Holiday link dump: Anarchists to preservationists

— The Asheville Citizen-Times offers a nicely done page of local historical photos. A 1943 shot raises the question: Might there also have been a Colored Transportation Co., or was that purpose adequately served by the back of the White Transportation bus?

— Also in the Citizen-Times: lots and lots of coverage of May Day vandalism. And here an anarchist calls for “Solidarity with the accused!”

— Preservationists set their sights on Edenton’s grand but neglected Pembroke Hall, circa 1850.

— Lincoln County Historical Association impatiently  bypasses state historical marker process to honor former Air Force chief of staff.

— Does Penderlea, the Pender County farm community created under the New Deal,  belong on the National Register of Historic Places?

— Archives and History publishes 25th anniversary update of  “Native Carolinians: The Indians of North Carolina.”

— High school teacher researches  “a non-fiction memoir of the 33 mills that were once in Richmond County and the people they affected.”

— The Woolworth’s lunch counter at the National Museum of American History is the setting for a half-hour play, in which an activist of the time briefs potential recruits in nonviolent resistance. (Scroll down.)

Dennis Hopper on Wilmington: ‘a little weird’

“Dennis Hopper spent several years in Wilmington after filming ‘Blue Velvet’ (1986). He was largely responsible for the restoration of the Masonic Temple building at 17-21 N. Front St., Wilmington — now home to the City Stage theater — and he directed the 1994 feature ‘Chasers’ here…. Hopper hasn’t visited in a few years, but he reportedly still owns real estate in New Hanover County.”

— From, Aug. 14, 2009

” ‘It was a nightmare, very honestly, that movie [“Super Mario Bros” 1993]…. I was supposed to go down there [to Wilmington] for five weeks, and I was there for 17. It was so over budget. But I bought a couple buildings down there… and I started painting. I made an art studio out of one.’ ”

— From an interview with Dennis Hopper,, Dec. 2, 2008

“This isn’t the sleepiest burg in the world…. But walking the streets on a steamy day, you wonder what a guy like Dennis Hopper could find here to keep himself interested.

“Still, here he is, climbing out the window of his newly renovated downtown loft apartment and onto the roof of a five-story, 61,000-square-foot behemoth he owns that was once a Masonic temple….

“He looked out over the Cape Fear River, on which the U.S.S. North Carolina…  interrupts the panorama as inelegantly as a gorilla in the living room.

” ‘I agree it’s a little weird, but I like it here,’  he said.”

— From The New York Times, Sept. 8, 1994

Hopper died today in Los Angeles. He was 74.

New Towns on NC Postcards

During the month of May, we uploaded quite a few new towns to the North Carolina Postcards digital collection.  Be sure to check them out below:

Dixonville, Wayne County
Fremont, Wayne County
LaGrange, Lenoir County
Lake Phelps (aka Lake Scuppernong), in Washington and Tyrrell Counties
Salvo, Dare County
Sharpsburg, in Edgecombe, Nash, and Wilson Counties
Singletary Lake, Bladen County
Skyland, Buncombe County
Snow Camp, Alamance County
Wise, Warren County

We also recently uploaded a unique postcard of Raleigh.  The card below, Seeing Raleigh, was published in 1907, and shows a tour bus on front, with a space for a message and another image inside.  The inside of the card shows an automobile’s grill that features a fold-out strip of miniature postcards of various Raleigh sights!

George Washington Hill, a man with a brand

“If [George Washington Hill, president of American Tobacco, 1925-1946]  did not invent the hard sell, he nonetheless drove it to new heights. Selling Lucky Strikes became his obsession. Packages dangled on strings in the windows of his Rolls Royce, which had the Lucky Strike logo emblazoned on its taillights. Hill named his pet dachshunds Lucky and Strike and grew tobacco in the garden of his Hudson River estate.

