Twin City Club enjoyed extra added attraction

“[1930s pop star Rudy Vallee] leaped from the stage of the Twin City Club in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, after he spied someone hitting on his girlfriend, administered a beating, and then climbed atop the bar to accept the crowd’s plaudits. Host R.J. Reynolds Jr., the tobacco scion, kept it out of the papers.”

— From “You Call It Madness: The Sensuous Song of the Croon” (2004) by Lenny Kaye

Couples of counties do double duty

A quick quiz for Miscellany mavens:

Which two of North Carolina’s 100 counties share their names with a college in Swannanoa?

Which two with a college in Ashland, Va.?

With a college in Lexington, Va.?

With the two largest cities in a Midwestern state?

With a prominent North Carolina evangelist?

Update: Nice tries from Sunday morning’s early birds, but claiming the mythical Miscellany Cup requires perfection.

Check out what’s new to the North Carolina Collection

Several new titles just added to “What’s New in the North Carolina Collection?” To see the full list simply click on the link in this entry or click on the “What’s New in the North Carolina Collection?” link under the heading “Pages” in the right column. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog and they are all available for use in the North Carolina Collection Reading Room.

A flag unfurled, a South unflapped?

In 1868 a Wisconsin farmer and former Union army sergeant, Gilbert H. Bates, acting on a bet, set out to demonstrate that “the Southern people had resumed their affection for the flag and the Union.” Carrying a large American flag, Bates walked from Vicksburg, Miss., to Washington — alone, unarmed and dependent on the good will of his former enemies for food and lodging.

Bates marched for three months, often along Sherman’s route, with barely a discouraging word thrown his way. (Mark Twain had been among the skeptics: “I expect to see him coming into Washington some day on one leg and with one eye out and an arm gone.”)

Bates made several stops in North Carolina. These are excerpts from his memoir, “Sergeant Bates’ March, Carrying the Stars and Stripes Unfurled, from Vicksburg to Washington.”

“At the outskirts of [Charlotte] I was met by the Mayor and City Council. The Mayor tendered me the hospitalities of the city. I was then driven in a carriage to the Mansion House. Several hundred people had assembled in front of the hotel, and as I sprang out of the carriage….a war-worn veteran of the Confederate army, still suffering from his wounds, proposed three cheers for Sgt. Bates, the United States flag and the white man’s government….I remained in Charlotte to have a pair of shoes made.”

“[When] I reached Concord…they gave me a serenade and called me out for a speech….”

From Greensboro, Bates took a side trip to Raleigh by train. “At Mebansville [as Mebane was known until 1883] about 50 school boys had assembled to see me. Some had served in the war, and one of them, only 15 or 16, had lost a leg. One boy said: ‘Sergeant, we would fight for that flag as quick as you would, but you folks up North don’t believe it, do you?’ ‘Well, boys’, said I, ‘many people in the North still honestly believe you hate the flag…. but they have been misled by bad men and bad newspapers.’ ”

“[Back in Greensboro] several Confederate soldiers insisted on my remaining and spending the day with them.  All the unpleasant memories of the war were dropped. The verdict of battle was recognized by all…. We all felt that we were citizens of one country…. inseparably united.”

Hyde County, Lake Mattamuskeet, Windmill


The possibility of using wind energy is being discussed in many circles around North Carolina. Here’s an image copied from a print in the North Carolina Collection to prove that it isn’t necessarily a recent idea. The image (P1-48-L19-M44, 84-57) is inscribed “Early and late method of grinding corn in Hyde Co. N.C. Mill on edge of Lake Mattamuskeet.”

Frank Marchant, NC Photographer

We’ve recently uploaded several real photograph postcards taken by Frederick “Frank” Marchant (1872-1942), who took documentary-style photographs of the area around Hamlet and Rockingham.

Marchant was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Hamlet, North Carolina in the early 1900s, where he was originally employed by the Seaboard Air Line Railway.  Massengill suggests that Marchant was drawn to Hamlet because it was the hub for the SAL railway, and as a result, was an active town with many technological advancements.

After working for the railroad company for several years in different positions, including as a civil engineer and a photographer, Marchant quit the company in 1907 to open a photography studio in town.

In addition to photographing towns and railroads, Marchant also did a series of real photo postcards about the construction of the dam at Blewett Falls.  The Great Pee Dee Electric & Power Company started work on the dam in 1905.  The dam was finished in 1911, and but water wasn’t flowing until 1912, when the power plant first started producing hydroelectric power.  The power plant and dam were built to supply power to the nearby mills, railways, and telephone and telegraph lines. Below are three photo postcards showing the power plant under construction, a water wheel unit at the power plant, and a view of water almost coming over the dam.




You can view Marchant’s postcards of Blewett Falls, Hamlet, and Rockingham on our North Carolina Postcards Website here.