lightsThe holiday season is upon us.  Below is a list of the library holiday closings for your convenience. The North Carolina Collection room follows the branch hours for the Central Library.

All Forsyth County Public Library branches will be closed on these days:

Thursday, November 23 Thanksgiving
Friday, November 24 Thanksgiving
Friday, December 8 Staff Development Day
Friday, December 22 Christmas
Saturday, December 23 Christmas
Sunday, December 24 Christmas
Monday, December 25 Christmas
Tuesday, December 26 Christmas

In addition, library branches will close at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, November 22.

We would like to wish everyone very happy holidays, however you spend them, and hope to see you at the library!







A great partnership has begun with Wings Over Winston, an aerial photography company, and the North Carolina Collection staff at the Forsyth County Public Library. We are providing historical context for selected images taken by Wings Over Winston for their Instagram account. Check it out when you have time. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook to see great views of Winston-Salem and learn about local history.


Are you curious about genealogy and DNA testing? Come to Reynolda Manor Branch Library on Thursday, December 7 @ 3:00 pm to learn about what genealogy DNA testing is, what information it collects, and who is doing the testing. Free program. Registration requested. Please call the branch at 336-703-2960 to register.


As always, click on the images for full size

Hop Hee Dunne, 1954…from the August, 1954 edition of Piedmonitor, the company newsletter…

Shortly after the Great War, now known as World War I, Hop Hee and Ben Hong Dunne were born in Johannesburg, South Africa to Toa Yong and Ng Gee Dunne. Since South Africa was a British colony, all who were non-whites…black Africans, brown natives of India and yellow Chinese were given less consideration than the white Brit’s pet dogs. But Hop Hee and Ben Hong were extraordinary individuals. In the late 1930s, they became the first two Chinese to be admitted to the Technical College in Johannesburg. They both graduated, Ben Hong with a degree in aviation engineering, and Hop Hee with a certification as the equivalent of a US class A commercial pilot.

Hop Hee Dunne, air racer, 1947…from the San Mateo Times…

They both immediately left South Africa, arriving in the United States in 1939. The next year, in 1940, Hop Hee enrolled in the Spartan School of Aviation in Tulsa, where she earned her US class A commercial pilot license, and ground instruction certificates in meteorology, navigation, weather forecasting and Link. In 1943 she joined the US Army Air Force, where she worked a variety of jobs, including ferrying US aircraft across the Atlantic, then a year later moved to American Airlines as a meteorologist. In 1947, she was appointed to the staff of the Academy of Aeronautics in San Francisco where she taught meteorology, navigation and Link. Finally, in March, 1950, she joined Piedmont Airlines as the Link instructor and found her home for life.

Hop Hee Dunne in her “office”, where she worked for 34 years, training Piedmont pilots…

By all accounts, she was a real “lady”, but over and over for decades to come, Piedmont pilots who learned Link from her said that Hop Hee was a “tough cookie” who “gave us hell”…precisely what they needed to produce the best on-time and safety records of any airline.

Hop Hee had a whole set of controls which allowed her to simulate everything from icing to some bumpy weather to a full blown hurricane, and did not hesitate to use them. And every pilot had to take frequent refresher courses in her cockpit. If you couldn’t fly a Link, you had no business in the cockpit of the real thing, at least not at Piedmont.

Early Link trainer…

Hop Hee cracks the whip in the early days…

In the early years of aviation, it became obvious that aircraft would not become truly important unless some way could be found to fly on other than bright sunny days. Soon a variety of instruments were developed to relay information to pilots as to altitude, direction, pitch and yaw, but the problem was training…too many student pilots flew their planes straight into the ground in cloudy weather. In 1929, Edwin Link invented a device that would allow students to practice using instruments in a safe, on the ground, environment. At first, the Link trainers had only room for the pilot, with the instructor located outside the vehicle and the student under a hood that blocked all visual stimulus. But by 1950, the student and the instructor were both housed within…which is the artificial cockpit that Hop Hee Dunne spent her career in, “giving hell” to Piedmont Airlines future aircraft commanders.

