Carolina History Project
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Old Carolina related postcards, some with scenes of the Carolinas, or some that were just postmarked in this region a long time ago.

Following here are some Carolina postcards that are from my personal collection.  I've come across these over the years from local flea markets, private collections...and even an old barn in Lucia, North Carolina!  Postcard sending and collecting was quite popular in the first two decades of the 20th century.  And they were quite reasonable to purchase and send.  It was one cent to purchase them...and one cent postage to send them.  (OK, two cent postage to send them to Canada and Europe, but still a bargain.)  Millions were sent back then....and fortunately for us....millions have survived.  Let's peruse through them shall we? 

Here's a postcard I found in that particular barn in Lucia, North Carolina back around 1991.  It shows Dilworth and Piedmont Boulevards in Charlotte, North Carolina....postmarked Feb. 20th (and 21st), 1908.  Over a hundred years ago folks!  For the record, these streets are still in use and I believe the houses are still there.  But the streetcar trolley tracks are long gone (or at least buried beneath the pavement.)   And we don't quite have telegraph poles which look like that anymore.  Card was posted to Mrs. Percival Hall of Alexis, North Carolina.  "Dear Sallie, if it isn't raining on Friday you may look for me/Sure won't come if it is raining, for I can come again.  They say the Kirnners* last night was fine and I hope it will be tonight.  Dick."  (*An update here:  a nice person in England told me that the word here is "Kirmess," which is a Dutch word for a carnival and/or a charitable fund raising.  Thank you so very much.)  Several of the postcards shown here were mailed to the tiny crossroads of Alexis, North Carolina, located on Highway 27 in Gaston County.  It's an unincorporated community today, but near the time these postcards were sent, it did incorporate itself for awhile back in 1899.  Alexis was earlier known as Alex's Cross Roads, for an individual named Alexander, who owned some parcels of land in the area.  All of the postcards on this page that were mailed to Alexis, were found in a barn in Lucia, North Carolina nearly two decades ago.  A retired gentleman, who I had met at a local flea in Charlotte (the old long gone Wilkinson Blvd. Flea Market), invited me up to his property to get some old bottles out of his barn he no longer wanted...and threw in the postcards as extra.  (Folks, that is one of the ways that I am able to find this stuff!  You would be surprised how some people will give away historical things...if they know that they've found a good home for it.  And...that it is in the hands of someone who will appreciate it.  Well, you see what I am doing with these items by sharing them with everybody in the world on this website.  Moving right along.) 



OK, here is another postcard I rescued from the Lucia barn.  And it depicts a "colorized" photo of the Greensboro, North Carolina Public Library in Guilford County.  (Wonder if this building has survived?)  The photo must have been taken in summertime, for notice how the rather large ample windows have been pushed open.  (No air-conditioning back then!)  It's postmarked, from what I can make out of it, "Greensboro, Dec. 1916 (?)."  It was mailed to Mrs. Willis E Hall of Alexis, North Carolina.  Some of the writing has been "silverfished" away over the last 90 years.  (Silverfish are small slender silvery bugs that like to eat the starch out of old paper...and are the bane of paper ephemera collectors everywhere.)  However, what I can make out of the writing is, "Arrived safely last...a little cold.  Sallie has slightest headache &...me to write.  Leave here tomorrow for Durham & Raleigh.  Write c/o Yarborough Hotel Raleigh.  Love to all.  Percival."


Here's a postcard of the U. S. Post Office in High Point, North Carolina, also located in Guilford County.  It was postally unused and is probably from either the 19-teens or 1920's.  Quite a solid-looking edifice.


Here's a nice montage of pastoral scenes on a postcard depicting "Scenes Around Connelly Mineral Springs," North Carolina in Burke County, along the foothills of the North Carolina Mountains.  The town got its name from the local mineral spring on the property of Mrs. Elmira Connelly, which when tested by the State Chemist of Virginia, a Mr. W. H. Taylor, was found to contain large amounts of bi-carbonate of iron which, supposedly, according to this chemist, claimed could heal all kinds of sickness and physical ailments.  Soon, travelers by rail, wagon and auto filled the three town hotels in the hopes that this "special water" would do the trick for them.  This postcard is dated six years before the town incorporated.  It is postmarked "Connelly Springs, NC, Sep 19th, 11am, 1914."  It was posted to Mr Milo Rosenman, Catawba College, Newton, N. C."  The note says "Hey! Cousin Milo.  How's our cousin/We are having awfully big time/I hope you have heard from your other cousin by this time.  Are you much lonesome at the table?  Are there any girls at our table?  Your cousin Mary Elsie."


