The Lookout Dam power company crew. Pictured: (front row, from left) Roscoe Campbell, Hub Benfield, Lawrence Dagenhart, Clyde Morrow and John Gantt; (middle row) Chester Boggs, Ralph Wike and Slim Weber; (back row) Charlie Cline, Sal Bolick, Carl Pope, Rich Morrow, June Sharpe, H. G. Stewart and V. H. Jones. Undated photo courtesy of Ronda Hoke via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Unity High School driver's education instructor William Littlejohn poses with his students in this circa-1953 shot. The names are written on the photo, but are faded. From the left: Robert Turner, Thomas Davidson, Madge ?, Carolyn ?, Patrolman ?, Mr. Littlejohn, Leroy Tatum, Annie Louise Allison, Georgia Phifer and ? Sharpe. Can you fill in the blanks? Email email@example.com. Photo courtesy of James Thomas
Fill 'er up with high test and check the oil. It might need a "can." And in the late '60s, you could get some change back from a $5 bill. Baxter Davis' Iredell Oil Company, just outside the city limits on the Wilkesboro Highway, was more than a filling station. It was a grocery store and community gathering spot. Longtime employee "Molene" washed windshields, fixed flats and ran the lube pit. A heating fuel delivery service operated from here, and the Merita Bread distribution warehouse was located in the back. Statesville Historical Collection.
Winter on the Boulevard. Back in the early '50s, Ray Beck captured this scene at the intersection of Charlotte Avenue and Boulevard (now Wilson Lee Boulevard). The Alex Cooper house was on the corner and the Kunkles lived next door. Statesville Historical Collection.
The 1926 Trinity School basketball team. Pictured: (front row, from left) Clarice Robertson, Graham Madison, Claude White, Blaine Madison, Moody White; (back row, from left) Flake White, Vernon Robertson, Taft White, and Coach Smithy. Photo courtesy of Gene White.
Three-alarm fire. The Thomas & Howard Wholesale Grocery warehouse on Landmark Alley was completely destroyed in the winter of 1945. A farmer with a load of tobacco headed to Winston-Salem discovered the fire at 2:40 a.m. and pulled the alarm. One-half boxcar load of sugar stored in the basement was destroyed, leading folks to wonder why that much sugar was needed for such a small town. Lento Lyon photo courtesy Martha Addison.
Heads you drive across, tails we walk. The drive across the old, rickety one-lane, six-span, steel bridge over the Catawba River at Lookout Dam was a stressful one for even experienced drivers. Repairs made after the 1940 flood gave it some some extra rises and dips, and the popping and cracking of the wooden decking added to its endearment. Lento Lyon photo courtesy Martha Addison.
Rabbit ears not included. When was the last time you saw a television advertised for $269? Well, actually yesterday. You can now get a nice 40-inch flat screen now for less than $300, and you won't even have to get off the sofa to change the channels. In the 1950s, a TV purchase was a major investment for a family. This model could probably pick up three channels, 3, 9 and 12, and sometimes 8 if you put some aluminum foil on the antenna. Max Tharpe photo courtesy of the Iredell County Library via the Statesville Historical Collection.
The P. S. West Construction crew is hard at work on the new Smithey's department store building at 229 W. Broad St., in this 1955 photo. This corner is where Statesville's first skyscraper, the four-story Bunch Furniture store, burned down in June 1944. The Bunch's reorganized next door in the old Sossamon Furniture building. Later, Blackwelder's Furniture occupied this location before it became Henderson Furniture. Further up the street are Smithey's old stand, Lester's women's wear, Stratford's Jewelers, Merchants and Farmers Bank, and Eagle's. That's Home Bakery on the left. Max Tharpe photo courtesy of the Iredell County Library via the Statesville Historical Collection.
In the mid 1980s, Wachovia Bank made this its temporary home while its new building was under construction. A beloved institution had just been torn down on the lot next door. Photo courtesy of Dewayne Bell via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Buffalo Shoals Rd Ted Orren after getting out of Army April 1958
In 1958, after serving in the U.S. Army, Ted Orren came home from his duty station in Germany. One of his first stops was the Catawba River beach at the Buffalo Shoals Bridge near his East Monbo home. This bridge would be replaced in the early 1960s prior to the transforming of the river into a lake -- Lake Norman. Statesville Historical Collection.