Ben Hong Dunne chalks up a new Piedmont daily passenger record on January 4, 1960…


Soon, brother Ben Hong joined the Piedmont family as an aircraft engineer and draftsman, where he too remained until retirement. In the 1960s, the brother and sister bought a piece of property in rural Forsyth County.In 1971, they created something extraordinary there…Dunne’s Chinese Restaurant. It took some work to get there, because Dunne’s was way out in the boonies on Old Hollow Road, near the Germanton Road, also known as NC highway 8. But the effort was worth it.

The vegetables were not just dumped on the plate. They were hand carved in the shapes of fish and stars and such. And the food in general, and the service and hospitality were exquisite. I doubt we will ever see a better Chinese restaurant in the Twin City.

This guy must have passed his flight check, because both are smiling…

Ben Hong and Hop Hee are long gone now. But the last time I was out that way, the restaurant building, and even the sign, were still there…reminders that, sometimes, extraordinary people live in our community.

Thanks to Buddy Collins for reminding me of Hop Hee Dunne and Dunne’s Chinese Restaurant…

Tail-dragging Piedmont DC-3 with the original company logo, which soon changed…

As always, click the pictures for full size

First, the parking plan. All parking is free, but the surface lot and under building area have no time limits, while the street parking has the usual two hour restriction:

The surface parking lot is diagonally across the Fifth / Spring Street intersection from the Central Library…

There are two ways to get to the new NC Room…first, the simple way…

Use the main entrance on Fifth Street…

Once inside, you will find yourself in a foyer…the shelves of books here are provided for sale by the Friends of the Central Library, who raise thousands of dollars for Central every year…purchase is on the honor system…the cash box is to the right…to enter the library, move to the left through the gates…

Once through the gates, you will see the stairs which will take you to the second and third floors…children’s room and computer lab on the first floor…the NC Room and Teen Central on the second floor…general collection…fiction & non-fiction on the third floor…

If you look back to your right, you will see the elevators, which will take you to the second and third floors and back…press “2” for the NC Room…

At the second floor, you will see the art gallery in front of you and the NC Room to the right…

But if you choose to park in the deck under the building and use the public entrance there, you could find yourself in a situation reminiscent of Ulysses’ wanderings in the Odyssey…the following information is particularly important for those using wheelchairs, walkers or strollers for infants…

Traffic in the parking deck is one way…please enter from Spring Street…

The public entrance from the deck is near the Spring Street end of the building…

The elevator there goes only from the ground floor to the first floor and has buttons marked “1F” and “1R”, with no explanation. Since the “1F” button has a star beside it, most patrons end up choosing that one, only to find that it does not work. Press the “1R” button.

Do NOT lean against the back of the elevator, because when you reach the first floor, the door BEHIND you will open. To the right you will see steps going up to Coffee Park Central. You can go up the steps, walk through Coffee Park Central and find yourself at the main entrance to the library, where you can follow the previous “simple” instructions. Of course, you can pause in Coffee Park Central for some excellent coffee and goodies. But what if you are among the aforementioned users of wheelchairs, walkers or are pushing a stroller? Where do you go?

The only alternative to the steps is this corridor, which seems to lead to an exit. But this is the path you should follow.

Just before you reach the exit, you will see this ramp to your right. If you follow it, you will find yourself in the foyer, and then can follow the “simple” instructions to the NC Room.

At the entrance to the NC Room, if you look to your left, you will find a button that will automatically open the door.

When you are ready to leave, you will find another button to the left of the doors which will open the door automatically.

We hope you can navigate this path, because we are waiting for you, eager to help in your quest for local history and genealogy information. If you encounter problems at any point, please ask…we will do our best to help find a solution.

As always, click on the pic for full size

In the wake of our post on North Carolina’s first all-electric bakery, a number of people complained that we did not include the entire 200 block of West Fourth Street. That happened because we were focused upon a single building. But we had compiled info on all the buildings in the block, so here it is. Enjoy.

Montaldo’s opened in 1919 on Fifth Avenue in New York, a pioneering idea of offering high fashion women’s clothing at ready-to-wear prices. It was founded by two sisters, Lillian and Nelle Montaldo. They soon opened a second store in Paris. Among the third wave of stores was the one in Winston-Salem. A third Montaldo sister, Lenore, moved to the Twin City to manage that store in 1923. She lived at 658 Holly Avenue during her time in the city. Montaldo’s would flourish here for the next five decades. Eventually, Montaldo’s had stores in Richmond, Virginia, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, St. Louis, Missouri and Bartlesville, Oklahoma, among others. In 1995, Montaldo’s declared bankruptcy and went out of business.

