New NC Maritime History Research Guide

People interested in North Carolina’s rich maritime history will want to check out our newest Research Guide, cleverly entitled Maritime History of North Carolina: A Research Guide. It covers a long chronological period (from pre-colonial days to the 20th century) and addresses several specific aspects of the state’s maritime history, including pirates, shipwrecks, maritime archaeology, and coastal communities. This is only one of more than 30 research guides about various topics related to N.C. Click here to see the full list of N.C.-themed guides currently available online.

More on “Renowned the World Around”

I was aware that the “Renowned the World Around” slogan from this week’s “Where the Heel?” was not confined to the pin that was pictured because I was told the city of Durham erected a sign using the slogan near the train station. However, I was not aware of how very cool this sign was until yesterday when I started looking for some pictures of it.

According to the blog “Endangered Durham,” the sign was built in 1913 to welcome visitors arriving by train. The electric lights allowed the welcome to be extended day or night. Apparently the sign was over 30 feet wide, the globe on the top was a “10 foot sphere,” and it used 1200 bulbs.

The image of the sign above is from our postcard collection. Click here for more information about this postcard and its image. Also, there are several other images of the sign in the Durham County Library’s Historic Photographic Archives. Click here for a daytime view and click here for a wider night-time shot that includes the sign.

I’m particularly interested in the colors of the lights (or lack thereof). I’ve seen several photos where the lights all appear white and two with differently colored bulbs: our postcard with red and green and an image in Duke’s 1917 yearbook where the word “renowned” is done in blue. It could be that color was added for advertising purposes, but it would be interesting to know for sure. Does anyone know anything else about this very impressive sign?

Where the Heel?, part XVII

For this edition of “Where the Heel?”, I have once again used the magic of Photoshop to digitally erase the name of the location from an image of an artifact. If you click on the image below you can see a larger version of the image. This time the place in question was “Renowned the World Around” in 1914. I’m pretty sure the globe on the pin won’t be of any help, but if you think you know the North Carolina locality, leave your guess as a comment. Good luck!

Where the Heel?, Part XVI

Our newest “Where the Heel?” is another artifact from the collection. Again, I have digitally deleted the name of the place in the scanned image (which is much harder to do on a 3-D object than on a flat one, so please forgive the less-then-perfect image). What do you think? Does the “City of Electrical Energy” sound familiar to you? Leave your guesses as comments!

Where the Heel?, Part XV

Thanks to the suggestions of one of our dedicated readers and donors, Mr. Lew Powell, we’ve decided to try something new for the fifteenth edition of “Where the Heel?”. This time, the slogan is from one of the three-dimensional artifacts in the North Carolina Collection. As usual, we have digitally deleted the name of the place in the scanned image and you can click on the image for a larger view of the item. Do you know where in North Carolina was known as the “Land of Enchanting Waters?” Or, I suppose, do you have a guess as to where the North Carolina Firemen’s Convention met in August of 1926? If you think you know, leave your guess as a comment. And once someone guesses it right, I’ll put up an unedited version of the artifact’s image.

And here is the unadulterated image:

Check back next week for our next installment of “Where The Heel?”

Where the Heel?, Part XIV

In the responses to our last “Where the Heel?” people began discussing the use of the same slogan for different places. With that in mind, I think it is important to note that apparently all roads lead to…more than one place in North Carolina. In February we featured Wide Awake Wilson as the “Where the Heel?” location with this slogan. Do you know which other North Carolina location was advertised with a version of the same phrase? To make it more fair, I’ve also given you one of the secondary slogans from the same brochure. If you know the location that fills in both of the blanks below, leave it as a comment. Happy guessing!

NC Novels Blog hits 400!

The Read North Carolina Novels site has reached a giant achievement: 400 entries! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out–or if you haven’t visited recently–I invite you to do so. New books are added several times each week and we welcome suggestions of books to add to our list. We also heartily encourage you to comment on the books that you have read or make suggestions about other novels that your fellow readers might enjoy.

The site allows you to search for North Carolina-set novels that interest you by either keyword or author or browse based on genre, county, region, or year of publication. We’ve also specially categorized books for kids, series books, and novels that have fictional N.C. settings, and our Tag Cloud (on the left hand side of the screen as you scroll down) allows you to easily find books about NASCAR, Pirates, the Civil War, Mobsters, Moonshining, Church Life, Environmentalism, or 38 other topics of interest.

To visit the site, click here, or on the “Read North Carolina Novels” link in the right-hand column. Happy reading!

North Carolina Novels

Where the Heel?, Part XIII

Just in time to add some excitement to your weekend, here’s the newest edition of “Where the Heel?” I saw this brochure in the ephemera collection and thought that the heart and the industrial city skyline were a great combination that I should share. As usual, I’ve left blanks where the name of the locality was originally printed. Do you know which North Carolina community was labeled as both “The Heart of the Piedmont” and “The City of Progress”? Good guessing and happy Friday!

Where the Heel?, Part XII

After a short break, slogan-based “Where the Heel?”s are back! The image above is the cover of a general tourist brochure with a blank line replacing the name of the location being advertised. Do you know which locality not only had dig-’em-yourself gemstones, but also used the activity as the highlight of their tourism campaign? If you think you know, leave your guess as a comment.

Race to Witch (or Brown) Mountain

New in theaters today is a movie with a strong North Carolina connection: Race to Witch Mountain. It has been advertised by Disney as a 21st century “reimagining” (rather than a remake) of the 1975 movie Escape to Witch Mountain, which in turn was based on a book of the same name. While the new movie is set in Las Vegas and other locations in the UFO-prone Southwest, the book was set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Witch Mountain was based on our state’s Brown Mountain. Located on the Burke/Caldwell county line, Brown Mountain has a long history of unexplained phenomena and is famous for the unexplained lights that people have seen on its slopes for more than 150 years. For more about the book, check out our “Read North Carolina Novels” site.