Parker Store, Menola, NC – 1

Source: Murfreesboro Historical Association Collection, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #691

The Parker Store at Menola, North Carolina

The Parker Store at Menola, North Carolina

Staff Person: Anna Hardee

The Parker Store at Menola, NC in Hertford, County Collection #691/6 Murfreesboro Historical Association Collection

How many of the below items can you identify?
There is the old Coffee grinder, and an old washing machine.
The wooden boxes on the shelves contained many things such as leather for the soles of shoes, rice and one box in particular contained Small arms ammunition loaded shot shells.
If you look at the left of the photo where the woven baskets are, on the third shelf down there are old bottles of medicinal supplies. Most of the items in this photo are rarely ever seen anymore.
There are numerous photos along this line in this collection, along with old buildings and landmarks.
I hope you enjoy this week’s staff pick.
If you would like, please come up and check out our vast collection of various materials.

Manuscript Collection 691.003

Click on the image itself to see an enlarged version.


Source: A Voyage Towards the South Pole, Joyner Rare G420/C66/1777



Staff Person: Ralph Scott


The image above is of Omai (ca.1751-ca 1779)

Omai (ca.1751-ca. 1779) was the first Polynesian brought back to England by Captain James Cook (1726-1779) following his 1772-1775 around the world voyage. It was thought by English followers of the Enlightenment that individuals like Omai lived in a “natural state” of the “noble savage.” This idea was first expressed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1788) in his work The Discourse on Inequality, (1754) in which he argued that civilization had destroyed man’s “natural goodness” and that this was the basis of social inequality. Rousseau noted in his Social Contract (1762), that “Man is born free and is everywhere in chains.” Rousseau’s Enlightenment thinking formed the basis for many tenants that were later expressed in the American Declaration of Independence (1776).

Omai was not the first nor the last person brought by the English back to the Old World. Indians from North Carolina as well as Eskimo families were transported eastward during the 16th through 18th centuries. Omai lived in England from July of 1774 until his return to Raiatea in August of 1777. In England under the guardianship of the Earl of Sandwich (he was from the “Sandwich Islands”), Omai went to balls, operas and the opening of Parliament. He also enjoyed attending parties of shooting, skating, picnicking, and great formal dinners. Several portraits of Omai were made including a famous one by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1712-1792) which was recently on the market for 12.5 million pounds Sterling. Omai was noted by Fanny Burney (1752-1840) to be “a perfectly rational and intelligent man, with an understanding far superior to the common race of us cultivated gentry.” Omai was the author of a number of epistles and poems and he appeared frequently on the London stage as a dramatic character telling the story of his experiences in England and native land. Among his more notable works are Omiah’s farewell to the ladies of London, (1776):

    To beauteous B******, and the courteous C******
    His warmest, chastest, fairest thanks are due;
    Be yours gay days of ease, and nights of pleasure,
    And joys Elysian, flowing without measure.

Omai returned to Polynesia with Cook’s second expedition in 1776/7, where Cook helped Omai build a house on Raiatea. Cook was killed later on in his expedition by the natives and in 1783 when Vice Admiral Sir William Bligh (1754-1817) arrived in Tahiti on the Bounty, he was told that Omai had also died a “few years after Cook had departed.”

The image is from:

Cook, James, 1728-1779 A voyage towards the South Pole, and round the world. Performed in His Majesty’s ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the years, 1772, 1773, 1774 and 1775. London: Printed for W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1777. 2 v. plates (part folded) ports, (incl. front.) maps (part folded) folded plan. 31 cm.

While there is no special finding aid for this item which is in the Rare Book collection, the item is cataloged in our online catalog under:

Joyner Rare G420 C66 1777

Kinston High School’s Little Mothers League for Better Babies

Source: Fred & Susan Brock Collection, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #869

Kinston High School's Little Mothers League for Better Babies

Kinston High School's Little Mothers League for Better Babies

Staff Person: Jon Dembo

The image below is a reproduction of Kinston High School’s Little Mothers League for Better Babies’ group portrait (ca. 1920). It was apparently made from Sadie Stadiem’s copy of the original photograph. The name of the photographer, E. D. Sparrow, of Kinston, NC, appears in the lower right corner of the print.

On the back of the original photographic print is written the admonition: “Lest I forget” and the names of the girls and their unidentified nurse. Reading from left to right, they are:

     Amie Jordan Parham
    Betty Diamond
    Violet Mausfield
    Marjorie Hunter
    Dorothy Suggs
    Grace Wooten
    Ruby Taylor
    Carrie Mae Dunn
    Louise Tull
    Eleanor Edwards
    Mary Emma Bizzel
    Sadie Stadiem
    Louise Bland
    Gladys Worthington
    Ruby Mewbern
    Edna Tilman (Nurse)

The photograph was a gift of Fred and Susan Block, of Wilmington, NC, 4 February 2002 (Mss #869.1.a). You may access the finding aid to the Fred and Susan Block Collection at: Manuscript Collection 869.

If anyone can identify the nurse, standing at right, please contact the Special Collections Department at (252) 328-6671.

Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

Mary Marcia Blount Rodman

Source: Williiam Blount Rodman Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #329

Mary Marcia Blount Rodman

Mary Marcia Blount Rodman

Staff Person: Martha Elmore

The image below is of Mary Marcia Blount Rodman (January 12, 1819-1911), the daughter of William Wanton Rodman and his wife Polly Ann Blount Rodman of Washington, North Carolina. The inscription on the back of the photograph says that she “enjoyed trips to Ocracoke until after her 90th year.” This photograph is so intriguing because she is dressed up in a nice black satin dress and bonnet while holding the fish she had caught. Another point of interest is that the photographer is Bayard Wootten (1875-1959) of New Bern, North Carolina., who was a pioneering woman photographer in the early decades of the 20th century. This image can be found in the William Blount Rodman Papers and the finding aid is available at Manuscript Collection #329. If you are interested in seeing this photograph in person, please tell a Special Collections staff person that you would like to see the photograph numbered p-329/60 which is located in box #329.168.c.

