In a 1950 Winston-Salem Journal article, Chester Davis explained how a determined young man named Roy Haberkern gave RJR’s Camel it’s hump. Click the image for a readable version:

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Roy C. Haberkern

CamelFinalOld Joe immortalized. The pack is little changed today…the pyramids have been moved slightly and the type modernized

We have a thing called the “vertical file”, a vast collection of newspaper clippings and other oddments that has grown out of control during the last half century to the point that it is difficult to find what you are looking for in its many file drawers and folders.

Our stupendous page Janice Safewright has tackled the daunting task of reorganizing this mass of knowledge into a more usable form. Whenever she finds something that she knows will interest me she brings it to my attention, I scan it and more than likely do a blog post. Here is one from Thursday’s batch.

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“Minou” is normally a naughty word, but can also be used as a term of endearment. Look it up if you dare. Note that the article was written by my old friend and now retired Journal managing editor Joe Goodman back when he was a young whippersnapper of a reporter. The camel is reminiscent of the illustration that graced the very first batch of Camel cigarette packs in 1913.

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To quote a 1950 newspaper piece by the late Journal reporter Chester Davis: “The first one-humped Reynolds camel was drawn by a Richmond lithographer. This man did very well with mosques and minarets and with palms and pyramids, but he just wasn’t up to camels.

“He drew a sad-eyed, splay and spraddle-footed beast that had a hump like a cat’s arched back. With widespread legs and ground-gripping prehensile toes, this dromedary looked like the sort that didn’t even have any Bactrian friends.

“Just the same, when the Camels came marching out of the Reynolds plants in October, 1913, this very same dromedary graced every package. It was not a pretty sight. The fact that the customers didn’t laugh out loud only goes to prove that they didn’t know a dromedary from a droshky, whatever that is.”
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Oh, and a “droshky” was a light, low, horse drawn passenger carriage consisting of four wheels connected by a narrow board. Passengers sat astride or sideways on the board with their feet resting on rails near the ground. The term was later applied to any similar conveyance for hire.
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Coming soon, an earlier piece by the same Chester Davis on how the RJR Camel finally got its hump.

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Click the arrow to see and hear the iconic song, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”, written and recorded in 1908, the founding year of the Winston-Salem Twins baseball team.

It would be nice to be able to make a simple post about a simple subject. This one started out to be such a post, in keeping with a recurring theme, the centennial of the city of Winston-Salem.

I wanted to tell you about the 1913 baseball team, the Winston-Salem Twins, and their struggle to win the first ever pennant in the brand new North Carolina State League. The problem is that all stories are about people, and people have a way of taking over stories and telling them themselves.

Everybody knows that baseball was the national pastime from the mid-19th century until well into the mid-20th century. By 1900, nearly every town in America had at least one amateur baseball team. Manufacturing companies, in the South, mostly textile, tobacco and furniture companies, sponsored teams and leagues. Many high schools and most colleges had teams. And the beginnings were well underway for the professional sport.

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Cooleme High School, Davie County, 1915

Cooleme Textile Heritage Center Archive

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Proximity textile mill team, Greensboro, NC, 1908

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North Carolina A & M (later NC State), team, 1903. The man in the hat and tie is the manager, O. Max Gardner, governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933.
University Archives, NC State University Libraries

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Baseball special streetcar, Greensboro, ca 1910
Greensboro Historical Museum Archives

In 1905, the towns of Winston and Salem, sort of by accident, got their first professional team. One of the reasons was that a new baseball park was being built near the intersection of Twelfth Street and Highland Avenue. William Neal Reynolds, R.J.’s baby brother, who owned the land, and Henry E. Fries, head of the Fries manufacturing and power conglomerate, were the driving force. The local papers reported that Fries could be seen daily at the site, with his sleeves rolled up, supervising and shoveling. Fries may have done much of the work, but Mister Will owned the land, so the field would be known as Prince Albert Park in honor of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s successful pipe tobacco brand.

