Past Times Blog

  • Ma Cross fed the Duke students

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on September 4, 2014

    Ma’s boarding house on Fourth Street in Durham.

    Ma’s boarding house is a University tradition. It’s a tradition older than the Blue Devils, or even older than the Duke Chapel.


  • Happy 80th birthday, Under the Dome

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on September 3, 2014

    The News and Observer, as the major state capital paper, has long made political and government coverage its meat and potatoes. For most of its history, Raleigh was a company town, and the business was government - and education.


  • Monster computer lived in bunker at UNC-Chapel Hill

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 28, 2014

    The Univac computer occupied the reinforced basement of Phillips Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill.

    In the age of Google, it's hard to remember that computers weren't always a part of our daily lives. It was 55 years ago that one of the first Univac computers was installed in the basement of Phillips Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, primarily to support the work of the US Census Bureau with its upcoming 1960 census.


  • Past Times: Betsy Holmes and her bull Joe were a Raleigh institution

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 21, 2014

    This cart in front of the Governor’s Mansion was thought to be driven by Aunt Betsy’s son.

    A frequent sight in the streets of downtown Raleigh about 1900 was "Aunt" Betsy Holmes, who drove her cart to market each day. Drawn by a bull named Joe, it came to be known as her "automobull." When she died in 1906, the newspaper noted the end of an era.


  • Past Times: Sea captain was living the dream

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 14, 2014

    Captain Josiah Bailey operated the “Diamond City” as a ferry between Harkers Island and Cape Lookout.

    Down here where the sea breeze laden with salt meets the green of the marshes, there is a man who lives as he has always dreamed, his working day consisting of making leisurely cruises on his own sailboat through the sounds and bays of his adopted home.


  • Past Times: Aviation grew with Raleigh

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 7, 2014

    Air travel was more glamorous in 1946, when Eastern Airlines maintained a ticket desk in the Sir Walter Hotel in Raleigh.

    Must be cold up North, for our southbound traffic has shown a considerable increase the past week. Opening the “Flying South” season was Miss Laura Ingels, who came through in a sleek little Ryan the day before election, stumping mightily for Wendell Wilkie by displaying a sign on the fuselage proclaiming she wanted “no third term.” Next, along came Russ Molderman flying the one-time Republican Presidential candidate, W.D. Gannett of the Gannett Publishing Company. …


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