Stanly County History Center

Stanly County History Center The Mission of the Stanly County History Center is to research, record, conserve, and interpret the history of Stanly County, North Carolina.
Stanly County is a crossroads of history. Its people have helped mold and define the cultural landscape of the county, the state, and the nation for more than 10,000 years. Our citizens value their history and have diligently worked together to establish the Stanly County Museum to safeguard the objects of their heritage. With so many different cultures and catalysts creating history in this “land between the rivers,” the Stanly County Museum has a unique collection of artifacts—from examples of Native American art and pottery to restored pioneer homes. We invite you to discover the rich heritage that is Stanly County, North Carolina. The museum is run in collaboration with the Stanly County HIstorical Society and the Stanly County Public Library.
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The Stanly County History Center is open the following days: Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm First Saturday of each month from 9am to 1pm

Mission: The Mission of the Stanly County Museum is to research, record, conserve, and interpret the history of Stanly County, North Carolina. In addition to supporting the preservation of historic architecture, cemeteries, and sites throughout the county, the museum conserves and displays hundreds of artifacts and historic documents.

The Stanly County Historical Society is partnering with the  Stanly County Parks and Recreation for a program coming up ...
02/07/2020

The Stanly County Historical Society is partnering with the Stanly County Parks and Recreation for a program coming up soon! Join us for the history of "Moonshine and Fast Cars" on Tuesday, February 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Albemarle Neighborhood Theatre on North Third Street.
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I am going to take a few days off from posting. New posts will resume on Tuesday, February 11.

Today's primary photo is of the Kingville School band from January 7, 1948. The picture is from the Wallace Ivey photo c...
02/06/2020

Today's primary photo is of the Kingville School band from January 7, 1948. The picture is from the Wallace Ivey photo collection courtesy of John Thomas Williams Jr.

The remaining photos are numbered in hopes that someone might be able to help identify the young men and women. Please add comments, with the number and name, or email me at [email protected] if you can help! {Be sure to click on the photos and scroll through for the best view!}

Today's picture is a fascinating look at Second Street circa 1906-1910. This view is from roughly where the Central Lunc...
02/05/2020

Today's picture is a fascinating look at Second Street circa 1906-1910. This view is from roughly where the Central Lunch building is today looking North.

According to the September 21, 1945 Stanly News & Press, the county had received 12.11 inches of rain between the 13th a...
02/04/2020

According to the September 21, 1945 Stanly News & Press, the county had received 12.11 inches of rain between the 13th and 18th of that month.. The bridge across the Rocky River, just beyond Norwood, had been temporarily closed due to extensive flooding that had been caused by the rain.

The River View Milling Company, located not far away from the bridge, had 13 feet of water! Much of the equipment and supplies at the mill had been saved by moving it upstairs but the mill owners weren't able to save everything.

Today's pictures, from the History Center collection show the bridge, the mill and the third location isn't clear but you can see a train in the background.

Last week I posted about Curtis Watkins and I wanted to follow up today with his brother Johnny. "Johnny Watkins was two...
02/03/2020

Last week I posted about Curtis Watkins and I wanted to follow up today with his brother Johnny.

"Johnny Watkins was two years younger than Curtis, but was also a star player on those West Badin championship teams of 1961-62. Johnny finished out his high school career in 1964 and earned a scholarship to play for legendary basketball coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines at Winston Salem State University.

As a junior at WSSU, Johnny teamed with future NBA star Earl “the Pearl” Monroe to lead Winston Salem State to the 1967 national championship in basketball. That same year, Johnny played golf for the CIAA Champion golf team at WSSU.

Johnny finished his basketball career at WSSU as one of their all-time leaders in field goal percentage.

