Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wake Wednedsay - Local Ghosts

How about some local Ghostly legends?

William Poole, a wealthy batchelor who loved his land and white horse in life, rides the 75 acre pine forest (near Rock Quarry Road) on said horse in death after 1889. Read the story and variations here.

Mary Willis Mordecai Turk, continues to enjoy her former home Mordecai House in Raleigh by wisping around in a mist in a gray 19th century gown and playing piano tunes for anyone who will listen, just as she did in her socialite days. Details here.

Unknown spirits haunt the NC State Capitol. Ghostly happenings reported by a night watchman over 15 years included screams, doors slamming, books hitting the floor, keys jingling and footsteps on the stone floors. More here.

If you need more Wake County ghost stories to set your Halloween mood, there is a Kindle book here that is Free with Kindle Unlimited (reasonable otherwise...). Ghosts of the Triangle; Historic Haunts of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, By Richard and William Jackson.

Happy Halloween. Stay spooky.


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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Three Preservation NC Events in early November

From the Preservation NC website:

FALL SYMPOSIUM 2-day educational event at Shaw University filled with speakers and topics related to the headquarters renovation project. November 7-8, Raleigh. Dix Park and Historic Oberlin Village tours are also part of the symposium. Prices vary, registration requiredClick HERE for more or to register.

HISTORIC BLOUNT STREET TOUR & RECEPTION Get social with us and tour several of the newly renovated grand old houses of Blount Street, including: Norris House, Lewis-Smith House, Higgs-Coble-Helms House, Lamar-Brown-Arthur House and more! November 7, 6-9pm. $40 per person, registration required.  Click HERE for more or to register.

OPEN HOUSE TOUR of NEW HQ  - November 17, 1-5pm. $10 suggested donation at the door.
Tour the newly restored Hall and Graves houses.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wake Wednesday - Railroads and Rebirth

Piggybacking on the recent post about the fiery destruction of Raleigh's first Capital building in 1831, I want to point you to this great article from NCpedia on the rebuilding and refocus of Raleigh that that followed. Forward thinking and the latest rail technology saved Raleigh's place in the history, politics and economics of our state and spared our state the former nickname of "the Rip Van Winkle of commonwealths."
"Despite its position as a state capital, in the early 1830s and with a population of barely 2,200, the city of Raleigh was small and underdeveloped and had been struck by a series of fires. One of these took the Capitol building in 1831 and along with it citizens’ collective morale. Without efficient transportation and communication to connect it with the outside world, the capital needed reinvigoration. That reinvigoration came, literally and symbolically, with the arrival of the Tornado, the first steam locomotive to enter Raleigh to inaugurate the state’s newly developing railroad..."
Please read the rest of the story here.

"First locomotive running into Raleigh in 1840."  Sketch of the "Tornado," p. 194 in Hope Summerwell Chamberlain's <i>History of Wake County North Carolina,</i> published 1922 by Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, Raleigh, NC.
The first locomotive running in Raleigh in 1840, The Tornado.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Awesome Remote Learning Event - Oct 23, 10am - 4pm

If you have some free time available this Wednesday, you may wish to check this out:

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Seventh Annual Virtual Genealogy Fair - October 23, 2019
Every year, the National Archives hosts a free, virtual Genealogy Fair via live webcast on YouTube. The sessions offer family history research tools on Federal records for all skill levels. Join thousands of family historians participating during the live event. Attend free of charge and no reservation.
See more info at the website here. Scroll to the bottom of this page for links to the archived content for the past six NARA Virtual Genealogy Fairs

The sessions look really interesting. The first one covers one of my favorite topics since I started writing the newsletter, the History Hub!  You should really check it out.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Wake Wednesday - The loss of the Original State Capitol Building in 1831

Fire gutted the original State Capitol building on June 21, 1831. How did a previous fire, an iron pot and zinc roof shingles factor into Raleigh's near demise as the center of our state government? How did this event seal Raleigh's place as Capital City in North Carolina history?

Read the terrifying and fascinating account in detail at NCPedia here:

The Fires of 1831:  Fayetteville and Raleigh in Flames

[Graphic] Drawing 1 with link to higher quality drawing.
The remodeled North Carolina State House about 1831 by W. Goodacre. - source
Looking not very much different from today with the exception of its wooden roof.