New Towns Added to NC Postcards

This past month, we’ve added images from several new towns to the North Carolina Postcards online collection.  New towns include:

Micro, Johnston County
Jonesboro, Lee County
Ruffin, Rockingham County
King, Stokes County
Fuquay-Varina, Wake County
Elm City, Wilson County

My favorite new town name is that of Micro – according to Powell’s North Carolina Gazetteer (p. 321), the town was incorporated in 1899 under the name Jerome.  In Bladen County, there is another town named Jerome, so in 1905, Johnston County’s Jerome was renamed to Micro in order to avoid confusion.

According to Powell’s Gezetteer, the name Micro is explicitly referring to the town’s geographic size and population.  The 13th Census of the United States, Abstract with Supplement for North Carolina lists the town’s population as 61 in 1900 and 74 in 1910.  The United States Census Bureau lists the 2007 population as 514.

The Venus Flytrap In North Carolina

Yesterday’s newspaper article about Venus Flytraps reminded me of how much I was fascinated by the plant as a child. I mean, what isn’t fascinating about a plant that eats flies? The article also piqued my interest on what resources the North Carolina Collection had on this carnivorous plant. In case you’re wondering, I’ll list them below.

Electric transients accompanying excitation in venus’ flytrap / by Edgar Darden. Thesis (M.A.)–University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1949.

Venus flytrap. [pamphlet by the Plant Conservation Program in our state document collection].

Carnivorous plants / by Nancy J. Nielsen. [Written for children.]

Aphrodite’s mousetrap : a biography of Venus’s flytrap with facsimiles of an original pamphlet and the manuscripts of John Ellis / E. Charles Nelson ; with a “Tipitwitchet” postscript by Daniel L. McKinley.

Coker, William Chambers. “The distribution of Venus’s fly trap (Dionaea Muscipula).” Found in Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society Journal. July 1928. Vol. 43, Nos. 3-4. NC Collection Call No. C506 E43 v. 43.

Roberts, Patricia Ruth and H. J. Oosting. “Responses of Venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula) to factors involved in its endemism.” Found in Ecological Monographs. April 1958. Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 193-218. NC Collection Call No. C570.5 E19 v. 28.

Stuhlman, Otto and Edgar B. Darden. “The action potentials obtained from Venus’s flytrap.” Reprinted from Science. 5 May 1950. Vol. 111, No. 2888, pp. 491-492. NC Collection Call No. Cp583.37 S93a.

Stuhlman, Otto. “A physical analysis of the opening and closing movements of the lobes of Venus’ fly-trap.” Reprinted from Torrey Botanical Club. Bulletin. Jan., 1948. Vol. 75, No. 1, pp. 22-44. NC Collection Call No. Cp583.37 S93p.

Wood, Thomas Fanning. “Insectivorous plants of the Wilmington regions; read by Dr. Thos. F. Wood, chairman of the section on botany of the Historical and Scientific Society of Wilmington.” Found in At home and abroad. September 1882. Vol. 3, No. 6. NC Collection Call No. C050 A86 v. 3 no. 6.

Wood, Thomas Fanning. Interesting description of the Venus fly trap, an insectivorous or flesh eating plant, found near Wilmington, N.C. [n.p., n.d.] NC Collection Call No. Cp583.37 W87i.

Boatright, Mody D., Robert B. Downs, and John T. Flanagan. The Family saga and other phases of American folklore. Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1958. NC Collection Call No. C398 D75f. [Contains a story titled, “Uncle Heber’s Flytrap,” which was recorded in eastern North Carolina.]

North Carolina Collection Clippings Files, Pre-1975
SUBJECT: Venus Fly-trap
CALL NO.: CR917 N87
REEL NO.: 44
VOL. NO.: 174
PAGE(S): 387-400

North Carolina Collection Clippings Files, 1976-1989
SUBJECT: Venus Fly Trap
CALL NO.: CR917 N87 1976-89
REEL NO.: 19
VOL. NO.: 75
PAGE(S): 678-684

Where the Heel?, Part XI

I know that you’ve been waiting for it, so here it is: the 4th slogan-based “Where the Heel?” Take a look at the image below. The name of the location has been removed, but do you know where the “Crossroads of Tomorrow” is (or was) located? I think that a number of North Carolina locations have a legitimate claim to the title, but only one published this particular version of the slogan. As always, please leave your guesses as comments and good luck!