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Jim Crow dictated that races be separated in seating at all events in the South. The irony is that the local black team, the Pond Giants, often used Prince Albert Park to host games against teams from the Negro National League. During those events, all seating was “Negro”, and the crowds often exceeded those of the white teams by a considerable number.

The first game was to be a contest between the North Carolina state college champions Davidson College and the Virginia state college champions Washington & Lee. The field was ready in time, but on the morning of the game came a deluge of rain, turning the new field into a sea of mud, and the game was moved to the older Southside Park.

The other reason was that North Carolina’s first professional baseball organization, the Virginia-Carolina League, was struggling to survive. On July 17 that year, the Salisbury-Spencer franchise gave up the ghost and moved to the brand new Prince Albert Park. But that move was in vain. The league folded on August 18, with the local team, managed by Earl Holt, mired in third place in a four team league.

Three years later, a new league, the Carolina Association, made up of teams from both of the Carolinas was formed. The local team was known as the Winston-Salem Twins, five years before the two towns would be officially joined.

The first three years, the Twins finished fourth in a six team league. Then in 1911, led by a young pitcher named Josh Swindell, who posted a won-lost record of 29-8, the Twins took the league title. Charles Clancy, the manager, also played shortstop and led the team in hitting with a .337 batting average.

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Charlie Clancy was an outstanding hitter, fielder and coach. He managed the UNC baseball team for several years in the early 20th century, as well as the professional championship Fayetteville team in the Eastern North Carolina League and the Winston-Salem Twins championship teams of 1911 and 1913.
Yakety Yak, UNC yearbook.

In 1912, the Twins finished in second place, three games behind the Anderson, South Carolina team. But the league was struggling, so in 1913, the Twins moved to a new association, the North Carolina State League.

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Bill Schumaker starred for Manager Clancy at Fayetteville and Winston-Salem. In 1913, he led the new North Carolina State league with 18 home runs.
Library of Congress

Manager Clancy, along with first baseman Bill Schumaker and pitcher Pete Boyle, who had helped lead the Twins to the 1911 pennant, returned in 1913. As the season began in April, optimism was the watchword. The Twins got off to a good start, taking the league lead in the first week. And thanks to the pitching of J.R. Lee and the all around play of shortstop/left fielder Luke “Tiny” Stuart, they would maintain that lead for most of the season, never more than two or three games ahead of their closest rivals, Asheville and Durham, and sometimes much closer.

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J. Raymond “General” Lee, a law student, was UNC’s top pitcher, and in 1913, posted a record of 25-14 to lead the Winston-Salem Twins to the NC State League pennant.
Yakety Yak, UNC yearbook, 1912

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Luke “Tiny” Stuart played shortstop for Guilford College and the Winston-Salem Twins, hitting 11 home runs and leading the league in scoring in 1913.
The Quaker, Guilford College yearbook, 1914

But on July 25, in a crucial matchup with their closest pursuers the Durham Bulls at Prince Albert Park, the season became overshadowed by other events. As the sports editor of the Winston-Salem Journal put it, there was scrap in the wind that day, and once scrap gets into the wind, it is bound to affect human beings in its path.

Durham started their best pitcher, Lee Meadows, who would finish the season with a 21-14 record and go on to a long and successful career in the major leagues. The Twins countered with Charley Harding, who since joining the team after the college season ended, had been the best pitcher on the staff. He would go on to win twelve games in only nineteen starts that season, but on July 25 he was the first to feel the wrath of the scraps.

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Lee Meadows went on from the Durham Bulls to a fifteen year career in the National League with the St. Louis, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh teams. In 1926, he won 20 games, and in 1925 and 1927, with identical 19-10 records, led Pittsburgh to the World Series. His major league career record was 188-180.
Library of Congress

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Charley Harding started the July 25, 1913 game for the Twins. He went on to post a 12-6 record in nineteen starts that year.

From the first inning, the Bulls hit Harding hard and often. By the time that manager Clancy yanked him in the fifth inning, he had yielded ten hits and seven runs and the game was pretty much out of reach. But then the scraps got to Durham pitcher Meadows, who was coasting toward an easy win.

