Linda Stine, Assistant Professor of the Historical Archaeology at UNC-G, will present a free public lecture. The topic of her presentation is “Seeking the Courthouse: Archaeology and Remote Sensing at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park”.

This lecture is sponsored by the Walkertown Area Historical Society.

“Seeking the Courthouse: Archaeology and Remote Sensing at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park”
presented by Dr. Linda Stine
Tuesday, September 20th at 6:30 pm

Walkertown Branch Library
2969 Main St. Walkertown, NC 27051
Call 336 703-2990 for more info

Click here for driving directions

Curious about the progress of the new Central Library?


Have you been itching to get a sneak peak into the new Central Library? Mark your calendar because Tuesday, September 20 is your big chance to do just that! The American Heart Association and Frank L. Blum Construction will be hosting the American Heart Association’s campaign kick off at the building site of the new Central Library, now called Central on Fifth, at 660 W. Fifth Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

This is a free public event and open to everyone who is interested in a first look at Forsyth County’s flagship library before it reclaims its spot in the information and cultural life of our community when it reopens in 2017. Library staff and architects will be on hand to answer questions about Central on Fifth’s exciting new building features, library services, and materials collections.There will be information about the AHA campaign and the 2016 Winston-Salem Heart & Stroke Walk taking place on October 29 at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter – Bailey Park. We will have kids’ activities including Music & Movement, a Building Storytime, LEGO challenges, photo ops with some earthmoving equipment, and more! If you choose to make a $20.00 or more donation to the American Heart Association, you get a bright red, official Frank L. Blum hard hat to commemorate the event!

This is only the third time AHA has held their kick off at a construction site and the first time that Frank L. Blum has opened a live construction site to the public. You won’t want to miss this historic event!

What: American Heart Association Campaign Kick Off
Where: Building site of the new Central on Fifth Library
660 W. Fifth Street, Downtown Winston-Salem

When: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 4:00-6:00 pm

Free and open to the public. Call 336-703-3041 for more information.

As always, some images can be seen at larger size by clicking on them


It is fitting that one of our four Baptist Presidents, Harry Truman, who liked to play the piano and dance, broke the ground for the new Wake Forest College campus in Winston-Salem. It was a celebratory occasion, attended by thousands. But few knew that behind the scenes, there was significant opposition to the move.


A lot of people hate any kind of change. And among fundamentalist Baptists, there was a fear that the move from the tiny town of Wake Forest, where everyone knew everyone else’s business, to the bustling industrial city of Winston-Salem would result in a level of anonymity that would lead to a moral breakdown at the college. As construction of the campus proceeded in the mid 1950s, a group that called itself the Committee of 17 launched an investigation into the moral climate of the Twin City and the new campus.


Harold Tribble was given a hero’s welcome after a failed attempt to modernize the Wake Forest College board of trustees in 1963

Caught in the crossfire was an unlikely man, Dr. Harold Tribble, a devout Baptist with a few modern ideas, who had just ascended to the presidency of the college. At one point, in 1957, a group of conservatives began a mail campaign to oust Tribble. That campaign failed.

When the campus opened in 1956, most of the old rules were still in effect. The brunt of those fell upon women students. On Sundays, all women students were required to wear dresses or skirts all day…no slacks, and certainly no shorts. Every day women students were forbidden to smoke in public on the campus. They could smoke only in their dormitories, while male students could smoke pretty much where they pleased, including classrooms. But it was the devil’s special work, dancing, that brought the first public conflict with the State Baptist convention.


Dancing had been forbidden by the state convention on all NC Baptist college campuses since 1937. So the first year, Wake Forest students had to go off campus to jitterbug and shag. The Varsity Grill, nearby on Polo Road, was a popular destination. Other new clubs would soon follow. There was a beautiful log cabin in the woods off Ransom Road. The owner would rent the building to fraternities for parties, while she and her daughters spent the night away in a motel. Some of us high school students managed to infiltrate the proceedings, where we first encountered such cultural wonders as “purple Jesus”.

But there was a determined group of students who wanted to be able to dance without taking to the highways. They petitioned the college’s board of trustees to change the rules. And on April 26, 1957, the trustees agreed to do so, provided that such dancing was chaperoned. Of course, that set off a fire storm of protest from conservatives, to the point that the college trustees rescinded their decision in October of the same year. In response, the meeting of the state Baptist convention the following month produced a record attendance, with the central issue being dancing on Baptist campuses.


