Local History

As always, click the pix for full size…

In 1917, Paul Montague closed his Ford agency in Winston-Salem. You could still buy a Ford in the Twin City, but no one was trying too hard to sell you one. In January, 1918, Fred J. DeTamble, of Charlotte, born in Canada, and his wife Elsie, arrived in town. Those who were paying attention knew that something was about to happen. DeTamble had a long automobile industry history, reaching back for over a decade to his partnership in the Carter International Automotive Manufacturing Company in Detroit. By 1910, he was associated directly with the Ford Motor Company in Detroit. When Ford opened an assembly plant in Charlotte in 1914, DeTamble moved there as the assistant manager of the plant. In their first full year, 1915, the Charlotte Ford plant assembled and shipped 6,850 new Fords (see separate article below).

Twin City Motor Company opening ad, February 6, 1918

But DeTamble was not interested in working for wages. He wanted his own show, and the fastest growing city in the South seemed like the right place. On Saturday, February 2, 1918, the Twin-City Daily Sentinel ran an article about DeTamble, stating that he had acquired the sole right to sell Ford cars, trucks and farm vehicles in Forsyth and most of the surrounding counties except Guilford. Four days later, on Wednesday, February 6, 1918, DeTamble opened a new Ford dealership, the Twin City Motor Company, at 610 North Liberty Street (for a history of that building and its later uses, see “A sweet move”). He immediately doubled the size of the building, extending it through the block to Trade Street, then leased the new space to a company that he had contracted with to do maintenance and repair on Ford vehicles.

Twin City Motor Company, 1926, elevation drawing by Northup & O’Brien

By mid-1919, Detamble’s company had outgrown that building and found itself landlocked, so in 1920 he moved to a new fire-proof quarters at 221 South Liberty Street. The site was shared by the Norfleet-Baggs Company and the budding Jarvis Battery Company. In 1922, Ford bought the Lincoln Motor Company and DeTamble added the local Lincoln dealership to his portfolio. On Saturday, July 18, 1925, the new building was ravaged by fire. Norfleet-Baggs and Jarvis Battery were completely burned out. A couple of dozen cars, including the Winston-Salem Police Department’s “Black Maria” patrol wagon, were incinerated. DeTamble had the building repaired and continued to operate from the site, but also initiated the construction of a grand new building at 631 North Liberty Street.

Opening ad, September 2, 1926

The new three story building ran all the way through the block along Seventh Street between Liberty and Main and was designed by the city’s leading architectural firm, Northup & O’Brien. It contained 44,000 square feet for administrative offices, new car display and sales, auto maintenance and repair facilities and a retail parts department. The Twin City Motor Company moved to that site on September 2, 1926. More than a month later, they held their grand opening with a spectacular “salon” show of the latest in motor car design (see separate article below) and, in conjunction with other area Ford dealers, a wildly popular gas mileage contest.

Grand opening, October 24, 1926


Grand opening, Oct 27 – Nov 6, 1926

The Twin City Motor Company would continue to operate on that site for 27 years, until it was replaced, in 1953, by the Hull-Dobbs Ford dealership, a national chain that originated in Memphis, Tennessee (see separate article below).

Hull-Dobbs pulled out in 1965 and was replaced by Odell Matthews Motors, Plymouth Valiant and Simca dealer, for a little over a year. By 1967, Ed Owens Chrysler-Plymouth had moved in. They would remain until 1972. That same year saw the arrival of Automotive Associates, Wayne D. Falls, president, H. Bruce bates, vice-president and Rene Tano, secretary, which styled itself as the one-stop spot for auto needs and included city wide delivery, a towing service, a parts service, general auto repairs and a body shop. Automotive Associates has now been there for over 40 years and is considered to be one of the best independent auto repair facilities in the Twin City.

Fred and Elsie DeTamble both died in 1961, a few months apart. They were generous people. When the Memorial Industrial School opened north of the Twin City in the mid-1920s, Fred DeTamble supplied the orphanage with Ford farm vehicles at minimal cost. The DeTamble Library at St. Andrews College, designed by A.G. Odell, Jr. & Associates, was named for them. DeTamble Auditorium in Tribble Hall on the Wake Forest campus is named for Elsie.