“Even Albert Lasker, his adman, found Hill’s excesses notable: ‘The only purpose in life to him was to wake up, to eat and to sleep so  that he’d have the strength to sell more Lucky Strikes.’ ”

— From “The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America” (2007) by Allan M. Brandt

The Uplift, Stonewall Jackson Training School

As a quick addition to my post and Lew Powell’s comment, here is the cover page from volume 1, number 1 of The Uplift.

Students at the training school worked in several industries, including a print shop, which produced The Uplift. Click on the following link to see the library catalog record for this title: The Uplift [microfilm serial].

Stonewall Jackson Training School

Caption: “Corn cultivation at Jackson Training School at Concord” 79-639
Copied from original owned by J. Lee Pharr of Concord.

From the files of the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

To read more about the Jackson Training School, see the following description at the State of North Carolina’s Highway Historical Marker page:


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Silent-movie cowboy had no bigger fan


“As a young boy, Ed Wyatt had been one of the hundreds of thousands who faithfully followed [silent-movie star] Fred Thomson and his horse Silver King, and Ed waited for Fred to be given what he considered his proper place in film history. At the age of 65, Ed finally tired of waiting and personally financed 10 years of research for, and the ensuing publication of, his own tribute to Fred, ‘More Than a Cowboy.’

“When we met in Raleigh, North Carolina, I was amazed that Ed simply handed me boxes of photos and notes [about Thomson, who had been married to Oscar-winning screenwriter Frances Marion].  His attitude… was that he had done what he could and now it was my turn.”

— From “Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood” (1996) by Cari Beauchamp

Ed Wyatt died in 1999 at age 82. According to his obituary in the News & Observer, “Wyatt was co-founder of Wyatt-Quarles Seed Co., which in 1955 took over the downtown Raleigh space left empty when his family’s longtime business, Job P. Wyatt & Sons, moved to larger quarters.”


Pictured: Pinback buttons from the Raleigh chapter (later the Ed Wyatt chapter) of the Western Film Preservation Society.

Lost in the ’50s in Rutherfordton

“Most of the community events in my home town of Rutherfordton are inexplicably saddled with ’50s themes. All the men put grease in their hair, all the women wear poodle skirts — in case you’re wondering, those are long, poofy skirts made out of small French dogs; the barking at the sock hop is extraordinary — and the four or five guys in town who own cars manufactured when Eisenhower was president drive them up and down Main Street while the sound system on the courthouse lawn blasts the theme song from ‘Happy Days’ over and over again.

“That we do this at least once a year suggests that we have reached some kind of joyful, communal consensus that the ’50s were as good as it ever got in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.”

— From novelist Tony Earley’s destined-to-go-viral commencement address at his alma mater, Warren Wilson College

Farewell to an unfaltering foe of the phony

Death noted: Math polymath Martin Gardner, who spent 23 years of his semiretirement in Hendersonville, at age 95 in Norman, Okla.

Gardner wrote scores of such popularizing works as “Calculus Made Easy” but may be best remembered for his columns in Scientific American and the Skeptical Inquirer. He avoided public appearances out of both shyness and a preference for being at his typewriter exposing bunk from the trivial (spoon-bending) to the tragic (the Little Rascals child abuse prosecution).

The Skeptical Inquirer did a Q-and-A with Gardner at his home in Hendersonville in 1998. This response gives a vivid image of his work style (librarians may want to avert their eyes from the first paragraph):

Gardner: Yes, my files are my number one trade secret. It began in college with 3 by 5 file cards that I kept in ladies shoe boxes. I had a habit then (this was before copy machines) of destroying books by slicing out paragraphs and pasting them on cards. A friend once looked through my cards on American literature and was horrified to discover I had destroyed several rare first editions of books by Scott Fitzgerald.

When I began to earn some money I moved the cards into metal file cabinets, and started to preserve complete articles and large clippings and correspondence in manila folders. These folders are now in some twenty cabinets of four or five drawers each. And I have a large library of reference books that save me trips to the library. I have not yet worked up enough courage to go on line for fear I would waste too much time surfing the Internet.