Past Times Blog

  • Crowds cheered Soap Box Derby racers on Glenwood

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on July 24, 2014

    A record crowd braved the hot sun to cheer on the 1938 racers.

    In the 1930s, the winner of Raleigh's soap box derby was front-page news. Sponsored by The News & Observer and Sir Walter Chevrolet, the derby ran right down Glenwood Avenue.


  • Before the Baptists, Fort Caswell played role in 3 wars

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on July 17, 2014

    National Guard troops trained at Fort Caswell during World War I.

    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.


  • Legislators come to town

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on July 11, 2014

    The Journey’s End Motel on Lane Street, with a parrot in the lobby, provided affordable lodging for legislators in the 1980s.

    Now the Sir Walter is no longer a hotel. And the club slowly is disbanding. ... Old-timers sometimes complain that it takes the legislature an extra week to do its work because members are scattered all over town.


  • Past Times: Hugh McRae recruited immigrants to seed farming colonies

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on July 4, 2014

    MacRae recruited Italian farming families for his St. Helena colony.

    Hugh MacRae, a developer and industrialist of the early 20th century, presided over many enterprises in southeastern North Carolina. One of the most interesting was his development of six rural "colonies" staffed by European immigrants in Pender, New Hanover and Columbus counties for experimenting with agricultural practices.


  • N.C. pageants winners took center stage

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on June 26, 2014

    Miss North Carolina 1957, Elaine Herndon of Durham, was named Miss Dixie 1958.

    A former Radio City Rockette from North Carolina, who admits that she is a ham, began her reign Sunday as Miss America of 1962.


  • NC provided turpentine to the world

    Posted by Teresa Leonard on June 19, 2014

    By 1937, only two turpentine distilleries remained in the state.

    North Carolina of two centuries ago presented an unbroken expanse of long leaf pine. It is doubtful that anywhere in the world there existed so magnificent a forest. Over a territory 300 miles long and more than 100 miles wide, the forest stretched in a green unbroken sea, with here and there rivers up which boats might come for their burdens. North Carolina became the chief turpentine producing territory in the world. The tar went everywhere. Even the Chinese, seeing the well-caulked ships that came from remote ports, coveted our tar and bought it.


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