The 1967-68 Unity High School baseball team. Pictured; (front row, from left) Van Dacons, Jerry Morrison, Jimmy Campbell, Ritchie Summers, William Summers, Richard Summers, Wayne Campbell and Robert Templeton; (back row, from left) John Turner, Robert Avery, James Ramseur, Gilbert Mayberry, Walter Bellamy, Stanley Avery, Harry James, and Carl Gaither. The Green Hawks ended the season with a 5-7 record. Statesville Historical Collection.
WSIC radio engineer Jeff Watts is shown with the station's new remote studio van in the winter of 1957. Teddy Newton, his assistant, took this shot at Barium Springs before they set up for a Sunday morning church broadcast. Newton says Watts was a technology whizz, building his own radios and transmitters at his home and keeping the radio station running. Watts died last week at age 76. Statesville Historical Collection.
Made in Statesville. Did you know that in the 1950s, Turner Manufacturing Company built its own brand of tractor -- the Earthmaster? Turner bought the Los Angeles, Calif.-based Earthmaster company in 1955 and moved it to Statesville, all 550 tons of parts, tools and equipment. The tractor was assembled at its Wise Street factory, and parts were made at Turner's No. 2 plant on Salisbury Road. The product added 75 new jobs to the Turner payroll. Statesville Historical Collection.
"It's Howdy Doody Time." Photographer Max Tharpe took hundreds of photos of the kids around the county in the 1950s and '60s. This group of girls at Barium Springs Orphanage doesn't seem to be too impressed with what's playing on the Zenith. Courtesy of Iredell County Library via the Statesville Historical Collection.
The 1947 Diamond Hill nine of the Iredell County Amateur Baseball League. Oscar Stradley is holding down the left end of the front row and pitching ace Paul Brendle is on the right end. Stradley was later on the faculty of Mitchell College for many years and Brendle went on to have a nine-season professional baseball career before coming back home to teach and coach. Gair Allie, who would later play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is the second from the left on the middle row. Courtesy of Iredell County Library via the Statesville Historical Collection.
William Clyde "W.C." Bell is on the right and Everette Deal is on the left in this photo, taken around 1927. Up on the driver's seat, Clyde Boyce Bell (right) and William Carroll "Buddy" Bell (left) would grow up to start W.C. Bell & Sons. Courtesy of Dwayne Bell via the Statesville Historical Collection.
West Broad in the 1920s. This shot of Broad looking east toward the square offers a rare view of the marquee of the Broadway movie theater at 117 W. Broad, about midway up on the right. According to its advertising, the Broadway only showed, "high class motion pictures." In the early '30s, the Broadway closed, making way for the new Crescent Theater across the street. But by then, most of the "classy" flicks were being shown down the street at the Playhouse. Statesville Historical Collection.
Frank and Florence Redmond Donated by daughter Betty Love
It was 75 years ago this month (June 2016) that the Superior Dairies Ice Cream Bar opened on West Front Street. The "Dairy Bar" caught on quickly and lasted into the 1970s. Founder W. Frank Redmond and wife Florence are shown here. Photo courtesy of Betty Love via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Donated by Jacob Stanley and His father David Benfield, Bradford's Crossroads
Jacob Stanley recently found this photo taken by David Benfield. It appears to be from the late 1960s or early '70s. It's Bradford's Crossroads at Island Ford and Old Mountain roads. Photo courtesy of Betty Love via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Photographer W.J. Stimson captured on a glass plate negative this shot of Dr. J.J. Mott atop his horse. Mott was a physician, railroad president, Internal Revenue agent, U.S. Congressman, and most notably -- from 1876 until 1886 -- the "Iron Duke" of the N.C. Republican Party. Mott is posing in front of his Statesville home.