In the sixth, the umpire called one of his pitches a ball. Meadows thought it was a strike. He complained. The umpire told him to “play ball”, and Meadows lost it. He began screaming curses at the umpire and predicting where that official would be spending eternity, at which point he was ejected from the game. But he refused to leave, so the umpire summoned the Winston-Salem police, who escorted Meadows from the field with his civilian clothes in hand, to the jeers of Twin City fans.

But when the Bulls scored three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth, turning the game into a route, the jeers turned to the local players. The worst offender was one Charles Snipes, whose father had operated the local slaughterhouse for many years, accumulating significant wealth and influence in the community. Snipes and his spoiled brothers had become a sort of local terrorist group known to one and all as the “Snipes gang”, who for nearly thirty years committed a series of assaults, robberies, other mayhem and at least one murder without ever incurring any significant penalties.

One of our regular patrons, a Snipes descendant, has accumulated dozens of newspaper articles regarding the exploits of the “Snipes gang” and will eventually publish an account of their misdeeds, so I will confine myself here to this singular event.

Since catcher Henry Smith, one of the team’s best players, was closest to the stands, Snipes focused on him, challenging Smith to fight him man to man on the field. Smith, having a ball game to complete, tried to ignore him. But when the game ended, Charles Snipes was waiting at the exit and assaulted catcher Smith with a baseball bat.

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The 1913 Winston-Salem Twins, in their snappy team coats. #3 is catcher Harry Smith, the initial target of the Snipes Gang. #13 is Luke Stuart, the hero of the day. #9, unidentified here, is probably pitcher Pete Boyle, who had a 16-14 record during the season. As is often the case, Stuart’s name is misspelled in the caption.

Smith’s teammate Luke Stuart, the team’s star hitter, rushed to Smith’s aid and an all out brawl erupted involving other players and a number of “fans”. The Journal sports editor, who was also the official scorer, stated that it was a “…glorious free for all…” with the local police being “…quite conspicuous by their absence…We take it back, for there were two present, but if they did anything we, and others, did not see it.”

With intervention by team officials and some spectators, the melee eventually subsided and everyone supposedly went home. But that was only the beginning, because the instigator, Charles Snipes, had been thoroughly beaten up, receiving two black eyes in the interim. He began walking toward his home on Trade Street, shouting curses and brandishing a knife and making a general nuisance of himself.

At that point, police officer William Byrd and constable Frank Martin took him in hand and escorted him onto a streetcar. But Snipes conduct was so egregious that the conductor made the officers put him off. Byrd and Martin then escorted Snipes to the corner of Eighth and Liberty, where they released him on promise to go home and stay there and appear in court the next day. By this time, the whole of northeastern Winston-Salem was aware that something bad was going on.

Snipes went home and cleaned up, then he and his brother Frank armed themselves with a pistol and a Winchester rifle, collected other members of their gang and went to the Webster Hotel on East Third Street near the railroad depot where most of the baseball team members lived. There, Police Chief Thomas and officer Byrd intercepted them and began leading them toward the police station in the Town Hall at the corner of Fourth and Main Streets, where the Reynolds Building now stands.

Frank Snipes told the chief that he better not put him in jail because he, Snipes, had too much dirt on the chief and would ruin him. When officer Byrd objected, Frank Snipes struck him and his brother Charles Snipes began cursing Byrd. Believe it or not, at this point, Chief Thomas released Charles Snipes yet again on the promise from his brother to take him home. Maybe Frank was right about the dirt.

At this point, an emergency session of the Winston-Salem city commission was called, and both Chief Thomas and officer Byrd were suspended from active duty. Sergeant John Thompson was appointed acting chief. Shortly thereafter, Charles Snipes returned to the Webster Hotel, accompanied by his father, Frank Snipes, Sr. There he punched Luke Stuart, knocking him down. Stuart drew a gun and so did Snipes. But his father disarmed him before anything further could happen. The Snipes were then allowed to post bond for appearance in municipal court the next morning and went home.

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Journal headline, July 26, 1913

The next day in Municipal Court, the two ballplayers were convicted of simple assault and fined $10 plus costs each. Frank Snipes was sentenced to four months on the chain gang, and his brother Charles to six months. Both appealed.

Charges of inciting to riot against both of the Snipes were referred to Superior Court. The appeals and the inciting to riot charges were supposed to have been heard at the August session of Superior Court. But the day before the trial, a “doctor” told the judge that Charles Snipes was ill and would be unable to attend, so the judge granted a delay until a later session, to begin on the first Monday in October.

But on the Thursday before that date, the Superior Court judge announced that his wife had been stricken with appendicitis and that the court session would be delayed while he accompanied her to a hospital in Greensboro. Just in case you might think that that was a coincidence, be aware that the Snipes brothers had been in serious trouble many times before. And be aware that their father, Frank Snipes, Sr. had been operating the city slaughterhouse for many years, thus accumulating wealth and influence just below that of the Reynolds, Hanes and Gray families. Considering the series of crimes committed by the Snipes brothers without incurring any serious jail time it becomes obvious that their father owned a host of policemen, prosecutors and judges.

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A few days after the incident at the ballpark, a local minister wrote a letter to the editors of the Winston-Salem Journal. He had a clear understanding of what had happened. Charles Snipes had bet on the baseball game and lost, so took his wrath out on the players. This was not the first time that that had happened, nor would it be the last. In the minister’s letter, he said that if the owners of the baseball team could not control gambling at the ballpark, that he would return his season tickets and demand a refund and suggest to his congregation that all of them do the same. We have no idea how that came out, but we do know that his demand was unreasonable. Baseball officials cannot control gambling…witness the Black Sox World Series scandal just a few years later.

So far, we have been unable to find the long delayed court dates for the Snipes brothers. As long as their cases were under appeal, they were free men, and perhaps if there were enough delays, the cases would be forgotten altogether. We know that neither of them ever spent any serious time in prison.

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On the 27th, the Journal reported that the players Smith and Stuart received huge ovations on their first appearances at the plate. The editor, who fancied himself a humorist, could not resist making fun of what had happened on the 25th.

Oh, by the way, getting back to that original simple story, the Winston-Salem Twins came to the final day of the season with a half game lead over the Durham Bulls, who had a double header scheduled. So even if the Twins won, if the Bulls won both games of their double header, the season would end in a tie.

But on that day, one of the worst storm systems in North Carolina history hit, wiping out games from the coast to the mountains. In his story, the Journal’s sports editor called that “Jupiter Pluvius”, a faddish reference of the time to the Roman god who brought rain. So the Twins won by the narrowest possible margin, 1/2 game.

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Divine providence?

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This is not quite the end of the story, because Jake “Tiny” Stuart’s story goes on, from his connection with Guilford College and future Forsyth County sheriff Ernie Shore to an extraordinary moment in the history of the American League to a tragic end on Fourth Street in Winston-Salem. Look for “Take me out to the ballgame, Part 2”, coming soon.

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About “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”:

Jack Norworth (Shine on Harvest Moon), while riding a subway train in Manhattan, was inspired by a sign that said “Baseball Today — Polo Grounds”. In the song, lovely Katie Casey is “baseball mad”. Her beau calls to ask her out to see a show. She accepts the date, but only if her date will take her out to the ballgame. The words were set to music by Albert Von Tilzer. The song was first sung by Norworth’s then-wife Nora Bayes and popularized by many other vaudeville acts.

The first recorded version was by Edward Meeker. It became one of the most popular hits of 1908, spending 16 weeks at the top of the pop music charts. In 2010, Meeker’s version was added to the National recording Registry by the Library of Congress.

The version included here is by the Haydn Quartet singing group, led by popular tenor Harry MacDonough, recorded in 1908 on Victor Records.

In 1958, Jack Norworth appeared on Ed Sullivan’s TV show and sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with four New York Yankees stars, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Moose Skowron and Mickey Mantle. He admitted that he had not seen an actual baseball game until 1942, 34 years after his song went viral. You can see that performance here.