Hull-Dobbs Ford

Hull-Dobbs Ford, Union Avenue, Memphis, next to the Peabody Hotel

The Hull-Dobbs Ford dealership was founded in Memphis in 1921 by Jimmy Dobbs and Horace Hull. It operated for decades on Union Avenue right next to the landmark Peabody Hotel (think ducks parading in the lobby). Soon they began to open franchised dealerships and became the largest sellers of Ford vehicles in the world. They invented the regimented high-pressure techniques that dominated the automobile sales industry for decades. They later expanded into restaurants…the Hull-Dobbs Houses eventually bought out their biggest rival, the Toddle House…became the largest airline catering firm in the world…and were pioneers in the fleet vehicle business.

The Lincoln Salon

Lincoln Brunn Roadster

Early Lincoln cars were ridiculed for their bland designs, much as were Henry Ford’s early cars. When Ford acquired Lincoln in 1922, they decided to change that image, hiring a variety of the most advanced auto body designers to create new Lincolns. About the same time, the first New York grand auto salon was presented, featuring the newest auto design from around the world. The idea soon spread to Chicago, San Francisco and beyond. Lincoln and Dusenburg became two of the biggest players in that game. By 1923, Lincoln had created its own traveling salon, which reached out to smaller cities around the nation.

Lincoln Judkins Brougham

In October, 1926, Fred DeTamble brought the annual Lincoln salon to Winston-Salem. He billed it as the largest exhibit of advanced auto design in North Carolina history, which it certainly was. If you had been in the Twin City in the fall of 1926, for over a week you could have seen all of these cars and more at DeTamble’s Twin City Motor Company on North Liberty Street at Seventh.

Lincoln Lebaron Sedan


Lincoln Dietrich Cabriolet


Lincoln Brunn Sport Phaeton

Lincoln Town Car, from the French magazine L’Illustration

Charlotte Ford Assembly Plant

Statesville Avenue assembly plant, building #1, 1924

In 1913, the Ford Motor Company began opening more than two dozen assembly plants around the nation. They opened a service facility at 222 North Tryon Street in Charlotte in 1914. Within weeks the site had been expanded to incorporate an assembly plant. The plant assembled Ford bodies, then mated each one to a chassis shipped from Detroit. In its first full year, 1915, the Charlotte plant shipped 6,850 Ford vehicles. In 1916, the plant moved to a larger facility at 210 East Sixth Street. In 1924, Ford built a new 240,000 square foot plant off Statesville Avenue. That plant employed 500 local workers and produced 300 cars and trucks per day in its first year. The plant closed in 1932 during the Great Depression, having assembled a total of 231,068 Ford vehicles. During World War II, the plant became a Quartermaster Corps Depot. In the early 1950s, it was refitted as the Charlotte Ordnance Missile Plant, which manufactured Nike missiles and Honest John rockets.

As always, click the pics for full size…

Recently, there has been a good bit of discussion about neighborhood grocery stores. From the late 19th century, there were dozens of such establishments in the Twin City, many lasting into the 1960s and 1970s.

Today, Janice found one of Bill East’s articles from the 1960s about one such store in Waughtown. Of most interest to me is the part about the weekend music and dancing on the “roof garden”. The Crouse family, based from the early 20th century in Ardmore on Hawthorne Road near Knollwood, was a veritable industry of music, with family bands, orchestras, quartets, etc playing a wide range of music from classical to popular. Walter Crouse’s band performed frequently at venues all across the Old North State.

The 1907 Sanborn Insurance map shows the location of the Red Store and the residence of its owners, John and Mary Charles, next door. The map is a bit confusing because streets have moved and changed names. At the time there were at least three Waughtown Streets, the oldest being well to the east and running through what is now Happy Hill. This particular Waughtown was renamed Junia. Haled Street actually moved northward at some later time. And through a spelling problem, Arcadia became Acadia. The only building shown on the map that is still standing is the Forsyth Iron Bed Company…the last time we looked, it was the Forsyth Mechanical & Construction Company, which has been there for about 35 years…

As always, click the pic for full size

The Davis School, Winston, NC, c. 1892. At the rear, the two main buildings are at the right, next to the chapel…the barracks at center and faculty housing at left. The railway line to Mocksville runs across the center of the scene past the Davis School depot at the extreme left. In front of that building stands an old log storage building and barely seen is a bit of the Brookstown/Bethania Road (now Reynolda Road), with at lower left the bridge across Peter’s Creek. Old Salem Museums and Gardens…

In October, 1886, Colonel A.C. Davis opened the Davis School in La Grange, NC. It was a military high school for young men. After the 1889 Christmas holiday, the school was swept by an epidemic of “grip” (flu), and classes were suspended in early February, 1890. It was expected that the school would be reopened in the fall. But other forces were at work.