Courtesy of Richard Boyd via the Statesville Historical Collection
Breaking up house. In July 1951, the crew from W. C. Bell & Sons Construction Company moved the old Gunn's Store from the lot beside Fowler's Grocery. The house was sliced in half, and the top half was moved to the Mocksville Highway where it was converted into a residence for Dick Millsaps. Clyde Gaither bought the lower part. Courtesy of Dwayne Bell via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Fifty years ago this summer, Boy Scout Troop 322, sponsored by St. John's Baptist Church in the Poplar Branch community, spent three days in Washington, D.C. Lt. Col. Beverly Scott, son of Grace Scott of Statesville, led the tour. At the U.S. Capitol, they were welcomed by Congressman James T. Broyhill. Scout leaders William Shuford Jr., J.C. Watts, and Lewis Houston pose with the troop. Assistant Police Chief Michael Watts recently located this photo. Statesville Historical Collection.
At your service. The service department staff at Bill Hammond Ford in Statesville is lined up ready to go to work in this 1976 shot. Bill Hammond bought the local Ford dealership from the Deaton family in the 1970s and moved it from downtown to a brand new facility on Folger Drive. Statesville Historical Collection.
The Stearns Building. Bill Sams recently brought this unusual shot by the Statesville Historical Collection. It is a rear view of the Stearns Building, 151 E. Broad St., as it was being torn down in 1983. The rubble in the front is the remains of the auditorium of the Playhouse Theater. The photographer would have been standing about where the stage section had once been. Prior to demolition, this backside view of the building would have been obscured, except from the air. Statesville Historical Collection.
Harold Jolly Superior Dairies Donated by daughter Betty Love – Version 2
For many years, deliveryman Harold Jolly crawled out of bed way before daylight to ensure that his Iredell County customers had cold, fresh Superior Dairies milk on their doorsteps when they got up for breakfast. He also carried butter, eggs and cottage cheese on his Divco brand delivery truck. Just fill out the product order checklist and stick it in your insulated porch box for the next delivery. And don't forget to rinse out your empties and leave them for Harold to pick up. Courtesy of Betty Love via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Wouldn't this be a great day for some Superior Dairies ice cream? When the Dairy Bar first opened on West Front street, it served up scoops of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, black walnut, butter pecan, pineapple, coconut, and banana. Later it added other flavors including cherry vanilla and fresh peach. For the first few years, they would deliver your order to your car. Just like the burger joints, all you had to do was pull up and toot your horn. This 1960s-era photo was located by Betty Love, daughter of the company's founder Frank Redmond. Statesville Historical Collection.
In 1975, Jim and Alice Neader built Statesville's first McDonald's restaurant. Here the Neaders are standing in front of their original store on Signal Hill Drive. It was replaced with the current modern facility. The Neader family has been serving burgers and fries here for over 40 years and they have added several other McDonald's locations across the county. Statesville Historical Collection.
The creepiest swimming hole around? Even though 22 train passengers had lost their lives in this creek in 1891, people continued using the area under Bostian Bridge for picnics and swimming years later. This 1930s-era group could almost have been mistaken as train wreck ghosts. Statesville Historical Collection.
Monticello School opened in 1925, and the main building, on the left, was finished in 1926. The section on the right was completed in 1950. It had six classrooms and a large cafeteria. Max Tharpe photo courtesy of the Iredell County Library via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Statesville's finest. How many of these officers can you find? C.P. McClelland, Victor Serino, Hub Hoover, Coleman Dagenhart, Nathan Smoot, Casey Jones? You can't miss Charlie Rumple, front and center with his saddle oxfords.
Statesville country-western music star Ray Josey played with a number of bands in the 1950s-70s, including the Carolina Neighbors, the Oakdale Rangers and the Melody Boys. He also had a solo performing career. Here, Josey entertains a mostly attentive audience, while one boy rifles through his guitar case. And check out his snazzy shoes. Looks like a pair of Pat Boone style bucks. Statesville Historical Collection.
There's a clown in every bunch. This unidentified group gathered for a photo in front of the old courthouse on South Center. It appears to have been taken in the 1930s or 40s. Iredell County Public Library.