No, not a postcard with a picturesque view on it, but more of a practical correspondence issued by the US Postal Service.  It is already pre-printed with one-cent postage of the then recent tragic personage of President William McKinley (1843-1901), who was assassinated by an anarchist at the Pan-American Expostion of 1901.  Teddy Roosevelt was president and 1904 was an election year.  As that the correspondence was written in the fall of that year, Election Day would not be that far away.  The India ink written on this card has browned with age, as all old India ink does with time.  And the correspondence here has nothing to do with the presidential politics that was, no doubt, on a lot of people's mind at the time.  It is, rather, a note from a mother to her daughter down in the Eastern part of North Carolina.  It's postmarked "Matthews, N. C., Sep 28th, 1904" the re-postmarked on the back "Chadbourn, N. C. Sep 30."  It took two days for this card to travel from Mecklenburg County to Chadbourn.  Not bad time for the mail back then.)  It was mailed to a Miss Caldwell Hoyle, of the Carolina Hoyle family clan, in Chadbourn, North Carolina.  The correspondence is from her mother, and is more long-winded than most postcards of this era (but please remember "Mamma" wrote it).  It is interesting to read, and upon getting to the end of it...tragic.  I wonder what that accident in Knoxville, Tennesse, way back in 1904 was all about.  I wonder if it's in reference to a train wreck, as that automobiles were few and far between in that year.  (Could it have been the Newmarket train wreck of 1904?)  I've done my best here to make out the old script, but some of it is lost to me.

Dear Caldwell, Helen's letter came yesterday, so glad to glad to hear from him again (.)  If you do not write because you think Mamma has neglected you.  Well, suppose I have, which is not the case, does not my faithfulness in the least enter (?)  (Can't make out the words here) some consideration.  Love suffereth long and is kind--beneath are things behindeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.--And now I faileth.  Papa, Maude and myself came over on C-------(not sure what that word is) last evening.  (Can't make out the words here.)  Think of it!  Mr. Earle came from home with Maude.  She had one the tables made $10.00.  Did Helen get "Cutter(?)"  Glad she is pleased with her work.  Tell us about yours.  Lovingly Mamma!  (Written on the side of the postcard:  Did you see accident 14(?)  That awful wreck in Knoxville, Tenn?  Cousin Melvin Grant (?) was killed.



Here is a rather unusual postcard of an "official" nature.  It is a 1914 version of a police-related "All Points Bulletin," or APB.  It was mailed to the Chief of Police in Clinton, North Carolina, from D. E. Colvin, Sheriff of Chester County, South Carolina, as concerns the John A. Stevenson's Store robbery in Chester.  It's postmarked "Dec 5, 1914, 9:30pm, Chester, S. C."  You see....the good old days weren't always so good.  In the Edwardian era, they had their share of crime, too.  This card didn't have handwritten correspondence (save along the side), but was preprinted with it's rather urgent message.  Obviously a lot of these were quickly printed up and mailed out to the sheriffs of the various and sundry surrounding counties of North and South Carolina, which were within the radius of where this crime occurred, and warning law enforcement officials to be on the lookout for these criminals.  Here is the printed correspondence as follows:

                                                                        Chester, S. C. , Dec 5, 1914

                                    JOHN A. STEVENSON'S STORE ROBBED


Friday night, Dec. 4, 1914.  Safe unlocked and about $75.00 stolen.  Also check, No. 202 amount $4.30, given by John A. Stevenson, cotton account, to W. T. Bouleware and indorsed (sic).  $3.50 shoes, 1 pair of No. 7, stock number 2221, "Our Favorite" gun metal, men.  $4.50 shoes, 1 pair No. 7, stock No. 1223 "Patriot" gun metal, men, and a lot of other shoes couldn't be identified.  Lot of men's fleeced lined drawers, No 38, style No. 606.  Lot of men's socks of every kind, but two pairs black silk ones.  Lot of pants and hats. 

Three white have been hanging around, one old man between 50 and 60 years old, height 5 feet 9inches, of medium sized, was clean shaved, red face, hair gray, smooth talker; says he came from New York hunting a job, was seen two or three days early in the mornings.  Don't know where he would go in the evenings.  Other two kept on dodge or back ground.  They were young men.  Keep watch on pawn shops and lunch rooms.  Wire me collect.  

