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 by Katie McNeirney


History of Rockingham County Families, Baseball, and More Published Online

From the booklet celebrating the 150th year of Madison, NC.

From the booklet celebrating the 150th year of Madison, NC.

The Digital Heritage Center just finished digitizing a large batch of materials from Rockingham County Public Library as part of the collaborative Rockingham County Legacy project, which gathers materials from various contributors relating to the history and heritage of the county.

Chief among the items are local and family histories. One volume, entitled Roots and Branches, contains research from the Genealogical Society of Rockingham & Stokes Counties on various families in the region. However, the majority of the research was conducted and collated by local historian John T. Dallas.

Several new family histories have been added as well. The Alcorn/Alcon, Blair, Dallas, Downs, Gates, Grubb and Settle, Jarrell, Stephens, Thomas, and White families all have newly published volumes containing a profusion of Rockingham/Stokes county genealogical research.

Numerous advertisers dressed up in historic clothing to celebrate Madison's long history.

Numerous advertisers dressed up in historic clothing to celebrate Madison’s long history.

Several town and other regional histories have also been published: Smithtown, Draper, Leaksville, Spray, the Mont View/Galloway Farm, and Sugartree Primitive Baptist Church in Virginia, which also contains information on the Dallas family and Wesley Chapel Church. Additionally, there is a Rockingham County employee directory from 1960, a book of employees of Marshall Field and Company Manufacturing Division who served in World War II, and the fifth volume of the history of Wentworth High School series. The booklet celebrating the 1968 sesquicentennial celebration of the town of Madison (pictured above) showcases the rich history of the town and includes many excellent historic photographs.

There is also a booklet on the history of the Saura, a small Siouan tribe who lived in the Rockingham and Stokes counties area. The booklet was written as an introduction to the Native American tribe for students in Rockingham county schools. The volume, though slightly dated, is nevertheless a useful resource for both the history of the tribe and as a record of how the history of Native people was taught to students in that time. The tribe itself is no longer extant but persists at least in name in the Sauratown mountains of Stokes county; the range includes the popular destinations Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock State Park. For more information about the Saura, also known as the Cheraw, visit the NCpedia page.

Lastly, baseball! John Dallas compiled a two-volume history of Reidsville, NC’s short-lived minor league baseball team, the Luckies. They are also mentioned in the Sugartree Church volume, linked above.

To explore more items from the Rockingham County Legacy project, please see the exhibit 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.


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. For close analysis of how the women of the class of 1914 conformed (or not) to Victorian standards, read the Elizabeth College Photo Gallery page from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

  • 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.


Stanly County High School Yearbooks Now Online

Yearbooks from eleven different Stanly County schools are now available on DigitalNC.org. They come to us from the Stanly County Museum in Albemarle.

Senior class mascots from Ridgcrest High School The Fledgling

Senior class mascots from Ridgcrest High School’s The Fledgling, 1948.

Albemarle, N.C. Schools

  • Albemarle High School: 1941, 1949
  • Endy High School: 1952, 1955
  • Ridgecrest High School: 1948
  • Millingport High School: 1948

New London, N.C. Schools

  • New London High School: 1955
  • North Stanly High School: 1964

Norwood, N.C. Schools

Oakboro, N.C. Schools

  • West Stanly High School:  1964
  • Oakboro High School: 1950

Stanfield, N.C. School

  • Stanfield High School: [1950]

The Stanly County Museum has shared a large number of items through DigitalNC. They can be viewed here.


Henderson, N.C. Junior Woman’s Club Scrapbooks from Perry Memorial Library in Vance County

Clockwise from upper left: JWC (Junior Woman’s Club) 1989, JWC 1978, JWC 1991, JWC 1974, Week of the Young Child (1979-1986), JWC 1993, JWC 1952, JWC 1975, Bicentennial Trees (1977).

Collage of the covers of the recently digitized Henderson Junior Woman’s Club scrapbooks (not to scale). Clockwise from upper left: JWC (Junior Woman’s Club) 1989, JWC 1978, JWC 1991, JWC 1974, Week of the Young Child (1979-1986), JWC 1993, JWC 1952, JWC 1975, Bicentennial Trees (1977).

The recently digitized scrapbooks from Perry Memorial Library capture both the activities of the Henderson Junior Woman’s Club and the distinct personalities of the women who created them. Each of the nine scrapbooks has its own quirks, whether it’s the Vance County Bookmobile carved into the wooden cover of the 1952 volume, the delightful illustrations in volumes 1974 and 1975, the entirely Charlie Brown-themed 1978 volume, or the lovely needlepoint scene adorning the cover of the 1989 volume. It is clear that many painstaking hours went into crafting these informative and artistic records of club activities and achievements.