At that time, Trinity College in Trinity, NC, which had a chronic money problem, was looking for a safe haven. And the location of a new Baptist Female University was also up for grabs. The Davis Military School got sucked into the sweepstakes. By March, it appeared that Raleigh might get all three schools. But Raleigh only won one, the Baptist school, which was renamed Meredith College in 1909 after John Meredith,  the founder of the “Biblical Recorder”. Buck Duke got busy and lured Trinity to Durham, where it would eventualy become Duke University. Winston lawyer and newspaper publisher John W. Alspaugh, a Trinity grad who had rescued the school more than once from collapse, was bitterly disappointed that Trinity did not come to Winston, but ended up settling for the Davis school.

Ruger & Stone’s 1891 Birds-Eye view of the Twin City gives us another look at the Davis School, including the twin bridges above the parade ground leading to the military training area of the campus…Library of Congress…

By June, with the enthusiastic participation of Winston business leaders, a suitable tract of land on the Old Town Road near Peter’s Creek had been purchased, the contractors, Porter & Goodwin of Goldsboro, were hard at work on the residences and barracks, and Philadelphia architect J.D. Daugherty had completed plans for the campus’s main building. The school opened in September with nearly 200 boys in attendance.

Some baseball action…pitcher at left…the batter is wearing a hat, tie and vest…Old Salem Museums and Gardens…

By the turn of the year, the school had become an integral part of the community. On February 27, 1891, the lads came marching down Main street in double file to a drum cadence and turned in at the Gymnasium Hall to be entertained by the young women of the Salem Female Academy in a program of songs and piano solos. Two and a half hours later, they marched away to the air “The Girl I Left Behind Me” played by their brass band and the sighs of the academy ladies. These would become regular events looked forward to by the students of both schools.

A football game at Davis…note the more rounded rugby ball…the forward pass was still illegal…Old Salem Museums and Gardens…

Their annual spring athletics day, consisting of mostly track and field events, became a popular entertainment…the newspapers hinted that they were especially enjoyed by the local shop girls. The most popular event was the tug of war, in which teams competed ferociously to win the ribbon.

The annual May Day dress parade on the courthouse square was a highlight every year…this one in 1894…Old Salem Museums and Gardens…

And on May Day each year, they put on a grand dress parade at the courthouse square, marching to the tunes of their own brass band, and performing close order drill and other military maneuvers, under the direction of First Lieutenant W.E. Shipp of the 10th US Cavalry, who had been assigned to the school by the US Secretary of War. The school was delighted with the city and the city was delighted with the school.

The faculty of the Davis School…Colonel A.C. Davis is seated at the right, next to his father, who was a physician…his brother Jeff is at the left…Old Salem Museums and Gardens…

For some time there had been a good bit of confusion over the name of the school. The original charter from the state General Assembly had been simply the Davis School. But sloppy journalists and overeager marketers had used a variety of different names, including the Davis Military Academy and the Davis Military College, which it was not. In 1893, local legislator Cyrus Watson petitioned the General Assembly to change the name to the Davis Military School, which was done.

James Edward Peterson, Jr., of Salem, was one of the many local boys who attended the Davis School…Old Salem Museums and Gardens…

But that same year, the US economy went into a tailspin. A year later the gross national product was down more than 10%, spending was down about the same amount and capital was extremely hard to come by. All indicators began a fairly rapid recovery, but certain areas of the economy, which most definitely included boarding schools, would struggle for several more years. Suddenly, without warning, in early November, 1897, a statement appeared in the local newspapers. The Davis Military School had gone into the hands of a receiver. A number of local leaders, the most vocal of which was P.H. Hanes, called for the rescue of the school, but that was not forthcoming. In December, Superior Court judge Darius Starbuck decreed that the receiver should auction off the private property of the school. That was done on July 16, 1898 and the Davis Military School was no more.

