Tag Archives: State Archives Search Room

The Strange Case of Mysterious Miscellaneous County Records

By Josh Hager, Public Services Unit

Come one, come all, and observe the curiosities discovered deep in the State Archives stacks! “The Strange Case of Mysterious Miscellaneous County Records” is currently on display in the State Archives Search Room. The case highlights facsimiles of some of the oddest items in county records that came to the Archives because county officials long ago retained these records for unknown sundry reasons.

Feast your eyes on an invitation to a duel! A gentleman in Orange County circa 1814 told his potential adversary to “be good to me and be friendly” or come to the path at noon tomorrow “with powder and ball ready to receive satisfaction.”


Orange County Miscellaneous Records. CR.073.928.11. Invitation to a Duel, 1814.

Gaze at the medical marvels found in the Ladies’ Birthday Almanac! Found in Buncombe County’s miscellaneous records, the Chattanooga Medicine Company published an almanac that served as an advertisement for its new curative, a type of wine called Cardui. You won’t believe the symptoms that Cardui can relieve! (Really, you won’t believe it because it’s completely implausible. A good rule of thumb is to rarely trust a medical advertisement from the early 1900s.)


Buncombe County Miscellaneous Records. CR.013.928.9. “The Ladies Birthday Almanac,” 1909.

Marvel at several other curiosities, including diagrams of firefighting equipment, a catalog of horses straight from Lexington, KY, and even a wanted poster of Pennsylvania bank robbers! Act now, because this case will only remain on display until mid-May.