Brenau threatens end to speculation about Dare Stones

“Brenau [University] President Ed Schrader… has begun to assemble a team of experts in various disciplines—archaeology, geology, history and the study of Elizabethan writing—to re-examine the quartz stone. Sometime in this year or next, he wants to launch an expedition to the Chowan River near Edenton, N.C., where the first [Dare Stone] is believed to have been found, to search for more evidence.

“ ‘If it is real, it is the most important pre-colonial artifact by Europeans in the Americas,’ the 64-year-old says, softly placing is fingers on the stone. ‘The speculation’s gone on long enough.’ ”

— From “Is This Stone Linked to the Lost Colony of Roanoke?” by Cameron McWhirter in the Wall Street Journal (Jan. 21)


Civil War pension checks still arriving in Wilkesboro

“WILKESBORO, N.C.—Each month, Irene Triplett collects $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, a pension payment for her father’s military service — in the Civil War.

“More than 3 million men fought and 530,000 men died in the conflict between North and South. Pvt. Mose Triplett joined the rebels, deserted on the road to Gettysburg, defected to the Union and married so late in life to a woman so young that their daughter Irene is today 84 years old — and the last child of any Civil War veteran still on the VA benefits rolls….”

— From “Still Paying for the Civil War” by Michael M. Phillips in the Wall Street Journal (May 9)

State motto: ‘You’re not from around here, are you?’

“RALEIGH, N.C. (U.P.) — North Carolina’s percentage of native born white inhabitants — 99.7 — is the highest of any state in the country.”

— From “Few Aliens in North Carolina,” news filler in the Wall Street Journal (April 28, 1941)

The state’s industrial recruiters considered this demographic characteristic a point of pride.


Western NC in February: ‘cool without being chilly’?

“The days here [in February] are like Northern October; cool in the morning, warm at midday and cool at night. The air here is cool without being chilly. It has a stimulating quality which makes one eat much, laugh heartily and feel frisky. People come here pale, coughing, all bundled up and, in about a week, you see them racing about, eager to climb Mt. Mitchell and with the ‘terrible cold’ dwindled to a fast fading recollection.

“Of course the reputation which the Hot Springs [resort in Madison County] have acquired brings here many invalids who cannot recover in a week, or, perhaps at all, but even this class brighten up and in many cases turn the corner to recovery.”

— From “Western North Carolina: The Best Place in the World to Spend February” in the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 3, 1891) 


In 1959, theirs was ‘a most unusual mission’

“A group of North Carolina businessmen is beginning a most unusual mission in Europe…. The businessmen will travel to England, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and France to confer with industrialists who might be interested in building plants in their state.”
— From “North Carolina Turns To Europe as Luring Industry Gets Harder” in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 5, 1959)


Disputes over sales taxes didn’t begin with internet

“The Attorney-General of North Carolina has ruled that passengers in railroad cars who are served a meal in North Carolina must pay the state sales tax even though they don’t finish the dessert until they’re in Virginia, which has no such tax.”
— From “A Dangerous Ruling” in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 9, 1954)
I haven’t found the outcome of this case, but the rarity of being “served a meal” on a train these days (other than a prewrapped ham and cheese handed across a counter) may have rendered it moot. 


Could Richmond have become ‘Camel City’?

“The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., formerly one of the largest subsidiaries of the American Tobacco Co., contemplates entering the cigarette manufacturing field.

“The main plug and smoking tobacco factories of the company are located at Winston-Salem, N.C., but it has not definitely decided as yet whether or not to locate the cigarette manufacturing end of its business in that city. The uncertainty is due to the fact that a bill framed to prevent cigarette manufacture is before the North Carolina state legislature.

“The company has two large warehouses in Richmond, and in the event of unfavorable legislation in North Carolina, the cigarette manufacturing for the company will be undertaken in Virginia.”

– From “If Legislation is Unfavorable in North Carolina, Plant May Be Located in Virginia” in the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 22, 1913)

I haven’t found details on the proposed ban on cigarette manufacturing, but it must not have turned out to be a problem — just a few months later Reynolds’ Winston-Salem plant would be turning out 425 million Camels per year.


Elite 8? Link dump already down to its final 4

— Did Civil War actually claim more Virginians than North Carolinians? Don’t miss this one — keen reportage by Cameron McWhirter of the Wall Street Journal.

— Won’t you come home, George Washington?

— Asheville’s monumental forgetfulness

— Pa, you can cancel that tsunami insurance….