The property stood abandoned for several years. In 1900, a fire destroyed two of the barracks buildings. And two years later, the remainder of the campus burned to the ground and all traces of the school were gone. In 1909, the land was acquired by the Methodist Church and eventually became the North Carolina Methodist Children’s Home. That story will be dealt with in another post.

Early days of Children’s Home, c 1915…the buildings are, left to right, the dormitory for large sized boys, the dormitory for middle sized boys, the dormitory for small sized boys and the dormitory for middle sized girls. The brick building in the distance was the Cornelius Building, dormitory for large sized girls. In between, behind the horse and obscured by trees was the original dining hall. That story coming soon to a blog near you…Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection…

Meanwhile, that same year, a new military school came to Winston. Professor J. W. Tinsley of Havre de Grace, Maryland, announced that he was looking to establish a military academy somewhere to the south. Immediately, the local Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce jumped on the bandwagon. Even though the local newspapers insisted on spelling Professor Tinsley’s hometown as Harve, in a trice, the deal was done.

The Barber Printing Company had just moved into their new quarters on Third Street, leaving their early 1890s building at 214 West Fourth Street available. The local boosters promised full support and spent something over $1,000 sprucing up the building, which would become both the home of Professor Tinsley and his family and the campus of the new military institute.

But when the Tinsley Military Institute opened in the second week of September, 1909, only a handful of cadets were on hand. The local newspapers, the “Journal”, the “Sentinel” and the “Union Republican” for once found common cause in attacking the boosters for failing to provide the promised support. A committee was appointed to correct this problem. Local lawyer H. Montague, who could always be counted on to support education, offered to finance a scholarship for the school. That became the solution…if the children of the wealthy would not enroll at TMI, then local boosters would provide scholarships for the children of the poor.

Tinsley Military Institute cadets on parade, c. 1912…hand colored postcard…

That worked for a while. In its second year, TMI moved to the former Salem Boys School building on South Church Street. And the cadets began to assume a similar role to that of the former Davis School boys in the community. Prominent Salemites pronounced that having TMI so close to the Salem Academy & College campus could not fail to produce positive results. A number of joint programs between the two schools were produced. But there was something, never mentioned publicly, wrong.

In May, 1913, TMI and the Salem Academy and College held their annual commencement ceremonies, with a good bit of crossover between the events. Earlier that month, the towns of Winston and Salem had at long last officially joined to become the city of Winston-Salem. That would lead to many complications as the assets of the two communities were reallocated to suit the common good. Among those complications was the promise of a new Central School to accommodate Salem students. But because funding was already committed to the new Fairview School in north Winston, Central would have to wait for a couple of years.

TMI occupied the 1896 Salem Boys School building from 1910-1913…Old Salem Museums and Gardens…

Suddenly, on May 24, in the middle of the two commencement celebrations, and with no prior public discussion, the new city government and the elders of the Salem congregation announced that the former Boys School building would become a part of the new joint school system for at least two years beginning in the fall of 1913. No mention was made of the fact that the Tinsley Military Institute was already using that facility. And when reporters tracked down Professor Tinsley, he seemed not to know anything about the new arrangement.

Nothing more was said on the subject until August, when Professor Tinsley announced that he had made arrangements to use the second floor of the former Salem Town Hall and that a new school, minus the military aspect, focused on business courses and adult night school classes, would open in the fall. Of course, that never happened. And Professor Tinsley literally vanished from the earth.

As always, click on the pix for full size


Forsyth Riflemen lead a funeral procession around 1894


Company E, 2nd Battalion, 105th Engineers at Camp Jackson, SC, April, 1919

On Tuesday, April 22, 1919, the Forsyth Riflemen finally came home, triggering the biggest single event in the history of Winston-Salem.

On September 29, 1918, two North Carolina infantry regiments, the 119th and 120th, supported by the 105th Engineers, broke the unbreakable Hindenburg Line at Bellicourt and won the Great War

The Riflemen, our local militia, had been gone for a long time, beginning in the summer of 1916 in New Mexico, where they helped to fight off the cross border raids of Pancho Villa, then in early 1917 in South Carolina, training for infantry engineering operations and then in Flanders and eastward, where, as Company E of the 105th Engineers, 30th (Old Hickory) Infantry Division, they played a major role in breaking the unbreakable Hindenberg Line.