A parade always generates rhythms of its own. As each unit passes, the spectator’s interest level rises and falls. A few weeks ago, the City of Winston-Salem, with a lot of help from the Jaycees, put on a parade to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the consolidation of the town of Salem and the city of Winston to become the modern city of Winston-Salem.

Among the units that raised the most interest were two fire engines, one a 1905 La France steam pumper which had belonged to the old Salem “Rough & Ready” fire department, established in 1784; the other a La France gasoline powered pumper of the consolidated Winston-Salem fire department from the 1920s.

Salem became one of the first towns in America to have a “fire engine”. After a disastrous fire which destroyed the Salem Tavern, one of the most important parts of the local economy, in 1784 they organized a community fire brigade and purchased an European made “fire engine”, which arrived in 1785. That first engine was found wanting, so some local engineers took it apart and made improvements. Over the next 90 years, Salem would purchase several other manually pumped engines

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Salem’s original 1785 fire engine. It required assistance from a bucket brigade. The buckets shown were made of leather.

The first steam powered fire engines were developed in the first third of the 19th century. Early adopters included New York, Chicago and San Francisco, all around 1850. In December, 1880, a fire destroyed most of the west side of Winston’s courthouse square. Five days later, the first moves toward creating a Winston fire company were made. In April, 1882, the town took bids from the Silby and La France companies for steam fire engines. Both bids were for $4,000. The town offered La France $3,800, which was accepted, and they took delivery on the first steam La France fire engine in May, 1882.

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Winston firemen pose with the communitiy’s first modern fire engine, a La France steam pumper, in front of the Rosenbacher & Son general merchandise store on the south side of courthouse square sometime in the mid to late 1880s. The inscription reads “Winston Fire Company No. 1, Organised, Feb, 1882”. The name of the photographer, S.E. Hough is inscribed at lower left.

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Winston-Salem firemen prepare Salem’s 1905 American La France steamer for its appearance in the May 11, 2013 centennial parade. The key identified parts were standard for all steam powered fire engines of the time. The frame arch was necessary to allow the front wheels to be turned at a 90º angle at the scene of the fire to help prevent the vibration of the engine from causing the engine to creep forward.

The air chamber was an important innovation, because early engines, being cyclical, caused the water to emerge in squirts. The air chamber allowed water to rise into the chamber, compressing the air, thus damping the squirting effect and giving a steadier stream.

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Three years after Winston received its first modern steamer, Salem ordered their first steam engine, seen below, from Button.

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By the early 1900s, Winston had two La France engines. In 1905, Salem ordered their first La France engine. Upon delivery, they transferred the 1885 Button to the newly formed West Salem fire district.

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Salem’s 1905 American La France steamer, sometime around 1908-10, in front of the Salem “Rough and Ready” fire station at the corner of Liberty and Cemetery Streets. The driver is Andy Peddycord, who was the chief wagon driver for the town of Salem. His oldest son was also qualified to drive the Salem fire engine.

At the time of the consolidation of the two towns in 1913, the Sanborn Insurance maps showed the following information as to the fire fighting capabilities of the two towns:

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Later that year, the city of Winston ordered its first self powered fire engine, an American La France Type 12 Triple Combination Pumping Car. The price was $9,000, to be paid $2,500 down, another $2,500 at the end of the first year and $2,000 at the end of each of the third and fourth years. The type 12 was delivered on August 5, 1912.

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In March of 1913, Winston suffered one of its most infamous fires, in the O’Hanlon drugstore building at the corner of Liberty and Fourth Street. Edward O’Hanlon’s drugstore had been built following yet another disastrous 1880s fire. He had enjoyed great success in his new building and had been talking for some time about taking it down and building a much improved “skyscraper” with several floors of office space above his drugstore.

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The 1913 O’Hanlon drugstore fire attracted quite a crowd of onlookers. The O’Hanlon building is at dead center. A city streetcar is halted at the right, in front of O’Hanlons fiercest competitor, V.O. Thompson’s drugstore. Smart citizens visited both each day, because if you missed the gossip, you were not clued in on what was happening in town.