We're up by one run after three innings. The right field wall of the old City Stadium behind Statesville High saw a lot of action from 1939 until it was torn down in 1975. Right field wasn't as deep as the left field wall, but the scoreboard and the tall fence at right-center helped serve as an equalizer. The scorekeeper who sat on the scoreboard had to stay alert for line drives. Anybody remember the dimensions down right field? Wasn't straightaway center about 400 feet? Courtesy of the Statesville Historical Collection.
In 1948, the state began a new automobile safety inspection plan. Inspection stations were set up to check vehicle brakes, steering, lights, etc. These five gentlemen ran the Statesville station that was located on Park Drive, between West Front Street and Newton Drive. The trailer served as their office, and they are standing behind their headlight alignment instrument. After a year, the state scrapped the plan due to complaints of long lines that were common across the state. That's C.D. "Red" Vanstory in the center. He left the Statesville Police department to take on an inspector position. Max Tharpe photo courtesy the Iredell County Library via the Statesville Historical Collection.
The St. Charles Hotel. A Statesville Motor Coach Company bus is parked in front of the old Courthouse on South Center in this 1940s-era Max Tharpe photo. The facade of the State Theater can be seen through the windshield. The St. Charles dated to before the Civil War. Retail shops and a cab stand were located on the street level, and the modest upstairs rooms could be rented by the day or week. The hotel was razed in 1955 to make way for the Stimpson-Wagner building and Spainhour's department store. Iredell County Library via the Statesville Historical Collection.
This photo of North Carolina Highway Patrolman David Blackwell first appeared in the Nov. 17, 1971 Record & Landmark. A close look reveals a hole in his hat. While exiting his car after a high-speed chase, Blackwell's hat was literally shot from his head by the escaped felon he was pursuing. Fortunately, the trooper was not injured. Ken Powers photo via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Dixie Liberty Plant Foods, Inc. opened a modern warehouse on Taylorsville Road in Statesville in 1953. The company sold Dixie Fertilizers and Liberty Nitrogen, thus the Dixie Liberty name. The retail farm and garden supply operation also offered spreader services to local farmers. This undated photo of firefighters battling a blaze contained no other information on the circumstances. Ken Powers photo via the Statesville Historical Collection.
License and registration, please. Two unidentified Statesville Police Department officers conduct a traffic stop in the late '50s or early '60s. Written on the back of the photo is "West Front Street?" Statesville Historical Collection.
The Statesville Coliseum? Hardly. In 1935, this huge concrete and steel underground structure was being constructed just north of town. It was 100 feet across and 18 feet deep. Today you can still see the top of it -- the city’s water reservoir between the old Iredell Museum building and McClure Park on Museum Road. It was built to hold 1 million gallons of clean water. After it was decommissioned in 1950, some wanted to convert it into a planetarium, or possibly a space observatory. Photo courtesy of Mac Lackey.
In 1925, C.A. Stearns constructed this apartment building at 228-38 E. Broad St., and named it for his wife, Elma. The complex consisted of roomy six-room units with servants’ quarters in the basement. A year later, Stearns would begin working on a much larger project — the Playhouse Theater building. This photo was shot by R.M. Rickert Sr. around 1939. The building is still there, right next to the R&L. Statesville Historical Collection.
Ben Troutman and Fred Ostwalt Jr. began Troutman’s Radio Service at 426½ Davie Ave. right after World War II. Ostwalt was an engineer for WSIC radio in 1947 when they made their first broadcast. Early 1950s photograph by Lento Lyon. Statesville Historical Collection.
Woolworth’s, often referred to as the Five & Dime Store, was complete with a snack bar along the south wall. At Christmas, the basement was transformed into Santa’s Toyland. Statesville Historical Collection.
Southern Railroad switchman Edgar Harris, foreman Willis Jones, engineer Cecil Cline and switchman Quentin (Moon) Mullen pose at the Statesville depot in 1984. Regular passenger service through Statesville ended in 1975, so these men specialized in keeping the freight cars moving. Statesville Historical Collection.