Johnny Watkins passed away in 1991, but in 1992, he was inducted posthumously into the Winston Salem State Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1967 Championship basketball team. Johnny is the son of the late Robert and Catherine Watkins. Johnny was married to Sandra Williams Watkins. Johnny is the father of three, grandfather to two, and great-grandfather to four."
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Today's first photo if from the Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame and the second is from the 1968 Winston-Salem State yearbook.

~~~Johnny Watkins biography is from the 2008 Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame induction program. Please add comments or email me directly at [email protected] if you have additional information or pictures of either Curtis or Johnny Watkins. ~~~

Today's information is a follow-up to yesterday's post. Today's first two pictures are of the demolition of the Maralise...
02/02/2020

Today's information is a follow-up to yesterday's post. Today's first two pictures are of the demolition of the Maralise Hotel. The third photo is a young Mary Alice Starr who is mentioned in the letters. The fourth is an older picture of Mary Alice with her mother Alice Mabry Starr, who managed the hotel for many years. The next set of photos are the second letter, recovered during the demolition of the hotel in the mid 1960's, and the final photo is what the area looks like today. The hotel was at the southwest corner of First and Main Streets in the empty lot to the left in front of the Coca-Cola sign.

Recently the History Center received an envelope in the mail with a short note that said the two included letters inside...
02/01/2020

Recently the History Center received an envelope in the mail with a short note that said the two included letters inside had been found during the demolition of the Maralise Hotel in the mid 1960's. The letters, written nearly 100 years ago, were both to Alice M. Starr, one of the daughters of the original hotel owner/manager Alice Mabry. The letters mention Alice’s daughter Mary Alice who is one of today’s photos.

The first photo is of the demolition of the hotel. The second is a photo of a younger Alice M. Starr with her sister Mary playing in a trunk in the Maralise Hotel. (Unfortunately, we don’t have a photo of Alice from the time of the letter). The third photo is of young Mary Alice Starr who is mentioned in the letter. The final pictures are of one of the letters (from July 24, 1924).

Would anyone have interest in transcribing both letters?? I will post the second one tomorrow. Send me an email to [email protected] and let me know.

Alice Mabry had been the manager of the Central Hotel on Second Street in Albemarle for W.T. Huckabee, Sr. during the ea...
01/31/2020

Alice Mabry had been the manager of the Central Hotel on Second Street in Albemarle for W.T. Huckabee, Sr. during the early 1900’s. She resigned in October of 1907 to start her own hotel.

Her new hotel, known as the Maralise Hotel, was located on the southwest corner of First and Main Streets. It was designed by Field & Lilly of Charlotte and was built by local contractor L.A. Moody. Legend has it that the hotel held the first indoor water system of any real size in the county and the first true bathtub. The name Maralise came from combining the first names of her two daughters, Mary and Alice.

The Maralise was extremely popular for many years. The food in particular was well known in the area. The hotel was run by Alice Mabry until her death in 1930. Her daughters continued to run the business until 1964 when it was put up for sale. Due to the age of the building and outdated interior it was demolished in 1965. The location is now a parking lot.

Early in 2019 I posted some information about the opening of the lodge building at Morrow Mountain. In my post I explain...
01/30/2020

Early in 2019 I posted some information about the opening of the lodge building at Morrow Mountain. In my post I explained that the Morrow Mountain Lodge had opened on June 29, 1945, five years after the parks official grand opening. At the time of the Lodge grand opening the Tucker brothers, Hugh and Fred, had been awarded the contract to run concessions in the building.

What I didn't realize when I made my original post was that the Tucker brothers ran an actual restaurant in the building! Today's first picture is the lodge building. The second is an ad from the grand opening. The third is an ad from later in 1945 and the final is an ad from 1947. {Be sure to click on the photos and scroll through for a better view}

I haven't been able to find how long a restaurant was in the building. Please add comments or email me directly at [email protected] if you recall visiting the restaurant and if you happen to remember roughly when it might have been.

We thank everyone who was able to make it to our first 2020 event this past Saturday. We have a wonderful slate of addit...
01/29/2020

We thank everyone who was able to make it to our first 2020 event this past Saturday. We have a wonderful slate of additional programs planned for this year. Be sure to follow this page for news about our upcoming events and check out our website at historicstanly.org to stay up to date as well!

To see pictures of many of our past events scroll down the main page of the website.

For a printable version of this calendar of events click on the "EVENTS" tab on the website and scroll down below the calendar.

Today's photo, from Fran Bryan, is a wonderful newspaper clipping from just over 50 years ago! Thanks Fran for sharing!
01/28/2020

Today's photo, from Fran Bryan, is a wonderful newspaper clipping from just over 50 years ago! Thanks Fran for sharing!

Curtis Watkins starred for Coach J.B. Davis’ powerhouse West Badin teams from 1959-1962. In his last three seasons, 1960...
01/27/2020

Curtis Watkins starred for Coach J.B. Davis’ powerhouse West Badin teams from 1959-1962. In his last three seasons, 1960, 61, and 62, Curtis helped lead his high school team to three straight state championships. The 1962 team finished the season undefeated at 27-0.

During the summer months in those days, Coach Davis would arrange for his players to get summer jobs in places like Washington, Baltimore, and New York, so they could play in tough summer basketball leagues.

While playing in one of those leagues in West Chester County, New York in 1961, Curtis had the opportunity to play against college All-American and future NBA star, Calvin Murphy. With such a sound high school background, Curtis Watkins was destined for stardom in college.

He attended North Carolina Central University in Durham and initially did not receive a scholarship. However, as a walk-on player in his first year, he proved his skills and eventually earned a scholarship and a starting position.

