In the past, girls were taught very strict behavior and how to dress. Three women remember how it was:
Hilda Crumpler: When Cary High School was a boarding school, I was one of the boarders. I lived in the girls’ dormitory there and attended classes.
During the week, our main entertainment was walking downtown in Cary, down Academy Street, going to the drugstore. And we couldn’t even go down there without a chaperone. We had to have a chaperone with us. We would usually find one of the teachers who would be willing to escort us.
Many teachers lived in the teacherage, a building on the school grounds where single teachers lived. And some of them boarded in town around, different homes where they would rent a room, or some lived at the Page-Walker Hotel.
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They would stay with us as we walked down the street and back to school so we were protected.
Carolyn Rogers: I went away to college and attended Barber-Scotia Junior College in Concord, which was an all-girls school. I majored in English and minored in French.
Scotia was, in my mind, like a finishing school, because they taught us how to walk, how to talk, how to set tables, how to interact with people and how to carry ourselves in a certain way.
I hear people say now that I have this certain aura about me, but that’s coming from Scotia. That’s Scotia’s training. When we girls would go up town, we had to wear gloves and carry our little pocketbooks and wear our little pumps.
All the store owners would say, “You must be Scotia women. You have to be Scotia women.” Of course, you stand out when you look like that and go uptown with your gloves and your pocketbook and your little pumps on. Yes, of course, we were Scotia girls. I appreciate the training I got at Scotia.
Mildred Sanderford: When I first moved to Cary in 1936, it was lovely and just as friendly as it could be. Almost at once, I was into everything. I thought that was exceptional. I had lots of friends in no time.
We had to make our own entertainment. We had bridge clubs, and do you know what? We used to dress up to go to the Friday night bridge club. I mean dressed up. Sometimes I wore a long dress. There wasn’t anywhere else to wear it. We had it so we just played dress up.
Cary’s Heritage is taken from the book, Just a Horse-Stopping Place, an Oral History of Cary, North Carolina, first published in August, 2006. The book is a collection of oral history interviews conducted between local citizens and Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel.