As always, click the pics for full size

So I am looking for pictures for our blog post “The TRUE history of Bowman Gray Stadium: The early years” and I find this, which says it was taken at Bowman Gray at an unknown event:

Pretty exciting…Ike spoke at Bowman Gray?…I remember that he campaigned here during his first run for president in 1952, so that must be it. Except that we immediately encounter a problem…on September 26, 1952, Ike did speak in Winston-Salem, but at the Union train station, not the stadium. So it must have been another time. But a bit of digging finds that he only visited the Twin City three times ever.

1. 1947…a private visit…no speeches, no reporters, no pictures.

2. 1952…the 15 minute speech at the train station…he was in town less than half an hour…

3. 1953…on the way to Augusta, he stopped off for a speech in Salisbury, then rode in a motorcade to Smith Reynolds Airport…arrival time 7:29 PM…shook hands with Mayor Kurfees while walking from his car to his Lockheed Constellation, and Marshall handed him a carton of Camel cigarettes…departure time 7:31 PM…

That was it. He never came back. So how do we explain the stadium picture? Well, a closer look at the photo reveals that it was not taken at Bowman Gray. From the beginning, at the top of the stadium seating, Bowman Gray had little metal arches over each section entrance, with section numbers printed on them. There are none of these in the photo. So it is definitely another stadium.

But I recognize the guy standing behind Ike with his arms in the air. That is Chub Seawell, a “conservative” Baptist lawyer from Carthage who, as the Republican candidate for governor in 1952, got more votes than any Republican before him. That meant that he only lost by a landslide instead of an avalanche, but it was a step forward for the GOP.

And I know that Chub introduced Ike on the platform in Winston-Salem, so maybe there is a connection. Time to quit speculating and get to work. Here is the story:

The 1952 visit…

In mid-September 1952 Ike and Mamie set out on an eleven day, twelve state whistle-stop tour in a special eighteen car train. Late on the 25th, their train left Baltimore, bound for Charlotte. Just at dawn, they pulled into the Salisbury, NC station to let a fast freight pass. Ike and Mamie were sound asleep in their special car.

The word on this unscheduled stop had leaked out and about 200 Salisburians were waiting. They began to chant “We like Ike!” Ike got up, put on his bathrobe, and went out onto the back platform of the car for a chat. The local folks wanted Mamie as well, so she joined Ike. Somebody snapped a picture. That picture appeared on the front page of nearly every newspaper in the nation, and as a spontaneous “just plain folks” shot, probably assured Ike of winning the election.

The train continued to Charlotte where there was a parade to the American Legion Memorial Stadium. Having been introduced to the cheerleading of Chub Seawell, Ike spoke to a crowd of about 20,000 for thirty minutes. To the credit of the locals, when the Republican MC called for a “rebel yell”, there was dead silence. Then it was back to the train and off for the Twin City.

Workmen at the speaker’s stand, Union Station, September 25, 1952


Carver High School band

By 11 AM, three high school bands, from Mineral Springs, Hanes and Carver high schools, were entertaining a growing crowd at the Winston-Salem Union Station. Ike’s train pulled in just a few minutes after its scheduled 11:40 arrival. He, Mamie, her mother, and top aides hopped into a small fleet of convertibles and were driven 810 feet to the speaker’s stand in front of the main terminal entrance. The rest of the passengers, the press and low level aides, had to trudge up the three level, 42 step route to the top.

The long walk up from the track, three tiers, 42 steps…

There, introduced by Chub Seawall, Ike addressed a crowd estimated by the WSPD at between six and ten thousand people. Of course, the Democrats said it was only 3,000, while the Republicans claimed 20,000. Sound familiar? Considering the space available, the number was more likely six to seven thousand. As one reporter commented, about half the crowd seemed to be girls bussed in from the local high schools, so the actual number in attendance was probably irrelevant.

Ike speaks at Union Station, September 26, 1952

Having been well briefed, Ike praised a number of local institutions, including Salem Academy & College, the recently established Old Salem restoration project, and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He mentioned the usual political issues without doing any name calling, except for a bit about the then still quite active “Korean conflict”, in which he blamed the Truman administration for becoming involved in a situation that “due diligence” would have avoided. He was certainly right about that, but failed to mention that some of his new Republican colleagues were among the most aggressive in pushing the US into the Korean mess. The strongest response from the audience came when he vowed to “reestablish integrity in government”, which is always a winner.