In this Bill Sams photo, Statesville’s favorite TV cowboy, Fred Kirby, signs autographs at the Playhouse Theatre in 1958. Kirby made at least eight personal appearances in Statesville, first in 1934 as "Fred Kirby and His Guitar," and then in the '40s as a member of the legendary WBT Briarhoppers. But most readers will remember him as the beloved host of "Fred Kirby’s Little Rascals." He often included his trusted horse Calico in his personal appearances. Statesville Historical Collection.
Dignitaries flip the switch on the city’s Christmas decorations in this 1948 photo by Max Tharpe. The makeshift stage was set up on East Broad Street, in front of where Sabine’s and Moore’s Buds & Bows are now located. Statesville Historical Collection.
J.E. (Pop) Moore had operated his confectionary shop in the St. Charles Hotel for many years when this June 1955 photo was taken. Two months later, the building was demolished to make way for the new Stimpson-Wagner building. Other businesses that were displaced were The Watch Shop, Statesville Newsstand, the Blue Cab stand and Thrower’s Barber Shop. Also, Mrs. Emmie Lapish, who rented furnished rooms on the second floor, was put out of business. The sign on the right appears to be a public weather/information board. Statesville Historical Collection.
Facemasks were an option for only a few Statesville High School football players in 1955. This Van Ammon photo was taken in the SHS baseball stadium, behind the school. If you can help identify any of the players, share your responses here. Statesville Historical Collection.
Beauty and the Choo-Choo. In this R.M. Rickert photograph, 4-H beauty queens Judy Tilley and Rachel Journey are crowned by University of North Carolina and Washington Redskins football star Charlie "Choo-Choo" Justice during field day festivities at the Statesville High School baseball stadium in 1954. Tilley and Journey beat out 20 other contestants to receive $25 savings bonds. Statesville Historical Collection.
This large white house was the John Wesley Sherrill place. Sherrill raised his 14 children here. It was razed to make way for two additional traffic lanes and an entrance ramp. Drivers no longer have to stop at the railroad crossing visible at the top of this photo, taken around 1960. Statesville Historical Collection.
The intersection of North Center and Water streets was home to Curlee’s Tire and Appliance Store and the Dixie Diner. Gordon’s Furniture can be seen in the background of this late 1950s shot. Statesville Historical Collection.
Known as a “tourist camp,” the Shady Rest, situated seven miles west of town on the Hickory Highway, was opened in 1940 by N.D. Steele and his wife. Individual cabins offered weary travelers with modern furnishings and private baths. This photo was taken in 1947. Statesville Historical Collection.
Guess who showed up at the Mattox brothers’ birthday party in 1962? Yep, every little buckaroo’s favorite cowboy, Fred Kirby. Fred’s groupies include: Will Fanjoy (left in plaid pants), Laura Fanjoy (dark jumper), Jenny Howard (on Fred’s right knee), Carol Kivett (on Fred’s left knee), Robb Collier (brandishing the rifle), and Pressly Mattox at the knee of his hero. Pressly wore a Paladin, "Have Gun -- Will Travel" outfit, and brother Rich sported a "Gunsmoke" ensemble for the occasion. Statesville Historical Collection.
Earl Eidson operated the Victorian & Modern Furniture Shop here through most of the 1950s. Do you know where the building is located? Post your response here. This photo is courtesy of R.M. Rickert Sr. Statesville Historical Collection.
M-o-o-ve over for the 1952 Dairy Land Festival parade. In this Max Tharpe photo, local farmers remind downtown shoppers why Iredell was the No. 1 dairy county in the state. No word on who got stuck with the cleanup detail. Statesville Historical Collection.
Dingler's Drug store opened at 1321 W. Front St. in 1952. In 1953 they fielded their first men's softball team in the city recreation league, playing against Harris Gulf, J.C. Penney's, Front Street Presbyterian, Scarborough Chevrolet and Broad Street Methodist. The games were played at Abernathy Field. The next season, Southern Screw, the Record & Landmark, Boulevard Methodist, Concord Presbyterian, and White's Home Store joined the league. Later, Langley Processing, Beaunit, Paola Mills, Hunt Pen, Kewaunee Technical Furniture, Jiffy Join, Monro Mills, Blackwelder's Furniture, and Blackwelder's Gulf were getting in on the action. The 1962 season was Dingler's last, and the business was sold in '64. Statesville Historical Collection.