                                                                            D. E. Colvin, Sheriff Chester County

Written on the side of this postcard, in what is now old brown faded India ink is the statement:  "Left old clothes in the store."  Wonder if this crime ever got solved?  On another point, I have no idea what "Our Favorite" or "Patriot" gun metal is or was.



 




Well not exactly a normal North Carolina scene, as that it depicts the U. S. S. Battleship Maine, whose mysterious explosion thereof, helped ignite the Spanish-American War of 1898.  With a postmark date of 1916, It had only been 18 years since that notorious event happened, so it wasn't unusual to still find Spanish-American War sentiment even at this later date.  Not to mention World War I (or the Great War as it was called then) was being waged in Europe at the time, while our nation stayed out of the fray.  Nothwithstanding our nation's isolation, in 1916 our country was  being called to "preparedness" for a possible war with Europe, but most of our US troops were involved with the Mexican revolution which was tearing that country apart that fateful year as well.  So, depicting the Battleship Maine in the middle of all of these then current events, was probably appropriate.  I included it on this page because it had a Carolina postmark.  It came out of the same barn in Lucia, North Carolina and was posted from Columbia, South Carolina, April 12th, 3-pm, 1916."  It was mailed to Mrs. Wil---Hall, Alexis, North Carolina.  The message was a simple one:  Dear Grannie/I wish you were here.  Sarah Graham Hall."  It is important to know that the U. S S. Maine depicted here is the one that was built in 1902, four years after the more star-crossed one was sunk.  And so for those who are students of the Spanish-American War, this postcard gives these stats about the famous battleship as follows:  U. S. Battleship Maine.  Displacement, about 13,500 tons; speed 18 knots; 16,000 H.P.  Length, 494 ft; beam 72 1/4 ft.; draught 24ft.  Crew of 798 men.  Carries four 12 in. guns, sixteen 6 in. guns and 10 smaller guns.  Two 18 in. torpedo tubes.  Armor belt, amid-ships, 1 ins.; turrets, 12 ins.  Completed 1902. Cost $5,381903.


   
Coming from that same Lucia barn again is what was then called a "real photo" postcard of this delightful African-American child.  Postcards like this were sort of like "vanity" cards that were very popular back in the 19-teens.  People would have postcards made up of themselves to send to family...and maybe even sweethearts!  When I scanned this card some years ago, I put a caption on it wondering if this was a local North Carolina child.  Probably so.  If alive, he or she would probably be in their 90's now.  Nothing was written on the back of it, nor was it postally used.  It was probably just kept and cherished along with other old family photographs now long gone.




Here is a postcard that came from my late Uncle Mont L. Hill's estate, who was born 1900 in Thomasville, North Carolina, Davie County (died 1998), and who spent most of his life in Kannapolis, North Carolina.  He was circus barker, sometime bootlegger and patent medicine salesman.  He even had a medicine show!  His postcards were indicative of the travels he took in the South.  Here is a postcard depicting the Montgomery Building (Montgomery Ward perhaps?) in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which was sent to his brother, Ernest Hill, in Thomasville, North Carolina.  It's postmarked "Spartanburg, South Carolina, Aug. 26, 1926."  The card was published by Southern Post Card Co. of Asheville, North Carolina.  His message, as much as I can make out of it, is as such: "Dear Brother, I am in South Carolina/Am Leaving today....This is a big place.  I wish you could see it.  I hope you are well/I am well and happy/Tell Myrtle and all hello and be good...from Brother"

Please check back as that I will most likely have more old-time Carolina Postcards on this site for your viewing in the near future.
   

Here's an update!  A family researcher in northern California discovered my website...and the names found on some of the postcards pictured above.  The names that interested her the most were those of Percival Hall (seen in the Charlotte postcard at the very top of the page) and that of Sallie Graham Hall seen scrawled on the back of the U.S.S. Maine postcard.  (She would have been seven years old at the time that she sent it.)  This just goes to show how that more and more...this website is becoming and open resource for those doing genealogical research throughout the nation.  I hadn't really intended that consequence...but it is a nice unintentional outcome all the same.  Seen below are the emails sent to me by this family researcher.  She gave me full permission to show this to the public in order to assist other genealogists out there who might happen to come upon it.  It surprises me no end that the old paper items that I have found over the years...and now have on this website...are helping other people out there "connect the dots" to their family ancestry!  And considering that some of these documents haven't seen the light of day in nearly a century or more, truly, the personal computer...married to the internet...has been a great help in this regard.  Do enjoy the genealogical information sent to me as follows:   


Descendants of PERCIVAL HALL
 
 
Generation No. 1
 
1.  PERCIVAL8 HALL  (WILLIS EMERSON7, DANIEL EMERSON6, NATHANIEL5, WILLIS4, PERCIVAL3, JOHN2, NATHANIEL1) was born September 03, 1882 in Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, and died December 1954 in North Carolina.  He was the son of WILLIS EMERSON HALL and SALLIE CARTER BROWN.