Mamie, Ike and Mayor Kurfees, Union Station, September 26, 1952

While he was speaking, his train was being uncoupled from a Southern Railway engine and being coupled to a Norfolk & Western engine for their continuing journey to Roanoke, Lynchburg, and, finally, Richmond, where the tour would end that night.

The 1953 visit…

In April, 1953, Ike was taking a presidential golfing vacation at Augusta National. On April 15, he interrupted his vacation to return to Washington and make a major policy speech on Soviet relations. On his way back to Augusta the next day, his Lockheed Constellation “Columbine II” landed at Charlotte. A motorcade whisked him to Shuford Stadium at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC where he spoke at the bicentennial celebration of the founding of Salisbury, which in 1753 was the westernmost capitol of the British Empire.

Ike speaks at Shuford Stadium, Catawba College, April 16, 1952

Meanwhile, the Columbine II was being shifted from Charlotte to the Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem. After the speech, another motorcade carried Ike up US 158, entering Winston-Salem on South Stratford Road near the future site of Thruway Shopping Center. They proceeded along Stratford through West Highlands and Buena Vista to Reynolda Road. A hard left on Reynolda and a hard right on Arbor Road/West 25th Street followed, thence to North Liberty Street and the airport.

Ike and Marshall, Smith Reynolds Airport, April 16, 1953

At Smith Reynolds, Ike stepped out of his car at 7:29 PM and was greeted by Twin City Mayor Marshall Kurfees. The two men walked a few feet to Ike’s plane, where Marshall handed Ike a carton of Camel cigarettes. Ike’s plane began its rollout for Augusta at 7:31 PM, possibly the shortest presidential visit in history.

Ike and Mamie exit “Columbine II” at an unknown location, 1953

A note: Mamie Eisenhower named the “Columbine II” for the state flower of Colorado. When it began transporting her and the president in 1953, it had a normal call sign, Air Force 8610. But on one occasion, approaching New York, there was another flight in the area that had the call sign Eastern Airlines 8610. Air traffic controllers confused the two planes. That did not lead to even a near collision, but no one was going to take any chances. So Columbine II became the first aircraft to be designated “Air Force One”. The aircraft is currently being restored near Bridgewater, VA.

This month we have some fun things coming up in genealogy. Genealogy 101 programs will be held in the Computer Learning Center on the first floor of the Central Library. Come learn how to search databases and find your ancestors online! Genealogy Help is offered in the North Carolina Collection room by request. Please stop in or call 336-703-3070 for more information.

April_Gen 101

We have lots of people available to help with your genealogy research. Our knowledgeable staff genealogist Janice and wonderful volunteers from the Forsyth County Genealogical Society are here to assist with your questions and help you find resources. Please stop in and pick up a calendar or download the April calendar here.



As always, click the pictures for full sized images

The Zevely House, 734 Oak Street, just before its move in 1974

A few notes:

1. The name “Petersbach”, the original Moravian term, is used throughout. It simply refers to “Peter’s Creek”, which rises in north Winston near the intersection of North Liberty and East Eleventh Streets. It courses westward to about the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and Abbatoir Street, then runs southwestward beneath Cherry Street, Chatham Road and Thurmond Street, past the Hoots Mill complex and its mysteriously named Canal Street, under Reynolda Road and through Hanes Park past Brunson School and under First Street to wind through Crafton Heights, then follows its name inheritor Peter’s Creek Parkway to ultimately flow into Salem Creek near Hutton Street. See our blog post on the Petersbach here:

2. Auswärtige in German means simply “a person from somewhere else”, “a stranger”, “a non-resident”. The Moravians put a finer point on it, especially when referring to people baptized as Moravians but not living directly under the control of the church. A resident of Salem was required to be a baptized Moravian and adhere strictly to the rules of the congregation. Baptized Moravians living outside a Moravian town, auswärtiges, were given a bit more leeway; they could participate in worship and fellowship, but were not allowed to have a voice in community affairs.

3. The Zevely House today is located on the site of the home of William R. Boggs, a brigadier-general in the Confederate army, who worked as an engineer designing railroads in the far west after the war. Upon his retirement in the early 1890s, he moved to Winston to be near his daughter. Through her, he was connected to the Taylor and Macaw families. After General Boggs’ death in 1911, the home passed to engineer and businessman John Dillard. His daughter, Elizabeth Macaw “Blitz” Dillard, grew up there. She would later marry Richard Joshua “Dick” Reynolds, Jr.

