Our partner, the Moore County Library, has recently contributed another newspaper title to Digital NC: The Yankee Settler. This issue of the Southern Pines paper from March 23, 1898 has several briefs detailing local happenings as well as world news.
One interesting snippet from the front page is this article advertising a pamphlet on consumption, or as we know it today, tuberculosis (TB). Back in 1898, consumption was one of the leading causes of death, and it had only just been discovered that it was caused by contagious bacteria rather than a genetic predisposition. Still, doctors were mostly at a loss for how to treat the disease; it would be another 30 years before penicillin was discovered and another 15 after that before scientists found an antibiotic that actually killed TB.
Instead, medical minds and entrepreneurs of the early twentieth century tended to treat sufferers with fresh air. One such man was James Walker Tufts, who founded the nearby resort at Pinehurst. Apparently, Tufts was excited by the environment in the North Carolina sandhills, which were described in 1906:
“It is doubtful there is any place in the United States where persons brain-weary and nerve-worn rally or make as rapid progress toward health and vigor. The weather bureau in Washington has observed much warmer than points north and south in winter probably due to the sandy soil, which retains heat and, being a great absorbent of water, prevents evaporation that would otherwise cool the air.”
The resort at Pinehurst officially opened in 1896, making the area a destination for anyone prescribed restfulness and fresh air. Even without the front page news, there’s no doubt that the disease and its treatments were top of mind for residents of Southern Pines, Pinehurst, and the surrounding area.
You can see all the materials from the Moore County Library on their partner page and their website. You can also sort through our entire collection of North Carolina Newspapers by type, date, and location.