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A detail from the O’Hanlon fire of 1913 shows the crowd. Note that everybody in the picture is wearing a hat. Boys are wearing cloth caps. Men are wearing mostly either fedoras or homburgs. Women are sporting the latest styles from Paris. And the lone little girl, at left, is copying them. No self respecting citizen, male or female, would have dared leave home without a hat. Also note that some of the women are wearing only white blouses. These must be “office girls”, because no respectable married woman would have appeared in public without a jacket. Times do change, don’t they?

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Another detail from the 1913 O’Hanlon fire shows one of the local steamers on Fourth Street between Liberty and Trade Streets. From the overall configuration and the dark band on the boiler, we can be pretty certain that the steamer is one of Winston’s American La France engines.

The outcome of the O’Hanlon fire was nebulous. The O’Hanlon building and some neighbors were gutted, but not destroyed. O’Hanlon opted to demolish them and proceed with his dream of a high rise building. The result was the tallest building in Winston and Salem at the time.

Over the next few years, the new city would acquire more gasoline powered fire trucks. By 1920, Winston-Salem, after its first annexation of the northeastern part of Ardmore, had become the most populous city in North Carolina at 47,000 plus. But population growth was so fast that by 1926, after two more Ardmore annexations, the city had over 71,000 residents. City services struggled to keep up with the demand. In 1923, the city authorized the purchase of an American La France pumper, priced at about $40,000 and paid for in three equal installments. But it immediately needed at least two more.

As the city grew, more and more was spent on improved fire engines. But financial reality kept the old engines on the force. At some point not too long ago, the local fire chief proposed surplussing of the last of the 1920s engines. Fortunately, some of the local firefighters rose up in defense of the 1923 La France engine. It was quietly moved to an exhibition space at the fairgrounds, but was never actually removed from the official roster, being retained as a “reserve” engine. But it has not been capable of actually running for many years.

Last year, in anticipation of the 2013 Centennial parade, the 1923 engine was moved from the fairgrounds to Fire Station #1, downtown on North Marshall Street, where local firemen began trying to get the engine into shape for the 2013 parade. In January, WXII TV did a marvelous report on the progress.

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Last year, a minimum security prisoner in San Diego stole the unit’s fire truck and escaped. He was caught two days later at the trolley station in Lemon Grove. After the parade on Saturday, our 1923 La France fire engine also went to jail. It will be strip searched and then meticulously restored by a North Carolina prison unit’s auto repair class. Maybe soon it will be able to leave its trailer and drive on its own in a future parade.

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Sources:

Neilson, R. W., History of Government; City of Winston-Salem, NC: All American City, 1766 – Bicentennial – 1966. Winston-Salem, 1966.

Salem People’s Press, weekly newspaper, 1851—1892.

The Union Republican, weekly newspaper, 1873(?) — 1952.

Winston-Salem Journal, daily newspaper, 1897 —.

Twin City Sentinel, daily newspaper, 1906 — 1985.

Images

Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection

WXII TV news broadcast, January, 2013

American Cyclopaedia @ chestofbooks.com

Grening, John A; Yorks, S.H.; and Beach, C.H. The Automobile Handbook. The International Textbook Company, 1913.

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100 years ago, on May 30, 1913, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West finally came to Winston-Salem. The video above is a compilation filmed by Thomas Edison in 1902 of the pre-show parade, Annie Oakley in action, a couple of American Indian dances and and a “Bucking Broncho”, all available at the Library of Congress website. Click on the start arrow to watch.

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The show was heavily advertised in the local newspapers, the kickoff being the parade from downtown to “Wheeler’s show ground”, in east Winston at the site of the then under construction City Memorial Hospital.

Admission was 50¢, $1 for grandstand seats, children under 9 for half price, rain or shine. The ads stated that all seats were protected by an “Immense Waterproof Canvas Canopy”. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that there was an immense crowd, but others complained that there were many empty seats, probably because of a conflict with commencement exercises in the local schools and colleges, which will be reported in a coming post.