Page from Vance County Week of the Young Child Scrapbook.

Page from Vance County Week of the Young Child Scrapbook.

Most of the scrapbooks document the community service work and fundraising the club did over the previous year; they also contain information on clubwomen. There are two scrapbooks devoted to special topics, however: the Vance County Bicentennial Trees Book and the Vance County Week of the Young Child Scrapbook. The Bicentennial Trees Book was made by the Vance County Bicentennial Commission, whose goal was to plant 1776 trees in Vance County to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the United States. It documents the trees that were planted as part of this project. The second specialized volume, the Vance County Week of the Young Child scrapbook, chronicles the eponymous annual event during 1979-1986. Sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the celebration was first established in 1971 and continues annually in April. Its purpose is to celebrate young children and teachers, families, and programs while affirming the importance of early childhood (defined as birth through age 8). The scrapbook contains photographs, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia from the celebrations in Vance County.

To view all of the scrapbooks from Perry Memorial Library, click here.

 


Histories of Winston-Salem Women’s Clubs now Online

We Are Proud to RememberWomen’s history features prominently in newly digitized items from Forsyth County Public Library. The materials come from four groups: the American Association of University Women, the Winston-Salem Junior Woman’s Club, the Junior League of Winston-Salem, and the League of Women Voters of Winston-Salem Forsyth County. Though similarly named, each of the four groups operated with distinct objectives and activities.

These materials from the Winston-Salem chapter of the AAUW date from 1948 to 2006. They cover the history and manifold activities of the branch since its founding in 1914. The items — including newsletters, by-laws, meeting minutes, membership directories, reports, brochures, and photographs–document the AAUW’s work to promote the equality and success of women in North Carolina.

Of particular note is the History of the North Carolina State Division American Association of University Women, 1927-1947, compiled and written by Carrie B. Wilson, club historian. Although the report primarily focuses on the history of the organization on a state level, it does include brief notes on the individual chapters that preceded the state division.

Selected annual books chronicle the activities of the Woman’s Club from 1930-2013. Each yearbook includes a roster, list of board members, and other assorted club information–including a song called “The Clubwoman’s Hymn.”

The Junior League of Winston-Salem - 50th Anniversary Newssheet

The Junior League of Winston-Salem – 50th Anniversary Newssheet

In 1923, the Junior League of Winston-Salem became the first North Carolina chapter of the Association of Junior Leagues of America. The women of the organization devoted themselves to improving the lives of women and families through voluntarism of all types. Their efforts are documented in the annual reports, newsletters, brochures, and programs from performances and events; these digitized materials date from 1923 through 1996. The 50th and 60th anniversary editions of the chapter’s newsletters in particular are great resources for anyone interested in the League’s activities and early Winston-Salem history.

Over forty years of bulletins (1952-1992) comprise the bulk of these materials. The newsletters document the various political, social, educational, and local issues of concern to League members over the years. Also included is hand-drawn sheet music and lyrics for a club song called We Are The League and information from the group’s annual meetings.

To browse all materials from Forsyth County Public Library, including photographs from early Winston-Salem African American schools, please click here.


Early African American Schools in Winston-Salem

Forsyth County Public Library recently contributed two collections of materials relating to African-American schools in the Winston-Salem area.

Atkins High School basketball team, 1951-1952. It was the first of the school's three consecutive state championship wins (1951-1952, 1952-1953, and 1953-1954).

Atkins High School basketball team, 1951-1952. It was the first of the school’s three consecutive state championship wins (1951-1952, 1952-1953, and 1953-1954).

These photographs provide a rare view of early African American high schools in Winston-Salem. The first school, Columbia Heights (also known as Columbian Heights) Colored Grade School, began as a three-room building in Winston-Salem around 1905. In 1913 it was enlarged, and in 1917 Columbia Heights Grade and High School became the second high school for black students in Winston-Salem. In 1922 and again in 1929, the booming school was renovated and expanded. Still it was too small, and in 1931 the high school students moved to the brand-new Atkins High School (so named for the principal of Columbia Heights, Simon Atkins). The Digital Heritage Center has digitized the last two class portraits from Columbia Heights High School before students moved to Atkins High School, as well as photographs from Atkins High School, 1932-1965.

For more African-American school history in Winston-Salem (including more on the historic context of black education in the South), see the National Register of Historic Places document for Atkins High School.

Memorial Industrial School PosterThe Memorial Industrial School was one of only two black orphanages in North Carolina.  The Colored Baptist Orphanage Home, as it was known, opened in 1906 to serve homeless children in the Belview area of Winston-Salem, though it moved eight miles north in 1928. It operated until 1971, providing students with academic as well as agricultural and domestic education.