Van N. Zevely. He died in 1863. Old Salem Museums & Gardens.

His name is rendered in many ways: Van Neman. Vaniman. Vanniman; Zevily, Zevilly, Zevely. The official Old Salem website refers to him as Neman van Zevely, but his gravestone in the Salem God’s Acre says Van N. Zevely, so we shall call him Van. In accord with his mother’s dying wish, he was taken in the late 1790s as an apprentice to Salem’s master cabinetmaker and, later, baptized into the Salem congregation. He became a force within the Single Brothers choir and took on many arduous and dangerous tasks. For a brief time in 1801-02 he was in charge of the Salem water works, a job he did not relish. In 1804, he was awarded the status of master cabinetmaker.

Then he met Johanna Sophia “Hannah” Schober, one of the first six teachers at the Salem Female Academy. Their request for permission to marry was refused by the Moravian Elders Conference in 1809. They were determined to marry anyway. Johanna’s father, Gottlieb Schober, a man of some wealth and influence, offered them 160 acres of land to the north of Salem near the Petersbach. But he also took their case to the elders, pleading that they be allowed to marry in Salem, move to the Petersbach and be accepted as “auswärtige” members of the Salem congregation

The Elders were having none of it. They wrote that if the marriage took place “it will be understood that they have left our fellowship.” The marriage took place outside of Salem, performed by the bride’s father, who among many other things, was a justice of the peace. Van and Johanna’s names were dropped from the church membership rolls. Van gave up the master cabinetmaker position. They moved to the Petersbach. There, Van busied himself with farming and the carding of wool. And the couple began producing children. Within a year, the Salem congregation relented and awarded them “auswärtige” status so that they could resume attending church. In 1815, Van installed the first steam powered wool carding machine in North Carolina at his mill. Business improved and the children continued to flow. Around that same time, Van erected a sturdy brick framed house, with walls 18 inches thick on the ground floor and 12-15 inches thick on the second floor.

Then, on November 19, 1821, just 12 years after their marriage, Johanna died at age 35 while giving birth to her fifth child, who was named Johanna Sophia for her mother. She was denied the rewards of her love and convictions. Van was left alone in the northern backwoods with a business to run and children to rear. After a time, Van moved back to Salem and was accepted back into full membership in the Salem congregation, where he became an important leader in both commercial and church affairs. The old brick house, created by a great love affair, passed into other hands.

When the the town of Winston came into existence in the mid-19th century, the old Zevely house was just outside the town boundaries. But as the railroad arrived in the 1870s and the tobacco industry began to grow, the town expanded northward until the house was sitting on a named street, Oak, just north of West Seventh, thus becoming the oldest house in Winston. Oak Street was never one of Winston’s finest. For one thing, it was too close to “Ramcat”, a cluster of brothels, liquor houses and gambling dens just to the north. But neither was it one of the worst. It became part of a classic blue collar neighborhood, occupied mostly by hard working factory hands.

But by the late 1950s, when the white flight movement to the suburbs began and all of downtown Winston-Salem fell into decline, some of the Zevely house’s wood framed neighbors began to decay. The Zevely house was saved only by those 18 inch thick brick walls.

The route of the move, Sunday, September 29, 1974. The original plan is shown in red, but at some point it was realized that the Fifth Street route would pass over a newly constructed tunnel between the Benton Convention Center and the new Hyatt hotel, so the route was changed for fear that the tunnel would collapse.

In the summer of 1974, Pete and Barbara Smitherman and Tom and Robin Ross formed the Periwinkle Corp. Periwinkle bought a roughly half acre lot at the corner of Fourth and Summit Streets, paying about $55,000. Periwinkle also bought the Zevely House at 734 Oak Street for about $15,000. Then they announced that they would move the Zevely house to their lot on Fourth Street and convert it into a restaurant. Pete Smitherman told a reporter that they would probably call it “The Old House” restaurant.

The Zevely House begins its journey down Oak Street past the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission. This and all other moving picture come from the Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.