Ever since the Great War armistice went into effect at 11:11 AM on 11/11/1918, local folks had known it would be just a matter of time until the troops came home. But when that time would be was unknown. Until Friday morning, April 11, 1919 when the Winston-Salem Journal gave them the good news. The Riflemen’s troop ship was approaching Charleston harbor and a great celebration would be held in the Twin City as soon as possible after their arrival.

The original idea came from the Rotary Club. When the Winston-Salem Board of Trade jumped on board, it became a done deal. The impending event was front page news every day for over a week. Mayor Gorrell stayed in constant contact with the troop ship via radiogram and with the governor and other high ranking officials.

The celebration had to be put together in less than two weeks. Hundreds of local citizens populated committees to plan the homecoming down to the nth degree, seeking to answer many questions:

1. Who would be coming? Answer, only the members of the 105th Engineers who were natives of North Carolina, over 500 troops.

2. Since the soldiers would be staying overnight, where would they sleep? Answer: In the homes of volunteer local families?

3. What amenities would be provided the troops? Answer: Whatever the soldiers might want, including “the key” to the city, all meals, free street car and theater tickets, coupons for free soda fountain drinks at all local drugstores, and a lot more. Arrangements were made for the troops to meet friends and family members at the YMCA at Fourth and Cherry Streets. And despite statewide prohibition, we can be sure that a drink or two was offered here and there.

4. There had to be a parade. Where would it begin and end? Answer: It would begin at the corner of Church and Fourth Streets, proceed west on Fourth to Trade, north on Trade to Fifth, west on Fifth to Cherry, south on Cherry to Second, east on Second to Liberty, north on Liberty to Third, east on Third to Main, north on Main to Fourth, west on Fourth to Liberty, and north on Liberty to Piedmont Park

At some point, one of the parade planners mentioned that the boys had been tramping around muddy Europe for too long, so the parade route would be kept as short as possible. The final route was over four miles long…I guess “long” had a different meaning back then; we haven’t had a parade anywhere near that long since.

5. Who would participate in the parade besides the soldiers of the 105th? Answer: Anyone from the area previously discharged from Great War service. Those who have read our first post on The Battle of Henry Johnson are aware that Henry’s unit, The Harlem Hellfighters, awarded a unit Croix de Guerre by the French, were excluded from the national victory parade in New York.

Would black troops be excluded from the Winston-Salem parade as well? No. In the end, about 400 local white soldiers and about the same number of local black soldiers, all of whom had already been discharged, marched in the parade. And the best band by far in the parade was the local black unit, the Gold Leaf Cornet Band, which dated to 1877.

So as frantic preparations continued, on Tuesday afternoon, April 22, the special train carrying the Forsyth Riflemen approached Pomona junction southwest of Greensboro. They were held there briefly so that the regular Winston-Salem-Greensboro passenger train could pass, headed to the Gate City. That was necessary because the Winston-Salem depot, the surrounding area and the streets for blocks in every direction were choked with thousands of people hoping to catch a glimpse of the arriving troops.

Finally, the train was released. At about 5:45 PM, as it approached the trestle over Salem Creek, a general fire alarm was sounded. That was the signal. Every church bell in town began ringing. Every factory whistle began screaming. The loudest was the huge siren of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. But even that was almost drowned out by the roar of the crowd.

People were jammed shoulder to shoulder through the Winston yard and all surrounding streets. People were hanging out of every upper story window with a view of the tracks. Every accessible rooftop was packed. Many even climbed telephone poles. Those who could not find a view headed over to East Fourth Street to line the route that the soldiers would march along from the depot to the Riflemen’s armory, where they would stack arms before being released to join friends and family. As the train pulled into the station, the delighted soldiers leaned out of the train windows, smiling and waving.

After stacking arms at the local armory, the soldiers were released. The local boys had happy reunions with family, friends and sweethearts. The others were led by individual greeters to the YMCA on Fourth Street where they met their hosts for the night. Several hundred cars were standing by to take them on tours of the city, or wherever else they might want to go. That party went on most of the night.

The YMCA on Cherry at Fourth was the official headquarters for the celebration. The reviewing stand for the parade was next door in front of the Winston-Salem High School on Cherry.


The troops stored their weapons in the armory of the Forsyth Riflemen, marked by the arched windows. The parade began at the far right.