Legendary reporter and editor Dick Creed was the first to report the dance ban vote, in the Twin City Sentinel



On November 19, the convention, in a thunderous voice vote, reaffirmed the dancing ban. That night, students rushed the quad, chanting “We wanta dance.” They rolled the trees, lit a bonfire, changed the name at the entrance to the campus to “Wake Forest Monastery”, burned the outgoing president of the NC convention in effigy and danced to the latest rock ’n’ roll hits: Chuck Berry’s “School Days”, Buddy Knox’s “Party Doll”, The Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love”,  and of course, Jerry Lee Lewis’s manic “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On”.



Dr. J.C. Canipe, who led the charge to reaffirm the dancing ban, was burned in effigy

The next day, the students were summoned to Wait Chapel to officially receive the news. But overnight, they had been busy. Most women students wore red “Ds” pinned to their blouses, reminiscent of the “A” in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. When the announcement was made, an alarm clock went off and all but a handful of students got up and walked out, singing “Dear Old Wake Forest”. They went to the student center, dragged the jukebox outside onto the plaza and began dancing. That night, more students went to the new Thruway Shopping Center, where they were joined by young women from Salem College for more defiant dancing.



All of this was covered by the national press, including major newspapers, Dave Garroway’s “Today Show” and Life Magazine. One coed, Linda Kinlaw, a three-time beauty contest winner, told a Life reporter that it was “…more fun than a panty raid.” Another said “We ought to dance with these old men (convention delegates) and see if they get all shook up!”


Linda Kinlaw: “It was more fun than a panty raid.”

But under enormous pressure, the administration soon shut down the protests. In 1958, the Committee of 17 announced that they had discovered serious moral issues on the new campus and proposed that an old rule requiring all students to attend mandatory chapel programs at least twice a week be reinstated. The following year, they sought to mandate state convention approval of any change in the college bylaws. Both efforts failed, but there would be many more battles.


Wake Forest students, joined by some Salem College women, took their protest to Thruway Shopping Center. Note the “D” on the coed near the center.

In 1963, in Wilmington, Tribble led an effort to change the bylaws to allow non-Baptists, even non-North Carolinians, to be appointed to the Wake Forest board of trustees. That effort failed by only 194 votes out of 2,700. Caravans of students met Tribble on the highway as he returned from Wilmington, and thousands of cheering people greeted him on campus, but the struggle to become a modern educational institution would continue. Meanwhile, there was still no dancing on campus.


Dancing to Bob Collins and the Fabulous Five, Reynolda Hall, 1967

That would not come until 1967, when Dr. Tribble retired and was replaced by James Ralph Scales. Scales knew that Wake Forest would wither and die unless he could bring the school into the 20th century. One of his first moves was to remove the ban on dancing on campus. That was done quietly and without consulting the state convention. At homecoming that year, Bob Collins and the Fabulous Five became the first band to play for a dance on the Wake Forest campus.


New post on This Day in North Carolina History

Student artists paint at the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, circa 1964. Image from the Forsyth County Public Library.Student artists paint at the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, circa 1964. Image from the Forsyth County Public Library.

On August 9, 1949, the first locally-established arts council in the United States was formed in Winston-Salem.

The Junior League of Winston-Salem brought national community arts consultant Virginia Lee Comer to town in 1943 to study the cultural life of the community. Her strategy for cultural planning was to build connections between the community and its arts activities.

Seed money of $7,200 was set aside by the Junior League in 1946, and in 1949, representatives from twelve cultural groups convened to form the arts council. The council’s purpose was:

to serve those members and to plan, coordinate, promote, and sponsor the opportunity for, and the appreciation of, cultural activities in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County today works to make Winston-Salem the “City of the Arts,” where center-city revitalization efforts rely on the arts as an economic development resource.

The Arts Council has helped develop new arts organizations, established a united arts fund and constructed an arts center. Its comprehensive cultural program has received national acclaim and gained support for the arts from local business.

More than 4,000 local arts agencies across the country now work to build the presence of the arts in community quality of life. Today there are 74 local arts councils in North Carolina.