Photographer Max Tharpe fine tunes his contrast/brightness button to get a clear signal from Channel 3 in Charlotte. Thank goodness the vertical hold button is dialed in properly, because when the picture starts rolling, it's hard to get stopped. Poor Max has to squat down to make his precision adjustments. No remote controls in the 1960s. But when he gets tired of the offerings on WBTV, he has a wide range of options, Channels 9, 12, and sometimes Channel 8 in High Point if the weather is clear. Courtesy of the Statesville Historical Collection via the Iredell County Public Library.
Miss the bus? The Union Bus Terminal at 304 S. Center St. dates back to the 1930s. It was operated by John Gray. Its location at the intersection of five major highways, US 64 and 21, and NC 90, 70 and 115 (Highway 90 actually begins there) made it one of the busiest Greyhound and Trailways stops in the state. Buses rolled in day and night, entering on South Center and departing on West Front. Gray's Cafe was in the room adjoining the terminal lobby, so hot meals were available to travelers 24-7. Statesville Historical Collection.
Many readers remember Blackwelder's Furniture Store on West Broad, but not many will remember it being at this location. Yes, that's where Bank of America is now. Blackwelder's had only been there a short time when, in 1949, the Merchants & Farmers Bank decided to utilize the entire building, forcing Norris Blackwelder to move his store. Stratford's Jewelers had opened in 1941 in the narrow space that had once been an alley. It remained there until closing in 1973. J. W. Johnston sold his Johnston's Department Store in 1949 to devote his time to his furniture venture on North Center. Statesville Historical Collection; Max Tharpe photo courtesy of the Iredell County Public Library.
The fair has left town until next year. The Iredell County Fairgrounds in Troutman appears to be deserted in this 1966 shot. It would be a few years before Murdock Road would be cut through the field on the right to join Highway 21 at the intersection of the Old Mountain Road. Statesville Historical Collection.
The 1953-54 Celeste Henkel High School football team. Pictured: (back row, from left) Coach "Keyhole" Jones, Blake Deal, Blake McNeely, Lee Frazier, Richard McNeely, Tommy Clark, and Hubert Morrow; (middle row, from left) Richard Alexander, Phil Pharr, Johnny Renegar, Jimmy Sharpe, Frank Patterson, and Bill Pope; (front row, from left) Bud Nash, Ronald Rayle, Joe Stewart, Billy Burns and Bucky Stewart. Courtesy of Blake McNeely via the Statesville Historical Collection.
At a penny a piece, we'll be rich. These boys are making their way to a neighborhood store to sell their haul for a pocketful of cold hard cash. Max Tharpe photo circa 1960s. Statesville Historical Collection.
Statesville Police Department officer Bill Proctor (center) chats with colleagues on West Broad Street in the mid-to-late 1970s. Proctor, an officer in Statesville for 31 years, died Sept. 24, 2017. He was 87. Statesville Historical Collection.
Love Valley Four Benfield patterson Burgin Milsaps – Version 2
The band that brought us the hit song, "Mama Don't Whup Little Buford." The Love Valley Four, consisting of J.D. Benfield, Frank Patterson, Alan Burgin and Denny Millsaps, toured the area in the 1970s in their second-hand modified hearse, complete with a set of steer horns on the roof. Statesville Historical Collection.
Picnic on the grounds. The congregation of Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Troutman is lined up and hungry in this August 1955 photo. Rocky Mount opened a beautiful new sanctuary on Perth Road this year. Courtesy of Jennie Clontz via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Is the Vance Hotel really the most haunted building in Statesville? Some children who visit the Statesville Historical Collection say they can see the Grim Reaper in this circa 1940s photo of the lobby of the Vance. Can you? Statesville Historical Collection.