The next morning, the parade kicked off at exactly 11:00 AM on the word of Colonel Joseph Pratt, the commanding officer of the 105th Regiment. Area newspapers estimated that between 75 and 100 thousand spectators lined the parade route, the largest public gathering ever in the Piedmont region. They overflowed the sidewalks into the streets, leaving just enough room for the parade to pass. The order of march:

Police chief J.A. Thomas and sheriff George W. Flynt

Col. Jesse C. Bessent and Lt. Ben Gray, Forsyth Riflemen

Col. Joseph Hyde Pratt and 105th staff, mounted

105th Regimental Band

Three platoons of the 105th

105th Regimental colors

Nine platoons of the 105th

Troopers of the 105th round the corner from Liberty onto Third. Under construction is the Universal Auto Building, which would house a bank, several auto dealers and repair shops and a parking deck with an elevator for cars.

Crouse’s Band

Home Guard, Capt. Jule Stith, commanding

Salem Band

Maj. Robert M. Hanes and other local officers

Returned officers of the various services

Five platoons of returned soldiers

Gold Leaf Cornet Band, Professor L.B. Princefield

Five platoons of returned black soldiers, Lt. Russell Atkins, commanding

Already discharged black veterans march on North Liberty Street near Seventh

Reynolds Band

At the rear was the only float in the parade, commemorating the war dead. It was draped in white and decorated with gold stars and stacked arms, with Liberty (Miss Willie Griffin) enthroned, and containing the slogan “In memory of those who gave their all that liberty might live.”

When the parade arrived at Piedmont Park, the soldiers did a lap around the 1/2 mile dirt horse racing track in front of the reviewing stand which held such dignitaries as North Carolina Governor T.W. Bickett and US Senator Lee S. Overman. After a round of speeches, the soldiers were served a huge picnic lunch, followed by a baseball game at Prince Albert Park between Davidson College and Elon College (Davidson scored four runs in the first inning and cruised to a 6-4 win before a crowd of around 3,000). The black soldiers had their own picnic and baseball game at Piedmont Park.

After the game, the local soldiers returned to their homes while the men of the 105th marched back downtown, where they stacked arms on the courthouse square, then drifted down to Salem square. There they were served dinner by the young women of Salem Academy and College. The evening was rounded out by a huge street dance, held on a roped off section of West Fifth Street between Cherry and Spruce Streets. The Journal reported that the dance was the highlight of the day, with hundreds of couples swinging to popular tunes provide by the 105th Regimental Band and the local favorite, Crouse’s Band, as thousands more looked on.

The next morning as they boarded the train back to Camp Jackson, the troops were handed individual baskets of ham, beef, tongue, candy and fruits by members of the local Red Cross. Many were reluctant to leave, and some later moved to the Twin City in appreciation of the great welcoming.

The following day at Camp Jackson they were mustered out of active service and were able to come home for good.

The local men of Company E who marched in the parade:

Name, Rank, Residence

Brewer, Clarence P. CPL 218 E. Ninth St.

Carter, John CPL UNKNOWN

Chandler, Seborn PVT UNKNOWN

Davis, William H. SGT 1109 E. First St.

Estep, Burn C. PVT King, NC

Ethridge, Willis CPL 715 Devonshire St.

Faircloth, Dewey M. PVT 623 Academy St.

Gunter, Colon J. PVT 1027 Patterson Ave.

Hamby, Ernest PVT 156 Green St.

Hardister, Sam G. PVT 451 S. Liberty St.

Hicks, Ed PVT 1017 White St.

Huffman, Ray PVT 408 13 ½ St.

Jarvis, John PVT 122 Spring St.

Johnson, David A. PVT 1011 E. Shuttle St.

Kiger, Herbert PVT 109 S. Poplar St.

Landingham, Carey PVT 408 13 ½ St.

Lewellyn, Thomas H. PVT 613 E. Eleventh St.

Marshell, Dewey M. PVT 501 E. Fifteenth St.

McCormick, Howard PVT 201 S. Spring St.

Morton, Ben PVT 246 McAdoo St.

Mullican, Enoch B. PVT 1202 Twentyfifth St.

Nichols, Claude R. PVT 54 Broad St.

Phillips, Lawrence E. PVT 942 Fifteenth St.

Reavis, B.G. PVT Pine Hall, NC

Reavis, Fred PVT 835 Marshall St.

ReLove, Russell PVT 224 Cemetery St.