They did not waste time. By late August they had hired Crouch Brothers House Moving Contractors to make the move. They were busy tearing away rotted wooden porches and drilling holes to accommodate the steel beams upon which the house would make its westward ride. There was concern because the house weighed about three times as much as a conventional wood framed brick veneered house, but the Crouch folks were confident.

A tight squeeze. The first turn was from one narrow street, Oak, to another, Seventh. Trade Street can be seen in the foreground. By the time they crawled that very short block, the clutch of the first truck had burnt out, causing a long delay while a second truck was brought in.

They wrapped the house tightly in 120 foot long steel cables to prevent the walls from cracking. They used a fifty ton jack to raise the house onto the steel beams, which were then mounted on a bed of truck tires. They carefully surveyed the route to ensure that it was as level as possible. No one wanted the house to tip over onto the sidewalk. By Sunday, September 29, they were ready.

The first “easy” run, two blocks on Trade from Seventh to Fifth

Just before 8 AM, a Crouch diesel truck backed up and connected to the Zevely house’s “trailer”. The first obstacle was the tight turn from Oak onto Seventh Street, which required assistance from a Duke Power team to lift the power lines. The second came quickly afterward at the turn onto North Trade Street. First, the diesel truck’s clutch burned out, and another truck had to be brought in. Then it was discovered that some of the “trailer” tires were rubbing, requiring adjustments to the axles. Journal reporter Monte Plott quoted Pete Smitherman on that long delay: “I thought we were never going to get away from there.”

Another tight squueze because of power and telephone lines at the turn from Trade to Fifth


On Liberty between Fifth and Fourth


Rounding the O’Hanlon Building at Liberty and Fourth


On Fourth approaching Trade


On Fourth approaching Spruce


Arrival at the new home, Fourth and Summit. That is one of photographer Frank Jones’ interesting cars parked on Summit.

But they did. And while there was never a moment when anyone could relax, the remainder of the journey was relatively carefree. A little over seven hours after takeoff, the Zevely house was dragged up onto Periwinkle’s lot on Fourth Street at Summit. It is forgivable that a celebration ensued.


Owners and workers celebrate success with a champagne toast

After a good bit of restoration work, the Zevely House restaurant opened on the site in 1975, instantly becoming one of the city’s best bistros. A bit later, the old service station across Summit Street was converted into a bar. The name was a natural. “Johanna Schober’s”, which would have a long run as one of the Triad’s hottest mingling and drinking spots.


Today, after a long run of small changes, the Zevely House is home to one of our best local restaurants, Bernardins. When you are enjoying a pleasant time there, think about Van and Johanna, the persistent lovers, who created the space over 200 years ago.

As always, click on pix for larger size…

So I am looking for something in the local newspapers, April 21, 1892, when this item pops up:

Never heard of Gustaf Bottiger. Nor has anyone else around here. And a lot of people were considering moving elsewhere in 1892, so it probably meant nothing. But it piqued my interest Here is the next item that appeared:

July 23, 1892

Well, Joe Jacobs is one of the heavy hitters…the first successful Jewish merchant in Winston-Salem and a city alderman, active in many community projects. This house would become the grandest dwelling on North Liberty Street. So there is probably more to come. And there was.

We cannot find out much about Mr. Bottiger. A history of the Augsburg Lutheran congregation tells us that he was the son of the court physician to the king of Sweden. Tennessee Naturalization records tell us that he was born Gustaf Ehrenfrid Karl Bottiger in Stockholm August 10, 1856. He later graduated from the Royal Polytechnics of Stockholm and Gothenburg. New York ship passenger lists tell us that he left Liverpool and arrived in New York on May 28, 1881 aboard the vessel Adriatic.

Everett Press, Everett, PA Wednesday, May 9, 1883

We know that shortly after his arrival in the US he married Julia Minerva Codeye of Everett, Pennsylvania. They purchased a mansion on Main Street in Everett and operated a boarding house there for several years. In the late 1880s, he and Minerva moved to Roanoke, VA, where he began practicing architecture. We know that he was active in the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia around 1890.

He and Minerva moved to Winston in the late spring of 1892. 1892 newspaper ads tell us that his local offices were in the Peoples National Bank building across from the courthouse.

