did have to wear their uniforms on display for the yearbook, it still seems like a really fitting title. Plus, this edition has some cool woodblock prints and this one inexplicably tiny photo of a gazebo.

A blue yearbook cover with a gold emblem of a light sconce hanging above the text on the left. The words read, "Ye Olde Towne Crier, 1955."
Ye Olde Town Crier, 1955

#1: Ye Olde Towne Crier (Old Town High School)

I don’t even know where to begin with this absolute chef’s kiss of a yearbook title. I love the old-timey spelling. I love the idea that a yearbook is the modern equivalent of a person who yells out the town news. I love the font choice and the inclusion of “Ye.”

Old Town High School experimented with a couple of names before this (see Blue and White and The Log), suggesting that it might take a few tries before you can land on the perfect name. The icing on the cake is that every time I read it, I can hear the opening notes of Lil Nas X’s 2019 hit “Old Town Road” in my mind. (Sadly, Old Town High School was not located on Old Town Road, though such a road does exist in Winston-Salem).

You can decide for yourself which titles are best by looking through the full batch of yearbooks, available here. You can also browse all of our digital yearbooks from Forsyth county and beyond in our North Carolina Yearbooks collection. To see more from the Forsyth County Public Library, you can visit their partner page and their website.

Yearbooks from Henderson County Show Off School Uniforms

A black-and-white photo of six students wearing metallic dance uniforms and standing in a line, holding onto the hips of the person in front of them.
From the 1957 Wildcat from Dana High School

Twenty-one more yearbooks from Henderson county have been added to our site thanks to one of our newest partners, the Henderson County Education History Initiative (HCEHI), as well as the Hendersonville High School Alumni Association. These yearbooks span from 1913 to 1972 and include materials from eight different schools in the area: Flat Rock High School, Etowah High School, East Henderson High School, Fletcher High School, Hendersonville High School, Mills River High School, and West Henderson High School.

A color photo of representatives from several sports teams standing in a semi-circle around a cheerleader and some items in a school gym. The items include pom poms, a megaphone, a football, basketball, and baseball bat. Most of the players are wearing blue and white uniforms.
From West Henderson’s The Falcon [1970]

Though this batch of yearbooks covers so many different eras of high school throughout the 20th century, one consistent element among several editions is a focus on uniforms. The 1970 edition of The Falcon, for example, shows a representative from the school’s various teams showing off their athletic uniforms. This 1970 cheerleading uniform is a bit of a departure from the cheerleading uniforms of the 1950s, as evidenced by this squad from Mills River High (though the dance teams’ preference for shiny uniforms seems to be evergreen).

You can see all of the yearbooks in this batch here. You can also explore all of our digital yearbooks by school, location, and date in our North Carolina Yearbooks collection. To learn more about HCEHI and their work, you can visit their partner page and their website. To see more materials from the Hendersonville High School Alumni Association, visit their partner page and their website as well.

Additional Issues of The Front Page from 1987-1996 Now Online

Black and white image of June 10, 1994 issue of The Front Page with photographs of the Pride parade.

In honor of Pride Month we’re happy to announce additional issues of The Front Page are now online. These issues date from 1987-1996 and are added to issues already available from 1979-1986.

A Raleigh newspaper by and for the LGBTQ+ community, The Front Page covered national and local news. The paper’s tagline, “Celebrate – Active – Educate!,” reflects reporting on local social gatherings, issues that inspired action, and national and local news. Headlines are alternatively devastating and uplifting with coverage of hate crimes, discrimination, and the AIDS epidemic as well as community support, political victories, and legal triumphs.

Each June the paper covers Pride Month events. Parades, rallies, and festivals all celebrate the community amd commemorate what is broadly considered the seminal Pride Month event – a parade on June 28, 1970 on the 1-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

The paper has been added with kind permission from the publishers and thanks to efforts by staff at the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Duke University. Click here to view the entire run of The Front Page.

Go Wild With 41 Burke County Yearbooks

A red yearbook cover with a cartoon tiger squatting and juggling balls that spell the word "Impersonator."
Cover of the 1956 Impersonator

A batch of 41 yearbooks from Burke county has just been added to our site thanks to our partner, the Burke County Public Library. This batch ranges from 1948-1973 and includes yearbooks from 11 schools: George Hildebran High School, Valdese High School, Drexel High School, Glen Alpine High School, Oak Hill High School, Morganton High School, Hildebran High School, the North Carolina School for the Deaf, Grace Hospital School of Nursing, and Salem High School.

A gold drawing of a snarling wolverine against a black background.
From the 1965 Calvacade

One thing that many of the Burke county yearbooks have in common is a shared admiration for animal mascots. In addition to the adorable tiger seen on the 1956 edition of the Impersonator from Valdese High School, you can’t overlook the endearing little guy on the front of the 1965 Calvacade from Drexel High School. (Though you may think he is a funny bear or perhaps a fox, further investigation reveals he is, in fact, a wolverine.) This set also includes a fighting eagle, a turkey, wildcats, bulldogs, and one fancy horse giving a knight a lift.

You can browse all yearbooks in this batch here or look through all of our digital yearbooks by school, location, and date in our North Carolina Yearbooks collection. To see more from the Burke County Public Library, you can visit their partner page and their website.

The Journal of Rockingham County history and genealogy Now Available!

Thanks to our partners at Rockingham Community College, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has digitized and made The Journal of Rockingham County History and Genealogy publicly available for research and general viewing as well.

