Monthly Archives: December 2013

Need a History Fix for the Holidays?

The State Archives of North Carolina will be closed December 24 – 26 for the Christmas holiday and January 1 for the New Years holiday.

Although the Search Room may be closed, many of our other resources are still available to you. Here are lists of new materials or resources that you may have missed.


Three new videos have been added to our YouTube channel.

  • H. Lee Waters, Hillsborough, NC, January 19 and 20, 1937 – This silent, black-and-white film contains footage shot by H. Lee Waters (1902-1997) of Hillsborough, North Carolina in Orange County on 19-20 January 1937.
  • Mr. Williams Wakes Up, 1944 [MPF.18] – The role and functions of local and state health agencies are described through the use of an imaginary character named Mr. Williams in this black-and-white film directed by George Stoney and shot in Wayne and Duplin Counties, 1944.
  • Tar Heel Family, 1951 [MPF.32] – Printed and released in 1951, North Carolina’s transition from an agrarian economy to an economy based more on industry is described, featuring the Town of Clinton, NC.

Civil War

You may have missed some of our recent Civil War Sesquicentennial posts, such as:

G.S. 132

A series of new posts on records management are now available from the G.S. 132 Files blog, including:

North Carolina Digital Collections

New materials are available in several of our digital collections, including:


New Additions for Christmas

“Carolina Christmas” is a collection of images, documents, and other materials from the State Archives of North Carolina that pertain to the holiday season. Every year we try to add new materials to this collection as a holiday treat, and this year is no exception.

In the last few weeks, we have added a wonderful short story from the Mary Speed Mercer Papers called “Madam Santa Clause, a Story of a Quilt” and written by Mary Speed Mercer under the pseudonym, “Warren Edgecombe.” This true story exemplifies the holiday spirit with a heartwarming tale of friendship and giving. From this collection we have also scanned a poem written by Mary, “A Peep at St. Nichols.” This poem was heavily influenced by “A Visit from ST. Nicholas” You may know “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by its later name “T’was the Night before Christmas.”

While searching for information on another project, I came across a rare treat in the Richard Seawell Hinton Letters. The collection happened to contain “Christmas Carols” a song booklet given out by the YMCA to the service men on Christmas Eve, 1918. Instantly I knew this would be a great addition to the Christmas collection. The booklet includes the music and lyrics to “Oh Come all ye Faithful,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Silent Night, Holy Night,” “Hark the Herald Angles Sing,” “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” “While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night.”

I also came across some holiday cards from the 1920s in the Hampton Family Papers; these greeting cards were truly a joy to scan and index. Many of the cards are hand painted and feature Art Deco elements, making them little pieces of art. If you would like to peruse the new “cards” additions to the collection you can perform an advanced search using the phrase “Hampton Family Papers” which will give you a list of only the newly added cards.

We here at the State Archives hope you enjoy these new additions to the North Carolina Digital Collections and wish you a very merry holiday season. We’ll have new projects to introduce you to in 2014, but for now, as that ever so popular poem states “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Tree Lighting Ceremony Starts Holiday Season at State Capitol Dec. 12

[This post is a Department of Cultural Resources press release. To learn more about news and events related to cultural resources, visit the department website.]

RALEIGH — The tree-lighting tradition at the State Capitol will continue when Gov. Pat McCrory and First Lady Ann McCrory light the Christmas tree Thursday, Dec. 12. The Junior Woman’s Club and State Capitol historic site host this free, public celebration. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with luminaries being lit and holiday music by the Raleigh Concert Band and Garner Magnet High Die Meisters. The governor and first lady will make their way to the South grounds at 6:15 p.m. to officially begin the ceremony. The lit tree will be visible the length of Fayetteville Street.

Yellow Dog Bread Company will sell coffee and assorted pastries on the grounds throughout the evening. The Junior Woman’s Club will give away cookies and hot chocolate while local sports team mascots entertain the crowd prior to the ceremony. Even Santa is scheduled to make an appearance!

The annual holiday open house will begin at 6:30. The public is invited inside to see the Capitol’s holiday decorations, sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and featuring items grown, raised and harvested in our state. Meanwhile, the East Cary Middle School Steel Drum band will perform holiday music in the rotunda.

Governor Pat McCrory and First Lady Ann McCrory invite you to bring donations for North Carolina’s Rural Shelters. Pets are the heart of many North Carolina homes. Dogs and cats are surrendered for many different reasons or are rescued and our state’s shelters become their temporary homes. Help brighten the holidays by dropping off food, blankets, towels, toys and treats. Please help our state’s shelters provide the proper care for these adoptable pets until they find their forever home with a new family. We are pleased to be working with Bayou Rescue in this effort.

Please bring donations to the State Capitol Rotunda on Dec. 12, 13, 14, 15. Donations can include the following:

  1. Canned food for puppies, kittens and adult dogs and cats
  2. Toys for enrichment
  3. Blankets and towels for bedding and bathing
  4. Treats for all animals

Visitors will find the Museum of History and gift shop open, and will enjoy the giant decorated tree in the lobby. Old fashioned toys and games, a “make and take” craft, and exhibits add to the fun. Exhibits, including The Tsars’ Cabinet andWindows into Heaven, will remain open until 7:30 p.m. at a discounted admission price (free for children ages 6 and under). The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences also will be open, and will offer hands on activities and “meet the animals” for children. Discounted tickets to view the special exhibit Birds of Paradise will be sold until 6 p.m. and the museum will remain open until 9 p.m.

Sponsors are the State Capitol Foundation, State Historic Sites Division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, N.C. Department of Agriculture, N.C. Department of Administration-Facility Management, N.C. Museum of History, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh and the Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh. The 24-foot tree was grown by Peak Farms in Ashe County and is sponsored by the Capital City/Cardinal Club of Raleigh. There will be free parking along the street and in state government lots after 5 p.m.

The State Capitol’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history, architecture and functions of the 1840 building and Union Square. The Capitol is bounded by Edenton, Salisbury, Morgan and Wilmington Streets. For more information, please visit or call (919) 733-4994.