Take a step back in time to 1914 Greenville, N. C., in this C. E. Weaver Series, “Illustrated Cities”, by Central Publishing Co., Inc., in Richmond, Virginia. Greenville was growing and changing: The Center Brick Warehouse was selling Bright Leaf Tobacco (93,762 pounds avg. at $24.55 per hundred). The Flanagan Buggy Co. distributed products throughout Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. The Greenville Ice and Coal Co. was a necessity for this community. The R.L. Smith Stables sold and exchanged horses and mules. The East Carolina Teachers Training School is now called East Carolina University; the campus consisted of the Power House, Dining Hall, Infirmary, Dormitories and the Administration Building and the soon to be erected library, gymnasium and the President’s Residence. These are just a few highlights from the pamphlet from the Junius D. Grimes Papers #571.
Description: A photographer for the Daily Reflector, Greenville, N.C., captured this view in December 1958 of a man removing snow from the marquee of the State Theatre on West Fifth Street. Note the State Bank Building, a four-story, triangular building, at right.
Description: New Bern was founded in 1710 and is North Carolina’s second oldest town. This post card, bearing a 1908 postmark, depicts a downtown view of New Bern including Christ Episcopal Church, the Courthouse, Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, the Post Office and the First Baptist Church.
This postcard depicts the Pitt County Courthouse prior to its destruction by fire in 1910. Located on the site of the present courthouse (Third and Evans streets in Greenville), the building was designed by Dabney Cosby (1779-1862), who apparently moved to Greenville to undertake the project. He is listed in the 1860 census as an eighty-two-year-old architect. According to the Chronicles of Pitt County (1982), the building was begun in 1858 to replace the previous courthouse, which had burned, but was not completed until 1878. This postcard is from the Moore Family Papers in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection.
National Bank Building, Greenville, N.C. This post card depicts the National Bank Building, which was constructed between 1911 and 1916 by the firm of Higgs, Hardee, and Laughinghouse at Five Points in Greenville. Five Points was the intersection of Fifth Street, Evans Street, and Dickinson Avenue. In addition to the bank, the triangular-shaped structure in 1916 housed offices, a barber, and a dry goods business. In later years, the bank was known as the State Bank. The structure was demolished in the 1970s by the Redevelopment Commission and the street pattern was radically altered as part of Greenville’s ambitious urban renewal program. The post card can be found in the Tabitha Marie DeVisconti Papers http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0480/ in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection. Records concerning the management of the National Bank Building in the 1910s and 1920s are available in the Charles O’Hagan Laughinghouse Papers. http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0270/
Doctor's Office at Penny Hill in Pitt County, N.C.
This photograph is a circa 1960s image of the deteriorating doctor’s office in the Penny Hill Community in Pitt County, N.C., bordering on Edgecombe County. It was built in the late nineteenth century. According to Scott Power, in The Historic Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina, this building is considered to be “a finely detailed example of rural Italianate architecture as defined by the stuccoed exterior scored to resemble large blocks of cut stone and decoratively sawn brackets beneath the eaves.” The Thigpen Foundation was set up in 2003 by the Rev. Dr. Edward L. Thigpen to repair the building in hopes of one day making it part of a museum. Since then, some work has been undertaken to stabilize the structure.
An interesting side note to this topic is the origin of the name Penny Hill for the community. The account was retold by John D. Duncan in a January 27, 1962, Daily Reflector newspaper article. In the account, Bruce Cotten of Cottendale described a trip he took down the Tar River on the streamer Greenville in 1888. As the steamer approached Penny Hill, Mr. Cotten stated the reason for Penny Hill’s name thusly: “…Penny Hill [was] named for a ‘free woman of color’ who used to sell ‘tabacco and eatables’ for the flatboat men of earlier days.”
This photograph is part of a collection of images taken by Jan Sellers Coward (now deceased). He was married to Elisabeth Speight, the daughter of artists Francis and Sarah Speight.
Sources: Chronicles of Pitt County (Vol. 1) edited by Elizabeth H. Copeland and published by the Pitt County Historical Society, Inc., in 1982. The Historic Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina edited by Scott Power and published by the Pitt County Historical Society, Inc., in 1991.
As so many processes become “digitally born” it is refreshing to look back to simpler times. This image, part of a larger plan for preparations of a building site, gives a detailed rendering of staked haybale. Staked bales are still used to control water and silt flow onto and off of construction sites, but is not easy to imagine that such specific direction was necessary. It is also amusing to imagine a modern architect using a powerful CAD system to produce such a prosaic image.
Many of the plans for buildings that are no longer standing, or were planned and never built, are open to the public in the University Archives. The finding aid can be accessed via the link below.