Initially, the journal was published semi-annually (1976-2005) but is currently being published annually. When viewing the collection you can see the shift in publishing frequency. Inside the covers of this journal you will find the history of historical landmarks, maps, funeral and cemeteries along with general connections among families in and around the Rockingham County, NC area.

To view more genealogy journals from across North Carolina, click here!

Remembering Fritz & Other Beloved Citizens of Transylvania County

A view of Brevard's West Main Street in 1925. Lining either side of the street are  two-story brick buildings and cars that resemble Model Ts.
West Main Street in Brevard, N.C., in 1925, also known as Fritz’s old stomping grounds.

More materials from the Transylvania County Library have recently been added to our site, including several issues of Brevard-area newspapers from the early 20th century, a set of telephone directories, and a couple of yearbooks. It is thanks to this batch of newspapers that the life of one of Brevard’s beloved community members was brought to light.

A short article entitled, "Fritz is dead."
From The Transylvania Times, March 10, 1932.

Fritz was “the famous Nobby Shoppe cat,” “well known among the business houses of Brevard” and “petted by everyone.” He was, according to his obituary, “the object of much admiration on account of his enormous size and his beauty.” Sadly, Fritz succumbed to illness, but his obituary shares front page real estate of The Transylvania Times with a feature on the Lindbergh baby and updates on the county tax penalty—in other words, he was a big deal. (Then again, this front page also features a story about Ralph Woodfin, a farmer who found two “freak eggs,” or an egg within an egg—known today to happen because of a counter-peristalsis contraction).

Fritz’s home, the Nobby Shoppe, was a popular women’s store on West Main Street and a frequent advertiser in The Transylvania Times. In the 1930s, the shop seemed to specialize in ladies’ hats, which sold for $1-$2.95. They also sold “frocks” and “triple crepe dresses” in an expansive selection of sizes.

A white cat lounging in a yard next to a white shed, a tall bush, and another wooden structure.
A cat lounging at the H. R. Bradley House in Transylvania County (likely not Fritz himself).

You can read more about the noteworthy community members of Transylvania County in the three newspapers just added to our site: The Transylvania Times (issues from 1887, 1932, 1953, and 1967), the French Broad Hustler (issues from 1893, 1894, and 1896), and the Brevard News (issues from 1905 and 1923).

You can explore the two editions of Brevard High School’s Brevardier (1972 and 1973) included in this batch here or browse our entire collection of North Carolina Yearbooks.

The full list of telephone directories included in this batch can be found here. These include the names and numbers of local businesses and individuals across the county from 1952-1984.

To see more materials from the Transylvania County Library, you can visit their partner page and their website.

Family Photographs, 18th Century Land Grants, Goldsboro Newspapers, and Much More Now Available on DigitalNC!

Thanks to our partner, Wayne County Public Library, a batch containing 18th and 19th century land grants for some of the earliest settlers of Wayne County; photographs of individuals protesting segregation; scrapbooks of materials detailing the history of Goldsboro City Schools; Goldsboro newspapers; family photographs; history of The Cultural Movement African Dance Company; and much more are now available to view on our website.

A portion of the materials in this batch were digitized by staff during a community scan day at the Wayne County Public Library. Using materials brought in by community members during the event, the Wayne County Public Library Community Collections exhibit has been added to DigitalNC.

Among the materials brought to Wayne County Public Library’s community scan day was a collection of family photographs spanning from circa 1880s to circa 1950s. Snippets of boating adventures, pets, children playing, architecture, and more can be found throughout the record. A small selection of these fascinating photographs can be viewed below.

A small child standing in a doorway. The child is wearing a light colored dress.
Two individuals dressed in light colored tops and dark colored skirts standing close to one another posing for the picture. Behind them are large magnolia trees.
Two individuals posing close together with trees and a cleared lawn with adirondack chairs behind them.
Two individuals standing above a pit with sticks and an unknown substance. The person to the right is wearing a hat, shirt, vest, and pants and is holding what appears to be a long handle. The person standing to the left is wearing a light colored shirt and pants.
Individual holding a baby in their arms. Standing next to them is a small child.
An individual holding a baby.
Collection of Family Photographs

To explore the Wayne County Public Library Community Collections, please visit the exhibit page.

To view more materials from Wayne County Public Library, please visit their contributor page here.

To learn more about the Wayne County Public Library, please visit their website linked here.

To view more photographs, please view our Images of North Carolina collection linked here.

Bulletins, Photos, Histories & More Available from First Presbyterian Church of Mount Holly

A black-and-white photo of First Presbyterian Church of Mount Holly. The church building is primarily brick with a set of white columns at the front entrance.
First Presbyterian Church of Mount Holly. This building was erected in 1927 according to one of the histories.

Our North Carolina Community Contributors collections have expanded to include materials from First Presbyterian Church of Mount Holly. This batch includes several types of items relaying the history of the church and the broader community, including bulletins, photos of church leaders, guest books with lists of visitors, and short histories of the church. These materials span most of the history of First Presbyterian, beginning around 1890 and carrying through the present day (c. 2017).

In addition to providing information about the church’s history and participation in the Mount Holly community, this collection of bulletins may prove useful for genealogists interested in the Gaston County area. The bulletins frequently list a directory of church staff, including Sunday School teachers, fellows, and scouts. Weekly activity leaders and other members of the congregation are frequently listed as well.

You can browse all of the materials in this batch here or by navigating to the First Presbyterian Church of Mount Holly digital exhibit. You can also explore all of our collections from North Carolina Community Contributors here.

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