For a time, Montaldo’s advertised itself as being at the corner of Fourth and Cherry, even though they were not. The west end of the 200 block was completed in 1927, when James A. Gray built the corner store for the William T. Vogler and Son jewelry store, which needed a new location since their former spot at the corner of Fourth and Liberty was being demolished to make way for the building that will soon be the newest Hotel Indigo. Gray’s building was designed by Northup & O’Brien and built by Fogle Brothers at a cost of $27,000.

As always, click the pics for full size

The worst eyesore on Fourth Street for many years has been this hideous building at 265 West Fourth. That will soon change. Mike Coe has bought the building and has already removed some of the worst stuff and has begun preparatory demolition with the idea of restoring the original facade. To do that, he will need to know what the original facade looked like. We have already found a few pics that show the upper facade, but will need help in finding ground floor images.

This 1959 photo of high school girls having fun in the snow shows the area in question, extending from 235 to 201 West Fourth. From the left, the businesses are Tiny Town, juvenile furniture and toys; Lynne Shops, lingerie; Ballerina Bootery; Cohen’s-Robin’s, women’s clothing; Marken’s, children’s clothing; Lee’s Shoe Store; Hine’s Shoe Store; Spainhour’s Department Store; Galeski Optical; and the Walgreen Drugstore at the corner of Fourth and Trade. Despite the continuing confusion of street adresses, this was the most promising of the photographs because it clearly showed 217 (Marken’s) with an arched entrance, which could conceivably be the original street level facade. We were told that a later architectural rendering for a proposed renovation showed a similar arch. But as it turns out, that idea was wrong. The arched entrance was probably created in the late 1920s when Cohen’s womenswear moved into the building. Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection.


Other pics taken in the early 1960s provided no help. Both Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection.

At this point, there was nothing left to do except a complete history of that block. The research was hindered by confusing street addresses, garbled city directory information and mistakes in the Winston-Salem Journal. Fortunately we could eliminate the late 19th / early 20th century era, because only two buildings had stood on that block prior to 1906. One was the Wyatt F. Bowman (one of the founders of Wachovia National Bank) residence at the corner of Cherry and Fourth. The other was the Piedmont Warehouse at the corner of Trade and Fourth.

In 1905, the Piedmont Warehouse was demolished to make way for the Masonic Temple, completed in 1906 at the corner of Fourth and Trade. Nothing else happened until 1912, when C.J. Ogburn put up a building that wrapped around the Masonic Temple from Trade to Fourth, which soon became the Ideal Company, general merchandise, with entrances on both Trade and Fourth.

Later in 1912, the Stewart Printing Company building nearby at 116 West Fourth burned. The Stewart brothers purchased a lot on Fourth near Ogburn’s building and erected a new home for their printing operation in 1913. The Stewarts installed their printing plant on the second floor and leased the street level to Ogburn & Weir’s grocery business. In 1915, Ogburn added a second building between his 1912 structure and Stewart’s Printing house and leased it to Efird Hine, who moved his growing shoe business from Main Street to the new building.

Finally, in 1916, Bunyon Womble, one of the founding partners of what would become the Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice law firm, built a large store building to the west of the Stewart shop. That building was immediately occupied by the Anchor Department Store. So by 1916, the block looked like this.

This photograph, taken between 1916 and 1919, shows a parade of city and county school children. The flag at the left is that of the new Winston-Salem Central School at the southern end of Salem. The buildings, from left to right, are the Womble Building (Anchor Department Store); the 1913 Stewart’s printing house; the 1915 Hine’s Shoe Store; the 1912 Ideal Store (east of the telephone pole); and the Masonic Temple. Beyond Trade Street can be seen the 1912 Efird’s Department Store, the 1915 O’Hanlon Building and, in the distance, the 1892 Winston Town Hall. The focus of our interest is the vacant space between the Womble Building and Stewart’s, where the structure now known as 265 West Fourth Street would soon be erected. Most viewers think that the ad on the side of the Stewart Building is for Coca Cola. But it is not. After about 1895, the Coke logo was always written in script. The ad is for Chero Cola, whose advertising signboard can be seen at the left. That will be explained in a postscript at the end of this post. Old Salem Museums and Gardens.