In the spring of 1893, Gustaf and Minerva moved to Columbus, Ohio where he abandoned architecture and took up railroad engineering. By the mid-1890s, he was chief engineer for the Tennessee Central Railroad and the Tennessee Construction Company, which was building the railroad. He and Minerva lived in Nashville. He resigned from both positions in November, 1902. Later, we find him inspecting a possible route for the Decatur, Danville & Southwestern railroad, while living in Knoxville. Minerva died in 1915. Find A Grave tells us that Gustaf died on May 31, 1918 and is buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Knoxville.

But Gustaf Bottiger never appears in any city directory or other local records. And the few brief mentions in the newspapers are only about his local projects. He arrived in the Twin City in late spring, 1892 and was gone by the following June. But he left behind at least two magnificent private residences and three other iconic buildings that would help to define the downtown of the Twin City for the next 30 years…

Bottiger’s first building in the Twin City was the home of Joe Jacobs in the 600 block of North Liberty Street…unfortunately, we do not yet have a picture of that grand residence….his second was the home of local grocer D.S. Reid on South Main Street at Cascade…designed in 1893 and completed in 1894…Old Salem Museums & Gardens…

In 1891, Joe Jacobs and W.A. Lemly, the president of Wachovia Bank, formed a partnership to erect this business block on Main Street at the corner of Third Street. It would remain a local icon for many deecades. Designed by Gustaf Bottiger…Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection…

After the great fire of November, 1892, the newly formed partnership of Pepper and Buxton hired Gustaf Bottiger to design a new building at the corner of Liberty and Fourth Street. Originally it was to be a three story brick store building, with offices above, but soon became the four story Phoenix Hotel, named for its rise from the ashes…North Carolina Collection, UNC Chapel Hill…

In 1893, Gustaf Bottiger agreed to design the first real home of Augsburg Lutheran Church on Fourth Street at Spruce for no charge…construction was delayed by the brief but intense depression of 1893, but was completed and dedicated in 1895, with help from a loan by the Moravian Church, Southern Province…it would serve the Augsburg congregation until a new church was built on West Fifth Street in 1927…Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection…

This past week the Forsyth County Central Library was thrilled to partner with The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Library and Information Studies program to host three graduate students for their Alternative Spring Break program.  The students worked the entire week to inventory and process a new collection the library has received from the Hispanic League. The Hispanic League recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Their archives preserves their history of programs, events, and initiatives within Winston-Salem and the surrounding area.


Courtney, Brandie, and Allyson putting together an inventory of the Hispanic League Archives in the NC Room special collections processing area.

The interns inventoried multiple boxes of records, newspapers, program materials,  and ephemera. Then they went about rehousing the materials in archive folders and boxes. They removed staples and replaced metal paper clips with coated ones to prevent rust. They learned the basic archival principles of original order and provenance and how to arrange collections.


The newly arranged collection. Look how neat and tidy it is!

The collection is almost ready for research. The processing of the collection by putting the records in order, rehousing them in archive boxes and folders, and creating a box list is completed. The next step will be for NC Room staff to create a finding aid to help researchers find the materials they need within the collection.


Allyson, Brandie, Karen (NC Room Supervisor)  and Courtney on the last day of #UNCGLISASB18

We are so thankful for our interns hard work during their spring break to help make the Hispanic League Archives research ready. This collection preserves the history of the Hispanic League and their engagement within our vibrant community.

As always, click the pictures for full size

Left, the first Charles Hospital, 1919…right, the “new” Charles Hospital, 1921…717-719 Oak Street…

Charles Solomon Lawrence was born in Quaker Gap Township, Stokes County, NC in 1878. After attending Siloam Academy in Surry County, he enlisted in the US Army, serving two tours, 1897-1900 with the Fifth Artillery Regiment, and 1900-1903 with the Army Medical Department. During those six years he served in the Spanish-American war, the Philippine Insurrection and the China Relief Expedition in the Boxer War.