He married (1) SALLIE SHAVER GRAHAM Bef. 1908, daughter of GEORGE GRAHAM and SALLIE SHAVER.  She was born July 1887 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and died June 1941 in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.  He married (2) UNKNOWN.  She was born in North Carolina.
       
Children of PERCIVAL HALL and SALLIE GRAHAM are:
 
                   i.    SARAH GRAHAM9 HALL, b. December 29, 1908, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; d. September 21, 1988, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County,  Florida; m. DR. FRANCIS HOWARD LANGLEY, October 26, 1929; b. October 23, 1899, Cumberland, Guernsey County, Ohio; d. June 17, 1972, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.

 
ii.    ELIZABETH S
. HALL, b. September 13, 1911, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; d. December 05, 1993, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida; m. THEODORE W. CLARKSON; b. February 22, 1908, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida; d. April 26, 1984, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.
 
Note: My son and grandsons are descendants of SARAH GRAHAM HALL and DR. FRANCIS H. LANGLEY.  I have forwarded your site on to other members of the family. 
 
Best regards,
Jacqueline Sleeper Russell
Web site: http://tinyurl.com/q7w9ec
Jackisr@aol.com

Dear DIRK ALLMAN,
 
Concidentally one of SARAH GRAHAM (HALL) LANGLEY's sons served in that first Gulf War.  He was the late JAMES N. LANGLEY.  Both of MRS. LANGLEY's sons are gone, only the daughters and grandchildren survive.
 
Please feel free to use anything from the e-mail I sent you on your website, including my e-mail address & website.  I have forwarded your site to other descendants who are the grandchildren of PERCIVAL HALL and the children of SARAH GRAHAM HALL, whose delightful post card is also on your site.  I am hoping you will send me an e-mail if you do put more of the HALL family postcards on your website so that I can forward that information on to descendants. 
 
Here is SARAH GRAHAM HALL's obituary, which fills in what happened to her after writing that post card so very long ago.
 
St. Petersburg Times    (St. Petersburg, FL) September 23, 1988
 
Sarah Hall Langley, civic activist
 
ST. PETERSBURG - Sarah Hall Langley, longtime club woman and supporter of civic causes, died Wednesday (Sept. 21, 1988) at St. Anthony's Hospital.  She was 79 years old.  Mrs. Langley, a past president of the St. Petersburg Junior League, was a charter member of the Pinellas County Medical Auxiliary, the Charter Group of St. Petersburg, the Easter Seal Guild, the Christmas Belles and Progress Study Club.  A resident of this city since 1929, Mrs. Langley belonged to the Lions Auxiliary, the Science Center, St. Anthony's Auxiliary, Museum of Fine Arts, the Historical Museum, Friends of the Library and Christ United Methodist Church.  Mrs. Langley was on the sponsoring committee of the Community Welfare Council and was a legislative chairman of the Florida Medical Auxiliary.  She was the wife of the late Dr. Francis H. Langley, former chief of staff at St. Anthony's Hospital and chief of surgery at Mound Park Hospital (now Bayfront Medical Center). He died in 1972.  She was born in Charlotte, N.C., and came here from Lincolnton, N.C.  Survivors include two daughters, Ann Rehwinkel, Bowie, Md., and Elizabeth Gibbs, Lakeland; two sons, James, Bronson, and Peter, Yankeetown; a sister, Mrs. T. W. Clarkson, St. Petersburg ; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Wilhelm-Thurston Funeral Home, 145 Eighth St. N.  The family suggested memorial contributions to the Florida Sheriffs' Boys Ranch or a favorite charity.


Your website is a wonderful historical contribution (yes!) and I was really delighted to discover it!

I live in northern coastal California, but lived in St. Petersburg from the age of 8 until I left there in 1980.
 
Very best regards,
Jacki Russell


Just a small disclaimer here:  many of the ephemeral artifacts found on this website are now, due to age, in the public domain and from my private collection.  Items and quotes of a more recent vintage, that are used here in part for newsworthy commentary and/or educational purposes, are covered by the Fair Use Act of the US Copyright Office.  Thank you.   

dirkallman@carolinahistoryproject.com             

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