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The History of the Triangle


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I was over in Brightleaf not long ago and went into the old bookstore on the right hand side... looking at the old maps of the area, I saw one from post-civil war, and to my surprise, no Durham!!! In fact, Durham Co didn't even exist at that time. It was all Orange Co. Only after the war did Durham begin to flourish with a new railroad stop and, of course, the tobacco markets and distribution.

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A fantastic blog! Great work and lots of research!

Are there any Raleigh resources similar to this?

^^

Not that I'm aware of, but I think Jones133 should start one...I bet people have no idea the remnants of old Raleigh that lurk in corners of parking lot and in the woods behind suburban yards...

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^^

Not that I'm aware of, but I think Jones133 should start one...I bet people have no idea the remnants of old Raleigh that lurk in corners of parking lot and in the woods behind suburban yards...

I thought about it but I am too busy trying out all the new drinking spots lately. My html skills are limited too, although I maintain my works website built my a design firm originally. I really am not much of a historian, but just seem to be very interested in every little tidbit I read about and find myself stopping to check out old cemetaries, and cutting out any news articles that come along. I suppose if I could figure out a way to make a living off doing this stuff I would, but for now the engineering job pays a little better I think.

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Hey Jones, you may have missed my last post on the mill above. Do your old maps show any mills on Marsh Creek between Wake Forest Road (its original alignment) and Falls of the Neuse?

I havn't had a chance to pull it out yet....as many as are shown on it, I am thinking it will, with the name of it as well.

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An interesting site that I came across for bits of Raleigh history is Hidden Raleigh http://www.legeros.com/hidden-raleigh/ by Mike Legeros. His main focus is on firefighting/departments history, but his does have some interesting things that he found still standing. His fire department history site is especially good for Raleigh http://legeros.com/history/ and there are entries for most Wake Co. departments. His site is the reason that I know about the use of dynamite as a firefighting tool in the Dix Hospital fire, as well as a few others.

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An interesting site that I came across for bits of Raleigh history is Hidden Raleigh http://www.legeros.com/hidden-raleigh/ by Mike Legeros. His main focus is on firefighting/departments history, but his does have some interesting things that he found still standing. His fire department history site is especially good for Raleigh http://legeros.com/history/ and there are entries for most Wake Co. departments. His site is the reason that I know about the use of dynamite as a firefighting tool in the Dix Hospital fire, as well as a few others.

I use the fire site quite often as a cross reference to help verify when and where some structures stood..especially since if its on the fire site it is usually gone now....combined with the Drie map and Sanborn maps a pretty good picture can be developed of downtown at certain points in time without even having to trace deeds. Thanks for sharing the link.

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Hey Jones, you may have missed my last post on the mill above. Do your old maps show any mills on Marsh Creek between Wake Forest Road (its original alignment) and Falls of the Neuse?

The Bevers map of 1871 shows that branch of Marsh as Mill Brook....the name of the community and Road no doubt.....despite the name though, there are no mills or millponds showing up on either the upstream "mill"brook part or the downstream Marsh Creek part. Certainly possible it came after 1871 though as mill communities thrived for a few more decades.

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The Bevers map of 1871 shows that branch of Marsh as Mill Brook....the name of the community and Road no doubt.....despite the name though, there are no mills or millponds showing up on either the upstream "mill"brook part or the downstream Marsh Creek part. Certainly possible it came after 1871 though as mill communities thrived for a few more decades.

Wow...so is it possible that this set of mill remains is the "Mill" of "Millbrook"?? It is certainly less than 1/2 mile from the center of old Millbrook (intersection of Millbrook and Old Wake Forest, right?), and may be even closer...

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  • 2 weeks later...
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If you're ever in Morning Times, go upstairs and look in the book pile... there's a must see coffee table book, something like 'Raleigh History in Postcards.' It's got some fabulous pics of many of the great old buildings that we've lost over the years like the old Meredith College bldg, Park Hotel, Union Station, etc. On the one hand it was really sad reading it, know how many great old buildings are gone (most replaced with parking lots or other crappy buildings)... but, compared to some other cities, we still have some significant structures remaining that hopefully will be community assets for years to come.

It brings up a good question... of NC's major cities, how would you rank them in terms of preservation of their historic downtowns?

My less than expert opinion would be Asheville first and Charlotte last, but the rest I'm not quite sure. I did visit Greensboro recently and I was impressed with what they've done--or not done--with Elm St.

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I was sondering about teh Dillion supply building. Their complex is full of buildings that have other buildings built up, onto and over others. I think the tracks seen are the ones that used to go into back of Union Station which still exists. Have to print this guy pic and go compare it to the various buried facades down there. Any dates on these pics Gard?

Edited by Jones133
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I *think* the Dillon Supply picture is the "showroom" building that fronts West Street, just north of Martin. The gates are long gone, but the tracks are still there. They were partially exposed until they were paved over a couple of years ago. Getting that angle is impossible now due to the warehouse on southern 2/3rds of the Martin/West/Hargett/Harrington block.

The Marble and Women's Club buildings don't look familiar, but I want to know where they were.

It is interesting to use the American Tobacco/Lucky Strike water tower and West Village/L&M smoke stacks as placemarkers in the old Durham photo. The change from being "railroad dependant" to "freeway divided" is interesting. Even the 3-4 lane downtown loop doesn't overwhelm the map the way the freeway does.

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I was sondering about teh Dillion supply building. Their complex is full of buildings that have other buildings built up, onto and over others. I think the tracks seen are the ones that used to go into back of Union Station which still exists. Have to print this guy pic and go compare it to the various buried facades down there. Any dates on these pics Gard?

The pics are all from around 1920

I had seen a pic at one time of a baseball game in action at Devereaux Meadows, wish I had a copy of it. Made me sick to see what Raleigh is missing now and kind of mad at the city for getting rid of the ballpark. I hadn't seen the Women's club until that pic either, I really would like to know where it was located.

Edit: Speaking of the women's club, here is a color postcard of it

lbs7784.jpg

Edited by Gard
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I found the postcard site awhile back and have several...fun stuff. The insurance company above is the Durham Life building still standing on Fayetteville opposite Capital Bank. The womens club I am not familiar with....I would recommend combing the Sanborn maps from the 1950's as most buildings from old Raleigh were still standing until this time. webguy you are correct about the Dillion building but the front is different now. If you look at the side of the current building you can tell how a new facade was placed over the older brick structure. Jojo, I would also rate Asheville first and Charlotte last. Greensboro has alot of its commercial buildings left but big swaths of its oldest houses have decayed away. Winston-Salem probably gets my #2. Wilmington and Durham both have a decent chunk but have lost alot as well. Raleigh is second to last even with Oakwood, Brooklyn, Boylan Heights because so much of the original commercial core is gone.

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