So now all the buildings in that part of the block are accounted for. Let us fill in the missing link. On Friday, October 9, 1919, the Winston-Salem Journal announced a new business in that spot. A new, purpose built structure would house the Winston-Salem Bake-Rite Bakery, the first all-electric bakery in North Carolina, opening that Saturday morning. The article contained a lengthy description of the business, including the fact that the interior would be finished in white enamel for sanitary purposes, and that the main feature would be the electric oven, which would be located in the street level window of the business. There, citizens passing by on the sidewalk would be able to view through a window in the oven a ferris wheel type apparatus doing the actual baking of the bread. For centuries, certain types of merchants had made it possible for the public to observe the process of making their products, but this was a major breakthrough in the marketing of the staple of life, bread.

The Journal article gives a detailed description of the building, something very rare at the time. But there are two mistakes in the first paragraph. The lesser is the misspelling “Make-Rite”. The more egregious is “located in the Womble building”, which is, at least, corrected in the second paragraph, which tells us that the building is brand new and purpose built. This was not just the first all-electric bakery in the Twin City, but also the first in the entire state.

We have been unable to find any picture of that particular building. But the business was a franchise, so we knew that all of the buildings had to be essentially the same. The Bake-Rite franchise originated in Chicago. A search of the Chicago Tribune newspaper of the time turned up a couple of the ads used to promote the franchise, which contained drawings of the stores. So we know that the street level facade was a simple glass construction which allowed potential customers to view the operation of the oven from the sidewalk.

One of the patent drawings for the Bake-Rite oven. The viewing window is at the left.


This pic of the Yakima, Washington store shows the same staggered entry as the ads, so we can assume that that was the standard design.

The Bake-Rite bakery did not last long. In 1922, the building was purchased by the Quality Bakery, which removed the electric oven and replaced it with a standard coke fired oven which was placed at the rear of the store. After a second bakery failed at the site in the mid-1920s, Cohen’s, a womenswear store, moved in. They would remain in the building until around 1950, when they merged with Robin’s, another womenswear store, to form Cohen’s-Robin’s and moved into the Womble Building next door. They were replaced by Marken’s, which sold children’s clothing.

Chero Cola

In 1905, after a price dispute with the distributor of Coca-Cola syrup, Claud Hatcher of Columbus, GA developed his own soft drink brand. The first product was Royal Crown Ginger Ale, followed closely by Royal Crown Strawberry and Royal Crown Root Beer. In 1910, Hatcher introduced a new cola drink and renamed the company for it…Chero Cola. Because of the popularity of its fruit flavored drinks, the company was again renamed in 1925 as the Nehi Corporation. But in 1935, Chero Cola was reformulated as Royal Crown Cola and the company name changed once again…the rest, as they say, is history. In 1954, RC became the first canned soft drink, and a few years later the first in aluminum cans. In 1958, they introduced the first diet soft drink, Diet-Rite. Ever have an RC and a Moon Pie for lunch?

Arson on Fourth Street

When the Stewart Printing building burned in 1912, it was clear to firefighters on the scene that the fire had been deliberately set. An investigator from the state insurance commission arrived in town two days later. After a thorough workup, he handed over his information to the district solicitor, and even as the Stewarts were erecting their new building across the street, the Forsyth County grand jury indicted them for arson. A series of continuances stretched the timeline, until, in May of 1913, with a new trial opening days away, the elder brother, Moses I. Stewart, was committed to the state insane asylum in Morganton. Of course, that brought about yet another continuance. Moses spent several weeks in a private hospital near Morganton, then returned home, but was declared too ill to attend trial. A couple of continuances later the Winston-Salem Journal noted that there would be no trial until Moses Stewart was available, and added the opinion that the end of the matter had been reached. Moses Stewart then left for the Pacific Northwest, where he continued his recuperation for several months, returning in August of 1915. The case, having been declared a nol pros with leave, was reinstated. Moses moved to a sanitarium in Richmond and the case was again declared nol pros with leave. Moses Stewart then moved permanently to Denver, CO and the case was never reinstated. The Stewart Printing House remained in operation under John C. Stewart well into the 1920s.