Evans Street, Greenville, NC, ca. 1910

Source: Frank M. Wooten, Jr. Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #126

Evans St., Greenville, N.C.

Evans St., Greenville, N.C.

Staff Person: Nanette Hardison

This picture, which is on a postcard, is of Evans Street here in Greenville in the early part of this century (ca. 1900-1920). The postcard is part of the Frank M. Wooten, Jr. Papers (Collection #126). The finding aid for the Wooten Papers is available at Manuscript Collection #126. If you have questions or are interested in seeing more of this collection, the staff at Special Collections will be glad to assist you.

Verona Topping Lancaster Autograph Book

Source: University Archives, UR0000/16

Verona Topping Lancaster Autograph Book

Verona Topping Lancaster Autograph Book

Staff Person: Suellyn Lathrop

As corporate archives for an institution established in 1907, well after the invention and wide-spread acceptance of the typewriter, the University Archives contains few manuscripts and fewer still of a personal nature. The image below is from a 1924 autograph book which belonged to Verona Topping Lancaster who attended summer sessions between 1924 and 1954. Along with verses and addresses collected from friends, the book contains a dry cleaning ticket, a weekend pass, name cards, music recital program and notes slipped under her dorm room door. Other examples of entries from the book can be found at: 1924 Autograph Book.

The book is part of record group UR0000, University Related Records, Series 16, Verona Topping Lancaster Personal Papers. The record group currently consists of 16 series of personal papers created by alumni and staff members. Finding aids for these and other records held in the University Archives are available upon request and will be available at: University Archives Finding Aids in the near future.

Stadium Cleaners, Greenville, NC

Stadium cleaners ad

Stadium cleaners ad

Source: Daily Reflector Negative Collection, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #741

Staff Person: Dale Sauter

The image below may look familiar to many of you. This photograph was taken in October 1965 for use in a Daily Reflector print advertisement for the new Stadium Cleaners located at 10th and Cotanche Streets. The sign currently still stands, but unfortunately does not light up any longer as demonstrated in this image. It is also missing its “1 hr. Cleaners” bottom section. There is a resale shop in the building at the present time.

A finding aid for the Daily Reflector Negative Collection, 1949-1967 is available at Manuscript Collection 741 We are currently working on a more detailed finding aid for this important local history collection. Please contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

Inglis Fletcher

Source: Inglis Fletcher Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #16

Staff Person: Maury York


Minna Towner Englis Clark Fletcher

Minna Towner Englis [Inglis?] Clark Fletcher (1879-1969), known to readers of her books as Inglis Fletcher, was born in Alton, Illinois, the eldest of three children of Maurice William and Flora Deane (Chapman) Clark. Minna Clark studied sculpture under Robert Bringhurst at Washington University in St. Louis, but was not graduated. She married John George Fletcher on April 16, 1902, and the couple moved to California.

Peggy, as Mrs. Fletcher was known, followed her husband as he worked in several mining camps in California, Oregon, and Alaska. While living in Spokane, Washington, during and after World War I, Mrs. Fletcher performed considerable volunteer work for the Red Cross. While in Washington she met Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who encouraged her to write.

Mrs. Fletcher’s success as a writer came only after years of unremitting work. In 1920 Robertson-Cole Studios purchased her movie script, The Western Gate. It was not until 1931, however, that she published her first book. The White Leopard, a work ofjuvenile fiction, was based on material she gathered during a trip to Africa and the Near East in 1928. Red Jasmine, a novel published in 1932, also dealt with African themes. Another eight years passed before her first Carolina novel, Raleigh’s Eden, was deemed publishable by The Bobbs-Merrill Company. Thereafter Mrs. Fletcher produced novels regularly: Men of Albemarle (1942), Lusty Wind for Carolina (1944), Toil of the Brave (1946), Roanoke Hundred (1948), Bennett’s Welcome (1950), Queen’s Gift (1952), The Scotswoman (1955), Wind in the Forest (1957), Pay, Pack, and Follow and Cormorant’s Brood(1959), The Wicked Lady (1961), and Rogue’s Harbor (1964).

The Fletchers in 1944 purchased Bandon Plantation near Edenton, N.C. Subsequently, Mrs. Fletcher devoted much of her time to historical activities. She served on the Tryon Palace Commission, the Roanoke Island Historical Association, and the boards of other organizations. She remained active until the early 1960s. Mrs. Fletcher died in Edenton and was buried in the National Cemetery in Wilmington. Further biographical information may be found in Richard Walser, Inglis Fletcher of Bandon Plantation (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Library, 1952); Inglis Fletcher, Pay, Pack, and Follow (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1959); and Who’s Who in America, vol. 34, p.692. All of these sources should be used with caution.

Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

Source: Daily Reflector Negative Collection EC Manuscript Collection #741.21.k.2

Staff Person: Ken Harbit

Description: 1953 Ford Sunliner Indy 500 Pace Car Convertible 1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Convertible, rumored to be just one of 10 known to exist. The date, May 30, 1953 was permanently stenciled on its rear fender, as well as the words ‘official pace car’ on the driver’s door. 1953 was Ford’s 50th year. Driven in the 1953 race by William Clay Ford, Sr. He was the 4th member of the Ford family to be a pace car driver. Bill Vukovich (Fresno Ca.) won the 1953 Indy 500, he endured searing heat and led for 195 laps to win the 500, one of only five drivers that year to finish the race without relief. His average speed was 128.74 mph. His qualifying speed is 138.392 mph.

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