Dr. Charles Solomon Lawrence, obituary photo, 1930

In 1903 he enrolled at George Washington University in the District of Columbia. He interned at the Columbia Hospital for Women in the District and received his medical certificate in 1908. He opened a small surgical hospital in Mt. Airy, NC, where he married Alice R. Smith, or George, depending upon the source. Their marriage license and record says that her name was Smith, but that her parents name was George, so perhaps she was adopted. In 1910, he did a post graduate year at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Lawrence’s suite was in the Masonic Temple, where the CVS Drugstore is today on Fourth Street

In April, 1911, he and Alice moved to Winston-Salem, where Dr. Lawrence set up a suite, 414-416, in the Masonic Temple on Fourth Street at Trade. The couple joined Home Moravian Church and threw themselves into local civic activities, later moving to First Presbyterian Church. Alice would become a force in the Women’s Civic Association, where she brought in more new members than all the rest of the group combined, and the Associated Charities for many years. In 1912, Dr. Lawrence was appointed to a committee of three to begin planning a new city hospital. He would end up as chairman of the commission that opened the new Twin City Hospital in 1914.

The new Twin City Hospital at its opening in 1914

On July 14, 1914, he sailed for England on the RMS Lusitania to attend an important congress of surgeons in London, with plans to then visit clinics in Germany and France before returning home two months later. He never got to see the clinics, because Britain declared war on Germany on August 4. It was all that he and other American surgeons could do to get back to the United States. The Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915, killing 1,198 passengers and crew.

Originally, the Twin City Hospital had a wing for black patients behind the main building…in 1923, with the support of Katharine Smith Reynolds Johnston, a new wing for white patients was attached to the southern end of the building…that same year, with the support of Will and Kate Bitting Reynolds, an identical wing for black patients was attached to the norh end.

In December of that year, the local Methodist churches decided to open a charity clinic in the Wesley House of Burkhead M.E. Church. Dr. Lawrence was the first to volunteer.

In January, 1917, Dr. Lawrence announced that he would build a modern three story brick private hospital on a lot that he had purchased next door to the Methodist Episcopal district parsonage on West Fourth Street. A number of powerful neighbors objected. The board of aldermen quietly passed a resolution forbidding the building inspector to issue a permit for the building, so Dr. Lawrence sued. His petition was denied in March, but national events soon made the case moot.

Captain Lawrence, Ambulance Company #31

On April 6, the US entered the Great War. On June 5, the Twin City Daily Sentinel reported that Dr. Lawrence, in collaboration with Dr. John Wesley Long of Greensboro (founder of the Wesley Long Hospital), had raised an ambulance company to be trained and sent to France. Dr. Lawrence was elected captain of the Red Cross Ambulance Company #31 of North Carolina, later #321 of the US Army. He would end the war as a lieutenant colonel, commanding Base Hospital 61 at Beaum, France.

Newly recruited members of the Ambulance Company…Captain Lawrence is on the left in front

Back home from the war, In early July, 1919, Dr. Lawrence leased the former home of George T. Brown, the late president of Smith-Phillipps Lumber Company, and announced that it would be remodeled for a hospital. The house consisted of eight rooms with a four room annex, located at the northwest corner of Seventh and Liberty Streets.

Lawrence Hospital, 1919-1921. Durwood Barbour Postcard Collection, UNC Libraries

The 25 bed hospital opened on September 2, 1919. Dr. Lawrence’s assistant surgeon was Dr. G. Carlyle Cook. Miss Lucille Gibson, who had served with Dr. Lawrence in France, became the business manager. Miss Beeson Smith was the stenographer. Mrs. Margaret A. McMartin was the head nurse, with a staff made up of Misses M.J. King, Una Rutledge, Cora Isley, Ruth Jones and Lillie Smith. A few months later, Dr. Lawrence opened a school for nurses on the premises.

On June 1, 1920, the Lawrence Clinic, a diagnostic center, opened at 223 West Fifth Street on the northeast corner with Cherry. Four diagnostic specialists and several graduate nurses made up the staff. New patients went to the clinic, where, after diagnosis, minor matters were treated on the spot, while more serious matters were sent to the main hospital. The clinic moved to the new hospital on Oak Street the day before Christmas, 1921.

In the spring of 1921, Dr. Lawrence bought three lots on Oak Street, barely two blocks from his hospital, and began building a modern, fireproof concrete building for a new hospital. He bought all new equipment and opened the 55 bed hospital on June 28, 1921. In 1925, he moved the original hospital to Oak Street to serve as living quarters for the nurses and nursing students. Also in the building was the Oak Street Baths, operated independently by Charles W. Wykle, which advertised Turkish baths, Swedish massage and Electro-Therapy treatment.