DigitalNC now hosts materials dating from 1926-1964 that document the history of the school and its pupils, including commencement programs and annual reports. Some of the richest information comes from the applications to the Orphan Section of the Duke Endowment. These requests include lists of boards of directors, demographic information of the children living at the orphanage, facility and library information, education, and other information. The school’s campus, situated on 425 acres, was also funded by The Duke Endowment as well as by the local Reynolds and Gray families. Also useful are the floor plans and blueprints of parts of the school, mostly dating from an auction sale.

The Forsyth Historic County Resources Commission has more information on the history of the Memorial Industrial School.

To browse all materials from Forsyth County Public Library, including newly digitized materials from Winston-Salem Women’s clubs, please click here.


UNC School of the Arts Student Newspapers Online

NC Essay Masthead, March 9, 1970.

Flower Power! NC Essay Masthead, March 9, 1970.

Agnes de Mille, 1973.

Agnes de Mille, 1973.

The N.C. Essay from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C. is now available on DigitalNC. The newspaper provides the students’ record of the school’s history in the first decade of its operation, from 1965 to 1976. Many NCSA alumni graced the pages of the N.C. Essay long before stardom…including Raleigh native Randy Jones (the cowboy from The Village People) who wrote several articles for the N.C. Essay in 1973.

One of the articles Jones composed was regarding the school’s collaboration with the famous dancer and choreographer Agnes de Mille, who frequently worked with the school’s dance students. De Mille was most widely known as the choreographer for the 1943 Broadway musical Oklahoma!, though she continued her musical theater work in Carousel (1945), Brigadoon (1947), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), and 110 in the Shade (1963), among other works.

1972 Dance Cover

Unnamed dancer, 1972.

De Mille’s legacy lives on in the numerous N.C. Essay articles that mention her. The school even dedicated a performing arts theater to her in 1975; the theater is still in use. For photos and an article from its opening performance series, click here.

The N.C. Essay also provides a history of the North Carolina Dance Theatre (now the Charlotte Ballet), the oldest professional dance company in the state. The company was originally formed in 1971 by Robert Lindgren, dean of the school of dance, with a grant from the Rockefeller foundation.

In the eleven years of newspapers that are now available, the following professional dancers are mentioned: Margaret Anders, Charles Devlin, Kathleen Fitzgerald, Georgiana Holmes, Kenneth Hughes, Rick McCullough, Janie Parker, Anne Patton, Gerald Tibbs, and Nolan T’Sani. Robert Ward, former North Carolina School of the Arts chancellor and musician, is also mentioned. Finally, actors Gary Beach, Tom Hulce, and Ira David Wood III also appear.

To explore these newly available resources, please click here.

 


Scrapbooks by Granville County Historian Now Online

Dairy Princesses for Warren, Granville, and Vance counties are crowned in 1956.

Dairy Princesses for Warren, Granville, and Vance counties are crowned in 1956.

Now available on DigitalNC are seven scrapbooks from Granville County Public Library. These volumes belong to the larger Hays Collection, a large collection of Oxford and Granville County scrapbooks compiled by local historian Francis B. Hays over the span of more than 75 years.

DigitalNC now has digitally published through volume 43 of the Francis B. Hays Collection. The items are grouped by topic: Oxford and Granville Men and Women, Granville County Family Histories, Granville County Marriages Oxford History, By or About Frances B. Hays, Granville County Histories, and Granville County Schools.

Photograph accompanying an article on Mystery Farm No. 43, which belonged to the Currin family.

Photograph of Mystery Farm No. 43, which belonged to the Currin family.

The two topics most recently updated are Granville County History and Granville County Schools.

  • Granville County History: The fifth and final volume of general county history features a series of clippings from the local newspaper’s Mystery Farm contest. The newspaper would post aerial photographs of unidentified local farms, and members of the community would write in and give information about the farm. The newspaper would then run a story identifying the farm and the contest winner. For more mystery farms, see the volume starting at page 144.
  • Granville County Schools: Volumes I-VI trace the development and wide expansion of mostly public schools in Granville County from 1911-1958. The scrapbooks include newspaper clippings
    Photographs from 1925 of the newly built Creedmoor School, Stem School, Stovall School, Wilton School, Berea School, and Oak Hill School in Granville County.

    Photographs from 1925 of the newly built Creedmoor School, Stem School, Stovall School, Wilton School, Berea School, and Oak Hill School in Granville County.

    and photographs, as well as occasional memorabilia like the 1954 commencement program from Oxford High School. The latter pages of Volume VI cover Granville County church history, especially of articles and pamplets from numerous Baptist churches in the region. It also includes the address by William A. Devin at the Grassy Creek Baptist Church Bi-Centennial Celebration in 1954.

 

For more information about the Francis B. Hays Collection or to browse by scrapbook topic, click here.