Known for his tremendous leaping ability, Curtis went on to become one of the great players in NCCU history and in 1994, he was inducted into the NCCU Athletic Hall of Fame.

Curtis now resides in the Old Whitney area of Badin. Curtis is the son of the late Robert and Catherine Watkins. He was married to the late Mary Long Watkins. Curtis is currently married to Marcia Lewis Watkins. Curtis is the father of Curtis Watkins, Sr., Walter Lamar Watkins, and Shannon Watkins. Curtis is the grandfather to Mary Jane, Clair and Marley.

The first photo is from the Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame and the second is from the 1964 NCCU yearbook.

~~This biographical information, courtesy of the Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame, is from the program when Watkins was inducted in 2008. Please add comments or email me directly at [email protected] if you can help bring the information up to date and if you can help with additional photos.~~

The following story about Stanly County native Rev. James Jenkins is from ncpedia. His career as a minister and professo...
01/26/2020

The following story about Stanly County native Rev. James Jenkins is from ncpedia. His career as a minister and professor led him to be very influential with many who later went into the ministry.

James Lineberry Jenkins, clergyman, educator, and college president, was born in Stanly County, the son of Lewis and Elizabeth Jenkins. He was graduated from Wake Forest College in 1910 and was principal of Southport High School from 1910 to 1912. After attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in 1913, he served as pastor of the Parkton Baptist Church in Robeson County for seven years. During the period 1920–23 he was an evangelist under the Baptist State Mission Board, and from 1924 to 1927 he was pastor of a church in Umatilla, Fla. Returning to North Carolina, he became pastor of Boiling Springs Baptist Church where he served until his retirement in 1952. During some of this time he also served other nearby churches.

In the depression years of 1932–35, Jenkins was the unpaid president of Boiling Springs Junior College (now Gardner-Webb College). He also was head of the college's Bible department for several years, and both before and after his retirement he taught homiletics to hundreds of ministers at Fruitland Bible Institute near Hendersonville. In 1951 he was president of the North Carolina Baptist Pastors' Conference.

In 1918 Jenkins married Kate McArn Watson, a 1912 honor graduate of Meredith College and niece of the poet John Charles McNeill. They were the parents of four children: James L. (Jay), Jr., Catherine Watson, Ella McNeill, and Elizabeth Lewis. Jenkins was buried beside his wife, who died in 1946, in Spring Hill cemetery near Wagram, Scotland County.

Photo of Rev. Jenkins is from the Internet Archive. The next three photos, of Boiling Springs Junior College, are from their 1934 yearbook and the final picture is of what later became known as the Fruitland Bible Institute.

In the past I have posted about a number of car dealers such as Morgan Motors and Confederate Motors. This is an area ho...
01/25/2020

In the past I have posted about a number of car dealers such as Morgan Motors and Confederate Motors. This is an area however, I haven’t researched much, and over time would like to do more. Today’s pictures are 1957 SNAP ads from Auten Motors. {Be sure to click on the pictures and scroll through to see them all!} The company was originally founded after the breakup of Auten-Wolfe in 1953. They were a Mercury dealer at first but then in 1957 became an Edsel dealership as well.

I would love to know what car dealers you remember in Stanly County. Please post names in the comments (and pictures if you have any!) or email me directly to [email protected].

Albert M. Copley had been connected with the Albemarle Steam Laundry business during the 1910’s and 1920’s. In March of ...
01/24/2020

Albert M. Copley had been connected with the Albemarle Steam Laundry business during the 1910’s and 1920’s. In March of 1929 it was announced in the local papers that Copley, along with partners L.A. Mason and W.G. Caudle, were having a building constructed at Five Points, facing both East Main Street and Pee Dee Avenue that was to house a new laundry business. The business, to be managed by Copley, was known as the New-Way Laundry. A grand opening was held on May 6.

Almost exactly five years after opening, on May 5, 1934, the business suffered a tragic fire and nearly everything was lost. Later that year, in December, Copley opened a new laundry known as Copley Laundry & Dry Cleaners, on West Main Street at the bottom of the hill before the railroad tracks.

The fate of this business isn’t clear. Newspaper ads in several 1943 Charlotte Observer’s show that the business was for sale due to health reasons. The 1947 City Directory includes an Albemarle Dry Cleaners that was located at about the same location (there is a slight difference in street number vs. Copley Laundry). According to this directory, Albert Copley’s son Max was connected to this business that was managed by R.Clyde Morgan.

Today’s pictures are ads from the New-Wave Laundry and Copley Laundry & Dry Cleaners. Be sure to click on one and scroll through to see them all!

Please post comments or email me directly if you can add any information to this story.

Don't forget!! The first 2020 event presented by the Stanly County Historical Society and Stanly County History Center w...
01/23/2020

Don't forget!! The first 2020 event presented by the Stanly County Historical Society and Stanly County History Center will be Saturday, January 25, 2020. Join us at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Richfield at 1 pm as we learn about the history of the Stanly County Amateur Radio Club. Club members will lead demonstrations of their equipment.

The event is open to the public and free but we do ask that you preregister. Visit http:\\historicstanly.org and click on the "EVENT REGISTRATION" tab.

I was going through the History Center photo collection and ran across this intriguing photo. According to the records, ...
01/22/2020

I was going through the History Center photo collection and ran across this intriguing photo. According to the records, this tennis court was located behind the old Albemarle Graded School (what we now know as the original old Central School). Assuming that is the school in the background, this likely would have been located near 4th and North Streets. Based on that the photo would be from the 1900's or early 1910's because the old High School building isn't in the picture.

