New Towns Uploaded to North Carolina Postcards

During the month of August, we uploaded several new towns to North Carolina Postcards:

Holly Springs, Wake County
Hookerton, Greene County
Huntersville, Mecklenburg County
Palmyra, Halifax County
Rock Branch, Harnett County (later became Olivia)
Rockwell, Rowan County
Rosemary, Halifax County (later became Roanoke Rapids)

O. Max Gardner…A Two University Star?

Did you know: O. Max Gardner, former North Carolina governor, captained both the NC State and UNC football teams during his time in higher education? Gardner played football as an undergrad at State; he continued his athletic pursuits while attending law school at UNC. He is still the only person ever to head both teams; I imagine it’ll stay that way, unless TJ Yates develops a taste for Raleigh nightlife.

Tribute to an ‘attractive Indian princess’

Indera Mills was incorporated in Winston-Salem in 1914. According to the company’s Web site,  founder Francis Henry Fries took the name Indera from “an attractive Indian princess…whom he met while on vacation with his family in Egypt in 1907.”

In the beginning, Indera produced knitted slips and vests, union suits, knee warmers, and bathing suits. Today it specializes in thermal underwear.

In 1997, Indera Mills began outsourcing sewing to Monterrey, Mexico, and closed its factory in downtown Winston-Salem. The remaining work is done in Yadkinville.

This celluloid advertising piece, about 6 inches wide, was intended for display at store counters.

Rock Branch, North Carolina

Rock Branch (Harnett County) was home to a health resort named Eden Colony, which was developed by W.W. Giles. John Hairr provides a brief history of Eden Colony in his book Harnett County, A History. In 1906, Giles bought 1,200 acres of land, divided it into 60 plots on both sides of the railroad tracks for dwellings, and left a large open section of land for daily exercise.

According to Hairr, the early success of the resort community was based on dewberry farming and heavy advertising. The postcard of Eden Colony above shows two views of the town, including a cottage and a view of the town, including the railroad tracks, the post office, and some green space. Giles would advertise the community with pamphlets, booklets, postcards, all in addition to the big sign that was visible from Rock Branch’s train depot.

Just before World War I, the demand for dewberries dropped significantly – in 1913, the town was renamed to Olivia, in honor of W.J. Olive, who introduced flue-cured tobacco to the area in 1912.

There are several other postcards showing dewberry farms in the Sandhills region in our online collection. You can view them here.

Were-cheetahs in Charlotte!

Shape-shifters in Durham. Mobsters in Wilmington. Biker gangs in Wake County. Women on the run in North Carolina mountains. Lots of romance on the coast. Readers of our sister blog, Read North Carolina Novels, know that North Carolina has been the setting for all kinds of fictional tales. Just as the themes and subject matter of these novels have been all over the map, so have the locations-almost. Try as we might, we have not found a novel for each of our 100 counties. Gentle readers, can you help us? Take a look at this list, and let us know if you’re aware of a novel set in any of these counties:
Alexander, Alleghany, Beaufort, Camden, Cherokee, Columbus
Franklin, Gates, Greene, Harnett, Lee, Lenoir, Lincoln
Mitchell, Perquimans, Pitt, Stokes, Union, Vance, Washington, Yadkin.

Raleigh sees the light (and doesn’t like it)

“In 1932 the Junior Chamber of Commerce proposed that Raleigh adopt daylight saving time. A hearing was held, supporters attended in force and city commissioners voted unanimously in favor of DST — to take effect only two days later. No other locality south of Baltimore had taken this step.”

“State government, however, rejected DST outright. Federal offices also remained on standard time, as did colleges, hotels, trains, airlines, and other enterprises catering to people from out of town. The News & Observer declared the city had been ‘two-timed.'”

“Confusion mounted, protests were raised, and commissioners quickly ordered another hearing. This time the preponderance of speakers called for repeal. Commissioners switched back to standard time that very night at midnight, only four days after daylight saving had begun.”

–Condensed from “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious History of Daylight Saving Time” by David Prerau

Registering For Classes…Pre-Internet

For the start of a new academic year here’s a look back to a time before Student Central let you register for classes and order textbooks online. This photograph from the 1970s shows students in front of Woollen Gym waiting to register for Fall semester courses. You’ll still need to pick up your books in person, though. Welcome back!

Charlotte Hornets

Having grown up in the Piedmont, I know little about Charlotte’s revolutionary history, which is, it seems, rather rich. During the American Revolution, General Cornwallis, experiencing staunch resistance from the citizens of Charlotte during his 1780 southern campaign, complained that the city was “a veritable hornet’s nest of rebellion.” This was publicized by proud Charlotteans, who nicknamed the city “The Hornet’s Nest.”

Since then, several sports teams in Charlotte have adopted the moniker. Charlotte’s NBA franchise was not the only team to use the name; baseball fans might remember the minor-league farm team that was connected with the Washington Senators until 1973. And for one brief year, the Charlotte Hornets were a participating team in the short-lived World Football League. I guess it goes to show that there’s a lot more in a mascot than meets the eye–well, maybe not the Phillie Phanatic.