In 1922, Winston-Salem became the first city in North Carolina to have a chapter of the Lion’s Club. Dr. Lawrence became its first president, and also served as the first District Governor of Lions Clubs in North Carolina, 1922-23. Despite the fact that he was considered one of the best surgeons in the region, he continued to advance his skills, traveling to study in London, Leeds, Edinburgh and Paris. In 1925 he took a post-graduate course in pathology at UNC. He won many important professional honors.

But in early 1930, he began having problems with his liver. In June, he traveled to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Richmond to have an operation for “sclerosis” (cirrhosis). Post-op he seemed to be recovering normally when things took a turn for the worse. He died on June 21, 1930, aged 51. The Lawrence Hospital closed in early 1931 and sat vacant for almost two years.

Texas Pete comes to Oak Street

In 1929, Susan Crossman opened a new restaurant, the Dixie Pig barbecue, in the area that we now know as Ogburn Station, near Smith Reynolds airport. Within months, teenager Thad Garner and his father Sam had bought her out. In the 1930 US census, Sam is listed as proprietor with Thad as cook. The restaurant did well enough, but the homemade barbecue sauce became the real attraction.

Soon the Garner family was concentrating on making the sauce at their home on what is now Indiana Avenue, for sale to other restaurants. In 1932, they sold the restaurant to Frank H. Colvard. The Dixie Pig lasted for many years, with one of its last owners being Paul Myers, who eventually opened a well known barbecue joint under his own name.

Sam Garner

Soon, people were clamoring for more heat in the sauce, which led to the Garner’s second product, Texas Pete hot sauce. Sometime in 1933, Sam Garner bought the Lawrence Hospital complex on Oak Street. Most of the Garner family moved into the former nurse’s home, and the sauce manufacturing took over the hospital building next door.

Ralph, Harold and Thad Garner

As the business grew, more space was needed. In 1942, the Garners built a modern factory at the old homeplace site on Indiana Avenue. That site, remodeled many times, is still the home of Garner Foods, with corporate offices downtown on Fourth Street at the Bolich Building. Texas Pete is today the number 3 selling hot sauce in the US, just behind Tabasco and Frank’s.

Lawrence Apartments

By 1947, the hospital buildings had been converted into the Lawrence Apartments, with about 35 units in the former hospital complex and another 10 across the way in a former boarding house at 724 Oak Street, under the management of Billy Adams, who would remain in charge well into the 1960s.

Winston-Salem Rescue Mission

Barbara and Neal Wilcox in front of the original Winston-Salem Rescue Mission on North Trade Street, 1967

In 1966, a group of local ministers began working toward a non-denominational ministry which would target homeless and helpless men. The Winston-Salem Rescue Mission was established the next year at 824-826 North Trade Street, which had formerly housed a diverse clientele including a variety of small businesses, furnished rooms to rent, and the Woodland Baptist Gospel Mission. The first director, the Reverend A. Neal Wilcox and his wife Barbara lived upstairs. The mission opened on July 22, 1967.

In 1973, Risden P. Reece, who had been a division superintendent at the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, donated the Lawrence Apartments to the Rescue Mission. After a good bit of renovation, the buildings became a part of the mission, opening in October, 1974.

The Rescue Mission in 1974 during the moving of the Zevely House from Oak Street to West Fourth Street. For many years, the cross rotated and lit up at night. Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection

Since then, the Rescue Mission has grown in size and breadth and has become a paragon of success in dealing with the homeless and hopeless. A few years ago, a plan was developed to “renovate” the old Lawrence Hospital buildings. Fortunately, the money raised was allocated elsewhere and the buildings were saved, for the moment, at least.

Fortunately, this did not happen

Two buildings, four quite different local institutions, 100th anniversary beginning next year.


March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, a day of celebration all over the United States. Come to the North Carolina Room and discover your Irish roots with our wonderful genealogy collection. You may discover other roots too! We have resources available in print and online to help you with European, African, Latin American, Scandinavian, Australian, and Asian heritage. Our collection covers vital records, probate records, cemetery and church records, and ship manifest records in addition to family histories and genealogical research guides.

We also have a genealogist on staff and volunteers from the Forsyth County Genealogical Society available to help you get started on your family ancestry or to help you when you get stuck in your research. View our History and Genealogy Calendar for dates and times when our Genealogy One-on-One help is available or call the North Carolina Room to set up an appointment at 336-703-3070.

This is a selection of books you can find in the North Carolina Room.