~~~ see comments below for an update to this story ~~~

According to the July 21, 1953, Stanly News & Press, Harvey and Laura Ferrell had recently been visited by their son Har...
01/21/2020

According to the July 21, 1953, Stanly News & Press, Harvey and Laura Ferrell had recently been visited by their son Harvey who was living in Spokane, Washington while serving in the Air Force.

Harvey had driven nearly 3,100 miles across the country in just under six days. He had figured that his total cost of gasoline for the entire trip had been $39.00!!

While on his adventure, Harvey would stop after midnight each night and pitch a small tent over the mattress that was installed on top of his car. This set up was known as a “Pig-a-Bac” carrier and was manufactured by a company in Seattle. (Unfortunately, I haven’t found more information about this device.)

After his leave was over, Harvey was to drive back to Spokane to return to duty!

The first 2020 event presented by the Stanly County Historical Society and Stanly County History Center will be Saturday...
01/20/2020

The first 2020 event presented by the Stanly County Historical Society and Stanly County History Center will be Saturday, January 25, 2020. Join us at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Richfield at 1 pm as we learn about the history of the Stanly County Amateur Radio Club. Club members will lead demonstrations of their equipment.

The event is open to the public and free but we do ask that you preregister. Visit http:\\historicstanly.org and click on the "EVENT REGISTRATION" tab.

“J.D. Bivins Catches Fire in Church Here”from the March 22, 1927 Stanly News-Herald“Editor J.D. Bivins, local newspaper ...
01/19/2020

“J.D. Bivins Catches Fire in Church Here”
from the March 22, 1927 Stanly News-Herald

“Editor J.D. Bivins, local newspaper man suffered the misfortune of “catching fire” here Sunday morning while assisting in taking the offering at Central M.E. Church. A lady advised Mr. Bivins that he was on fire, and presto, immediately he put down his offering plate and made a hasty exit via the front door while his smoking garments left a thread of smoke in the aisle.

Arriving on the outside of the church he managed by skillful maneuvering to extinguish the flames. But not until he had undergone a considerable fright. According to spectators, Mr. Bivins did some of the most hasty footwork during his entire career. For a time pandemonium reigned, but after the Editor returned all safe and sound, except for a small hole burned in his coat, the usual quiet was had.

In talking with the News-Herald reporter about the matter, Mr. Bivins stated that his coat ignited from the fire of his pipe. Just before entering the church he had been smoking and through the act of hurriedly placing his pipe in a pocket, a little fire had escaped unnoticed.

The incident came near resulting in a real tragedy and but for the kindness of the fates, Mr. Bivins would probably be in a hospital at this time. According to Tom Bumgardner, the affair was the funniest thing ever seen in a church.”

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The photo of Editor Bivins is courtesy of the late Danielle Treece (it is not from the incident in the story). The picture of the church is from a postcard in the History Center collection.

