Past Times Blog
Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 21, 2014
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.
Aunt Betsy was an old negress miraculously fat, most wonderfully arrayed in habiliments of two generations ago; she drove a small bull named Joe hitched to a quaint top buggy the wheels of which threatened at every moment to overflow into her lap with weariness. The foregoing may sound extravagant as an obituary expression. That is, it may so sound to those who have not known Aunt Betsy. To those who have known her, who have seen her wide and brimming smile, who have looked into her twinkling black eyes set in wells of fat, who have received her gracious salutation as she drove along the streets, it is all too inadequate. Aunt Betsy was an institution so good and wholesome, she made so much sunshine and inspired so much cockle-warming laughter with so good a grace, that it was self-cruelty to think of her as coming to an end. Consequently the news of her death was a shock for which Raleigh was fatuously not prepared. It is pleasant to think that there was no remorse in the surprise; the people of Raleigh were good to Aunt Betsy as she was good to them. She goes away well loved.
Aunt Betsys age was uncertain, but she must have been above eighty. She was for years before the war a faithful servant in the Boylan family. As the type which she capped grew fewer and fewer, she attained fame. Her picture sitting in her bull-drawn buggy was published in many great Northern papers, even in foreign reviews. Of the Raleigh Post-cards, her likeness was the most attractive.
Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 14, 2014
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.
Posted by Teresa Leonard on August 7, 2014
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.
Posted by Teresa Leonard on July 17, 2014
Before it was sold to the Baptist State Convention to serve as a retreat center, Fort Caswell in Brunswick County played a role in both World Wars and defended the Cape Fear River during the Civil War. Louis T. Moore explained some of that history to N&O readers in 1949.