Other related resources:

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

NC Culture | August 9, 2016 at 6:30 AM | Tags: Arts, Forsyth County, Winston-Salem | Categories: Arts | URL: http://wp.me/p2C43o-22b

Bowman Gray

R. J. Reynolds considered himself to be the best salesman in the history of the world. But he generously allowed that if he was not, then Bowman Gray was, which was why he hired him in the first place, and why he anointed Bowman to be his successor as the head of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

Bowman had to wait a few years after R.J.’s death to take the reins, but once in the saddle he rode hard, leading the company to some its best years ever. And while he was at it, he oversaw the construction of two of the best buildings ever put up in North Carolina…the 1929 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company headquarters building and his own residence, the magnificent 1932 French eclectic Graylyn manor house.

In 1940, Bowman’s widow, Natalie Fontaine Lyons Gray and her children donated $750,000 (about $12.8 million in today’s money) in RJR stock and other monies to move the fledgling Wake Forest College medical school to Winston-Salem. Since then, it has flourished and become one of the top medical schools in the world. In 2001, the school commissioned Earline Heath (King) to create a sculpture of Bowman. In real life, Bowman was seldom seen outdoors without a hat on his head, but Earline liked his hairstyle, so put his hat in his hand and rendered him bareheaded.


Earline Heath (King) created the statue of Bowman Gray in 2001

Bowman has been standing for 15 years near Hawthorne Road in Ardmore. But that was never his natural environment. Today he is back where his heart always was, on Vine Street at the center of the bustling R.J. Reynolds complex, renamed and repurposed as the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a growing center of medical research and education.

The RJR Plant 60 complex was built in the early 20th century and was primarily used for stemming…after cured tobacco leaves were bought at auction, the first step in production was to separate the leaf material from the stems…it was dirty, dusty work which required a good bit of manual dexterity…women were typically better at it than men, but were paid 10¢ per hour less than the men…stay tuned for our coming series on Vine Street which will include the saga of the only successful strike ever against RJR, led by black women stemmers, which rectified that injustice.


Striking stemmers on Vine Street, 1947

But beginning today, Plant 60 becomes the Bowman Gray Medical Education Building of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical School…the most advanced medical school building in the world. Bowman stands out on the plaza, and having had a bit of experience with top notch architecture, I’m sure that he is pleased to be there…in fact, I would swear I saw him smiling just a smidgen today.


Bowman Gray comes home…

For everything you need to know about the new building, including virtual tours, go here:


Allow plenty of time for clicking around and be sure to scroll down to the bottom to see a terrific video of how Bowman got from Hawthorne Road to Vine Street.

And for a huge, illustrated look at the life and times of the extraordinary Earline Heath and her equally extraordinary long time husband and sidekick Joe “Vinciata” King, go here:


Everywhere you go in the Twin City, the shades of Bowman and Earline and Joe are never more than a whisper away.


Sue Macy

A few years ago, Sue Macy, a well known author of illustrated children’s books came to visit the NC Room and spent a couple of days with us. We tried to help her find information and people to interview for a book on legendary sports writer Mary Garber. Today I unzipped a USPS Priority Mail package and out popped this book.





Mary’s football team was called the Buena Vista Devils, or BVDs for short

It is a wonderful book. Get it…read it…our brief blog post about Sue Macy’s visit is here:



Miss Mary Garber


The Belo plot, Salem Cemetery


Belo Garden, Dallas, Texas

Everything is connected. The Salem Moravians knew that. That is why their annual review of events began, not in Salem, but on the world stage, moving ever narrower from Europe to the United States to North Carolina and finally to their beloved home.


The protest in Dallas that was interrupted by the murder of five police officers began at Belo Garden, a spectacular new downtown park that opened in 2012, just a stone’s throw from Dealey Plaza. The park was funded by the A.H. Belo Corporation, the Belo Foundation, Maureen and Robert Decherd, and the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department. The Belo Corporation owns several television stations and newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News, which has the 11th largest circulation in the US. The Belo Corporation was founded in Galveston in 1857 as The News, publisher of two weekly newspapers. Shortly after the Civil War, it was renamed Richardson, Belo & Company. When founder Willard Richardson died in 1875, the surviving partner renamed it A.H. Belo & Company. Who was A.H. Belo?


Frederick Edward Belo was born June 27, 1811 in Salem, NC, the second child of John Frederick and Maria Strupe Belo [Bölow]. After graduating from the Salem Boy’s School, he was apprenticed to the cabinet maker Petersen, eventually taking over the business. But unlike most other young men in Salem, he was not satisfied with a single income. Soon he was operating a linseed mill and a foundry, then another mill, building dams, finally opening a general merchandise store. In 1849 he completed a new building, two stories with 150 feet of frontage on Main Street. The first floor became his wholesale/retail merchandise store, “E. Belo’s Leviathan”, the largest such operation in the region. The family lived on the second floor. In 1860, a third floor, to house employees, was added. That building today is a national register property known simply as the Belo House. Later, Edward Belo would become the president of the local company that began building the first railroad connection to the towns of Winston and Salem, the single most important event in Twin City history.


