Pickle recipes from the collection.

Bread and Butter Pickles - Progressive Farmer

Bread and Butter Pickle from The Progressive farmer’s southern cookbook.

KIC Image 90

Bread and Butter Pickles from Cook book.

Artichoke Pickle - The Pantry Shelf

Artichoke Pickle from The Pantry shelf : 1907-1982.

Peach Pickles - Progressive Farmer

Peach Pickles from The Progressive farmer’s southern cookbook.

iced tomato pickles - Dixie Dishes

Iced Tomato Pickles from Dixie dishes.

Hamburger Pickles-Recipes We Love to Cook

Hamburger Pickles from Recipes we love to cook.

Watermelon Pickles - Pass the Plate

Watermelon Pickles from Pass the plate : the collection from Christ Church.

Artifact of the Month: Puffer fish from UNC’s Wilson Hall

Maybe the suddenly spring-like weather has a hold on me, but I can’t shake the thought that our April Artifact of the Month is smiling.

puffer fish

This puffer fish is part of a large collection of artifacts and specimens that were transferred to the North Carolina Collection Gallery in 2005. The objects came from UNC’s Wilson Hall, which housed the University’s Zoology Department and its library.

The Gallery accepted the transfer of these objects when Wilson Hall undertook a massive renovation. The collection, which includes hundreds of animal specimens and fossils, accentuates the Gallery’s goal of preserving items relating to natural history and the history of science at the University.

North Carolina Collection Gallery
NCC Gallery. Photo by Jay Mangum.

As part of the Gallery’s own renovation, we’ve recently upgraded our natural history exhibit, which features biographical panels on important naturalists, specimens from Wilson Hall, and original prints by John James Audubon.

Currently, the puffer fish can be seen in the exhibit Rooms of Wonder: From Wunderkammer to Museum, 1565-1865, in the Saltarelli Exhibit Room in Wilson Library, until April 17.

The Nantahala River’s Enduring Allure


In the May 31, 1893 issue of the Asheville Daily Citizen, Rowland Howard describes his ride along the Nantahala River on horseback: “Riding along the rushing river with high mountain walls one either side, one realizes the grandeur of the scenery ten fold more than one could on the railroad train.”

Nantahala, meaning “land of the noon day sun,” was so named by the Cherokee Indians for its dense, lush vegetation in which sunshine only reaches the forest floor at high noon.

Visitors today create an $85 million impact on the local economy as they raft down the river with the Nantahala Outdoor Center or another of the area’s numerous rafting outfitters, ride the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad alongside it, and frequent the area’s other attractions, restaurants and lodging establishments.

Read more about the economic impact of rafting in the area and the role of Duke Energy’s Nantahala Hydroelectric Project in its success, here.



When Mickey Rooney backed beleaguered Bakkers

“Mickey Rooney has made a TV spot urging support of the Bakkers, the former PTL evangelists and proprietors of the collapsing Heritage USA….

” ‘Won’t you call Jim and Tammy now?’ Rooney says. ‘They need your friendship’….

“What you get for the price of your long-distance call is a two-minute recorded message from the Bakkers talking about their hopes and dreams — and troubles.

” ‘Do you really want PTL back?’ asks Tammy…. ‘I really don’t want to go back,’ he replies. ‘The Charlotte Observer has attacked us for 15 years straight. To go back there is going to be hell. We know that.’ ”

— From the Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1987

The entreaties by Rooney and the Bakkers would prove futile.  Less than a month earlier, a federal grand jury had convened in Charlotte to begin considering a wide range of fraud charges against Jim Bakker that would send him to prison for four years.

Rooney, Ava Gardner’s last surviving ex-husband, died Sunday at age 93.


Buck Leonard, Homestead Grays rout Charlotte team

On this day in 1947: Before 1,500 fans at Charlotte’s Griffith Park, Buck Leonard has three hits to lead the Homestead Grays to a 17-0 exhibition victory over the hometown Charlotte Black Hornets.

First baseman Leonard began his career in 1925 with his hometown Rocky Mount Black Swans. He becomes best known for his 17 seasons with the Homestead (Pa.) Grays. The Grays are the New York Yankees of the Negro National League, and Leonard and teammate Josh Gibson are the league’s Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

In 1972, Leonard, despite having being barred from the major leagues by segregation, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.


NCDNER: Famine trumps protection of Great Dismal

“Hoping to cash in on the famine [in countries such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh was] Malcolm McLean, a North Carolina native who’d made a fortune from his trucking business. In 1974 McLean shelled out $60 million for 375,000 acres in eastern North Carolina where he planned to grow corn and feed a million hogs a year. ‘It’s a question of supply and demand,’ explained one of McLean’s employees. ‘People are starving. It’s just like the energy crisis except that people are going to find it difficult to wait in line for food.’

“McLean’s First Colony Farm (named for its proximity to the settlement established by Sir Walter Raleigh) bore ‘the same relation to a farm that a computer does to an abacus,’ observed a newspaper reporter….

“Environmentalists pounced, and rightly so. First Colony occupied a large chunk of the Dismal Swamp, an environmentally complex area between the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. But no one in state government was inclined to stop the project, because, explained an official with the state’s Department of Natural and Economic Resources, ‘The food crisis is up and coming, and I guess the feeling is that it’s just not good to stop and do an environmental study when it will take so long and cost so much.’ ”

— From “In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America” by Maureen Ogle (2013)