Statesville's Indigo band played lots of local gigs and premiered on "Kilgo's Kanteen" at WSOC-TV in Charlotte in the early 1960s. Pictured: (from left) Alan Eisele, Johnny Holland, Andy Gabriel and Tommy Plyler. Plyler went on to play for the Continentals, the Fantastic Shakers and Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and wrote the only song nationally released for the Catalinas, "You Haven't the Right." Courtesy of Alan Eisele via the Statesville Historical Collection.
The Raymer Teleproduction Systems TV remote truck. Statesville's Bill Raymer is standing on the left with Charlotte Barnes and an unidentified crew member. Steve Ritchie of Aerie Communications and Bill Barnes of Bill Barnes Video productions in Charlotte are in the front. The truck and equipment were used in the 1980s and '90s to make videos for local organizations, including Statesville Concrete, Toter, the John Boyle Company and the United Way of Iredell County. Some of the equipment in the foreground is from Bill’s other company, Atlantic Stage Equipment, which serviced the made-for-TV movies that were shot in Statesville during that time. Courtesy of Bill Barnes via the Statesville Historical Collection.
School crossing guards visit Washington, D.C. The Statesville City Schools crossing guards, accompanied by SPD Sgt. Victor Serino (left), visited the capital in this late '50s or early '60s photo. Courtesy of Dr. James Bradford via the Statesville Historical Collection.
Major engineering fail. This monument once stood in the East Broad Street median at Tradd Street. Apparently, moving it was a bigger chore than expected. The Playhouse marquee indicates the move took place in the mid-1970s. Courtesy of the Statesville Historical Collection.
A parade to beat the band. Before television, cell phones and computers, parades were a popular form of entertainment in small towns like ours. This photo was taken on West Broad Street around the 1930s by Robert M. Rickert, and was discovered by his grandson Mike. There aren't any visible clues to indicate this was a Christmas parade, but the spectators are dressed in coats. The alley where the car is parked would be the one next to the Statesville Convention & Visitors Bureau today. No word on whether the tuba player suffered head injuries from sitting in front of the trombone player the whole route. Statesville Historical Collection.
SEASONS GREETIN_S. "I'll take a 'G,' Pat, and I'd like to solve the puzzle." Do any readers remember the cross that can be seen on the rooftop of the Vance Hotel? This South Center shot was taken around 1960. Statesville Historical Collection.
Draped with garland and ready. That's Holmes Drug on the square. The partially visible sign on the side is promoting Bromo-Seltzer -- "Relieves pain and steadies nerves." Next door is the Goodrich Silvertown Store. The Sears & Roebuck catalog store was located in the 105 storefront from 1941 until 1952. Hefner's Cafe opened downtown in 1922 and moved to the 107 location in 1932. The R & S Barber Shop was next door, then Hadley Hardware, Purcell's Drug, Lazenby's Jewelry, and Parks Realty. The Advance Store was at 117 E. Broad from 1936 until 1959 when it moved to South Center Street. The Palace Shoe Shop came next, then the First ARP Church, Public Service Gas Company, Carolina Billiards and the Stearns Building. Judging by the models of the cars, and because Troutman's Cafe moved across the street to 116 E. Broad in March 1946, this photo would have been taken no later than Christmas of that year. Statesville Historical Collection.
Tinsel town. Since One Hour Martinizing opened at 226 W. Broad in 1960, and the Merchant's & Farmer's Bank up the street became North Carolina National the same year, this photo would have been taken in December 1960. Statesville Historical Collection.
The Statesville Jaycees raised $225.65 for the March of Dimes with their January 1950 music concert at the Playhouse. Members Sid Sample, Bob Kestler, Ed Hodges, Jim Summers and Loren Powell are tallying up the take in this Max Tharpe photo. The concert drew a crowd of 800 and the music included the Statesville Band, led by Earl Davis; vocalist Judge Fred Hedrick, accompanied by Vi Johnson; Gerald Bryant, accompanied by Mrs. Harold Wilson; the Mitchell College Choir and others. At one time, the Statesville Jaycees had nearly 100 members. Statesville Historical Collection.