Another reason for attendance problems might have been that Annie Oakley was no longer with the show. She was severely injured in a train wreck in 1901 and after along recuperation, never returned.

Just moving the show from town to town was an immense undertaking. There were hundreds of people and animals; cowboys, American Indians, other performers and crew, horses, bison and others. The operation required two railway trains, each with its own kitchen car to feed the workers.

Just after midnight on October 29, 1901, the two trains carrying Buffalo Bill’s Wild West pulled out of the Charlotte station, cleared for Danville, Virginia. Southern Railways freight train #75 had been ordered to remain on the siding at Lexington until the two trains passed. Sometime around 3:00 AM, the first unit went through Lexington. But the Southern train order had only included one train number, so  #75’s engineer, Frank Lynch, eased his freight out onto the mainline, headed south to Charlotte.

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The two trains collided near Linwood, NC. Dozens of animals were killed and many more had to be shot. No crew or show workers died, but Annie Oakley was temporarily pinned in the wreckage and suffered severe spinal injuries. Some newspapers reported that she had been killed.

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She was taken to the Twin City Hospital on Brookstown Avenue in Winston-Salem, then transferred by train to New York. In later years, she and her husband lived for a time in Pinehurst and conducted a shooting school out of the Carolina Hotel there.

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Top picture, Annie Oakley bird hunting with a pointer. The location of the picture is unknown, but the terrain looks suspiciously like the NC Sandhills.

Bottom picture, Annie Oakley, in white, center, shooting at the Pinehurst Gun Club, ca 1911.

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West was out of business for some time. Despite a $65,000 settlement from the Southern Railroad, it never recovered. Buffalo Bill remained in debt for the rest of his life. By the time the show arrived in Winston-Salem in 1913, he had handed over control to creditors and the show was a mere shadow of its former self, joined with Pawnee Bill’s lesser show and incorporating such acts as “Auto Polo” (the forerunner of “Demolition Derby”?), horseback football and a live fox hunt, things which bore no resemblance to Buffalo Bill’s beloved Wild West.

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Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull


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100 years ago, the young women of Salem Academy & College helped celebrate the joining of the cities of Salem and Winston.

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Seven young Winston women, left, seven young Salem women, right, and Mary Pell, not from Salem or Winston, as the hyphen. Clever girls!

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They also apparently had some backward seniors.

Images from digitalnc.org UNC Libraries, College Yearbooks

“Sights & Insights”, Salem Academy & College, 1913

Winston-Salem’s Centennial Celebration begins next week. Visit these two links for more information:

Official Centennial Website

Winston-Salem Journal article, May 2, 2013

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As anyone who does a lot of historical research knows, some of the best stuff comes through serendipity.

Recently, while looking for something else, I came upon a reference to a book that intrigued me. We didn’t have it in our collection, but I found a copy available at Abe Books, so ordered it. Here is the title page.

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What a neat fit for next week’s centennial celebration, a book published locally in 1913 by a local man. Colonel H. Montague was one of the more interesting citizens as Winston and Salem became joined by a hyphen. A native of Wake County, the son of a Wake Forest College professor, he moved to Winston in the 1880s to practice law and became a major player in the local real estate world.

Every year, around high school graduation time, his name is widely published, so many have heard of him, yet have no idea why.

But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of his life was his name, always rendered as “H. Montague”. Soon I will do another post about him and the epic search for his real first name, which he took great pains to conceal. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, you might ask “Who was Josh Billings?” Colonel Montague’s book gives us an image.

JoshBillings.jpg

Suffice to say that “Josh Billings” was actually Henry Wheeler Shaw, probably the second most popular humor writer of the 19th century. Unfortunately for him, there was this other guy, Sam Clemens, who wrote under the pseudonym “Mark Twain”. “Billings” was eclipsed by the might of “Twain”, but he is not quite forgotten. He appears in many anthologies of American literature, so is at least known to college English professors.

Winston-Salem’s Centennial Celebration begins next week. Visit these two links for more information:

Official Centennial Website

Winston-Salem Journal article, May 2, 2013