Pennant that reads "White Lake, North Carolina," and includes images of water, Spanish moss, a boat, and a Ferris wheel.
Of uncommon origin (Japan) and material (rayon) is this showy souvenir from the Nation’s Safest Beach.

Cruising beneath the Spanish moss is the Lilly III, last of the lake’s fondly-remembered tour boats.  It was decommissioned in 1995.

Front license plate that reads "Hamlet, The Hub of the Seaboard."

“No Carolinas train tour can omit quaint Hamlet, just east of Rockingham. It was here that the rails of the Seaboard Air Line crossed and headed into the four cardinal directions. At the turn of the 20th century, more than 30 trains a day paused on journeys to New York, New Orleans, Norfolk and Florida.

“ ‘Hamlet was like the Charlotte airport is today,’ says Miranda Chavis, who manages the rail museum beside the restored 1900 passenger station built in grand Queen Anne Victorian style. ‘Small town, big railroads.’

“It was one of the nation’s earliest tourist traps. There were seven hotels and many boarding houses for transferring passengers in the town nicknamed “Hub of the Seaboard.” Shops and restaurants catered to visitors. There was an opera house where tenor Enrico Caruso once performed. Lavish accommodations were to be found at the Seaboard Hotel, which fronted the tracks.

“Hamlet, pop. 6,000, is still a railroad town. Amtrak stops twice a day, and Seaboard’s successor railroad CSX has a massive switching yard just outside town. In front of the Hamlet station, the tracks still cross and trains constantly thunder through, attracting train watchers. In the book ‘Guide to North American Railroad Hot Spots’ by J. David Ingles, Hamlet is listed as the prime watching spot for train fans in North Carolina.”

— From “Love of railroads spans the Carolinas” by Mark Washburn in the Charlotte Observer (May 26, 2013)


Sport magazine cover with photo of Charlie Justice in football uniform and helmet

Not every striking photo of Charlie Justice was taken by Hugh Morton. Credit for this one from 1949 belongs to the remarkably prolific magazine shooter Ozzie Sweet.

The cover story by Lewis Burton of the New York Journal-American promises “The Truth about Charlie Justice” but addresses only glancingly those “persisting rumors about fabulous sums his touchdowns command…. A distinctive feature of the whispers is that they discount the altogether mundane possibility that Charlie might actually crave a college education….”


Paper soda jerk hat with Cheerwine logo

“Generally,” Wikipedia explains, “soda jerks wore iconic white paper or cloth caps called ‘soda jerk caps,’ button-up shirts with a bow tie and an apron as their uniform….”

In 1932 the White Castle hamburger chain, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, patented the style of paper hat worn by its employees and formed the Paperlynen Co. to manufacture them.  Among Paperlynen’s many outside customers: Pepsi-Cola , Piggly Wiggly and Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1952 presidential campaign.

The hatband inside this Cheerwine cap dates it as 1968.

Several new titles were just added to New in the North Carolina Collection. To see the full list simply click on the link in the entry or click on the New in the North Carolina Collection tab at the top of the page. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog, and all titles are available for use in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Pinback button featuring photo of Alex Sink and the words "Governor 2016, Alex Sink."

“Born to Chinese parents in what is now Thailand, Eng and Chang Bunker became famous throughout the world as ‘Siamese twins.’ After years of being displayed at exhibitions, they settled in the mountains of North Carolina in the 1830s. They married two local sisters and had a total of 21 children.

Adelaide ‘Alex’ Sink is the great-granddaughter of Chang Bunker. Sink was the chief financial officer of Florida from 2007 to 2011. She also ran for governor of Florida in 2010. She grew up in the Mount Airy home built by her great-grandparents Chang and Adelaide Bunker….”

— From ” ‘Siamese Twins’ Still Fascinate, Two Centuries Later,” a Tell Me More interview with Sink on NPR (June 5, 2013)

The North Carolina Collection includes holdings related to Chang and Eng Bunker and its Gallery includes a permanent exhibition on the Bunker twins.

Decal of Fields of the Wood, including illustration of the monument“On June 13, 1903, Ambrose Jessup Tomlinson spent much time in prayer at the ‘fields of the wood’ in Cherokee County and had a revelation that the local Holiness church was the Church of God as prophesied in the Bible….

“In 1940, Tomlinson established a monument in Murphy at the site of his revelation. Before he died in 1943, he inscribed into the hillside in rock the ‘world’s largest Ten Commandments.’ The site today  is a Bible park operated by the Church of God of Prophecy….”

— From This Day in North Carolina History


Pinback with image of Crash Craddock and words "Billy Crash Craddock Fan Club."
“Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock, born in 1939 in Greensboro, earned the nickname ‘Crash’ while a running back on his high school football team.

“The young, handsome Craddock was signed by Columbia Records to compete with Elvis. During 1959 he had a No. 1 record in Australia and was greeted there by screaming crowds when he toured with Bobby Rydell, The Everly Brothers, Santo and Johnny and the Diamonds…”

— From his biography at the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame 

After his teen idol career stalled, Craddock made a successful transition to country. In 2003 Greensboro named a bridge after him. 


Pinback with image of Charlton Heston holding musket and words "Vote Republican, Vote Death"

“Charlton Heston told more than 5,000 National Rifle Association members [at their convention in Charlotte] that he wants to serve an unprecedented third term as their president to complete a mission: ensuring Al Gore’s defeat in November…

“As Heston concluded his speech, he was handed a vintage musket, then gave an encore of his performance at his first NRA convention in 1990 in St. Louis, when he intoned the Second Amendment.

“‘So as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take our freedom away, I want to say those words again for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore.’

“Lifting the musket over his head, Heston grumbled: ‘From my cold dead hands!'”

— From the Associated Press (May 20, 2000)




Front of flier promoting Grateful Dead concert at Charlotte Coliseum

Verso  of flier promoting Grateful Dead concert

Between 1971 and 1995 the Grateful Dead played 27 shows in North Carolina — that’s Charlotte (12), Greensboro (7), Durham (5), Chapel Hill (2), Raleigh (1).

This concert flyer isn’t fancy, but it’s packed with useful Charlotte-specific info for itinerant Deadheads, including North Carolina’s ban on nitrous oxide.

YouTube has the whole June 11, 1991, show  — although “VIDEO TAPING IS PROHIBITED!!!” — and Setlist has the set list.


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