Russell, Grover Y. PVT 2719 Liberty St.

Shipley, Fred M. PVT 1131 Hickory St.

Smith, Authur G. PVT 1003 Liberty St.

Solomon, Rufus C. PVT Walnut Cove, NC

Supp, Oliver O. PVT 209 Mill St.

Vanhoy, Nat W. PVT 635 Devonshire St.

Wagoner, Robert B. PVT 102 Shawnee St.

Wall, Ellis PVT Clemmons, NC

Whitlow, Harry D. PVT 514 Cleveland Ave.

Williams, Allen T. CPL 640 Devonshire St.

Wilson, Felix PVT 540 S. Main St.

Wilson, Lee PVT 416 S. Spring

Wright, Cub SGT Walkertown, NC

PVT Charles B. Idol, from Walkertown, who was in another company of the 105th, also marched.

Company commanding officer: CPT G.P. Murphy, Philadelphia, PA

As always, click on pix for full size…

This blog post was inspired by a regular listener to the J.R. and Fam show on WSJS, who asked if we could replace the ancient crumbling mostly unreadable newspaper clipping about her grandmother. We did. And here it is:

Here, around 1908, we see the center of the downtown Winston-Salem universe from the 1890s through World War II, at the intersection of Fourth and Liberty Streets. Since everyone from R.J. Reynolds to street car motormen to police officers to shop girls visited the soda fountains at the two drugstores daily, it was the social and information center of the metropolis. On the right was V.O. Thompson’s drugstore, which had a second entrance around the corner on Liberty Street. It was a mecca for cigar smokers, because Thompson also manufactured stogies in a separate building on West Third Street. At the left, 402-404 North Liberty, was Edward W. O’Hanlons drugstore. The northern bay, 404, was occupied by William H. Watkins, books, magazines and newspapers, art supplies and art framing. Upstairs were the offices of six doctors: J. Pass Fearrington, D.N. Dalton, E.A. Lockett, C.L. Summers, J.L Hanes and W.J. Conrad. When the outdoor bowling alleys at Nissen Park on Waughtown Street opened in 1903, touching off a fad for bowling parties, Dr. Summers’ wife, Bessie, held the women’s record for several weeks with a score of 118. To the right of the power pole, the first building, 406, was Fred N. Day’s jewelry store. That building wrapped around O’Hanlon’s and had a second entrance on West Fourth Street, in the exact same location as the later Woolworth’s Five and Dime.That 18,000 square foot building is currently available for lease. Next, at 408-410, was the Meyers-Westbrook department store, undergoing a major remodeling in this picture. Next, at 412, was Vaughn Bros & Co, shoes. 414 was occupied by offices, including the headquarters of the Winston-Salem Retail Merchants Association. At 416-418 was A. Daye & Company’s department store. You can see their sign near the center of the picture. Beyond, the building with the cupola was the Twin City’s first federal office building / post office, on the site of the current Millennium Center on West Fifth Street, opened in 1906 and dramatically enlarged in 1914. By then it contained a US customs office, one of the few in the nation not on a navigable body of water, established because of the vast amounts of Turkish tobacco and French cigarette paper being imported for the manufacture of the world’s number one selling cigarette, Camel. At the center of the picture, we can see the transition of transportation taking place, with a “horseless carriage” parked at the curb, a local streetcar and a nice horse-drawn carriage.

The adventure began on Thursday afternoon, August 10, 1905. Ransom Wilson, a well known farmer from the Midway area of Davidson county, had business at the firm of A Daye & Co at 416-418 North Liberty Street in Winston-Salem. He left his wagon and two-mule team at the curb, under the command of his thirteen-year-old daughter Florence. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there came a brilliant flash of lightning and a cannonade of thunder. The mules, sensing armageddon at hand, decided to return home posthaste. The story ran on the front page of the Winston-Salem Journal the next day:

In the latter part of the 19th century, L.B. Brickenstein took over the old Mickey tin shop on Main at Belews Street. The building was demolished in the 1950s to make way for the East-West Expressway, and the iconic coffee pot was moved to the Old Salem Bypass.

Certainly, L.B. Brickenstein was the hero of the day, but that was expected of a man of his caliber. The real adulation was reserved for thirteen-year-old Florence Wilson, the pluckiest girl of the year, who wound up getting a ride on the streetcar as a reward.