When was the last time you saw a brand spanking new peanut picker? Or, how many times have you seen a cavalcade of 75 new peanut pickers? This late 1940s Max Tharpe photo was taken at Turner Manufacturing Company, located in the South Meeting and Wise Street area, across Shelton Avenue from the depot. Turner's made all sorts of farming machinery and implements, and could fabricate just about anything made of metal. A second factory was located on Salisbury Road. Statesville Historical Collection.
Dexter's Twin Tub system. "Cuts washing time in two." That's what the neon sign said at Blackwelder's Furniture store. Blackwelder's was a Dexter washing machine dealer from the late '40s through the late '50s. At one time, the company had nine stores in North Carolina and Virginia. In Statesville, they had a large store on Turnersburg Road, and over the years, Blackwelder's was located in at least three different downtown storefronts, all within a stone's throw of each other. Statesville Historical Collection.
In the 1950s, Turner Manufacturing, just southwest of the depot, was awarded a government contract to manufacture M4 bayonets for the U.S. Army. The edged weapon fit the barrel of the M1 carbine. By 1955 the company was turning out 35,000 bayonets and scabbards per month. The Turner plant manager once reported in the Record & Landmark that the government was paying $1.09 each for them, and it cost the company $1.12 each to make them. In this Max Tharpe photo, pallets of bayonets are ready to ship. The men on the right are dipping the blades in the phosphate coating, or "parkerizing." In the center, men are grinding the edges, and on the left, women are assembling the bakelite handles, and inspecting and packaging the finished products. Statesville Historical Collection.
The "shell" that used to be an Esso. That's the best way to describe this building today. Built in 1927 by service station owner George Ayers, this spot would become the home of Shaver Motor Company in 1944, predecessor to Black Pontiac and then Black Buick GMC. Statesville Historical Collection.
Smith's Cleaners. From the size of their delivery van, you might think that Smith's Cleaners specialized in laundering socks. But they were a full-service dry cleaner and dyer. The company dates back to 1921, and for most of their years they were located on North Center Street.
Neill McGeachy (back row, center) tips his hat to photographer Max Tharpe in this 1959-60 First Presbyterian Church youth group shot. McGeachy, a standout athlete who went on to coach Division I basketball and serve as athletic director at Lenoir-Rhyne, died in February 2018. He was 75. Also in the photo: (front row, from left) Elaine Graybill, Pat Ketchie, Flo Southall, Glenda Wilson, Betty Brawley, Eddie Earle and Marilyn Raynal; (back row, from left) Gwen Parks, Frances Morrison, David Pope and Sonny Rankin.
Iredell native Selma Burke (center), President Harry Truman (left) and Marshall Shepard (right) view a bronze plaque of Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Recorder of Deeds Building in Washington, D.C., where the artwork still hangs. In 1944 Burke was commissioned to sculpt a relief portrait of the president and it was unveiled on Sept. 24, 1945. The work is widely believed to be the prototype for the Roosevelt head on the U.S. dime. As long as you have a dime in your pocket, you'll always carry some Iredell County history.
Hurry up spring! That's Statesville Drug, Gable's ready-to-wear clothing store and Peggy's women's wear up on the square. The next storefront gives a clue as to when amateur photographer Miles Wendell Brown snapped this shot. Sample & Plyler clothing was only in business from 1946 until the spring of 1949. Brown may have just stopped in at Woodward's camera shop next door. Belk's, Spainhour's, Ramsey-Bowles, Miller-Jones shoe and J. J. Newberry's are further down South Center.
James Ballard of Statesville brought us this photo of Ms. Kennedy's sixth-grade class at Avery Sherrill School in 1958-59. Ballard (pictured just to Kennedy's right in the back of the classroom) said he got the photo from classmate Taye Clodfelter (to Kennedy's left). Fifth Street Ministries now calls the Avery Sherrill School property home. Dr. Steve Hill, who maintains the Statesville Historical Collection, is interested in finding more historical photos of Iredell County. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.