The Goose Wing Club

We recently uploaded the above postcard to the North Carolina Postcards website.  The card is titled, “Start of Hunt, Goosewing Club, Manteo, N.C.,” and shows a partial view of a hunting lodge and two men on a cart getting ready to head out for the day’s hunt.  This is the only image of the Goosewing Club in the Durwood Barber Collection of North Carolina Postcards, and I was curious to find out more about this group.

The Southern Historical Collection holds some of the Goose Wing Club Records (3951-z) from 1931 and 1933, which detail the group’s by-laws and meeting minutes.  The Goosewing Club was incorporated in New York in 1931 in order to purchase and develop land in North Carolina for hunting, fishing, and other forms of recreation.  The group chose two locations in North Carolina that we know of – they purchased 1,440 acres of land on Bodie Island, Dare County, in 1931, and in 1933 they purchased 46.9 acres at the Skyco Lodge in Nag’s Head.

According to Article III of the group’s 1931 By-Laws, the initiation fee for annual members was $2,272.73 with annual dues set at $150, making it quite an expensive (and by extension, exclusive) club to join.  I was unable to find any information as to whether the Goosewing Club is still active, and if not, when they disbanded.

This postcard from the Skyco Lodge is dated ca. 1928, which predates the Goosewing Club’s ownership of the property.  It is possible, however, that the building behind the horse and cart is the lodge on the land they purchased in 1933.

The County Collection (P3) in the North Carolina Collection’s Photographic Archives had several negative images of the Goosewing Club in Manteo, Dare County.  One of the negatives appears to be what the “Start of Hunt” postcard was printed from.  Below are a few selected images that provide a clearer sense of what the land and lodge looked like in the 1930s.

Rowan County’s Natural Walls

Discovered in Rowan County in 1794, these naturally occurring geological formations were at one point thought to be man-made. The “walls,” which are in a straight line, seem to be “made of stones carefully cut into blocks, fitted and held together by mortar of various colors” (Powell’s Encyclopedia of North Carolina). During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, many individuals speculated that these formations were built by prehistoric inhabitants. By the late 19th century, however, geologists had determined that the formations were “traprock”—formed by magma (made up of basalt, diabase, and gabbro) that had cooled and formed distinctive joints. Scientists also discovered that these “walls” existed in at least a dozen North Carolina counties.

The image above is from the North Carolina Collection’s Photographic Archives (P1-80-N285w). In addition, the Collection has several pages of newspaper clippings regarding the walls and the mystery surrounding them.

Flirtatious Postcards

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I thought I would share a few of our more flirtatious postcards.  These cards present humorous images of couples as well as some fairly witty innuendos, but none of the cards carry any amorous messages written on the backs of the cards!  Instead, the messages give updates on the weather, business, errands to the drugstore, etc.  An excerpt taken from the card above, “There’s Someone I Look Up To in Mt. Pilot,” reads, “Business slow and weather Bad and I feel very much like going home.”  It sounds as though things were not as steamy in Mt. Pilot as the card’s image suggests, but I think the medium of the postcard typically discourages romantic declarations.

Krispy Kreme Challenge

This past weekend I attended the Krispy Kreme Challenge, an event in Raleigh which has become an extremely popular tradition in a very short time. Founded by NCSU students in 2004, the race had 12 runners the first year. This year there were 5,519!

Crowds near starting line

The Challenge can be summed up as this: “Run. Eat doughnuts. Run more.” More specifically, runners start at the NCSU Belltower, run 2 miles to the Krispy Kreme on Person and Peace Streets, eat a dozen glazed donuts, and then run the 2 miles back to the Belltower…all in under an hour. The annual event benefits the North Carolina Children’s Hospital and, while not officially affiliated with Krispy Kreme, the store supports the event by producing 1/3 ton of sweet and airy glazed breakfast goodies for challengers to consume on the day of the race.

Runners eating donuts

Many of the racers came in costume; I saw superheroes, a gorilla, Elvis, swimmers, fairytale characters, doughnut- and coffee-people, Dr. Seuss characters, and Santa, as well as people running with kids, pets, strollers, and shopping carts. Some of the materials from the event (including a Krispy Kreme hat!) will be added to the NCC’s Local Ephemera Collection.

Dressed as Superheroes