Some notes on this story:

The adventure began in front of the store of A. Daye on North Liberty Street just a few doors up from E.W. O’Hanlon’s Drugstore. A. Daye was Annam Daye, an immigrant from Syria, yet another of the millions of immigrants who helped build the USA. His entire family was involved in the business, and most of them became important leaders in the Winston-Salem community.

L.B. Brickenstein began as a tinsmith and ended up operating one of the largest plumbing establishments in North Carolina. He was one of the city’s wealthiest men. Yet he knew what to do when faced with a crisis. His house, designed by the noted southern architect Franklin Pierce Milburn, is a National Register property, seen below.

Florence Phebe Wilson…the pluckiest girl…was born in 1892 in the Midway community of Davidson County to Flora and Ransom Wilson, who were farmers. On December 6, 1919, she married Paul Glascoe at the home of V.M. Swaim, a Baptist minister, who lived in the Broadbay section of Forsyth County. The recorded witnesses were William A. Smith and C.A. Charles of Winston-Salem and Bertie Pitts of Wallburg. She and Paul had children and farmed for many years in Davidson County, just across the Forsyth line. Florence died in 1986 in Lake County, Florida.

As always, click the pix for larger size

Contrary to popular belief, color photography did not develop in the 1930s…that was just the time when it became reasonably affordable. Color photography developed only a few years behind monochrome, but is was far more complicated and expensive for quite some time. By the mid-1800s, Magic Lantern shows were incorporating color (and motion), long before Thomas Edison and Technicolor. D.W. Griffith and many other silent film makers added hand tinted color to their movies. In 1914, Australian Frank Hurley took over 500 color pictures of Antarctica.

Frank Hurley takes pictures of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s flagship Endurance, Antarctica, 1914…

From the early days of personal computers, Photoshop and the excellent shareware program GraphicConverter made it possible to colorize old monochrome photographs. But it took a good bit of time, patience and determination. In recent years, a number of software programs have been developed to make colorization easier, but they still required more time and patience than most people wanted to invest.

Carl and Elvis exchange autographs…now, for the first time, in color…

Now, a breakthrough, at Berkeley, where else? Richard Zhang, Phillip Isola and Alexei A. Efros used a million photographs to develop colorization algorithms that allow even the laziest and most technology challenged among us to click and color our old monochrome photographs.

WARNING: The quality of the original photo and of the scan itself has a lot to do with success or failure. If the originals are faded, a bit of tweaking of the scan in a photo editor is advised. And the scans need to be done carefully and at high resolution, say 600 dpi, with good contrast and brightness.

Scans of photos from books, magazines and newspapers do not work very well, but with a bit of thought, even they can be made passable. I have included one example of a terrible, over exposed photo from a high school yearbook to give you an idea of that possibility.

And the algorithms are not yet perfected. The biggest problem is that like Kodachrome film, VHS tape and Senator Joe McCarthy, they have a problem with the color red, which sometimes appears unexpectedly or tends to bleed into areas where it does not belong.

Enough of all that. Go to the free Algorithmia website here and give it a try. If your scanned pix are online at a place like Flickr, just copy and paste the URL. If they are on your desktop, you can upload them directly.

Lawrence Staley’s first restaurant in Winston-Salem, on Reynolda Road, as only a few of us ancient ones ever saw it…


Wake Forest legends Ed and Emily Wilson with their babies…


Winston-Salem State dance team from many years ago…


A terrible, over exposed pic copied from the 1961 Black & Gold…coach Whitley preaches to his undefeated team…

As always, click on pix for full size

USS North Carolina (BB55) was the first newly constructed American battleship to enter service during World War II, and took part in every major naval offensive in the Pacific Theater of Operations; her 15 battle stars made her the most decorated American battleship of World War II.

Hull laid down: 27 October 1937 at the New York Naval Shipyard
Launched: 13 June 1940
Commissioned: 9 April 1941, New York City
Main armament: Nine 16 in (410 mm)/45 caliber Mark 6 guns
Decommissioned: 27 June 1947
Nickname: Showboat (because so much attention was paid to her sea trials)

For everything you ever wanted to know about the USS North Carolina, the official ship museum website has it all:  http://www.battleshipnc.com/

Fitting out, April, 1941


Forward battery firing during August 1941 trials


After turret firing


Okinawa, 1945


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