Address

157 North Second Street
Albemarle, NC
28001

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(704) 986-3777

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This is for anyone who would be interested in my research about the early history of the Ifert/Efird family in Switzerland and Mecklenburg/Cabarrus Counties in North Carolina that I have compiled since 2013. I sent everything I have to Lewis Bramlett. He is going to copy everything and put it into the Efird folder in the Heritage Room. I also found early ties between the Bleiler/Plyler and Linker families and the Ifert/Efird family, which is also included in the information that I sent. I hope that everyone enjoys my research and finds it to be informative.
My Vice President of Rocky River Cruiser Club found this sign in an Antique Store. Anyone hear ever remember such a group? We would love to find out more about them, and if any members are still around and riding?
I need someone’s help!!!!! For years, as long as I can remember, there has been a tiny tree of lights that sits atop a roof in downtown, close to the depot and ACE hardware. This one decoration means the world to me, and has gotten me through some major emotional events, as silly as that sounds. Well, this is THE FIRST year that the tree hasn’t gone up. I kept waiting and waiting, but here it is, Christmas Day and the tree hasn’t appeared. I need help getting in touch with the people who always put it up, or would like to know if something has happened to them, I just want to tell them how important that little tree is, and ask them to please bring it back next year! If you can help, please let me know!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Merry Christmas!!!!!
This quilt was made in 1954 by some ladies from Aquadale Baptist Church, that church will be celebrating their 100th Anniversary on Sunday Sept. 8th, the quilt will be on display that day. It was won by my grandfather Charlie Morton, and has remained in my family.
This was 1954, the church is Aquadale Baptist Church, which will be celebrating their 100 year Anniversary Sunday September 8th. This quilt belongs to my family now. If anyone has more info on this quilt, please let me know
There is a page that you can go to, to view group pictures at American & Efird Mill. The pictures were taken back in the 50's. Could you tell me how I can view these photos?
Names of funeral homes around 1929.
I just want to say thank you to The Stanly County History Center, especially Pat Bramlett and Megan Sullivan, for their hard work to provide 26 Gray Stone Day School students an opportunity to take a ghost walk in downtown Albemarle today. It was phenomenal! We are extremely blessed to have this valuable resource in our community.
I love seeing all your old pictures and the history. I live out of town and I love your page. I'm learning a lot about where my Dad grew up. Do you know if anyone is taking and archiving photos of Stanly County for the future? Today's photos are tomorrow's history. Is there a collection that people could add to? Facebook condenses photos into smaller files so a FB page wouldn't be what I'm looking for. And it needs to accept larger files as well as comments or notes for identification and tags for searching. Anyway, just wondering if a group or website might exist so I could share some modern day photos with notes on why they were important to our family.
My father was born and raised in Stanly County. He died a couple of weeks ago. William Avery Huneycutt (1936-2019) was born to Oscar and Vivian Barnes Huneycutt. He was a 1954 graduate of Aquadale High School. He went to their 50th Reunion. Dad attended Mars Hill College where he met my mother. They were married over 61 yrs. He then attended NC State and graduated with a Civil Engineering Degree and went to work in Tennessee with TVA. Eventually he became the City Engineer for Spartanburg, SC where my mother's family lived and we grew up here. My Mom and Dad made sure we visited his family, still in Stanly County, a couple of times every year. His brother is Lee Huneycutt and their older sister, Ruth Huneycutt West. We would come in the summer and stay for a week or so and Aunt Ruth would take us to her church for Vacation Bible School. We would ride in the back of pickup trucks throughout the rural neighborhood and scream, "COME TO VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL!" That was fun! Then we would have our morning assembly in the sanctuary of Union Grove Baptist Church. After assembly we marched down in the basement for crafts and snacks and Bible stories. Aunt Ruth could play the piano and pump organ. Sometimes when I was staying with her, she would have the preacher and his family over and she always wanted me to sing for them while she pumped out The Old Rugged Cross or He Lives! I also remember the ladies would sit out in chairs under the trees in the backyard processing whatever the men had picked from the garden in the early morning. Peeling peaches, stringing beans, popping peas, etc. Meanwhile they had the pressure cooker going and the sinks and countertops full of washed jars waiting. The men would sit and talk, whittling. The kids would play until after lunch when a quilt was laid out on the grass and we would fall asleep listening to the grownups talk. As I got older, I had to take my turn peeling peaches or stringing beans. But they always let me have time to play too. We loved the novelty of using their well. A grownup always had to be with us so we wouldn't fall in. But we would let the bucket down and feel the cool air rising from the well. Then haul it up and get a refreshing cold drink of water with the dipper, dipping it out of the dripping bucket. Aunt Ruth and their cousin Bill Honeycutt, got me interested in genealogy and I've mixed it with my digital scrapbooking to begin some family books of memories. Sort of like this FB site... a mix of photos, memories, stories, history, newspaper clippings, etc. It's been fun but now, with both my parents gone, it's sad too.
Finally was able to purchase the C.M. Miller Stanly County Map. It is awesome!! Also found evidence of the date the map was produced by Mr. Miller.
Very saddened to hear of Lessie Huneycutt’s passing. She was a wonderful lady and was devoted to the Stanly County Museum.