Belo House, spring, 1861

In 1837, Edward married Amanda Fries. They had three daughters and four sons, the eldest of whom they named Alfred Horatio Belo, born May 27, 1839. After being educated at the Salem Boys School and elsewhere, Alfred went to work in his father’s business. In the spring of 1861, North Carolina reluctantly seceded from the Union. A few days later, on Salem Square, Alfred, about to turn 22, founded the first local company for the Confederate army, the Forsyth Rifles. He was elected captain of the company. A few weeks later, in Danville, VA, the Rifles were assigned to the 11th Regiment, NC Volunteers. They were placed near the center of the line at the Battle of Bull Run, but saw no real action.


Left to right: Edwatd Belo, Alfred Horatio Belo, Robert Belo

When the army was reorganized in early 1862, the Forsyth Rifles were assigned to the 21st NC Regiment, Infantry. But Alfred was not reelected as captain. The 21st would go on to fight in nearly every battle in the eastern theater of the Civil War. Alfred came home briefly, and eventually ended up in the 55th NC Regiment, Infantry. He was wounded in the left leg at Gettysburg and cited in battle reports. He was wounded in the left arm at Cold Harbor and furloughed for the duration. He attempted to return to the regiment more than once, but his wounds prevented his remaining on duty. According to the official records, his final rank was lieutenant colonel. In 1865, when General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Nathan Bedford Forest, who would later become one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan, sent out a call for all Confederate diehards to join General Kirby Smith who was still fighting in Texas, where they would continue the war, possibly as a guerrilla struggle. Alfred Horatio Belo answered the call.


The official records tell us that Alfred Horatio Belo attained the rank of lieutenant colonel, but in this portrait he is wearing the three stars of a full colonel.

Once in Texas, the men realized that to continue the war was futile. At this point, things get a bit confusing. Several “official” sources, including the Texas Historical Society and another in Montana (?) present biographies of Alfred, but each one contradicts the others. For instance, NCPedia says that Belo became a partner in the Galveston News on March 4, 1866. If so, one wonders why the 1870 US census shows him living in his wealthy father-in-law Cornelius Ennis’ household in Galveston, working as an office clerk in Cornelius’s corn brokerage.


What we do know is that Alfred ended up working for a company called The News, which published the Galveston News and the Texas Almanac, and soon became a partner in that firm, renamed Richardson, Belo & Company. When Willard Richardson died in 1875, Alfred retitled the firm A.H. Belo & Company. For the next decade, employing the latest technology, including what may have been the first telephone line in Texas, Alfred built the News into the most important newspaper in the state. But he already knew that Dallas was the place he needed to be. Having failed in an attempt to purchase the old Dallas Herald, Alfred sent his best man, George Bannerman Dealey, to Dallas to start a new paper. The first edition of the Dallas Morning News hit the streets on October 1, 1885. The Dallas Morning News and the Galveston News were the first newspapers in the United States to publish simultaneous editions. Although the Belo interests sold the newspapers in the 1920s, the parent firm is still known as the Belo Corporation.


The Galveston News, a historic landmark, built by Alfred Horatio Belo in 1885

On June 30, 1868, Alfred married Jeanette “Nettie” Ennis. Their son, Alfred Horatio Belo, Jr. would succeed his father briefly as president of the Belo Company before his own untimely death in 1906. At that point, George Dealey became the general manager of the Belo Company and publisher of the Dallas Morning News. Dealey Plaza, shown on the map above, was named for him.


Left to right: Alfred Horatio Belo, Jr., Nettie Ennis Belo, Jeanette Belo, Alfred Horatio Belo. Nettie’s mother was also named Jeanette, so that name carried down for three consecutive generations.

But Alfred never fully recovered from his war wounds. The Texas heat aggravated his misery to the point that for many years he summered in Asheville, NC. He died in Asheville on April 19, 1901, just a few weeks short of his 62nd birthday. He was buried in the Salem Cemetery. At the funeral, the Forsyth Rifles, the local well regulated militia, fired a salute over his grave.


Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texa


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