Goodnight Raleigh - a look at the art, architecture, history, and people of the city at night

The Country Club, Raleigh, N.C.

Carolina Country Club_web

Our Flashback Friday postcard this week depicts the first clubhouse of Raleigh’s Carolina Country Club. At the time it was built in 1910 it was considered to be out in ‘the country,’ two miles distant from the city limits. Today the site is one mile inside the Beltline.

Carolina Country Club_back_web

On a chilly September day in 1914 our correspondent wrote a ‘newsy’ message to a female relative in Baltimore: a sickly ‘Mildred’ will sit up for the first time, ‘Tillie’ is due for a visit, and ‘Edgar’ goes to his first party.

Dear Laura: Rec’d your letter. You will be happy to know that Mildred is getting along nicely. She is going to sit up today for the first time. The bacon and handkerchiefs arrived & we had some of the former today for breakfast this morning & we all like it. We expect Tillie some day this week. I wrote her Friday that Mildred would be well enough to have her come this week. The weather is delightful now but rather cool. Martha and Edgar went to a party at Ruth Dabney’s yesterday. It was Edgar’s first party. I believe you did not have one of these postals as thought I would send it to you.
Sincerely, L__[illegible — Lawrence?]

I love how postcard messages written a century or more ago can tell a story of  everyday life in times long past. But, in this case, I just don’t get the part about ‘bacon and handkerchiefs’ being sent by rail all the way from Baltimore to Raleigh!

Raleigh’s first ‘country club’ was founded by a group of prominent local citizens in 1910. Originally known as the Raleigh Country Club, it was renamed Carolina Country Club in 1918. The rustic clubhouse seen in our postcard this week was built in 1910. Two subsequent buildings were later erected on the same site.

The first clubhouse was destroyed by fire on Labor Day in 1919. Its replacement, a wood-frame, story-and-a half structure, was designed in a ‘gentrified hunting lodge’ style. This new clubhouse opened in 1921.

On February 1, 1948, following a winter party, the second clubhouse burned to the ground in a spectacular early morning conflagration. Tragically, the resident club manager, James Baker, his wife, their two teen-aged sons and Mrs. Baker’s mother lost their lives in the fire.

The board of directors immediately sought to rebuild the clubhouse as a modern fireproof structure. They hired the renowned Raleigh architectural firm of William Henley Deitrick. Deitrick assigned the job to his recently hired associate, G. Milton Small. Another young hire, Matthew Nowicki was responsible for the interior design of the modernist building. The new clubhouse opened in 1949. Deitrick’s drawings for the project are housed in the  Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries.

State Archives of North Carolina photo

State Archives of North Carolina photo

This is a rear view of the 1949 clubhouse, as seen from the golf course.

When completed,  “one of the leading [American] architectural magazines indicated that it was the first country club to be treated in a contemporary manner.”  (Elizabeth C. Waugh, “Firm in an Ivied Tower,” North Carolina Architect (January-February, 1971).

State Archives of North Carolina photo

State Archives of North Carolina photo

This is a view of the public facade of the 1949 clubhouse, as seen from the entrance driveway off Glenwood Ave.

Sadly, after years of numerous renovations, the landmark modernist building on Glenwood Ave. was demolished in 1992.

The current clubhouse, seen below, was completed in 1993. The intent of the new structure is to have the appearance of an “Old Southern Home.” (Carolina Country Club website)

Carolina Country Club_web pic


Our  featured postcard bears the special cancellation mark of the U.S. Railway Mail Service (aka Railway Post Office) — ‘Trans. Clk.

Railway Mail Service

In 1862 Railway Post Offices were established on rail cars for the sorting of mail en-route. By 1930 there were over 10,000 such cars serving every American city and town that had a rail line running through it. These postal routes extended beyond the station terminals as trolley and cable car lines were eventually added to the service to carry mail even further. By 1971 all but the New York to Washington line had been closed. On June 30th, 1977 the last Railway Post Office ended service.

This week’s Flashback Friday postcard was published by Curt Teich Co, of Chicago, IL, in the trademarked ‘Photochrom’ process.

Curt Teich Co.   1893-1974
Chicago, IL

A major publisher and printer. Their U.S. factories turned out more cards in quantity than any other printer. They published a wide range of national view-cards of America and Canada. Many consider them one of the finest producers of White Border Cards. The Linen Type postcard came about through their innovations as they pioneered the use of offset lithography. They were purchased by Regensteiner Publishers in 1974 which continued to print cards at the Chicago plant until 1978.

“Flashback Friday” is a weekly feature of Goodnight, Raleigh! in which we showcase vintage postcards depicting our historic capital city. We hope you
enjoy this week end treat!


Discuss Raleigh

  • Recent Comments:

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