A century of Facebook

In the early part of the 20th century, the Winston-Salem weekly newspaper The Union Republican began publishing a page each week called “Our Young People’s Department”. It printed stories and pictures about people under the age of 19, but the bulk of the page was letters from teens and pre-teens as young as six years old. The page became an instant success. The letters came from every corner of North Carolina and southern Virginia and addressed  a wide range of topics from the mundane to politics, religion, sports, current events, etc. One of the most popular topics was requests for song lyrics. And, of course, the most popular topic of all time, social interaction between boys and girls. Early on the writers began referring to each other as cousins, so the feature became known as “the cousins page”.

Here are a few examples from the Thursday, March 30, 1916 edition of The Union Republican:





Buck Island is about 4 1/2 miles northwest of Danbury, the Stokes County seat, about 1 1/2 miles northwest of Seven Islands Bridge, a popular putin spot for tubing on the Dan River. In 1863/64, it became a refuge for Confederate deserters, which led to to an infamous moment when the local Home Guard murdered a deserter and his fiance in a remote cabin there. For many years after the Civil War, it was well known as a moonshining area and the home of the infamous Manring family, which kept the local sheriff busy for several decades.